Cory Conacher played 19 games with the Sabres four years ago. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabre Cory Conacher thrilled to be back with Lightning

BUFFALO – Two and a half years ago, former Sabres center Cory Conacher wanted a fresh start. So just months removed from regular NHL duty, the Canisius College product bolted overseas to Switzerland.

“The reason I went over was just to find a second wind,” Conacher said Tuesday prior to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-3 loss to the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.

Some risk, of course, accompanied leaving North America at 25 years old. Conacher, ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has zero home wins this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson to start against Lightning

BUFFALO – Against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL’s top team, you figure the Sabres would start No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner, who has played 42 times this season.

But Lehner, fresh off Sunday’s 5-4 home loss to Colorado, will sit tonight for backup Chad Johnson.

Why start Johnson, who has just three wins and zero at home?... Read the full article

Scott Wilson occasionally gets promoted to a scoring line. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Scott Wilson moving around

BUFFALO – Early last season, Sabres winger Scott Wilson earned a coveted assignment beside Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.

But the gig didn’t last long for Wilson, a speedy bottom-six forward known more for his checking abilities.

“I played a little bit with Sid and I kind of changed the way I played,” Wilson said Sunday inside KeyBank Center. “That’s not what they were looking for.”

Later in the season, Wilson received another plum opportunity ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey has 18 goals in the AHL. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Justin Bailey named AHL All-Star

High-scoring Buffalo Sabres prospect Justin Bailey has been named a replacement for Monday’s AHL All-Star game in Allentown, Pa., the league announced today.

Bailey, 21, a Williamsville native, has a team-high 18 goals with the Rochester Americans, including 10 goals in his last 12 games. His recent seven-game goal-scoring streak is the AHL’s longest this season.

The winger, whose goal total ranks sixth in the league, also has 28 points in 38 AHL appearances. He ... Read the full article

Jaroslav Halak spent five days with the Sabres last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres face stiff test in surging Isles

BUFFALO – Since creeping to within four points of the final playoff spot Dec. 15, the Sabres have lost four straight games, earning just a single point for Sunday’s 4-3 overtime loss in Boston.

Are the Sabres swooning again? Opponents have scored a whopping 20 goals during their skid.

Or is this just a normal part of a young club’s growth? A team battered by injuries and illness had the lead in two straight road ... Read the full article

Cory Conacher is looking for a new team. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres let Cory Conacher and Jamie McBain go; Sam Reinhart visits Buffalo for first time

BUFFALO – The short Sabres careers of winger Cory Conacher and defenseman Jamie McBain are over.

The rebuilding club passed on giving them qualifying offers as restricted free agents, making them free to sign with any team.

The Sabres also didn’t qualify defensemen Nick Crawford and Matt MacKenzie, who played in Rochester, and goalie Connor Knapp, who played two NHL games last season.

Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Monday morning McBain, who struggled his ... Read the full article

Cory Conacher played 19 games with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres won’t qualify Canisius product Cory Conacher

BUFFALO – The Sabres didn’t give a qualifying offer to Canisius College product Cory Conacher, making the winger an unrestricted free agent.

Conacher’s agency, Uptown Sports, tweeted the news this afternoon. Sabres general manager Tim Murray said “maybe” when asked this morning if the 24-year-old, then a restricted free agent, would be offered a contact.

Conacher had three goals and six points in 19 games after the Sabres claimed him off waivers from the ... Read the full article

Jamie McBain played one season with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres won’t qualify Jamie McBain and Connor Knapp, undecided on Cory Conacher

BUFFALO – Defenseman Jamie McBain’s short Sabres career is over.

The 26-year-old restricted free agent won’t be given a qualifying offer, general manager Tim Murray said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

McBain struggled much of last season, compiling six goals, 17 points and a minus-13 rating in 69 appearances. The Sabres acquired him in the Andrej Sekera trade with Carolina a year ago today.

What about the other RFAs?

Murray said “maybe” when ... Read the full article

Henrik Tallinder will be a game-time decision tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Healthy bodies mean Sabres can send youngsters back to Amerks for playoff race

BUFFALO – Slowly, the injury-plagued Sabres are starting to get some healthy bodies back.

Three injured players returned in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Detroit. Now, they might have two more back for tonight’s road tilt against the New York Rangers.

Winger Drew Stafford (undisclosed) pronounced himself ready during Wednesday’s practice, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. Meanwhile, defenseman Henrik Tallinder (undisclosed) said he’s a game-time decision tonight.

“Hank, he gave me the old 95-percent sure look,” ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford will play Thursday in New York. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Drew Stafford ready to play; Nick Deslauriers and Johan Larsson back with Amerks

BUFFALO – Slowly, the Sabres are starting to get some healthy bodies back.

Three injured players returned in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Detroit. Now, they might have two more back Thursday in New York.

Winger Drew Stafford (undisclosed) pronounced himself ready during this morning’s practice, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. Meanwhile, defenseman Henrik Tallinder (undisclosed) said following practice he’s a game-time decision for the Rangers.

“Hank, he gave me the old 95-percent sure look,” Nolan ... Read the full article