Jeff Skinner scored a career-high 40 goals in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: GM Jason Botterill knows Jeff Skinner interested to see coach

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill understands 40-goal winger Jeff Skinner needed to know something important before making a huge decision.

“If you’re going to sign a long-term contract with an organization, you kind of want to know who the head coach is,” Botterill said Wednesday after announcing Ralph Krueger as the 19th head coach in franchise history.

Skinner, who turns 27 on Thursday, can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Until ... Read the full article

Casey Fitzgerald spent four seasons at Boston College. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sign Casey Fitzgerald to entry-level contract

The Buffalo Sabres have signed defense prospect Casey Fitzgerald to a two-year, entry-level contract, the team announced tonight.

Fitzgerald, 22, recently completed his senior season at Boston College.

The former third-round pick will report to the Rochester Americans and play in the AHL on an amateur tryout agreement the rest of the season. His contract, which carries an average annual value of $925,000, will kick in next season.... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Casey Fitzgerald in June. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Versatility could earn Sabres prospect Casey Fitzgerald spot with USA

BUFFALO – If you ask a hockey prospect who he tries to emulate on the ice, most will name some of the NHL’s top talent, perhaps a superstar.

Then there’s Casey Fitzgerald, a 5-foot-11, 187-pound defenseman the Sabres drafted in the third round, 86th overall, in June.

Years ago, before Fitzgerald’s father, Tom, joined New Jersey’s front office as assistant general manger, he told his son to watch defenseman Andy Greene, the Devils’ ... Read the full article

Joe Cecconi made the first cut in Plymouth, Mich., and will go to another USA Hockey camp in Buffalo. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Photo: Youngstown’s Joe Cecconi with Team USA

Right now, Youngstown native Joe Cecconi is participating in USA Hockey’s national junior evaluation camp in Plymouth, Mich., about a 20-minute drive from his college, the University of Michigan.

Come December, Cecconi, 19, will leave the Wolverines and wear the Team USA crest again in Buffalo, where he will skate in the national junior select camp. Cecconi, who will start his sophomore season soon, earned an invite thanks to a strong showing at the ... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund played with Alexander Nylander is Sweden. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres pick Rasmus Asplund shares chemistry with Alexander Nylander

BUFFALO – Early in the winter at the world junior championship, NHL Draft prospect Rasmus Asplund centered Alexander Nylander, the winger the Sabres drafted eighth overall Friday.

Clearly, the Sabres liked the chemistry the two showcased together representing Sweden, as they drafted Asplund, 18, with the 33rd pick this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

“He was one of the guys I had the best chemistry with in my whole career,” an excited ... Read the full article