Ryan O'Reilly was due a big bonus Sunday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Ryan O’Reilly’s price likely going up

BUFFALO – If the Sabres pay Ryan O’Reilly his $7.5 million bonus by midnight, the dynamic of any potential trade for the center would change, general manager Jason Botterill said.

Speaking earlier in the day on a conference call, Botterill explained based on his conversations with other teams, paying the money would mean the Sabres have a new asking price.... Read the full article

There is interest in Ryan O'Reilly around the NHL. ©2018, Hickling Images

Paying bonus to Ryan O’Reilly changes trade dynamic for Sabres

BUFFALO – At some point today, assuming the Sabres keep Ryan O’Reilly and deposit a $7.5 million bonus in his bank account, the dynamic of any potential trade for the center will change, general manager Jason Botterill said.

On a conference call this afternoon, Botterill explained based on his conversations with other teams, that would mean “anything from an asking price or what we’d be looking for from a trade perspective.”... Read the full article

Auston Matthews scored two goals and added a nifty assist Monday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres can’t match Maple Leafs’ skill

TORONTO – The NHL’s worst team can certainly tease you. Before Monday’s 5-2 loss, in the last week, the Buffalo Sabres had beaten the Nashville Predators and the Maple Leafs, two heavyweights.

A week ago, the Sabres defeated the 48-win Maple Leafs here 3-2, ending their 13-game home winning streak. On Saturday, the Sabres triumphed 7-4 in Nashville, kicking around the league’s best team.

But the Sabres have demonstrated little consistency this trying season. Dreadful ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel hadn't scored a goal since Feb. 8. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel scores twice as Sabres end Maple Leafs’ home winning streak

TORONTO – By Jack Eichel’s standards, he hadn’t scored in an eternity.

Thanks to the Buffalo Sabres center’s short slump and a high ankle sprain that cost him 15 games, he went 46 days and six games without scoring before his nifty two-goal effort in Monday’s 3-2 come-from-behind victory.

“I hadn’t scored in a month and a half, it’s not a little bit,” Eichel said after the Sabres ended the Maple Leafs’ 13-game home winning ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) tries to beat Toronto goalie Curtis McElhinney on March 15. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres, Maple Leafs going in opposite directions as rivals meet

TORONTO – Given the Maple Leafs’ torrid run and the Buffalo Sabres’ futility, tonight could get ugly.

Right now, having won two straight games and six of the last seven, the Maple Leafs are scorching. They’ve scored a whopping 29 goals in that stretch.

They’ve won a franchise-record 13 straight games at home. They haven’t lost at the Air Canada Centre in more than two months.... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues missed five games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Evan Rodrigues returns feeling confident

BUFFALO – Before Evan Rodrigues suffered an upper-body injury Feb. 28, the Sabres forward was playing perhaps the best hockey of his three-year career.

Less than a month after sitting out as a healthy scratch, he seemed to be putting everything together, showcasing speed, tenacity and the shot mentality Sabres coach Phil Housley constantly stresses.

In his last appearance prior to returning for Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rodrigues scored and pumped ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart scores on Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen on Feb. 11, 2017 in Toronto. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres finally renew long rivalry with Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – When the NHL scheduled the only four tilts between the Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs over a 28-day late-season stretch, the league likely envisioned the fierce rivals would be battling for playoff spots or positioning.

Sixty-six games into another lost season, the last-place Sabres finally play the Leafs tonight at KeyBank Center, their first meeting since April 3, 2017.

The Sabres, of course, are playing for pride. The Leafs, meanwhile, are firmly ... Read the full article

Evander Kane will almost certainly be traded. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Anything could be on table for Sabres at trade deadline

BUFFALO – Jason Botterill has never experienced a trade deadline like this one. Prior to joining the Sabres, the rookie general manager spent 10 seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ front office, winning three Stanley Cups.

The Penguins contended for the Cup every season of Botterill’s tenure, meaning they loaded up for a long playoff run, dealing prospects and draft picks for talent that could help them immediately.... Read the full article

Justin Bailey knows he must stand out. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres get another opportunity to impress against Leafs

BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans open their training camp Monday, so a for a slew of Sabres, tonight’s preseason tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs inside KeyBank Center is a final chance to impress coach Phil Housley and the team’s brass.

The Sabres will almost certainly assign some players to their AHL affiliate in the near future.

“If you want to separate yourself from other people on the team or the totem pole, you got ... Read the full article

Auston Matthews scored 40 goals as a rookie last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres won’t see Leafs for months after weekend set

BUFFALO – How’s this for a scheduling quirk? After this weekend’s home-and-home preseason set with the Maple Leafs – the Sabres play tonight in Toronto – the fierce rivals don’t meet again until March 5.

“It’s crazy,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “When I looked at the schedule, here’s one of the rivals in our division, we’re not going to see them until March. Hopefully, they’re going to be real ... Read the full article