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

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