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

The Sabres named Jack Eichel an alternate captain Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to spread leadership around

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill wasn’t kidding when he said he believes leadership is a collaborative effort.

Thursday morning, hours before their season opener, the Sabres named four alternate captains: defenseman Zach Bogosian and forwards Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo.

Botterill said Wednesday the Sabres wouldn’t begin the season with a captain.... Read the full article

This will be Ryan O'Reilly's third season wearing a letter. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres plan to rotate alternate captains

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill wasn’t kidding when he said he believes leadership is a collaborative effort.

This morning, hours before their season opener, the Sabres named four alternate captains: defenseman Zach Bogosian and forwards Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo.

Botterill said Wednesday the Sabres wouldn’t begin the season with a captain.... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers joined the Sabres almost four years ago. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Nick Deslauriers traded to Canadiens for Zach Redmond

BUFFALO – Winger Nick Deslauriers’ four-year career with the Sabres is over.

The Sabres traded Deslauriers to the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday for defenseman Zach Redmond.

The Sabres then sent Redmond, 29, to the Rochester Americans. The Canadiens meanwhile, assigned Deslauriers, 26, to the Laval Rocket, their AHL affiliate.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel served as an alternate captain during the preseason. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ decision-makers still discussing vacant captaincy

BUFFALO – It’s starting to look like the Sabres will begin the season without a captain.

Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning, three days before the season opener, no announcement is set for “the immediate future.”

“We’re still evaluating that part of who’s going to wear a letter,” Housley said inside KeyBank Center. “We have a good leadership group in there. That’s something that the coaches will be talking (about) today and tomorrow.”... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly has worn an 'A' the last two seasons. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Phil Housley in no hurry to name new Sabres captain

BUFFALO – Instead of using a temporary captain this preseason, Sabres coach Phil Housley has named three alternate captains each game.

A slew of players, including perhaps the top three candidates for the vacant captaincy – Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo and Ryan O’Reilly – have worn an ‘A.’

Housley is in no rush to name a captain.... Read the full article

Phil Housley briefly stopped practice. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Ryan O’Reilly not thinking about captaincy

BUFFALO – Center Ryan O’Reilly, the Sabres’ most versatile presence on the ice and their most accountable voice off it, certainly makes a fine candidate for the Sabres’ vacant captaincy.

Coach Phil Housley said Thursday he’s in no hurry to name a captain, meaning the Sabres might not have someone wearing the ‘C’ permanently for a few weeks or even later.... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly (90) has been an alternate captain. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Ryan O’Reilly hasn’t thought about Sabres’ captaincy

BUFFALO – Center Ryan O’Reilly, the Sabres’ most versatile presence on the ice and their most accountable voice off it, certainly makes a fine candidate for the Sabres’ vacant captaincy.

Coach Phil Housley said Thursday he’s in no hurry to name a captain, meaning the Sabres might not have someone wearing the ‘C’ permanently for a few weeks or even later.... Read the full article