Jack Eichel doesn't turn 22 until Oct. 28. ©2018, Hickling Images

Maturity helped earn Jack Eichel Sabres’ captaincy

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel was at home cooking dinner Tuesday night when his coach, Phil Housley, called and said the Sabres’ brass wanted to meet with him.

So Eichel left and drove to KeyBank Center. When he arrived, Housley, general manager Jason Botterill and owner Terry Pegula told the talented center he would be the 19th full-time captain in Sabres history.

“Really humbling moment,” Eichel said Wednesday inside KeyBank Center, where the Sabres open the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel is the 19th full-time captain in Sabres history ©2018, Hickling Images

Jack Eichel humbled to be Sabres’ new captain: ‘I feel honored’

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel was at home cooking dinner Tuesday night when his coach, Phil Housley, called and said the Sabres’ brass wanted to meet with him.

So Eichel, 21, left his dinner and drove to KeyBank Center. When he arrived, Housley, general manager Jason Botterill and owner Terry Pegula told the talented center he would be the 19th full-time captain in Sabres history.

“Really humbling moment,” Eichel said this afternoon following practice. “I feel ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta retired Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta helped change hockey

BUFFALO – Twenty years ago, diminutive players like Brian Gionta – the ones teams list at, say, 5-foot-9 but are clearly much smaller – rarely received a chance in the NHL.

Sure, once in a while an undersized talent would break through. But for the most part, the league coveted size.

Then in the early 2000s, a few small forwards – Gionta, Daniel Briere and Martin St. Louis – started seizing their chances and morphing ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta helped out the Sabres during their development camp in June. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta helped change NHL with size

BUFFALO – Twenty years ago, diminutive players like Brian Gionta – the ones teams list at, say, 5-foot-9 but are clearly much smaller – rarely received a chance in the NHL.

Sure, once in a while an undersized talent would break through. But for the most part, the league coveted size.

Then in the early 2000s, a few small forwards – Gionta, Daniel Briere and Martin St. Louis – started seizing their chances and morphing ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin made a few gaffes Saturday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres rookie Rasmus Dahlin brushes off mistakes

BUFFALO – In his second NHL preseason game, rookie Rasmus Dahlin endured a few rocky moments, committing some notable turnovers in the Sabres’ 3-2 loss.

If the gaffes rattled Dahlin, 18, you couldn’t tell. That of, course, is hardly surprising.

Amid all the hype surrounding him, the Swedish defenseman keeps showcasing a maturity that belies his young age.... Read the full article

Fans came out to see Rasmus Dahlin on Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

First practice memorable for Rasmus Dahlin, Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Victor Olofsson had never heard of hockey’s biggest defense prospect until two seasons ago, when Rasmus Dahlin joined Frölunda HC as a 16-year-old.

During their first practice together in the Swedish Hockey League, Dahlin made Olofsson look silly.

“He got the puck on the blue line and I was going out toward him, and he just put it between my legs and scores,” Olofsson said Wednesday after the Sabres opened development ... Read the full article

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