Auston Matthews scored 40 goals as a rookie last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres won’t see Leafs for months after weekend set

BUFFALO – How this for a scheduling quirk? After this weekend’s home-and-home preseason set with the Maple Leafs – the Sabres play tonight in Toronto – the fierce rivals don’t meet again until March 5.

“It’s crazy,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “When I looked at the schedule, here’s one of the rivals in our division, we’re not going to see them until March. Hopefully, they’re going to be real ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville returned to the Sabres on June 30. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jason Pominville ready for first game back

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jason Pominville, of course, knew center Jack Eichel possessed lethal speed.

“From zero to 60 pretty quick,” Pominville said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Penn State.

But in his first days back with the Sabres, Pominville has also seen the other ways Eichel’s dynamic talents allow him to dictate the play.... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues impressed late last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Speed could help Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues secure roster spot

BUFFALO – A 28-game run in which Evan Rodrigues emerged as the Sabres’ biggest late-season surprise hardly made the young center feel comfortable in the NHL.

“If you kind of relax and take it easy a little bit, there’s a guy right behind you wanting to take your spot,” Rodrigues said after recording two assists in Monday’s 3-2 preseason overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.... Read the full article

Phil Housley wants the Sabres to get after it tonight. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Phil Housley excited, nervous for coaching debut

BUFFALO – Come about 7 p.m., just before the Sabres’ preseason opener against the Carolina Hurricanes, rookie coach Phil Housley will start feeling some butterflies.

“I’d be lying to you if I say when the game comes I’m (not) going to be nervous,” Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “Being a head coach for the first time behind the bench, it’s quite exciting for me.”... Read the full article

Seth Griffith has been a dynamic AHL player. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

AHL star Seth Griffith focused on sticking with Sabres

BUFFALO – A season ago, as Seth Griffith bounced around the Atlantic Division, getting waived and claimed three times in a three-month span, the Sabres winger lived a nomadic life out of a suitcase.

Griffith, a stud AHL scorer with 58 games of NHL experience, never settled down, spending time in Boston, Toronto (twice) and Florida.

So after a long day at the rink or a road trip, Griffith couldn’t simply go home and unwind.... Read the full article

Chris Taylor knows the Amerks and Sabres well. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Friendship with Sabres GM Jason Botterill led Chris Taylor back to Amerks

ROCHESTER – Barely a year ago, after 14 seasons with the Americans as an AHL player and assistant coach, Chris Taylor was let go, the victim of new head coach Dan Lambert’s desire to field his own staff.

On Thursday, the Amerks, the Buffalo Sabres’ top affiliate, introduced Taylor as the 32nd head coach in franchise history.

A fired coach, of course, rarely returns to his old team, let alone in a larger role so ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor played for the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill believes Chris Taylor right fit for Amerks

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill learned 15 years ago Chris Taylor possessed the qualities to coach someday.

Back then, with Taylor feeding Botterill, the two formed one of the AHL’s most lethal scoring duos. But Taylor adjusted his game when he occasionally earned promotions from the Rochester Americans to the Sabres.... Read the full article

Benoit Pouliot just endured a poor season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

GM Jason Botterill happy with Sabres: ‘It’s been a good week’

BUFFALO – The Sabres could still add more talent after signing two NHL players and six depth additions early in free agency.

Bringing back 38-year-old captain Brian Gionta is still a possibility, general manager Jason Botterill said Saturday after the market opened. And while Botterill said he feels comfortable with the Sabres’ overall toughness, acquiring more muscle could be a priority.

But after inking goalie Chad Johnson and winger Benoit Pouliot on Saturday, a day ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson played for the Sabres in 2015-16. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign Chad Johnson, Benoit Pouliot as free agency opens

BUFFALO – The Sabres brought back an old friend shortly after free agency opened today, signing backup goalie Chad Johnson to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.

The 31-year-old spent last season with his hometown Calgary Flames, going 18-15-1 with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 36 games.... Read the full article