ROCHESTER – The biggest early-season surprise on the farm hasn’t been Justin Bailey, Nick Baptiste or Evan Rodrigues – three talented AHL rookie forwards many believe will play for the Buffalo Sabres someday.
While the prospects have contributed to the Americans at times, another first-year pro has outplayed them all. Remember this name: Jean Dupuy.
Who? Just 23 games into his career, Dupuy, an undrafted center from the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie ... Read the full article
As I wrote a week ago, before he scored the first hat trick by a Buffalo Sabres defenseman in almost 28 years, Rasmus Ristolainen is quickly becoming a star.
Ristolainen, 21, might be the Sabres’ best player. With three third-period goals Thursday in Calgary in the Sabres’ 4-3 loss to the Flames, he already has 21 points in 29 games, one more point than he compiled last season in 49 fewer games.
“He ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – It was September 1982, and before the Sabres headed to Montreal for their first exhibition game, the team bus stopped at a hotel to pick up some players.
Phil Housley, an 18-year-old just months removed from high school, thought the bus was going to another hotel. So the green rookie, who was with his girlfriend, Karin, decided to bring his future wife on the bus, a big no-no.
“Everybody was on the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When Dan Bylsma and Tyler Ennis discuss the speedy Sabres winger’s play, the coach rarely has to give the young veteran his opinion.
That’s because Ennis, who can often be critical of his own game, usually beats Bylsma to the punch.
“He tells me the same thing he’s told you,” Bylsma said Monday following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “I know (he’s) probably been a little hard on himself a handful of ... Read the full article
Doubt crept into Phil Housley’s head as the Hockey Hall of Fame passed him over year after year. Since 2006, three years after he ended an often spectacular 21-year career, the former Buffalo Sabres star defenseman patiently waited for a life-changing phone call.
Housley, who amassed 1,232 points in 1,495 games, was starting to think the call might never come.
Then on Monday, as Housley was about to eat lunch at a restaurant in Arizona, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly’s ready to tackle a new challenge. During his first six NHL seasons, the 24-year-old wasn’t viewed as one of the Avalanche’s leaders. Colorado stars Matt Duchesne, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon often overshadowed him.
But O’Reilly, acquired in a blockbuster deal Friday at the NHL Draft, will have a new role next season. The Sabres want him to be one of the guys to shepherd a team filled with ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres’ 2014-15 schedule will get busy in a hurry, with the Oct. 9 season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets inside the First Niagara Center starting a stretch of 11 games in 22 days. They then play 14 games in November, their most active month.
Two home games against superstar Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, a Dec. 9 visit from the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and an April 3 ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov cut his finger blocking a shot in Friday’s exhibition finale and is out about two weeks, coach Ron Rolston said.
“It just kind of smashed it on the tip,” Rolston said Saturday inside the First Niagara Center.
The 18-year-old rookie had the injury stitched up, Rolston said.
Zadorov signed a three-year, entry-level contract Wednesday, although general manager Darcy Regier hinted then the Sabres would likely send the youngster ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – With three straight pointless games entering this afternoon’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sabres superstar Thomas Vanek is struggling a bit for the first time this season.
Still, the slick winger’s 11-goal, 23-point start has been dynamic. Count Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby among those who’ve noticed Vanek’s exploits.
“I’m pretty aware of how consistent he’s been,” Crosby said Saturday after the Penguins prepared for the Sabres inside the First Niagara Center.
In Crosby’s ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Ten minutes after the Sabres’ 5-2 opening-day win over the Philadelphia Flyers had ended, Steve Ott was still thinking about that nifty chance beside the net slick rookie center Mikhail Grigorenko had created for him.
Sure, Ott was excited about his power-play goal that opened the scoring just 11:07 into his Sabres debut. But the opportunity that had gotten away was still playing inside his head at bit.
“I kind of feel bad. ... Read the full article