The Sabres plan to select Jack Eichel in June. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Future Sabres pick Jack Eichel scoreless in Team USA’s opener

Slick 18-year-old Jack Eichel briefly showcased some of his skills during Team USA’s 5-1 win over Finland in its world championship opener today, generating two strong chances in about a minute.

First, the future Buffalo Sabres center fired high on goalie Pekka Rinne after smoothly moving from the point area to the left circle with about seven minutes left in the second period. Later, Rinne stoned the Boston University superstar’s quick wrist shot from the ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues signed a two-year, entry-level deal with the Sabres on Wednesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

High-scoring college free agent Evan Rodrigues sees fit with Sabres

BUFFALO – Yes, Evan Rodrigues said, he thought about potentially playing with Jack Eichel again before signing a two-year, entry-level contract with the Sabres. But there was more to the 21-year-old winger’s decision than being reunited with his slick Boston University linemate.

Rodrigues chose the Sabres before Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery guaranteed them the second selection in the upcoming draft, a pick they will almost certainly use to select Eichel, whose talents could potentially change ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues had 61 points in 2014-15. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reports: Sabres sign Evan Rodrigues, Jack Eichel’s college linemate

BUFFALO – The Sabres have signed undrafted winger Evan Rodrigues, a linemate of Jack Eichel’s at Boston University, to a two-year, entry-level deal, according to WEEI and TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Update: The Sabres have officially announced the signing.

The 21-year-old Rodrigues just finished a huge senior season beside Eichel, scoring 21 goals and 61 points in 41 games. Rodrigues ranked second in the NCAA in scoring behind Eichel, the likely No. 2 pick by ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel hasn't decided if he'll turn professional next season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres lose lottery to Oilers, will draft Jack Eichel with No. 2 pick

TORONTO – All season long, as the Sabres stayed in the basement and Connor McDavid mania reached a fever pitch, this was the likely scenario: the rebuilding club would lose the NHL Draft Lottery and Jack Eichel, not hockey’s most coveted prospect, would come to Buffalo.

Sure enough, it played out Saturday in a room inside the CBC building.

Incredibly, the Edmonton Oilers, who had only an 11.5 percent chance at the No. 1 ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel would likely be the No. 1 pick in any other year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres lose lottery to Oilers, get No. 2 pick

TORONTO – With only a 20 percent chance of winning, Tim Murray expected the Sabres would lose the NHL Draft Lottery tonight. The general manager was right. Sorry, Buffalo, Connor McDavid is going to the Edmonton Oilers.

The Oilers, with only an 11.5 percent chance, snagged hockey’s most coveted prospect.

The Sabres, of course, received a pretty nice consolation prize, slick Boston University center Jack Eichel. The 18-year-old Boston native would likely be the No. ... Read the full article

Connor McDavid is hockey's biggest prospect in 10 years. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres will get franchise-changing talent in Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel at draft lottery

TORONTO – Whether the Buffalo Sabres win the right to draft mega-prospect Connor McDavid or settle for the second pick tonight, the rebuilding team will emerge victorious from the most anticipated NHL Draft Lottery ever.

Leaving town with Jack Eichel, the consensus No. 2 selection, in your arsenal for years to come wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize, right?

“You look at what the Sabres had in the pipeline, when you add a player ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson scored only six goals in 2014-15. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Cody Hodgson on awful season: ‘I can’t explain what happened’

BUFFALO – Nothing could ignite Sabres enigma Cody Hodgson. Not moving from wing to center and back. Not switching lines. Not getting scratched.

In the worst season by a Sabres forward not named Ville Leino in recent memory, Hodgson mustered only six goals and 13 points in 78 games, a stunning 14-goal, 31-point drop in six more appearances.

Hodgson scored one goal in a 47-game stretch from Oct. 28 to Feb. 22. He endured ... Read the full article

Tim Murray speaks Sunday after firing Ted Nolan. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Plenty of interesting names could be available to coach Sabres

BUFFALO – For the first time since the Sabres replaced Ted Nolan following his initial run almost 18 years ago, the team must search for a new coach.

Yes, it has really been that long.

Lindy Ruff, Nolan’s replacement in 1997, lasted until 2013, when former Sabres general manager Darcy Regier quickly promoted Ron Rolston from Rochester as interim coach. Regier removed the interim tag following the season without interviewing anyone.

Nolan immediately took... Read the full article

Josh Gorges' first season with the Sabres ended Feb. 10. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Josh Gorges feels players’ professionalism suffered

BUFFALO – A player’s mind stays focused on the current season, Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges said. Athletes live in the present. They don’t think a year ahead like their team’s brass.

“You come in with a mindset of we’re going to win, we’re going to try to win,” the veteran said Sunday morning as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers following a 30th-place finish. “As players, our job is not to play for ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian battles with Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby (87) on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres close tumultuous season with loss to Penguins, hear cheers

BUFFALO – The roughest season in the Sabres’ 45-year history is finally over, a 2-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday capping an 82-game slate that was tumultuous from start to finish.

The outcome, of course, hardly mattered. The rebuilding Sabres, who never quit throughout the campaign, had already locked up 30th place and either the first or second draft pick in next Saturday’s draft lottery.

The season finale was about regaining some ... Read the full article