William Carrier was one of the Sabres' biggest surprises last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres leave big salaries unprotected for expansion draft

BUFFALO – As expected, the Sabres have left underachieving, high-priced veterans Zach Bogosian and Matt Moulson unprotected for Wednesday’s NHL Expansion Draft.

But they also left winger William Carrier, perhaps the Sabres’ biggest surprise as a rookie last season, unprotected for the Vegas Golden Knights, according to a list the league released this morning. Could that move be a side deal general manager Jason Botterill worked out with counterpart George McPhee to lay off ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner played under former general manager Tim Murray in Ottawa. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With Tim Murray gone, Sabres goalie Robin Lehner a question mark as starter

BUFFALO – Before Tim Murray acquired Robin Lehner, the former general manager cycled through an absurd number of goalies – 10, to be exact – as he tore apart the Sabres in his first season and a half as general manager.

Despite terrific play from Jhonas Enroth, Anders Lindback and Michal Neuvirth – some believed they performed too well, hurting the tanking Sabres’ chances at the top pick – Murray wanted a new ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark played 55 games in Rochester this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Heavy workload helped Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark with Amerks

ROCHESTER – In what quickly became another rough season, one bright spot emerged for the Americans, workhorse Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark.

Ullmark’s numbers won’t wow you. In an AHL-high 55 games, the Swede’s 2.87 goals-against average ranked 31st in the league. His .909 save percentage ranked 24th.

But Ullmark, 23, tended goal for a sixth-place club with a porous defense. He faced a league-high 1,678 shots – 31 a contest and 136 ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson closed the season in Rochester. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie prospect Jonas Johansson learning North American game

ROCHESTER – With the Buffalo Sabres boasting some of hockey’s best goalie prospects, it can be easy for Jonas Johansson to get overlooked.

After all, Linus Ullmark morphed into one of the AHL best goalies this season, becoming the Rochester Americans’ backbone and MVP. Two years into his North American career, the Swede looks ready to graduate to Buffalo.

The Sabres also own the rights to Notre Dame junior Cal Petersen, one of the ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner believes players have simple job descriptions. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Robin Lehner wants Sabres to be more accountable

BUFFALO – Robin Lehner’s view from the crease has offered the goalie a unique perspective into the highs and lows the Sabres have endured throughout a wildly inconsistent season that has two games left.

To Lehner, who often talks passionately about the Sabres’ struggles, the most disappointing part is “seeing us playing so well in certain stretches, certain periods, certain small (parts) of the games.”

“We could totally dominate the top the teams in this ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo is a popular teammate. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reports: Kyle Okposo hospitalized in intensive care; Sabres beat Canadiens

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo is hospitalized and in intensive care at Buffalo General Hospital, according to two reports.

Okposo, 28, is in the Neuro Surgical ICU, according to WGR. The Buffalo News also confirmed the report.

Prior to Wednesday’s 2-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said he was “very concerned” about Okposo, who has undergone testing and been out of the lineup since last week.... Read the full article

Jake McCabe has been a strong performer most of the season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to scratch Jake McCabe against Canadiens

BUFFALO – For almost six months, defenseman Jake McCabe was one of the Sabres’ steadiest players, showcasing consistency the team’s blue line sorely needed. But the Wisconsin native has morphed into a gaffe machine in the last week, committing a string of costly turnovers.

So McCabe, 23, will be a healthy scratch for the first time all season in tonight’s home finale against the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center.

“He’s made a few gaffes with ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner believes Buffalo deserves a winner. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres grateful for fans’ rabid support

BUFFALO – Instead of securing that long-awaited playoff spot, the Sabres have stumbled, even regressed this season, again cementing their status as one of the NHL’s bottom-feeders.

This was, of course, supposed to be the year the drought ended. The Sabres would earn their first postseason berth since 2011. The tank, the years of suffering would finally pay dividends, right?

Well, it hasn’t worked out for the Sabres, who have three games left this season, ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel would've been a surefire Olympic pick for Team USA. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres players think NHL should stay in Olympics

BUFFALO – Having led Team USA at the Sochi Games in 2014, Dan Bylsma has what he called a “feeling about the Olympics” as both a coach and a fan.

“Most of my feelings are from a fan perspective,” the Sabres coach said today, a day after the NHL announced its players wouldn’t be participating in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

As a fan, Bylsma said he likes “it when the best players are playing in ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) wasn't as good as Toronto's Auston Matthews on Monday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres implode early, lose to Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – For the opening 20 minutes of Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Sabres were downright awful in their worst display of hockey all season. The embarrassing period, punctuated by a disastrous 43-second stretch, could have dramatic repercussions.

There have been a lot of bad periods over the Sabres’ six-season playoff drought. It can be argued Monday’s was the worst.

The upstart Maple Leafs outclassed the sloppy Sabres early before the ... Read the full article