Chad Johnson spent last season in Calgary. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres face challenges adding talent in free agency

BUFFALO – For a team fresh off a last-place finish, the Sabres have a high number of contracts, including a few bloated ones, in place for next season.

Counting restricted free agents expected to be back, the Sabres already have about 19 players who could be regulars in 2017-18. Veterans Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges and Matt Moulson combine for more than $14 million of salary cap space.

Bad teams usually don’t approach the cap, but ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has gotten off to a hot start. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo already paying dividends

BUFFALO – Kyle Okposo’s quick acclimation and productive start have been welcomed by the Sabres, whose previous high-priced free agents quickly turned into disasters.

Remember Christian Ehrhoff? How about Ville Leino? Both lasted three seasons before the Sabres exercised buyouts. Both are out of the NHL, now cautionary tales for the dangers of free agency.

The rest of Ehrhoff’s 10-year, $40 million contact is being paid through 2027-28. The remainder of Leino’s six-year, ... Read the full article

Los Angeles goalie Jhonas Enroth enjoyed his time in Buffalo. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Kings goalie Jhonas Enroth has happy memories of Sabres

BUFFALO – Los Angeles Kings goalie Jhonas Enroth takes his fondest memories of his five year-run with the Sabres from the franchise’s darkest days.

Throughout all the losing and turmoil last season, he tended some of his best goal ever, briefly becoming the Sabres’ most valuable player.

Sure, Enroth detested losing. He usually looked beaten down after losses. Still, to the Swede, who briefly lived his dream of becoming the Sabres’ No. 1 goalie, some ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson scored six goals last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Awful season costs Cody Hodgson job with Sabres

BUFFALO – Cody Hodgson’s Sabres career is over.

The team put the struggling winger on unconditional waivers Monday, meaning the final four seasons of his six-year, $25.5 million contract will be bought out for one-third the remaining value since he’s under 26 years old.

The Sabres owe him $6.333 million over the next eight years, money that will count against the salary cap until 2022-23, according to generalfanager.com. They must absorb a $1,041,666 hit ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson struggled throughout 2014-15. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres waive Cody Hodgson for buyout

BUFFALO – Cody Hodgson’s Sabres career is over.

The team put the struggling winger on unconditional waivers today, meaning the final four seasons of his six-year, $25.5 million contract will be bought out for one-third the remaining value.

The 25-year-old endured perhaps the worst year of any NHL forward in 2014-15, mustering only six goals and 13 points in 78 games, a stunning 14-goal, 31-point drop in six more appearances.

Hodgson scored one goal ... Read the full article

Tim Murray talks to the media Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres leave NHL Draft feeling good about future

SUNRISE, Fla. – Tim Murray isn’t one for reflection. The gruff Buffalo Sabres general manager usually focuses on one task before quickly moving to the next one.

But at some point today, after an arduous NHL Draft weekend in which he added major assets, Murray will hop on a plane home to Buffalo and feel a sense of satisfaction.

Murray enjoyed arguably the best two days of any GM by drafting future cornerstone Jack Eichel... Read the full article

Johan Larsson (22) battles Pittsburgh's Rob Scuderi on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Johan Larsson transformed game late in season

BUFFALO – Three months ago, when the Sabres seemingly banished Johan Larsson to the minors, the 22-year-old’s future here seemed iffy.

Upon arriving in Rochester, Larsson complained about playing on the fourth line with the Sabres, something that angered coach Ted Nolan, who basically told Larsson to shut his mouth.

At that point, Larsson had one goal and six points in 41 NHL games.

Larsson entered Saturday’s season finale against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a 2-0 ... Read the full article

Mike Weber fights Steve Downie on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Mike Weber disappointed by sitting out

BUFFALO – Following an embarrassing 5-0 loss eight days ago in Pittsburgh, defenseman Mike Weber passionately called for more anger and intensity from the reeling Sabres.

The gritty Weber sat out the next night, the first of three straight healthy scratches. The 26-year-old, an emotional presence, hadn’t missed a game since Dec. 10.

The Pittsburgh native played again in Saturday’s 6-1 loss to the Penguins inside the First Niagara Center.

“It was extremely tough,” Weber ... Read the full article

Christian Ehrhoff signed with Pittsburgh in July. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Penguins’ Christian Ehrhoff happy with fresh start, sorry Sabres struggling

PITTSBURGH – Penguins defenseman Christian Ehrhoff figured since the Buffalo Sabres asked him to submit a no-trade list last season, the rebuilding team would deal him during the summer.

“That was kind of my expectation,” Ehrhoff said Saturday prior to the Penguins’ 5-0 win inside the Consol Energy Center, “but it didn’t end up that way.”

On June 29, the Sabres used their second compliance buyout to eat the final seven seasons of Ehrhoff’s 10-year ... Read the full article

Christian Ehrhoff played three seasons with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Penguins’ Christian Ehrhoff knew he would leave Sabres

PITTSBURGH – Penguins defenseman Christian Ehrhoff figured since the Buffalo Sabres asked him to submit a no-trade list last season, the rebuilding team would deal him during the summer.

“That was kind of my expectation,” Ehrhoff said this morning inside the Consol Energy Center, “but it didn’t end up that way.”

On June 29, the Sabres used their second compliance buyout to eat the final seven seasons of Ehrhoff’s 10-year contract. The German signed a ... Read the full article