Jack Eichel spoke like a leader last week. ©2018, Hickling Images

Youngster Jack Eichel could be Sabres’ captain next season

BUFFALO – When the Sabres chose to rotate four alternates this season instead of awarding the prestigious ‘C’ to a single player, they likely started center Jack Eichel’s ascension to the captaincy.

The Sabres, of course, couldn’t name Eichel their captain last October. He was entering just his third NHL season and still prone to bouts of immaturity. He had never worn a letter, either.

So they let him sport an ‘A’ with veterans Zach ... Read the full article

Rick Nash skates in his Bruins debut Sunday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Bruins land Rick Nash, Brian Gionta before trade deadline

BUFFALO – Shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday, Rick Nash walked into KeyBank Center to meet his new teammates. Several minutes later, the veteran winger emerged from the dressing room clad in Boston Bruins apparel to chat with the media.

“I’ve only been here for five minutes and I can kind of sense that buzz, sense that excitement, the energy that a winning team has,” an excited Nash said prior to Sunday afternoon’s 4-1 loss to ... Read the full article

Evander Kane also sat out Saturday's game. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to sit Evander Kane again; Chad Johnson to start against Bruins

BUFFALO – As expected, Sabres winger Evander Kane, who will almost certainly be traded before Monday’s 3 pm deadline, will sit out this afternoon’s tilt against the Boston Bruins.

The Sabres, of course, don’t want to risk injury to their most valuable trade asset. Kane also was scratched for Saturday’s 5-1 loss in Washington.

Goalie Chad Johnson will start, so does that mean the Sabres have something brewing with starting netminder Robin Lehner, ... Read the full article

Briian Gionta (12) skates between Anaheim's Hampus Lindholm (47) and Brandon Montour (71) last season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Bruins sign former Sabres captain Brian Gionta to one-year contract

BUFFALO – The Boston Bruins today signed former Sabres captain Brian Gionta to a one-year contact worth a prorated $700,000.

Gionta, 39, passed on NHL opportunities before the season so he could represent Team USA at the Pyeongchang Games, his second Olympics. The Greece native captained the Americans to a seventh-place finish.... Read the full article

Phil Housley has represented Team USA his entire career. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Phil Housley interested in Olympic hockey

BUFFALO – Phil Housley’s ties to USA Hockey run deep.

The Sabres coach, a Hall of Fame defenseman, represented his country at tournaments 11 times during his playing career, including one Olympics, the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. Housley has also coached Team USA at six tournaments, winning a gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel had a four-point game last week. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel, Robin Lehner earn second, third star of week

BUFFALO – Splendid performances from center Jack Eichel and goalie Robin Lehner earned the Sabres the NHL’s second and third star for the week ending Jan. 28.

Eichel led the league with two goals and five points as the Sabres won three straight games for the first time since Feb. 14-18, 2017. The NHL All-Star scored his third career overtime winner in last Monday’s 2-1 win in Calgary. He followed up with his third career ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart scored his sixth goal this season Monday afternoon. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres Winter Classic notes: Sam Reinhart scores huge goal

NEW YORK – In his NHL and major junior career, winger Sam Reinhart has scored 166 goals, including 46 with the Buffalo Sabres.

Reinhart’s power-play goal in Monday afternoon’s Winter Classic, his first score in 17 games dating back to Nov. 22, might’ve been the biggest of his career.

Fifty-three seconds into the second period, Reinhart potted a loose puck beside New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist as he fell down, capitalizing after Kyle Okposo ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta salutes the crowd prior to his 1,000th NHL game March 27. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta excited to represent Team USA

BUFFALO – Before Brian Gionta caught his afternoon flight to Germany to represent Team USA at the Deutschland Cup, the former Sabres captain wanted one last on-ice workout.

Since Gionta couldn’t make it to Rochester, where he has been practicing with the AHL Americans, he called Matt Ellis, his friend and former Sabres teammate.

So for an hour Monday inside HarborCenter, Ellis and Nick Tuzzolino, two coaches at the Academy of Hockey, put Gionta, ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) and Evander Kane have showcased strong chemistry in the past. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel line producing most of Sabres’ offense

BUFFALO – In their first weeks as Sabres linemates, Jack Eichel, Evander Kane and Jason Pominville have quickly morphed into one of the NHL’s most lethal trios.

Each player has a team-leading 12 points. Kane and Pominville both have a team-high six goals, while Eichel, whose eight assists tops the Sabres, has four goals.

“They have a big impact on our team,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said Wednesday.... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu has committed some costly turnovers. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres newcomer Nathan Beaulieu struggling early

BUFFALO – By the 12-minute mark of the second period, with the New Jersey Devils throttling the Sabres and a huge gaffe fresh in his mind, defenseman Nathan Beaulieu figured he better do something notable.

So the struggling newcomer, whose turnover minutes earlier created New Jersey’s fourth goal, fought Miles Wood, winning a quick and easy decision.

“I was obviously frustrated with the way it was going and just trying to find a spark,” Beaulieu ... Read the full article