Phil Housley began his playing career with the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Reports: Sabres close to hiring Phil Housley as coach; Update: Housley officially hired

BUFFALO – The Sabres are close to hiring Hall of Fame defenseman Phil Housley as their next head coach, according to multiple reports.

Update: The Sabres have officially hired Housley. He will be introduced at 4 p.m.

Housley, an assistant with the Predators, met with the Sabres on Monday in Nashville and could be in Buffalo today, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. He tweeted the team wants to have a new coach by next Monday.... Read the full article

Rick Tocchet just won another Stanley Cup. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Report: Sabres did not contact Rick Tocchet about coaching vacancy

For weeks, Rick Tocchet and Phil Housley have been considered the leading candidates for the Buffalo Sabres’ head coaching job. But the Sabres did not contact Tocchet, who just won his second straight Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

It was widely assumed Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, an assistant GM with Pittsburgh until last month, would speak with Tocchet after the Penguins clinched Sunday.... Read the full article

Bob Boughner reportedly interviewed with the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Report: Panthers set to hire former Sabre Bob Boughner

Scratch one coaching candidate off the list for the Buffalo Sabres.

The Florida Panthers are close to hiring San Jose Sharks assistant coach and former Sabres defenseman Bob Boughner, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. That would leave the Sabres, who reportedly interviewed Boughner, as the only NHL team without a head coach.

The Sabres want to interview Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley and Pittsburgh Penguins assistants Rick Tocchet and Jacques Martin following the ... Read the full article

Mike Sullivan worked in player development and coached in the AHL before being promoted to Pittsburgh. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill wants coach with Mike Sullivan’s traits

BUFFALO – When Sabres general manager Jason Botterill interviewed Mike Sullivan for Pittsburgh’s AHL coaching vacancy two years ago, thoughts of the candidate’s unsuccessful run as an assistant in Vancouver were fresh in his mind.

“I had an impression,” Botterill said Thursday of Sullivan, who spent a tumultuous season with the Canucks in 2013-14 beside embattled coach John Tortorella.

But Sullivan changed that impression. The former Boston Bruins coach had just spent a year as ... Read the full article

Tim Murray was fired Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres need to find new GM soon

BUFFALO – Given the speed at which the offseason moves, the Sabres must find a new general manager soon, perhaps in the next month, to replace Tim Murray, who was fired with coach Dan Bylsma on Thursday.

Of course, given owner Terry Pegula’s track record, would the Sabres even hire a GM first?

Remember, Pegula hired Pat LaFontaine as the team’s president of hockey operations in November 2013. LaFontaine lasted less than four months ... Read the full article

Zach Werenski already has 43 points. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Zach Werenski fond of time beside Youngstown’s Joe Cecconi

BUFFALO – Before Zach Werenski joined the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets, before the slick teenager began one of the greatest campaigns by a rookie defenseman in NHL history, he spent the second half of his last season at the University of Michigan playing beside Youngstown’s Joe Cecconi.

“I loved it,” Werenski said Saturday prior to the Blue Jackets’ 5-3 loss to the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.

Werenski, 19, has quickly morphed into a star, ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has been logging big minutes. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Torrid stretch puts Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen in elite company

BUFFALO – The significance of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen’s recent exploits shouldn’t be overshadowed by the Sabres’ disappointing season.

In the near future, if Ristolainen becomes an NHL All-Star or garners serious Norris Trophy consideration, remember the torrid run he is enjoying entering tonight’s tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes at KeyBank Center.

Ristolainen has three goals, two overtime winners and 14 points while averaging a whopping 27 minutes, 41 seconds of ice time over the last ... Read the full article

Ray Sheppard scored 38 goals as a rookie in 1987-88. ©2016, Rochester Americans

Ray Sheppard’s rookie season still one of Sabres’ best

BUFFALO – As Sabres rookies Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart put the finishing touches on two outstanding, high-scoring seasons, one name from the team’s past keeps popping up: Ray Sheppard.

Each week, it seems, the young forwards become the team’s first rookies to reach or approach milestones since Sheppard, who scored 38 goals and 65 points in 74 games in 1987-88 before fizzling out and re-emerging as one of the NHL’s most dangerous scorers.

Sheppard’s ... Read the full article

Former Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers (57) skates past Paul Byron last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford happy with Jets

BUFFALO – Drew Stafford called it a “healthy separation.” The Winnipeg Jets winger said he has no ill will toward anyone here. He enjoyed his nine-year Sabres career.

As a struggling veteran months away from free agency last year, Stafford knew the rebuilding Sabres would trade him. Sure enough, Stafford, 30, was dealt with defenseman Tyler Myers on Feb. 11, 2015 in the blockbuster that brought defenseman Zach Bogosian and winger Evander Kane to the ... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers beats Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson on Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers savors each goal

TORONTO – As a third- or fourth-liner known more for his fists than his soft hands, gritty Buffalo Sabres winger Nick Deslauriers has endured some long goal droughts.

While the likable Deslauriers scored his career-high sixth goal in Friday’s 3-1 home win against the Ottawa Senators, he has only 12 in his 160-game career. After scoring three times in the first 11 games this season, the former defenseman went 41 appearances before finally scoring again ... Read the full article