Jack Eichel signed a new contract Tuesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel ready for duties that accompany contract

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel wouldn’t go on his own. So when the Sabres convened for their post-practice stretch at center ice, veteran Jason Pominville nudged the young star into the circle.

The scene inside HarborCenter was fitting. Eichel, in his first skate since signing an eight-year, $80 million contract extension Tuesday, surrounded by his teammates, leading them in the stretch.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel will be with the Sabres at least nine more years. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres, Jack Eichel complete massive contract extension

BUFFALO – The Sabres and center Jack Eichel finalized the largest contract in franchise history Tuesday night, an eight-year extension worth a whopping $80 million.

The average annual value of $10 million puts Eichel, 20, in line with some of the NHL’s other dynamic young stars.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, the youngster picked first overall in 2015, one spot ahead of Eichel, signed an eight-year extension worth $12.5 million a season earlier this ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel will face Sidney Crosby tonight in Pittsburgh. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to face loaded Penguins lineup

BUFFALO – It’s no secret NHL teams field stronger preseason lineups at home, especially toward the end. So Sabres coach Phil Housley knew the Pittsburgh Penguins would dress better players tonight than the first time the teams met eight days ago.

“It’s getting toward the end, right?” Housley said this morning after the Sabres skated inside HarborCenter. “They’re trying to get their guys geared up. But at the same time, it puts us in a ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill wants youngsters to push for spots. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill expects prospects to battle for roster spots

BUFFALO – Right now, just one day before the Sabres open training camp, veterans and established youngsters seemingly take up every roster spot for the upcoming season.

Counting returning regulars and offseason additions, the Sabres have 13 forwards and seven defensemen, more than a full lineup.

So what about the prospects? Could some force themselves onto the roster?... Read the full article

Jack Eichel could have a new deal soon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill optimistic about Jack Eichel’s contract extension

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill spoke optimistically this morning about young star Jack Eichel signing a contract extension in the near future.

“Our conversations with Jack and the group have gone extremely well,” Botterill said inside HarborCenter following the close of development camp. “We’ll continue those throughout the summer here and stuff to see if we can find a common ground. From our standpoint, we certainly want to get something done, and from ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart plays against the Penguins on March 21. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

2017-18 Sabres schedule features early date with Golden Knights

CHICAGO – Two games against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights and a home-and-home series with the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in early December are among the highlights of the 82-game 2017-18 Buffalo Sabres schedule the NHL released Thursday.

Some other notable dates, stretches and nuggets:

– The Sabres play the Golden Knights first the first time Oct. 17 in Vegas, the close of a four-game road trip that includes dates with the San Jose ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander is the Sabres' top prospect in Rochester. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill plans to make Rochester a priority

BUFFALO – Very quietly, general manager Jason Botterill played a key role in the development of the talent that once made the Sabres a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Botterill played three seasons with the Rochester Americans, piling up goals while helping prospects like Paul Gaustad, Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville, Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek acclimate to the AHL and eventually graduate to the Sabres.... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has a phone hearing this afternoon. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen explains hit on Jake Guentzel

BUFFALO – When Rasmus Ristolainen leveled Jake Guentzel, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins rookie bloodied and concussed early in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss, the Sabres defenseman never expected to be ejected from the game.

Ristolainen, however, now understands why he was given a five-minute interference penalty.

“He obviously didn’t have the puck … he got injured,” Ristolainen said this afternoon following practice inside HarborCenter. “I don’t know what the rules are, but it was probably the ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner makes a save Tuesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rasmus Ristolainen ejected in Sabres’ loss to Penguins

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen had a split-second decision to make as Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby dished the puck up to Jake Guentzel near their blue line early in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Penguins.

Ristolainen could lay back and play it safe, or he could assume the short pass would be completed and step up and throttle Guentzel.

The Finn went for the hit, but the pass was intercepted by teammate Zemgus Girgensons. ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel wants the Sabres to play more aggresively. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blow lead, lose late to Penguins

PITTSBURGH – For one period Sunday, everything went right for the Buffalo Sabres.

They jumped out to a seemingly commanding lead, scoring three times by the 18:07 mark. The Penguins, meanwhile, couldn’t beat Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson, who stopped all 13 first-period shots. One Penguins goal was called back following a review. They also hit a post.

Still, a 3-0 advantage hardly felt commanding.

The reeling Sabres have a penchant for blowing late leads. The ... Read the full article