Mike Weber fights Steve Downie on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Mike Weber disappointed by sitting out

BUFFALO – Following an embarrassing 5-0 loss eight days ago in Pittsburgh, defenseman Mike Weber passionately called for more anger and intensity from the reeling Sabres.

The gritty Weber sat out the next night, the first of three straight healthy scratches. The 26-year-old, an emotional presence, hadn’t missed a game since Dec. 10.

The Pittsburgh native played again in Saturday’s 6-1 loss to the Penguins inside the First Niagara Center.

“It was extremely tough,” Weber ... Read the full article

Connor McDavid had four points Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Phenom Connor McDavid dazzles Buffalo fans in Otters win

BUFFALO – Six months ago, Steve Poland paid $110 for a discounted gold Sabres alternate jersey at the team store and had 17-year-old junior superstar Connor McDavid’s last name and No. 97 stitched on it.

“I bought it as a joke for this forthcoming season,” Poland said Wednesday prior to watching McDavid and the Erie Otters inside the First Niagara Center.

Poland, like a lot of rabid fans, wants the Sabres to lose all season ... Read the full article

Connor McDavid stretches Tuesday in Buffalo. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Connor McDavid can’t avoid Sabres fans on Twitter

BUFFALO – Hockey phenom Connor McDavid mostly avoids the kind words that are being written about him.

“I’ve been trying to do that as much as I can, because it can either get in your head that you’re too good, or bad press can also get in your head and do negative things for you,” the slick Erie Otters center said Tuesday. “I just try to stay away from reading about yourself.”

Some words, however, ... Read the full article

Gary Bettman speaks to the media Monday. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Gary Bettman hints Sabres could host another outdoor game

BUFFALO – The Sabres officially have the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. They plan to bid on an NHL All-Star game. The team has already secured the league’s scouting combine for the next two years.

Hmmm, what other big event could be in the works?

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim, mentioned Monday the Sabres would be interested in hosting another outdoor game.

The Sabres had the first Winter Classic ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel talks to the media Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Mega-prospect Jack Eichel focused on college career

BUFFALO – NHL.com recently asked nine scouts which 2015 NHL draft prospect they preferred: Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. McDavid, the more recognizable name, won by the slimmest of margins, 5-4.

The informal poll proved what many hockey observers have been saying for years: 2015 could have two once-in-a-generation, franchise-changing talents at the top of the class.

Eichel, an ultra-slick Boston University freshman, will be the marquee attraction at tonight’s All-American Prospects Game inside the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel could be taken No. 2 next year. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel headlines All-American Prospects roster

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel, a slick center many project to be the No. 2 draft pick next year, headlines the 42-man roster USA Hockey released today for the upcoming All-American Prospects Game.

The Sept. 25 tilt at the First Niagara Center features the top U.S. players eligible for the 2015 draft.

Eichel, a Boston University freshman, could be one of the top American prospects ever. He’s expected to be drafted behind center Connor McDavid, whose ... Read the full article

Connor McDavid visited Buffalo on Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Connor McDavid impressed with Sabres, can see himself playing in Buffalo: ‘It’s a great organization’

BUFFALO – The sight was enough to make any Sabres fan dream and drool: 17-year-old phenom Connor McDavid inside the First Niagara Center, talking about playing here someday.

For good measure, he was even photographed with a Sabres banner behind him.

If you ask the junior superstar, he’ll acknowledge that, yes, he can envision himself wearing blue and gold come 2015.

“It’s a great organization,” the slick center said Thursday after touring the rink, where ... Read the full article

Connor McDavid is hockey's brightest young talent. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Phenom Connor McDavid has thought about playing for Sabres

BUFFALO – If you ask him, 17-year-old phenom Connor McDavid will acknowledge that, yes, he can envision himself playing for the Sabres in two seasons.

“Yeah, that’s something that’s crossed your mind, I guess,” the slick center said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center, where his Erie Otters will face the Niagara IceDogs in a Oct. 22 Ontario Hockey League game. “You can’t worry about that right now.”

Right now, McDavid, who’s been dubbed ... Read the full article

Connor McDavid is coveted by NHL teams. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres could still get prized prospect in 2015 after draft lottery changes

The draft lottery changes the NHL unveiled today might not hurt the Buffalo Sabres, owners of three 2015 first-round picks, next year. The league’s worst team can’t fall below the second pick.

The odds of nabbing that No. 1 pick, however, have fallen from 25 percent to 20, according to the league.

Still, the Sabres, a team many have pegged to finish last, will get Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, the consensus top two prospects, ... Read the full article

Connor McDavid will likely be drafted No. 1 next year. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to host OHL game next season with Connor McDavid’s Erie Otters

For one night at least, Connor McDavid, the top 2015 NHL draft prospect, is coming to Buffalo.

The Sabres announced this afternoon the team will be a hosting an Ontario Hockey League game with the Erie Otters, McDavid’s club, at the First Niagara Center next season.

Of course, Sabres fans want more than a glimpse of McDavid, the slick 17-year-old sensation many regard as the best prospect since Sidney Crosby. But given the slew of ... Read the full article