The Sabres acquired Tage Thompson on July 1. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Tage Thompson seizes early opportunity

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Tage Thompson knows everything he just earned – one of 23 coveted roster spots and a place on a scoring line – can vanish in a hurry.

As a rookie a year ago, Thompson cracked St. Louis’ opening-night lineup just months after leaving college. The former first-round pick lasted four games before the Blues demoted him to the San Antonio Rampage.

“You never want to feel comfortable,” Thompson said prior to ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian has battled injuries in recent seasons. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian day-to-day with lower-body injury

BUFFALO – Oft-injured Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian, who played only 18 games last season, is day-to-day after suffering a lower-body injury Tuesday, coach Phil Housley said.

Housley said Bogosian, 28, will be reevaluated later today after leaving the Sabres’ 4-2 preseason loss to Columbus early.

Injuries, of course, have ravaged Bogosian. The Massena native has missed 114 games – a whopping 42 percent of Buffalo’s outings – since he joined the Sabres on Feb. ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta retired Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta helped change hockey

BUFFALO – Twenty years ago, diminutive players like Brian Gionta – the ones teams list at, say, 5-foot-9 but are clearly much smaller – rarely received a chance in the NHL.

Sure, once in a while an undersized talent would break through. But for the most part, the league coveted size.

Then in the early 2000s, a few small forwards – Gionta, Daniel Briere and Martin St. Louis – started seizing their chances and morphing ... Read the full article

Brendan Hickey feels comfortable in Buffalo. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Brandon Hickey ready for preseason debut

BUFFALO – When Sabres defenseman Brandon Hickey received word he would be playing in tonight’s preseason opener, he said a “whole bunch of anxious energy” started running through his body.

“It’s my first taste of pro hockey,” Hickey said this morning. “I’ve been looking forward to this my whole life. I’m pretty excited to get things going tonight.”

Hickey, 22, is a bit old for a rookie. Despite being picked by the Calgary Flames in ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly takes a faceoff Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Phil Housley expects ‘electric’ atmosphere in Nashville

BUFFALO – By the end of Phil Housley’s run with the Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena had morphed into perhaps the NHL’s noisiest rink.

A thrilling run to the Stanley Cup final can do that.

So in addition to facing the league’s best team in Housley’s return to Nashville tonight, the last-place Sabres must also deal with a raucous crowd.

“Saturday night in Nashville – any night – but mostly Saturday night, it’s really a tough ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly takes a faceoff against Detroit's Frans Nielsen on Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly roaring toward NHL faceoff record

BUFFALO – Ryan O’Reilly’s faceoff skills are so dynamic he takes and wins more than any NHL player. Yet the Sabres center thinks draws are, well, overrated.

Overrated?

Sabres coach Phil Housley constantly relies on O’Reilly’s faceoff prowess, utilizing him an average of 26 times a game. Through 75 appearances entering Thursday’s tilt 6-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings inside KeyBank Center, O’Reilly had won 1,181 of the 1,949 draws he had taken, a ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt signed his entry-level contract earlier this week. ©2018, University of Minnesota Athletics

Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt ready for NHL debut

BUFFALO – As puck drop approaches, Sabres rookie Casey Mittelstadt said he might experience some nerves.

“It might be a bit of a long day,” the speedy center said this morning after preparing for his NHL debut, tonight’s tilt against the Detroit Red Wings.

Still, hours before the game, the Sabres’ top prospect seemed unfazed by the life-changing day and all the attention being paid to him.... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt hasn't played a game in weeks. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Warm welcome helps Sabres rookie Casey Mittelstadt

BUFFALO – Right away, center Casey Mittelstadt’s new teammates reached out and welcomed the slick prospect to the Sabres.

So shortly after Mittelstadt signed his entry-level contract Tuesday, center Jack Eichel took him to lunch. Hours later, winger Sam Reinhart had dinner with Mittelstadt, his new linemate.

Mittelstadt, 19, will make his NHL debut tonight against the Detroit Red Wings inside KeyBank Center. In a miserable season widely regarded as the franchise’s worst ever, ... Read the full article

Danny O'Regan skated in the pregame warm-ups Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Seth Griffith moves in, Danny O’Regan scratched

BUFFALO – In the AHL, Seth Griffith morphs into a different player. Over the past three seasons, the Sabres winger has been one of the league’s most lethal scorers, compiling 47 goals and 155 points in 131 outings.

During Griffith’s early-season NHL run, he mustered only two goals and three points in 18 games. Then, not surprisingly, he went on a tear with the Rochester Americans, scoring 13 goals and 34 points in 36 ... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Danny O'Regan last week. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres recall Danny O’Regan; Benoit Pouliot moves to center

BUFFALO – Nine days after the Sabres acquired Danny O’Regan from the San Jose Sharks, they recalled the forward from the Rochester Americans this morning.

So, O’Regan will play tonight against the Calgary Flames, right? Well, not exactly.

Winger Seth Griffith will return after a one-game absence. Meanwhile, with center Kyle Criscuolo (upper body) out, Benoit Pouliot, a winger all season, will skate in the middle.... Read the full article