Jack Eichel led the team's stretch this morning. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

With contract done, Sabres happy Jack Eichel can focus on hockey

BUFFALO – Throughout training camp, as Jack Eichel’s contract hung over his head, the third-year Sabres star tried to focus hockey, blocking out any distractions the situation created for him.

But Housley, a 21-year NHL veteran, knows it wasn’t easy for Eichel, who signed an eight-year, $80 million contract Tuesday night.

“Is there some weight off his shoulders? I think so.” Housley said this afternoon after the Sabres prepared for Thursday’s season opener. “I think ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen plays big minutes. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hope to have healthy defense corps for opener

BUFFALO – Right now, the revamped Sabres blue line that has received so much attention for its puck-moving abilities is missing some key pieces.

Just three days before the season opener, Zach Bogosian and Jake McCabe are sidelined. The Sabres still have nine defensemen in training camp, a number that might shrink in the coming days.

So, could the Sabres potentially have the defense corps they envisioned all summer together for Thursday’s tilt against the ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian was injured Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian day-to-day

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian, who left Friday’s preseason finale with a lower-body injury, is day-to-day, coach Phil Housley said this afternoon.

So, could Bogosian play in Thursday’s season opener against the Montreal Canadiens? Housley said the veteran’s injury isn’t as serious as the Sabres first believed.

“He seems to be in a good spot, so we’ll know more tomorrow,” Housley said inside HarborCenter.... Read the full article

Justin Bailey is one of the Sabres' top forward prospects. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres send Justin Bailey, Nick Deslauriers to Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres trimmed their roster by four today, sending wingers Justin Bailey, Nick Deslauriers and defenseman Taylor Fedun to the AHL and releasing defenseman Cody Goloubef from his tryout.

Deslauriers and Fedun must clear waivers before reporting to the Rochester Americans. The Sabres scratched all four players for Friday’s 3-1 home loss to the New York Islanders, the preseason finale.

The Sabres have 27 players – 16 forwards, nine defensemen and two ... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers became a healthy scratch last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers battling for roster spot

BUFFALO – As Nick Deslauriers morphed into a spare part last season, sitting out regularly as a healthy scratch, the Sabres winger tried using his time wisely.

So during games, Deslauriers would watch former teammate Marcus Foligno, studying how his friend utilized his 6-foot-3 frame in a variety of roles.

Then the Sabres traded Foligno to the Minnesota Wild and lost William Carrier in the NHL Expansion Draft early in the summer, leaving them ... 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

Justin Bailey knows he must stand out. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres get another opportunity to impress against Leafs

BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans open their training camp Monday, so a for a slew of Sabres, tonight’s preseason tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs inside KeyBank Center is a final chance to impress coach Phil Housley and the team’s brass.

The Sabres will almost certainly assign some players to their AHL affiliate in the near future.

“If you want to separate yourself from other people on the team or the totem pole, you got ... Read the full article

Auston Matthews scored 40 goals as a rookie last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres won’t see Leafs for months after weekend set

BUFFALO – How’s this for a scheduling quirk? After this weekend’s home-and-home preseason set with the Maple Leafs – the Sabres play tonight in Toronto – the fierce rivals don’t meet again until March 5.

“It’s crazy,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “When I looked at the schedule, here’s one of the rivals in our division, we’re not going to see them until March. Hopefully, they’re going to be real ... Read the full article

Cliff Pu's work ethic has impressed the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Cliff Pu impressing

BUFFALO – Sabres forward prospect Cliff Pu has embraced a simple philosophy for his second NHL training camp.

“I’m just trying to work as hard as I can, keep my mouth shut and keep my ears open … and hopefully earn a couple more days here,” Pu said this morning following practice inside HarborCenter.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville returned to the Sabres on June 30. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jason Pominville ready for first game back

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jason Pominville, of course, knew center Jack Eichel possessed lethal speed.

“From zero to 60 pretty quick,” Pominville said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Penn State.

But in his first days back with the Sabres, Pominville has also seen the other ways Eichel’s dynamic talents allow him to dictate the play.... Read the full article