Jack Eichel and the Sabres open the season Oct. 13. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hit road early in 2016-17 season

BUFFALO – After the Sabres open their season Oct. 13 at home against the Montreal Canadiens, they start a four-game road trip – longer than any swing they had last season – three days later against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

That’s just one notable stretch of the 82-game 2016-17 schedule the NHL released this afternoon.

The Sabres, who went 19-17-5 on the road last season, better get comfortable playing away from the First ... Read the full article

Auston Matthews received a lot of attention Friday. ©2016, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Auston Matthews knows Buffalo won’t always be so welcoming

BUFFALO – This city, the site of the 2016 NHL Scouting Combine and Draft, will always hold a special place in Auston Matthews’ heart.

After the combine concludes today, hockey’s biggest prospect will return in three weeks, and barring a seismic, unexpected turn of events, the Toronto Maple Leafs will select Matthews No. 1 overall June 24 inside the First Niagara Center.

The pinnacle of his young career will always be tied to Buffalo.

The ... Read the full article

Auston Matthews is hockey's most coveted prospect. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Leafs win draft lottery; Sabres will select 8th

The “Shanaplan” worked.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, who stripped down their roster this season under the direction of president Brendan Shanahan and finished dead last, won tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery.

The Leafs, who had 20 percent odds for the No. 1 overall pick, will almost certainly use it to select Arizona-raised center Auston Matthews, the prize of this year’s NHL Draft.

The Buffalo Sabres stayed put in the lottery, meaning they’ll select eighth when they ... Read the full article