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

Johan Larsson is one of the longest-tenured Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Poor season forced Sabres’ Johan Larsson to change

BUFFALO – Instead of talking about Johan Larsson’s rough season, Sabres coach Phil Housley chose to praise the Swedish center for the transformations he has made.

Larsson struggled mightily in 2017-18, enduring his worst NHL campaign. How bad was he? His wretched minus-30 was the fourth-worst rating among NHL forwards. He scored two of his career-low four goals into empty nets.

But Larsson, 26, accepted Housley and general manager Jason Botterill’s challenge to change ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu experienced a rough acclimation to his new team. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Nathan Beaulieu motivated to prove last season was fluke

BUFFALO – Nathan Beaulieu had never experienced anything as trying as last season, so when it mercifully ended, the Sabres defenseman said he “let it eat me up for a little bit.”

“This is kind of new grounds for me,” Beaulieu said Saturday following another session of training camp inside HarborCenter. “I’ve never really been in this situation. It’s kind of my first year in the NHL that didn’t really go my way at all, ... Read the full article

Nick Baptiste has participated in training camps run by four coaches. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Nick Baptiste on new season: ‘We’re sick and tired of losing’

BUFFALO – In his first six seasons, Sabres winger Nick Baptiste has participated in training camps run by four different coaches.

So while Baptiste, having played just 47 games, is an NHL neophyte, the former third-round pick has experienced all sorts of camps.

This year, he said, “has been the most fun camp we’ve had.”

Why?... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin sometimes talks about making the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Humble approach should help Sabres rookie Rasmus Dahlin

BUFFALO – Rasmus Dahlin secured his roster spot the second the Sabres drafted him first overall almost three months ago. The ultra-talented Swedish defenseman is expected, even as a rookie, to help transform the franchise into a winner.

But Dahlin, 18, isn’t taking anything for granted. He sometimes talks about if he makes the Sabres. He said it again Friday after his first official NHL practice.... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin skates this morning. ©2018, Hickling Images

Rasmus Dahlin focused on making Sabres

BUFFALO – Rasmus Dahlin secured his roster spot the second the Sabres drafted him first overall almost three months ago. The ultra-talented Swedish defenseman is expected, even as a rookie, to help transform the franchise into a winner.

But Dahlin, 18, isn’t taking anything for granted. He sometimes talks about if he makes the Sabres. He said it again today after his first official NHL practice.... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian is one of the longest-tenured Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres feel change, excitement as new season opens

BUFFALO – The open communication among the Sabres and the accountability it has generated is new and welcome.

In the recent past, problems often festered and the Sabres usually imploded at the first hint of adversity. Some players clearly felt uncomfortable discussing any issues with each other.

Then following last season’s dreadful 31st-place finish, coach Phil Housley challenged the Sabres. He wanted self-reflection. He wanted them to change before the new season, which kicked off ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo hopes youngsters push the Sabres' veterans. ©2018, Hickling Images

Kyle Okposo sees changes in Sabres

BUFFALO – Even during informal late-summer skates, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo said he kept feeling it.

“I think there’s a different attitude around here,” said Okposo, whose Sabres open training camp and a new season this morning when veterans report for their physicals.

The change started weeks ago, when rookies began preparing for the Prospects Challenge tournament. By the time Okposo and other established players arrived in Buffalo last month, the youngsters had been skating ... Read the full article

Myles Powell scores a goal in Monday's 10-2 win against Pittsburgh. ©2018, Hickling Images

R.I.T. grad Myles Powell grateful for time with Sabres

BUFFALO – Part of the fun of rookie camps can often be watching the variety of youngsters participating.

The Sabres had four first-round picks, including this year’s No. 1 overall selection, defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, on their Prospects Challenge roster. They also had seven undrafted players, including center Myles Powell, an R.I.T. product.

That meant prospects from opposite ends of the spectrum could connect to make memorable moments.... Read the full article

Will Borgen was a fourth-round pick in 2015. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Will Borgen showcasing physicality in rookie camp

BUFFALO – On the ice, Sabres defense prospect Will Borgen often looks like a beast, throwing his 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame around and rattling opponents.

Borgen showcased his physicality throughout Friday’s 6-4 win inside noisy HarborCenter, throttling some New Jersey Devils and drawing their ire in the Prospects Challenge opener.

“He really enjoyed it,” coach Chris Taylor said. “Obviously, the fans brought that out for him. They were cheering for him, the big hit.”... Read the full article