Evan Rodrigues grew up cheering for the Maple Leafs. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Toronto debut special for Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues

TORONTO – Growing up in Etobicoke, about a 20-minute drive from the Air Canada Centre, Alexander Mogilny’s talents mesmerized Buffalo Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues.

By the early 2000s, long after his dynamic 76-goal season with the Sabres in 1992-93, Mogilny was still an electrifying presence for some strong Maple Leafs teams.

“He was always trying something new,” Rodrigues said Saturday prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 win against the Leafs. “He always made some real ... Read the full article

Former Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers (57) skates past Paul Byron last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford happy with Jets

BUFFALO – Drew Stafford called it a “healthy separation.” The Winnipeg Jets winger said he has no ill will toward anyone here. He enjoyed his nine-year Sabres career.

As a struggling veteran months away from free agency last year, Stafford knew the rebuilding Sabres would trade him. Sure enough, Stafford, 30, was dealt with defenseman Tyler Myers on Feb. 11, 2015 in the blockbuster that brought defenseman Zach Bogosian and winger Evander Kane to the ... Read the full article

Sabres rookie Justin Bailey played his second NHL game Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Mother’s guidance helped Justin Bailey reach Sabres

BUFFALO – On Thursday night, after proudly watching her son, Sabres winger Justin Bailey, make his NHL debut, everything finally hit Karen Buscaglia.

Bailey, 20, had just become the fifth Buffalo-born player to skate for the Sabres, and before Buscaglia went to bed in her Philadelphia hotel room, she looked at her mother.

“I’m like, ‘Holy crap, we just saw Justin’s first NHL game,’” Buscaglia said Friday prior to seeing Bailey, a Williamsville native, ... Read the full article

justin Bailey has been on a tear in Rochester. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Williamsville’s Justin Bailey

BUFFALO – The Sabres recalled rookie winger Justin Bailey, a Williamsville native who grew up rooting for the team, from the Rochester Americans this afternoon.

The 6-foot-4, 206-pound Bailey, 20, could make his NHL debut in Thursday’s road game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said earlier today winger Zemgus Girgensons and center Johan Larsson, who both missed Tuesday’s 7-4 loss to Florida, were questionable for the Flyers. Neither player practiced today.... Read the full article

Drew Stafford and the Sabres play Oct. 11 in Chicago and host the Blackhawks on April 3. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ 2014-15 schedule features lots of early action, more visits from old friends

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ 2014-15 schedule will get busy in a hurry, with the Oct. 9 season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets inside the First Niagara Center starting a stretch of 11 games in 22 days. They then play 14 games in November, their most active month.

Two home games against superstar Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, a Dec. 9 visit from the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and an April 3 ... Read the full article

Cory Conacher made his Sabres debut Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Cory Conacher asked Blackhawks star Patrick Kane for permission to wear No. 88

BUFFALO – While the Sabres never told newcomer Cory Conacher he couldn’t wear No. 89 again, the winger passed out of respect for Alexander Mogilny, who scored 76 goals in 1992-93.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to get 76 goals in a year, that’s going to be pretty tough,” Conacher joked Sunday inside the First Niagara Center prior to his Sabres debut, a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Conacher then settled on No. ... Read the full article

Cory Conacher speaks to reporters this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres newcomer Cory Conacher OK’d number with Patrick Kane; Patrick Kaleta skating again

BUFFALO – Sabres newcomer Cory Conacher said he spoke to a couple of people about choosing a number. The winger wouldn’t wear No. 89 again out of respect for Alexander Mogilny, who scored 76 goals in 1992-93.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to get 76 goals in a year, that’s going to be pretty tough,” Conacher said this morning inside the First Niagara Center prior to his Sabres debut.

Conacher then settled on No. ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek's scoring pace would be high for a normal 82-game season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres can’t rely on Vanek’s sizzling production forever

BUFFALO – Follow Sabres superstar Thomas Vanek’s dynamic run closely. Enjoy watching the nifty goals, the points and knowing each time he steps on the ice something special could happen.

This might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. NHL players just don’t score at Vanek’s torrid pace anymore.

The slick Austrian already has 10 goals and 21 points through 10 appearances, a stat line from eras past. He’s on track for 47 goals and 99 points in ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek began his point bonanza on opening day. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Crazy early pace by Sabres’ Vanek could help shatter short-season records

The scoring benchmarks set during the only other lockout-shortened season – the 48-game 1994-95 campaign – are steep. The NHL hadn’t fully devolved into a clutch-and-grab league then.

Top scorers still racked up some pretty gaudy numbers.

Peter Bondra’s 34 goals, two more than Jaromir Jagr, topped the league. Jagr and Eric Lindros both scored 70 points. Ron Francis had 48 assists.

With an utterly dominant three-goal, five-point performance in the Buffalo Sabres’ dizzying ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford thinks a 48-game schedule would be a grind. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

1994-95 Sabres recall fun and intense 48-game season

BUFFALO – Buckle up, Sabres fans. You could be watching a lot of intense, high-stakes hockey very soon.

If the NHL and the Players’ Association reach a new collective bargaining agreement by next Friday’s deadline, the league will most likely begin a shortened 48-game schedule against conference opponents Jan. 19.

Sure, losing 34 contests from the normal 82-game slate may be disappointing. But the increased importance of each game could make for some wildly entertaining ... Read the full article