Derek Plante was back on the Buffalo ice this morning. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres standout Derek Plante still reminded of famous goal

BUFFALO – At home in Duluth, Minn., no one knows or cares about the goal. But when Derek Plante occasionally visits here, where he played six seasons for the Sabres, he can’t avoid talking about it.

“Everybody brings up the goal, of course,” Plante said this morning about his Game 7 first-round overtime winner against the Ottawa Senators on April 29, 1997, one of the most famous goals in Sabres history.

Plante quietly enjoyed ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (55) battles the New York Rangers' Tanner Glass last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel likely out against Leafs; Rasmus Ristolainen progressing

BUFFALO – Rookie center Jack Eichel likely won’t play in the Sabres’ third preseason game Friday in Toronto against the Maple Leafs, coach Dan Bylsma said this morning.

Eichel, who had a goal and assist in his debut Monday, should play in Saturday’s road tilt against the Ottawa Senators. The Sabres will essentially use split squads for the next two games, Bylsma said.

Bylsma wants his regular goalies, Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson, to play ... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma keeps wondering whose loud voice he's hearing. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Robin Lehner to start against Senators; Jack Eichel out

BUFFALO – The voice is so loud, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma keeps looking back on the ice and wondering who the heck is yelling.

“His voice is like his size, it’s big,” Bylsma said about 6-foot-5 goalie Robin Lehner, who will start Wednesday’s preseason home opener inside the First Niagara Center against his old team, the Ottawa Senators.

Lehner, as anyone who has watched a training camp practice quickly learned, loves to communicate on the ... Read the full article

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

Veteran 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