Jason Botterill has a long list of things the Sabres must change. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres GM Jason Botterill ticked off over poor season

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill spoke like a man embarrassed by what he had just experienced and hellbent on never letting it happening again.

Botterill is usually measured in his comments, keeping his emotions in check. But discussing the Sabres’ wretched 31st-place finish this season made him seethe.

The Sabres hired Botterill last year from Pittsburgh, where he won three Stanley Cups in 10 seasons with the Penguins and never missed the playoffs.... Read the full article

Casey Nelson has improved his defense this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Casey Nelson earning regular duty on blue line

BUFFALO – Earlier this season, if you had asked Casey Nelson if he could play 20 minutes a night in the NHL, often against the opposition’s top line, the Sabres defenseman would’ve given you a straightforward answer.

“I’d say there’s no chance, there’s no way,” Nelson said Wednesday inside KeyBank Center.

But in tonight’s tilt in Detroit, Nelson, 25, will likely play big minutes on the second defense pair, meaning he’ll face some of the ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe (left) fights Washington's Tom Wilson on Nov. 8. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres Jake McCabe wanted to address shoulder problem later

BUFFALO – After undergoing thumb surgery earlier this month, Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe planned on returning when he healed.

But with the Sabres far out of the playoff race, general manager Jason Botterill decided McCabe, 24, should undergo surgery to fix a shoulder injury that has been bothering him.

The Sabres announced the decision Tuesday. Four to six months of recovery time accompanies the surgery.... Read the full article

Jake McCabe played 53 games this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jake McCabe to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe will undergo season-ending surgery to repair his injured shoulder, the team announced this afternoon.

McCabe, 24, hasn’t played since he underwent thumb surgery after blocking a shot Feb. 6.

“Jake has been progressing well in his recovery from his previous injury, but we decided that this was a good opportunity to take care of a problem that he has been dealing with for a while,” Sabres general manager Jason ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen played a season-high 32 minutes, 39 seconds on Tuesday. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want Rasmus Ristolainen to play fewer minutes

BUFFALO – For years, Sabres coaches have said they want to trim Rasmus Ristolainen’s ice time. For years, the workhorse Finnish defenseman has kept skating big minutes.

Of course, those coaches – first Dan Bylsma and now Phil Housley – haven’t had many options beyond Ristolainen. Bad teams usually don’t possess much defense depth.

An injury or a struggling defenseman means the Sabres must lean on Ristolainen, 23, even more.

Thanks to Jake McCabe’s ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe (left) muscles past Boston's Noel Acciari on Dec. 19. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Thumb surgery to sideline Sabres’ Jake McCabe weeks

BUFFALO – With Jake McCabe out three to four weeks after undergoing thumb surgery today and Rasmus Ristolainen struggling, the Sabres’ defense corps will look much different tonight against the New York Islanders.

Casey Nelson, a recent recall quickly earning coach Phil Housley’s trust, will play with Marco Scandella, Ristolainen’s partner much of the season on the No. 1 pair. Ristolainen, meanwhile, will move back and skate with Nathan Beaulieu.... Read the full article

Phil Housley has represented Team USA his entire career. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Phil Housley interested in Olympic hockey

BUFFALO – Phil Housley’s ties to USA Hockey run deep.

The Sabres coach, a Hall of Fame defenseman, represented his country at tournaments 11 times during his playing career, including one Olympics, the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. Housley has also coached Team USA at six tournaments, winning a gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship.... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly celebrates with Jack Eichel on Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres roar back, fall to Ducks in OT

BUFFALO – It would’ve been one of the Sabres’ most rewarding wins all season.

Shortly after Ryan O’Reilly’s own goal put the Anaheim Ducks up late Tuesday, the center redeemed himself, tying the contest with 15 seconds left in regulation.

But instead of seizing the momentum, the disjointed Sabres imploded again before the announced crowd of 16,788 inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

Johan Larsson had never been suspended before. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Johan Larsson suspended two games for cross-checking incident

BUFFALO – The NHL has suspended Sabres center Johan Larsson two games for cross-checking center Vincent Trocheck in the face late in Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers.

Larsson will miss two home contests: Saturday’s against the St. Louis Blues and Tuesday’s against the Anaheim Ducks.

NHL Player Safety conducted a hearing with Larsson today and announced the decision late this afternoon.... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo eyes a puck in front of New Jersey goalie Keith Kinkaid on Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Devils snap Sabres’ winning streak

BUFFALO – Now back to reality.

Fresh off three straight road wins in which they outscored their opponents 11-1, the Sabres, looked like, well, a 30th-place team at home again Tuesday, losing a 3-1 clunker to the New Jersey Devils.

Instead of showcasing what made them successful during their best road trip in years – the Sabres allowed zero even-strength goals – they reverted to their old form, dropping their 16th home game in 22 ... Read the full article