Evan Rodrigues missed five games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Evan Rodrigues returns feeling confident

BUFFALO – Before Evan Rodrigues suffered an upper-body injury Feb. 28, the Sabres forward was playing perhaps the best hockey of his three-year career.

Less than a month after sitting out as a healthy scratch, he seemed to be putting everything together, showcasing speed, tenacity and the shot mentality Sabres coach Phil Housley constantly stresses.

In his last appearance prior to returning for Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rodrigues scored and pumped ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle will play his 10th NHL game tonight. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Brendan Guhle adjusting to NHL game

BUFFALO – When the Sabres faced the Toronto Maple Leafs here 10 days ago, defenseman Brendan Guhle started his first NHL game in seven weeks poorly.

“He had a little bit of a rough start in a big game, in a big atmosphere,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “But as the game wore on, I thought he got more comfortable. I think he’s getting more comfortable as he’s playing his ... Read the full article

Marcus Davidsson stayed at home for the NHL Draft. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Marcus Davidsson wishes he attended NHL Draft

BUFFALO – If Marcus Davidsson had known he would be selected so early – the Sabres grabbed the center in the second round, 37th overall – then he would’ve attended the NHL Draft last month in Chicago.

Instead, Davidsson, 18, followed the draft at home in Sweden with his family and friends.... Read the full article

Chris Taylor knows the Amerks and Sabres well. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Friendship with Sabres GM Jason Botterill led Chris Taylor back to Amerks

ROCHESTER – Barely a year ago, after 14 seasons with the Americans as an AHL player and assistant coach, Chris Taylor was let go, the victim of new head coach Dan Lambert’s desire to field his own staff.

On Thursday, the Amerks, the Buffalo Sabres’ top affiliate, introduced Taylor as the 32nd head coach in franchise history.

A fired coach, of course, rarely returns to his old team, let alone in a larger role so ... Read the full article

Mike Sullivan worked in player development and coached in the AHL before being promoted to Pittsburgh. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill wants coach with Mike Sullivan’s traits

BUFFALO – When Sabres general manager Jason Botterill interviewed Mike Sullivan for Pittsburgh’s AHL coaching vacancy two years ago, thoughts of the candidate’s unsuccessful run as an assistant in Vancouver were fresh in his mind.

“I had an impression,” Botterill said Thursday of Sullivan, who spent a tumultuous season with the Canucks in 2013-14 beside embattled coach John Tortorella.

But Sullivan changed that impression. The former Boston Bruins coach had just spent a year as ... Read the full article

Tim Murray was fired Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres need to find new GM soon

BUFFALO – Given the speed at which the offseason moves, the Sabres must find a new general manager soon, perhaps in the next month, to replace Tim Murray, who was fired with coach Dan Bylsma on Thursday.

Of course, given owner Terry Pegula’s track record, would the Sabres even hire a GM first?

Remember, Pegula hired Pat LaFontaine as the team’s president of hockey operations in November 2013. LaFontaine lasted less than four months ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis had a goal and three points Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Tyler Ennis’ memories of NHL debut strong 5 years later

BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis still remembers every little detail of Nov. 14, 2009, the day the slick Sabres winger made his NHL debut.

When Portland Pirates coach Kevin Dineen told Ennis the Sabres could recall him for a game in Philadelphia that night, the youngster left the rink – “It was like a 30-minute drive,” he said – and went home.

He needed to eat, so he “picked up a quick Subway sandwich.”

Ennis then ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis played one season in Portland. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis grateful for 5-year NHL career

BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis still remembers every little detail of Nov. 14, 2009, the day the slick Sabres winger made his NHL debut.

When Portland Pirates coach Kevin Dineen told Ennis the Sabres could recall him for a game in Philadelphia that night, the youngster left the rink – “It was like a 30-minute drive,” he said – and went home.

He needed to eat, so he “picked up a quick Subway sandwich.”

Ennis then ... Read the full article

Joel Armia hasn't played in a regular-season NHL game yet. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ recent drafts have yielded some strong talents and notable misses

Since most NHL Entry Drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round picks from 2006-11 and some notable hits and misses. Fourteen of Buffalo’s 43 draft choices over that time have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks this weekend in Philadelphia, including the No. 2 selection.

2011

First-round pick: center Joel Armia, 16th overall

Armia endured a rough season in 2013-14, his ... Read the full article

The Sabres grabbed Mark Pysyk 23rd overall in 2010. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres have draft hits and misses in recent years

NEWARK, N.J. – Since most NHL Entry Drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round picks from 2005-10 and some notable hits and misses.

2010

First-round pick: defenseman Mark Pysyk, 23rd overall

After some early struggles in Rochester last season, Pysyk began developing rapidly during his rookie campaign, earning a March recall and a regular spot down the stretch. The smooth 21-year-old could someday be ... Read the full article