Robin Lehner signed with the New York Islanders in July. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Former Sabres goalie Robin Lehner shares addiction story

BUFFALO – In a harrowing first-person essay, former Sabres goalie Robin Lehner details how his drug and alcohol addiction and untreated bipolar disorder led him to contemplate suicide multiple times late last season before seeking help.

“I wanted to kill myself. I was extremely close multiple times,” Lehner wrote in The Athletic New York. “The battle playing hockey was nothing compared to the battle inside my brain. It was at its worst.”... Read the full article

Jack Eichel believes players can get things off their chest. ©2018, Hickling Images

Accountability, communication helping Sabres as new season opens

BUFFALO – The open communication among the Sabres and the accountability it has bred is new and welcome.

In the recent past, the team’s problems often festered or worsened over time. Players clearly felt uncomfortable discussing any issues.

Then following last season’s dreadful 31st-place finish, coach Phil Housley challenged the Sabres. He wanted self-reflection. He wanted them to change before the new season, which started this morning with veterans reporting for their training camp physicals.... Read the full article

Steve Smith won three Stanley Cups during his playing career. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres hire former NHL defenseman Steve Smith as assistant coach

BUFFALO – Despite finishing dead last in 2017-18, the Sabres kept their entire coaching staff. There will, however, be one addition to Phil Housley’s crew next season.

The Sabres have hired former NHL defenseman Steve Smith, a three-time Stanley Cup winner, as an assistant coach, the team announced this morning.

Other than Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman, the only former NHL defender on staff, Chris Hajt, played six games. Given the Sabres just drafted ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has plenty of confidence. ©2018, Hickling Images

Rasmus Dahlin has opportunity to become one of Sabres’ greats

DALLAS – Brian Campbell noticed something unusual when he watched videos of Rasmus Dahlin, the ultra-talented defenseman the Buffalo Sabres plan to select first overall tonight at the NHL Draft.

Campbell, of course, knew Dahlin skated on the back end. Still, in the clips the former Sabres defenseman and NHL All-Star examined, the youngster moved so swiftly, created so much offense he looked liked his team’s top center.... Read the full article

Phil Housley won 25 games as a rookie coach. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: GM Jason Botterill supports coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – It’s unlikely legendary coaches Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman could’ve done much with the Sabres this season. A dearth of talent helped them finish 31st overall.

Still, following such a miserable campaign, the question had to be asked: will Phil Housley be general manager Jason Botterill’s coach again next season?

“One-hundred percent Phil Housley will be our coach next year,” Botterill said Wednesday inside KeyBank Center. “I have certainly enjoyed working with Phil ... 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

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

Phil Housley knows the Hajt family well. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hire Chris Hajt as assistant coach

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ newest assistant coach has a familiar name. Chris Hajt has been named to coach Phil Housley’s staff, the team announced today.

The Buffalo-raised Hajt is the son of Sabres Hall of Famer Bill Hajt, one of greatest defensemen in franchise history.

The younger Hajt, 39, spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliates, the Ontario Reign and Manchester Monarchs, winning a Calder Cup in 2015 Hajt ... Read the full article