Ryan O'Reilly stepped up in Jack Eichel's absence. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres struggle in first game without Jack Eichel, lose to Avalanche

BUFFALO – The Sabres can soften Jack Eichel’s loss, of course, if some of their other top players – think Ryan O’Reilly and Rasmus Ristolainen – step up and seize additional opportunities in his absence.

If they don’t, what could happen without Eichel, their most dynamic presence and leading scorer? They won only 16 of their first 55 games with Eichel, who’s sidelined indefinitely after suffering a high right ankle sprain Saturday.... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov has endured a rough season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Avalanche NHL’s worst

BUFFALO – The ineptitude of some of the worst NHL teams this century – the 1999-00 Atlanta Thrashers and the 2013-14 and 2014-15 Sabres, for example – can easily be explained.

Yes, the Thrashers were terrible even by low expansion standards, earning only 39 points. But it was their first year. What can you expect?

The Sabres mustered 52 and 54 points because they fielded weak teams and sold off their best assets to secure ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly was arrested just days after signing the largest contract in Sabres history. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Strong words already haunting Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly

In Ryan O’Reilly’s first comments after the Sabres acquired him, the center discussed his desire to assume a leadership role in Buffalo.

Those words – “With the Sabres I have to be a more vocal guy, be that more off-ice leader and on-ice as well,” he said June 29 – are already haunting the 24-year-old.

Ten days after speaking and just six days after signing a seven-year, $52.5 million contract, O’Reilly was arrested and ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly was arrested Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly charged with impaired driving, leaving scene of accident

Just days after signing a seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension, Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly was arrested Thursday and charged with impaired driving and leaving the scene of an accident after his pickup truck allegedly hit a Tim Hortons in Lucan, Ont.

The incident, which occurred at 4:05 a.m., was announced by the Ontario Provincial Police’s Middlesex County unit Monday night. CFPL-AM first reported the news earlier in the day.

The 24-year-old O’Reilly, who signed ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly's contract kicks in for 2016-17. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign Ryan O’Reilly to 7-year, $52.5 million contract extension

BUFFALO – That didn’t take long. A week after the Sabres acquired Ryan O’Reilly in a blockbuster trade with the Colorado Avalanche, they locked up their new No. 1 center with a max deal Friday, a whopping seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension.

It’s the biggest contract in franchise history, surpassing the seven-year, $50 million deal the Sabres gave winger Thomas Vanek in 2007 when they matched the Edmonton Oilers’ offer sheet.

The contract has a ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly was acquired a week ago. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign Ryan O’Reilly to massive contract extension

BUFFALO – That didn’t take long. A week after the Sabres acquired Ryan O’Reilly in a blockbuster trade with the Colorado Avalanche, they locked up their new No. 1 center today with a max deal, a whopping seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension.

That’s an average annual value of $7.5 million.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, who tweeted the contract’s value, O’Reilly’s salary will be $1 million per season. The rest will be paid via a ... 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

Ryan O'Reilly might get a new contract soon. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres send strong message with big trades at NHL Draft

SUNRISE, Fla. – If the Buffalo Sabres win the Stanley Cup someday, remember Friday as the perhaps one of the most pivotal days in the franchise’s 45-year history.

In addition to drafting center Jack Eichel second overall, the rebuilding team swung two significant trades, including a blockbuster deal with the Colorado Avalanche that brought center Ryan O’Reilly to Buffalo.

After two wretched seasons in which they finished 30th and became the NHL’s laughingstock, the ... Read the full article

Tim Murray isn't afraid to wheel and deal. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres pull off major trade, acquire Ryan O’Reilly from Avalanche

SUNRISE, Fla. – Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray has pulled off another blockbuster trade.

The Sabres tonight acquired center Ryan O’Reilly and winger Jamie McGinn from the Colorado Avalanche for center Mikhail Grigorenko, defenseman Nikita Zadorov, winger J.T. Compher and the 31st pick in this weekend’s NHL Draft.

Stay tuned for more updates.... Read the full article

Tim Schaller was recalled Tuesday afternoon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With Cody McCormick still sidelined, Sabres recall Tim Schaller

BUFFALO – Tim Schaller had just eaten lunch and gotten comfortable on the couch Tuesday afternoon in Rochester when Americans coach Chadd Cassidy phoned the center.

“Get yourself to Buffalo tonight,” Cassidy told Schaller, who had been sent down following his NHL debut Saturday.

Schaller hopped in his car and arrived at the First Niagara Center around 4 p.m.

The Sabres summoned Schaller for their 2-1 shootout win against the Tampa Bay Lightning because forward ... Read the full article