Justin Bailey wanted to represent Team USA badly. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Justin Bailey can learn from Team USA snub

BUFFALO – Of the 17 forwards on the Team USA preliminary world junior championship roster released today, only two youngsters – Adam Erne and Auston Mathews – have scored more goals this season than Williamsville native Justin Bailey, who was left off despite having 15 goals in only 24 games with the Kitchener Rangers.

As I wrote about two weeks ago, making the world junior squad has been a huge motivational tool for ... Read the full article

Cody McCormick will miss his fourth straight game tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Cody McCormick out against Lightning; Sabres could make recall

BUFFALO – After participating fully in this morning’s skate, Sabres forward Cody McCormick left the ice and spoke to reporters about his recovery from a possible concussion.

It was assumed McCormick, out since Eric Fehr’s skate hit him in the head Nov. 22 in Washington, would return tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning inside the First Niagara Center.

But McCormick will miss his fourth straight game. With winger Drew Stafford out (lower body), the Sabres ... Read the full article

Hudson Fasching skates earlier this week. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Photo: Sabres prospect Hudson Fasching with Team USA at Lake Placid

Winger Hudson Fasching is one of three Buffalo Sabres prospects left at Team USA’s National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. J.T. Compher and Anthony Florentino are still participating. The U.S. cut Connor Hurley and Sean Malone on Tuesday.

Based on his past exploits, Fasching, a power forward at the University of Minnesota, should be a lock to make this year’s world junior squad. The 19-year-old, fresh off a 14-goal, 30-point freshman season, had two ... Read the full article

J.T. Compher has played one college season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect J.T. Compher earning notice by agitating opponents

BUFFALO – Early during Sabres development camp, J.T. Compher, proud University of Michigan student-athlete, noticed Hudson Fasching, his roommate from the University of Minnesota, brought a Big Ten shirt.

“I threw it on the ground,” a smiling Compher said. “I didn’t want to see that out of his suitcase again.”

Their rivalry started last season, when Compher’s Wolverines lost three of their four conference meetings to Fasching’s Golden Gophers, who captured the first-ever ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart believes he can play in the NHL soon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sam Reinhart and deep prospect pool show Sabres could have bright future

BUFFALO – Up and down they went side-by-side, each stride drawing eyes inside the First Niagara Center. For a few moments during development camp Monday, Sam Reinhart and Brendan Lemieux, the jewels of the Sabres’ 2014 draft class, skated together, a brief-but-memorable glimpse into the future.

If the Sabres become contenders again someday, this week’s camp could be remembered as one of the building blocks.

Seven first-round picks are participating, including Reinhart, the slick ... Read the full article

Trade rumors haven been swirling around Ryan Miller. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ted Nolan wants Sabres goalie Ryan Miller to stay in Buffalo

BUFFALO – In Ted Nolan’s mind, franchise goalie Ryan Miller, an unrestricted free agent following the season, is more of a building block for the struggling Sabres than an asset.

“You build around him versus as a pawn to try to get something to make you better,” the interim coach said Wednesday. “You learn to deal with the now as a coach, and we got one of the better goaltenders in the world here. I’d ... Read the full article

J.T. Compher (left) and Connor Hurley pose Sunday after being selected in the second round. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres purposely went heavy on college prospects during draft

NEWARK, N.J. – More on the Buffalo Sabres’ 2013 NHL Entry Draft selections the Times Herald couldn’t get to earlier:

The Sabres went heavy on college-eligible players by design, using five of their 11 picks on them.

“With so many picks and our contract situation, you don’t want to waste those picks because their contracts all come up at the same time,” amateur scouting director Kevin Devine explained Sunday on the Prudential Center floor after ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov couldn’t stop smiling after the Sabres selected him Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres grab defensemen early to start busy draft day, only pull off minor trade

NEWARK, N.J. – It was “pretty close,” general manager Darcy Regier said. The rebuilding Buffalo Sabres could’ve moved up to the No. 5 slot during the NHL Entry Draft, perhaps picked a familiar name the team’s fans had been drooling over.

Ultimately, however, the Sabres decided trading with Carolina wasn’t worth the steep cost. Instead, they kept the eighth overall pick, grabbing big defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen to start their busy day.

“We just thought we’d ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov talks with the media this afternoon. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Darcy Regier says Sabres were close to grabbing fifth pick; Andrej Sekera traded to Carolina

NEWARK, N.J. – How close were the Buffalo Sabres, who owned the eighth and 16th picks in the NHL Entry Draft, to moving up and grabbing the fifth overall pick?

“Pretty close,” Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said this afternoon inside the Prudential Center.

Carolina chose slick Swedish forward Elias Lindholm at No. 5. The Sabres kept their picks and took defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov.

The Sabres couldn’t have moved up any ... Read the full article