Josh Gorges often spoke passionately after losses last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Josh Gorges refreshed for new season

BUFFALO – Even watching from afar last season, Dan Bylsma could see the Sabres’ constant struggles frustrating defenseman Josh Gorges, a proud veteran the new coach calls “a crusty guy.”

Gorges, Bylsma has quickly learned, expects a lot from himself and his teammates.

“He’s a demanding guy for how he wants the team to play,” Bylsma said Sunday. “He’s … got a little crust to him, and I’ve seen that from him in training camp ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel counts as a veteran for preseason games since he was a first-round pick. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel to make preseason debut Monday

BUFFALO – The expectations for rookie Jack Eichel’s preseason debut Monday are, well, pretty low.

“He’s going to get a chance with the scoreboard running and different colored jerseys in the National Hockey League to play a game,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

Still, Eichel’s presence is notable. Bylsma said the center will play at least some of the road tilt against the Minnesota Wild between Matt Moulson ... Read the full article

David Legwand played his first NHL game in 1999. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

David Legwand happy to be with Sabres

BUFFALO – The other day, veteran Sabres center David Legwand, a 35-year-old starting his 16th NHL season, asked rookie Jack Eichel when he was born.

“He said, ‘I was born in ’96,’” Legwand recalled Saturday. “I said, ‘I was drafted in ’98.’ That makes me really old.”

How old is Legwand? He played against Sabres coach Dan Bylsma, who turned 45 on Saturday and retired in 2004.

“He’s old enough that did happen,” Bylsma ... Read the full article

Mike Weber couldn't stop smiling Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres excited to begin new era

BUFFALO – For nine minutes, defenseman Mike Weber couldn’t stop smiling. All of the frustration, all of the pain of experiencing consecutive 30th-place finishes has vanished thanks to a dramatic offseason overhaul, and the gritty veteran wanted to talk about the new-look Sabres.

“All smiles, wow, what a difference an offseason will make,” Weber said Friday. “Management told us leaving here (last season) they’d make the proper changes to get us in and ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel will almost certainly stop wearing No. 41 early next month. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel wants to earn spot

BUFFALO – To rookie Jack Eichel, he hasn’t secured a spot on the Sabres yet.

That’s why the slick center, one of the biggest prospects in recent memory, initially hesitated to accept teammate Matt Moulson’s invitation to live with his family. That’s why Eichel, 18, hasn’t switched from No. 41, a development camp number he was given by the equipment staff, to No. 15, a number he picked.

Everyone in Buffalo seems to be ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel wore No. 41 again today. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel wants to earn No. 15

BUFFALO – To rookie Jack Eichel, he hasn’t secured a spot on the Sabres yet.

That’s why the slick center, one of the biggest prospects in recent memory, initially hesitated to accept teammate Matt Moulson’s invitation to live with his family. That’s why Eichel, 18, hasn’t switched from No. 41, a development camp number he was given by the equipment staff, to No. 15, a number he picked.

Everyone in Buffalo seems to be wearing ... Read the full article

Evander Kane wants to score 40 or 50 goals. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane sets lofty goal

BUFFALO – The way Sabres winger Evander Kane sees it, after scoring 30 times four seasons ago, he firmly established his goal-scoring prowess.

“Thirty is just kind of a set number,” Kane said Thursday after training camp opened inside the First Niagara Center. “I’ve already scored 30. So maybe I want to score 40 or 50.”

Yes, Kane, seven months removed from shoulder surgery, has set the bar extremely high for his first season with ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta sees the Sabres progressing. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres brimming with optimism

BUFFALO – In Denver, a city with almost 400,000 more people and four major league teams, Ryan O’Reilly blended in. Fans rarely recognized the new Sabres center on the street.

“I guess the market wasn’t the same as it is here, the excitement around,” O’Reilly said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center after the Sabres reported to training camp for physicals.

In hockey-mad Buffalo, O’Reilly, a June 26 acquisition from the Colorado Avalanche, keeps getting ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly gets stopped by fans around Buffalo. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres see progress, feel excitement for new season

BUFFALO – In Denver, a city with almost 400,000 more people and four major league teams, Ryan O’Reilly blended in. Fans rarely recognized the new Sabres center on the street.

“I guess the market wasn’t the same as it is here, the excitement around,” O’Reilly said this morning inside the First Niagara Center after the Sabres reported to training camp for physicals.

In hockey-mad Buffalo, O’Reilly, a June 26 acquisition, keeps getting stopped by fans.... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons could switch positions again this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Even with roster mostly set, Sabres training camp has intriguing storylines

BUFFALO – For a team that just endured a brutal 54-point season and might have nine new faces in the lineup opening night, the Sabres should enjoy a remarkably quiet training camp, their first under new coach Dan Bylsma.

There are, of course, still some intriguing storylines to follow. Second overall pick Jack Eichel’s first days in the NHL promise to be exciting. Sam Reinhart, the franchise’s other top prospect, will be fighting for a ... Read the full article