Nashville's Paul Gaustad fights Zenon Konopka on Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reeling Sabres fall to Predators, clearly miss departed veterans

BUFFALO – Three straight losses. Two total goals. One team searching for confidence.

The rebuilding Sabres have become a mess again without the veterans they traded before the NHL’s trade deadline.

“We have what we have,” interim Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “We got to work through it. We got to get better.”

In Tuesday’s boring 4-1 loss inside the First Niagara Center, they generated little against the Nashville Predators, sprinkling only 24 shots on ... Read the full article

Ted Nolan said he likes tough but respectful hockey. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ted Nolan doesn’t believe he’s softened since first Sabres stint, still likes aggressive hockey

BUFFALO – Eighteen years later, the 1995-96 Sabres, a rebuilding club that missed the playoffs, still ranks among the most popular teams in franchise history.

That team, Ted Nolan’s first as coach, played hard and fought a lot. The Sabres accumulated 2,195 penalty minutes that season, earning Nolan a reputation as a coach who loved fisticuffs.

These days, however, Nolan’s Sabres hardly fight. They’ve scrapped only eight times since he took over Nov. 13. ... Read the full article

Eric Locke skates at development camp last week. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Coach believes high-scoring Sabres prospect Eric Locke has Brett Hull-like shot

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Eric Locke possesses a “rocket” shot so quick and lethal it reminds his coach of a former NHL teammate.

Which one? The greatest goal scorer Greg Gilbert ever played with.

“Brett Hull, to be honest with you,” Gilbert, Locke’s junior coach with the Saginaw Spirit, said by phone earlier this week. “I mean, Hully was special, there’s no question about it. But Eric’s got that potential. He’s got that quick release. ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier is putting the Stanley Cup, the ultimate goal, ahead of simply reaching the postseason. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Regier warns Sabres’ Stanley Cup goal ‘may require some suffering’

BUFFALO – The Sabres want their rabid fan base to understand something, general manager Darcy Regier said. The organization’s new philosophy – one that embraces building for a Stanley Cup, not simply making the playoffs – could require some suffering.

“We have gone with more determination in a very distinct direction, which is about the Stanley Cup,” Regier said Monday during a contentious and even bizarre 46-minute season-ending news conference inside the First Niagara Center. ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier said his goal is to win a Stanley Cup, not simply make the postseason. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Regier wants Sabres fans to know Stanley Cup goal could cause ‘suffering’

BUFFALO – The Sabres want their rabid fan base to understand something, general manager Darcy Regier said. The organization’s new philosophy – one that embraces building for a Stanley Cup, not simply making the playoffs – could require some suffering.

“We have gone with more determination in a very distinct direction, which is about the Stanley Cup,” Regier said this afternoon during a contentious and even bizarre 46-minute season-ending news conference inside the First Niagara ... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Cody Hodgson at last season's trade deadline. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ recent trade-deadline activity has yielded mixed results

PITTSBURGH – With the NHL trade deadline hitting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, here’s the Buffalo Sabres’ Eastern Conference standing and their activity since 2006:

2006, third place, 83 points

General manager Darcy Regier made no additions, only trading No. 3 goalie Mika Noronen to Vancouver for a second-round pick (current backup goalie Jhonas Enroth). Some argued the inactivity bit the surprising Sabres, who lost four defensemen to injury during their run to the Eastern Conference ... Read the full article

Nathan Gerbe has had a tough time scoring the past two seasons. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Why can’t Sabres’ Gerbe score regularly?

In about 10 minutes during the first period Thursday, diminutive Buffalo Sabres winger Nathan Gerbe scored as many goals as he had in the previous 38 games, a stretch dating back to Feb. 11, 2012.

First, Gerbe opened the scoring 6:30 into the tilt, utilizing an “NHL 94 move” to perfection by stopping in the right circle and cutting sharply before roofing a shot by Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen.

Fresh off his first ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis was waived today. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ellis has been asset for years

With no roster space left, the Sabres waived forward Matt Ellis today.

Is this the end of the 31-year-old’s five-year run with the team? Would he clear waivers? It’s possible a team will grab him. Will he make it to Rochester?

Ellis could come back right away even if he goes down. He was the Sabres’ only spare forward just days ago. Another player will get injured at some point.

Whatever happens, the hardworking ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko skated 15 shifts during his NHL debut Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Grigorenko, Ott impress in Sabres debuts

BUFFALO – Ten minutes after the Sabres’ 5-2 opening-day win over the Philadelphia Flyers had ended, Steve Ott was still thinking about that nifty chance beside the net slick rookie center Mikhail Grigorenko had created for him.

Sure, Ott was excited about his power-play goal that opened the scoring just 11:07 into his Sabres debut. But the opportunity that had gotten away was still playing inside his head at bit.

“I kind of feel bad. ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller usually makes his feelings known. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Miller has long history of displaying passion

BUFFALO – If you’ve spent any time following Ryan Miller’s career, then you’re aware the Sabres goalie might be the NHL’s most passionate player.

Miller says whatever he thinks, a rarity in sports today. Sometimes he’s lauded for it. Other times he’s flayed for it.

But he’ll stand up for whatever he believes is right.

So it’s hardly surprising details are emerging that Miller, one of the 18 or so players negotiating with owners in ... Read the full article