Phil Housley knows the Hajt family well. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hire Chris Hajt as assistant coach

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ newest assistant coach has a familiar name. Chris Hajt has been named to coach Phil Housley’s staff, the team announced today.

The Buffalo-raised Hajt is the son of Sabres Hall of Famer Bill Hajt, one of greatest defensemen in franchise history.

The younger Hajt, 39, spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliates, the Ontario Reign and Manchester Monarchs, winning a Calder Cup in 2015 Hajt ... Read the full article

Phil Housley likes Marco Scandella's talents. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Phil Housley likes defense, plans to lean on Marco Scandella

BUFFALO – In a two-week span last month, general manager Jason Botterill addressed the Sabres’ most glaring weakness by acquiring defensemen Nathan Beaulieu and Marco Scandella.

Is either player elite? Hardly. Still, as puck-moving defenders, Beaulieu and Scandella offer talents the Sabres sorely lacked last season and add some much-needed depth.... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle is the Sabres' top defense prospect. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Brendan Guhle, other Sabres prospects must prove themselves

BUFFALO – As Brendan Guhle watched the Nashville Predators’ recent run to the Stanley Cup final, the Sabres prospect developed an appreciation for their dynamic defense corps, a group coached by Phil Housley.

So when the Sabres named Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman, head coach June 15, Guhle said he was “pretty excited.”... Read the full article

Chad Johnson (31) played 45 games with the Sabres in 2015-16. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson has ‘unfinished business’ in Buffalo

BUFFALO – Some of the faces familiar to Sabres goalie Chad Johnson are gone. Tim Murray, the general manager who originally acquired him, has been fired. So has Dan Bylsma, the coach who played him regularly two seasons ago.

Still, Johnson, who signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract to return after free agency opened today, feels a certain comfort in Buffalo and believes he has “unfinished business” to make the Sabres a playoff team.... Read the full article

Cal Petersen can pick his own team soon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie prospect Cal Petersen to pass on Sabres

CHICAGO – Forget about former Notre Dame goalie Cal Petersen joining the Buffalo Sabres. The 22-year-old prospect, who left school last month, will elect for free agency, general manager Jason Botterill said Friday morning.

“I don’t believe he’ll be signing with the Buffalo Sabres,” Botterill said hours before the first round of the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart plays against the Penguins on March 21. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

2017-18 Sabres schedule features early date with Golden Knights

CHICAGO – Two games against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights and a home-and-home series with the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in early December are among the highlights of the 82-game 2017-18 Buffalo Sabres schedule the NHL released Thursday.

Some other notable dates, stretches and nuggets:

– The Sabres play the Golden Knights first the first time Oct. 17 in Vegas, the close of a four-game road trip that includes dates with the San Jose ... Read the full article

William Carrier played one season with the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Golden Knights grab William Carrier; Sabres trade pick to club

CHICAGO – In the end, the Buffalo Sabres exposed winger William Carrier to the Vegas Golden Knights and sent the new club a sixth-round pick to lay off goalie prospect Linus Ullmark in the NHL Expansion Draft.

That price, of course, will look like a pittance if Ullmark, who was left unprotected, becomes Buffalo’s starter someday.

The Golden Knights officially selected Carrier on Wednesday night, about the same time the Sabres sent them the ... Read the full article

Timothy Liljegren worked out at the NHL Scouting Combine on June 3. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres could land strong defense prospect at NHL Draft

BUFFALO – Thanks to his famous name and a 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame, NHL Draft prospect Callan Foote has eyes on him whenever he hits the ice.

Foote, 18, usually doesn’t disappoint, either. A defenseman like his father, two-time Stanley Cup winner Adam Foote, he can dominate a game when he utilizes his big body, NHL Central Scouting’s Dave Gregory said. The youngster also possesses a special ability to transition the puck, a key talent in ... Read the full article

Phil Housley (center) poses with a Sabres jersey beside owner Terry Pegula (left) and general manager Jason Botterill on Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres legend Phil Housley paid many dues to become Buffalo’s coach

BUFFALO – On Thursday, Phil Housley’s 32nd wedding anniversary, he forgot to get his wife, Karin, a card. Sure enough, when the legendary Sabres defenseman returned to his room after meeting with general manager Jason Botterill, he noticed a card from her on the table.

Housley, however, never panicked. He had something better for their special day.

“I said, ‘I’m the new head coach of the Buffalo Sabres,” Housley said Thursday during his introductory news ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo holds flowers for captain Brian Gionta's 1,000th game ceremony March 27, his final appearance last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Kyle Okposo ‘looking great,’ will be ready for training camp

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo, who was reportedly hospitalized late last season in the neuro surgical intensive care unit at Buffalo General Hospital, will be ready for training camp, general manager Jason Botterill said.

“Everything’s looking great for Kyle,” Botterill said Thursday during an introductory news conference for coach Phil Housley inside KeyBank Center. “Physically he looks great, mentally he looks great.”... Read the full article