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

Robin Lehner signed a one-year contract in July. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner not out to prove himself

BUFFALO – Robin Lehner’s agents kept telling him to take a one-year contract. After all, the Sabres goalie could parlay another strong season into a lucrative long-term deal.

But fresh off a campaign in which Lehner established himself as the Sabres’ starter and posted the NHL’s 10th-highest save percentage, he wanted a long contract right away.... 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 (31) played 45 games with the Sabres in 2015-16. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson has ‘unfinished business’ in Buffalo

BUFFALO – Some of the faces familiar to Sabres goalie Chad Johnson are gone. Tim Murray, the general manager who originally acquired him, has been fired. So has Dan Bylsma, the coach who played him regularly two seasons ago.

Still, Johnson, who signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract to return after free agency opened today, feels a certain comfort in Buffalo and believes he has “unfinished business” to make the Sabres a playoff team.... 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

Chad Johnson spent last season in Calgary. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres face challenges adding talent in free agency

BUFFALO – For a team fresh off a last-place finish, the Sabres have a high number of contracts, including a few bloated ones, in place for next season.

Counting restricted free agents expected to be back, the Sabres already have about 19 players who could be regulars in 2017-18. Veterans Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges and Matt Moulson combine for more than $14 million of salary cap space.

Bad teams usually don’t approach the cap, but ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) is upended as he attempts to drive between Toronto’s Roman Polak (46) and goalie Frederik Andersen on Jan. 17. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane questionable; Derek Grant, Evan Rodrigues recalled

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Evander Kane joked he crashed into his “favorite wall” after scoring the overtime winner in Tuesday’s 5-4 thriller against San Jose.

After his 16th goal secured the Sabres’ most unlikely victory this season, Kane hit the boards hard behind the net, his face and his right hand taking most of the impact.

Kane, who’s questionable for tonight’s tilt against the Anaheim Ducks, also broke four ribs crashing into those same boards ... Read the full article

Patrick Kaleta is keeping the door open to playing again. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Patrick Kaleta excited for off-ice job with Sabres, not retired yet

BUFFALO – For the last “crazy” little while, Patrick Kaleta said, when fans spot him around town, they greet the former Sabres agitator with the same questions.

“People see me, they say, ‘What are you doing here? Your team is practicing. Your team is playing,’” Kaleta told the Times Herald on Monday.

The affable Kaleta, who played 348 games with the Sabres, said he smiles and tells them he has a new job with ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson enjoyed a career season in 2015-16. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres goalie Chad Johnson happy with Flames

All along, Chad Johnson said, returning to Buffalo was his first choice. The goalie thrived in his only season with the Sabres, becoming the team’s backbone while playing a career-high 45 games.

But when free agency opened in June, Johnson quickly learned how much his career year had impressed other NHL teams.

Johnson, 30, said he talked to six or seven suitors, including his hometown Calgary Flames.

“You talk to other teams and (learn how) ... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson played for two teams last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres acquire goalie Anders Nilsson for draft pick

BUFFALO – After a goalie reneged on a verbal agreement with the Sabres on Friday, general manager Tim Murray said he was open to anything – a trade, landing another free agent or even using prospect Linus Ullmark – to fill the backup role.

With most of the established goalies in the Sabres’ price range already signed, Murray went the trade route today, sending a 2017 fifth-round draft pick to the St. Louis Blues for ... Read the full article