Jack Eichel will be the talk of development camp. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres have plenty of shiny prospects to showcase beside Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – The thousands of Sabres fans who visit the First Niagara Center this week to watch the team’s prospects should leave with at least one special, indelible memory. For the first time up close on home ice, they’ll get to see slick center Jack Eichel.

Sure, it’s only a summer development camp. But watching Eichel in Sabres gear just two weeks after he was drafted second overall will likely never be forgotten.

Of course, ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel talks Wednesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel happy to join Sabres: ‘There’s such a bright future here’

BUFFALO – Before Sabres center Jack Eichel left for his three-week gig with Team USA’s entry at the world championship in the spring, the 18-year-old had some doubts he was ready for the NHL.

But the short experience in the Czech Republic taught Eichel some valuable lessons. He talked to guys, developed a sense of what it’s like to be a pro and gained confidence standing out on the ice against men, many of whom ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly sees a bright future in Buffalo. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ryan O’Reilly wants leadership role with Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly’s ready to tackle a new challenge. During his first six NHL seasons, the 24-year-old wasn’t viewed as one of the Avalanche’s leaders. Colorado stars Matt Duchesne, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon often overshadowed him.

But O’Reilly, acquired in a blockbuster deal Friday at the NHL Draft, will have a new role next season. The Sabres want him to be one of the guys to shepherd a team filled with ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson scored six goals last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Awful season costs Cody Hodgson job with Sabres

BUFFALO – Cody Hodgson’s Sabres career is over.

The team put the struggling winger on unconditional waivers Monday, meaning the final four seasons of his six-year, $25.5 million contract will be bought out for one-third the remaining value since he’s under 26 years old.

The Sabres owe him $6.333 million over the next eight years, money that will count against the salary cap until 2022-23, according to generalfanager.com. They must absorb a $1,041,666 hit ... Read the full article

Arturs Irbe spent one season in Buffalo. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres won’t keep goalie coach Arturs Irbe

BUFFALO – Goalie coach Arturs Irbe won’t return for a second season with the Sabres, new coach Dan Bylsma told WGR this morning.

Bylsma said he talked to some potential coaches at the NHL Draft over the weekend and one could be hired in the next week.

The loquacious Irbe was the only coach Sabres general manager Tim Murray retained after firing former coach Ted Nolan on April 12. Murray said then he would leave ... Read the full article

Devante Stephens was drafted in the fifth round. ©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres feel they have steal in prospect Devante Stephens

SUNRISE, Fla. – For a few days during his year away from the NHL, Buffalo Sabres coach Dan Bylsma helped out a former teammate, Kelowna Rockets coach Dan Lambert, and ran some practices for the Western Hockey League team.

At least one youngster, Devante Stephens, a 6-foot-1, 171-pound defenseman the Sabres drafted in the fifth round, 155th overall on Saturday, caught his eye. Bylsma didn’t know it then, but Buffalo had a strong interest ... Read the full article

Tim Murray talks to the media Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres leave NHL Draft feeling good about future

SUNRISE, Fla. – Tim Murray isn’t one for reflection. The gruff Buffalo Sabres general manager usually focuses on one task before quickly moving to the next one.

But at some point today, after an arduous NHL Draft weekend in which he added major assets, Murray will hop on a plane home to Buffalo and feel a sense of satisfaction.

Murray enjoyed arguably the best two days of any GM by drafting future cornerstone Jack Eichel... Read the full article

Dan Bylmsa was all smiles this morning.©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Dan Bylsma excited about Sabres’ bold moves

SUNRISE, Fla. – Coach Dan Bylsma and general manager Tim Murray disagree over how much the Buffalo Sabres improved in about a whirlwind nine-hour span Friday.

Murray, in keeping with his personality, would only say the Sabres got a little bit better.

“I said, ‘Tim, I think we got more than a little bit better,’” Bylsma said this morning at the NHL Draft inside the BB&T Center. “He said, ‘No, we just got a ... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma's team has 10 afternoon home games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ 2015-16 schedule features early home games, new strategy

SUNRISE, Fla. – If slick center Jack Eichel joins the NHL next season, Buffalo fans will get a long look at the second overall pick October. The Sabres open the season with three straight home games for the first time in 40 years.

That’s just one highlight of the 2015-16 schedule the NHL released Thursday.

Six of the opening eight games are at the First Niagara Center, so Eichel, the phenom the Sabres will select ... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma returns to Pittsburgh on Oct. 29. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

2015-16 Sabres schedule has interesting dates, new wrinkles

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Before I run to catch a cab to switch hotels, here are some highlights from the 2015-16 Buffalo Sabres schedule the NHL released this morning.

– The Sabres, and perhaps the Jack Eichel era, open Oct. 8 at home against the Ottawa Senators at the First Niagara Center. They open with a season-high three-game home stand, one of seven on the schedule. The Sabres also don’t have a road trip more ... Read the full article