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

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma (left) and general manager Tim Murray speak at a news conference in June. ©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres release training camp roster and early schedule

BUFFALO – Sabres veterans report for training camp physicals Thursday and have their first on-ice session of the 2015-16 season – aka, “The Jack Eichel era” – Friday. Here’s the complete schedule for the first week the team released today.

A roster is below. All sessions are at the First Niagara Center unless noted.

Thursday

Players testing and physicals.

Friday

Session one: 9-9:45 a.m.

Scrimmage: 10-10:45 a.m.

Session two: 11-11:45 a.m.

Session three: 12-1:30 p.m.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel gave Boston fits all night. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Jack Eichel wows with overtime winner against Bruins

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel had just played about half of the final 25 minutes of regulation and overtime, and following a long shift in his own zone, coach Randy Cunneyworth asked the Sabres rookie if he had anything left. The 18-year-old phenom figured he could muster one final skate.

“I figured I could go out there and see what I could do,” Eichel said modestly following his highlight-reel winning goal with 37 seconds left in ... Read the full article

Dan Catenacci scored 15 goals last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Dan Catenacci often overshadowed

BUFFALO – As last year dragged on and the losses and recalls piled up, at least one bright spot emerged for the depleted Rochester Americans, forward Dan Catenacci, an often overlooked Sabres prospect.

In his second professional season, Catenacci, 22, developed into one of the AHL club’s lone offensive threats, scoring 12 of his 15 goals in his final 38 games.

Catenacci, a third-round pick in 2011, 77th overall, is rarely mentioned among Buffalo’s ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel had a nifty assist on his first shift. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel wows early in Sabres’ win against Devils

BUFFALO – It took just one 25-second shift, his first wearing a Sabres uniform, for rookie Jack Eichel to create his first highlight.

There will likely be many more over the coming years.

Seconds into Sabres’ 6-2 rookie camp exhibition win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, Eichel snagged the puck in his own zone with clear ice ahead, and the announced crowd of 5,505 inside the First Niagara Center began to buzz.

An ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel will play his first game in a Sabres uniform tonight. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sharing ice with Sabres rookie Jack Eichel special opportunity for Josh Chapman

BUFFALO – Sometimes, Josh Chapman said, he can’t help himself. When one of the Sabres’ talented youngsters like Jack Eichel or Sam Reinhart is on the ice, it’s only natural to watch them for a moment.

“You get caught staring sometimes, for sure,” Chapman said Friday after rookie camp opened. “(Eichel’s) a really flashy, skilled player. Same with Reinhart and a bunch of other guys. They’re fun to watch. But you don’t want to watch ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel moved in with Matt Moulson recently. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Jack Eichel ready for ‘Prospects Challenge’

BUFFALO – A week and a half ago, Jack Eichel moved into Matt Moulson’s home with the veteran’s wife and two children. The family gave the rookie his own room, a bathroom and a set of “rules of the house and rules of living with them.”

“But,” Eichel said slyly, “it’s confidential.”

Eichel, the second overall pick in June, has a sweet setup with Moulson, who offered to take the 18-year-old in to help him ... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Jamie McGinn on June 26. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres newcomer Jamie McGinn wants to prove his worth

BUFFALO – Amid all the commotion surrounding one of the busiest and perhaps most pivotal days in the Sabres’ 45-year history, winger Jamie McGinn’s name got lost.

That happened because McGinn arrived in a blockbuster trade from the Colorado Avalanche with star center Ryan O’Reilly moments after the Sabres drafted phenom Jack Eichel and hours after they acquired starting goalie Robin Lehner in another big deal.

So McGinn, 27, a seven-year veteran, quickly became an ... Read the full article