Benoit Pouliot has five goals in his last eight games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Benoit Pouliot to have hearing for illegal check to head

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Benoit Pouliot has a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety today for an illegal check to defenseman Keith Yandle’s head in Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers.

Pouliot, one of the Sabres’ top scorers, hit Yandle with 2:15 left in third period, knocking his helmet off. Pouliot wasn’t penalized.... Read the full article

Jason Pominvill scores his first-period goal against Montreal goalie Cary Price on Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jason Pominville stars in Sabres’ loss to Canadiens

BUFFALO – It was shaping up to be one of those special nights in Sabreland that would be remembered for years.

In Phil Housley’s coaching debut Thursday, the Sabres showcased the fast, exciting style the Hall of Fame defenseman has been implementing, pumping shot after shot on goal. Veteran winger Jason Pominville, the former fan favorite the Sabres recently brought back, scored a power-play goal early on, igniting the capacity crowd of 19,070 fans.... Read the full article

The Sabres named Jack Eichel an alternate captain Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to spread leadership around

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill wasn’t kidding when he said he believes leadership is a collaborative effort.

Thursday morning, hours before their season opener, the Sabres named four alternate captains: defenseman Zach Bogosian and forwards Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo.

Botterill said Wednesday the Sabres wouldn’t begin the season with a captain.... Read the full article

Josh Gorges (4) battles the New York Rangers' Jesper Fast last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Scratching Josh Gorges difficult for Sabres coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – Scratching defenseman Josh Gorges, Sabres coach Phil Housley said, is “very difficult.” The veteran is a heart-and-soul player.

Gorges, 33, isn’t a slick puck-mover. He has carved out a strong 13-year career as a stay-at-home defender by showcasing grit and tenacity.

Housley, of course, wants his defense to drive possession and aggressively move up the ice. So Gorges will sit out tonight’s opener against the Montreal Canadiens, his old team. Gorges was ... Read the full article

Matt Tennyson has spent most of the last two seasons in the NHL. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Strong preseason helps Sabres’ Matt Tennyson earn gig

BUFFALO – When the Sabres signed Matt Tennyson to a two-year contract as free agency opened, it was assumed the defenseman would see NHL action this season.

After all, Tennyson, 27, spent most of the last two seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes and San Jose Sharks, playing 74 NHL games and only 14 AHL contests. Still, few figured Tennyson would crack the Sabres’ opening-night lineup.... Read the full article

This will be Ryan O'Reilly's third season wearing a letter. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres plan to rotate alternate captains

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill wasn’t kidding when he said he believes leadership is a collaborative effort.

This morning, hours before their season opener, the Sabres named four alternate captains: defenseman Zach Bogosian and forwards Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo.

Botterill said Wednesday the Sabres wouldn’t begin the season with a captain.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel signed a new contract Tuesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel ready for duties that accompany contract

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel wouldn’t go on his own. So when the Sabres convened for their post-practice stretch at center ice, veteran Jason Pominville nudged the young star into the circle.

The scene inside HarborCenter was fitting. Eichel, in his first skate since signing an eight-year, $80 million contract extension Tuesday, surrounded by his teammates, leading them in the stretch.... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers joined the Sabres almost four years ago. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Nick Deslauriers traded to Canadiens for Zach Redmond

BUFFALO – Winger Nick Deslauriers’ four-year career with the Sabres is over.

The Sabres traded Deslauriers to the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday for defenseman Zach Redmond.

The Sabres then sent Redmond, 29, to the Rochester Americans. The Canadiens meanwhile, assigned Deslauriers, 26, to the Laval Rocket, their AHL affiliate.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel led the team's stretch this morning. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

With contract done, Sabres happy Jack Eichel can focus on hockey

BUFFALO – Throughout training camp, as Jack Eichel’s contract hung over his head, the third-year Sabres star tried to focus hockey, blocking out any distractions the situation created for him.

But Housley, a 21-year NHL veteran, knows it wasn’t easy for Eichel, who signed an eight-year, $80 million contract Tuesday night.

“Is there some weight off his shoulders? I think so.” Housley said this afternoon after the Sabres prepared for Thursday’s season opener. “I think ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu was a healthy scratch in April. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Nathan Beaulieu excited for fresh opportunity with Sabres

BUFFALO – Officially, defenseman Nathan Beaulieu’s six-year tenure in Montreal’s organization ended Saturday. But the Sabres’ newest acquisition knew almost two months ago he would be leaving the Canadiens.

On April 22, the Canadiens’ healthy scratch of Beaulieu for their final first-round playoff game against the New York Rangers signaled the end.

“That was kind of the cherry on top the situation was over with,” Beaulieu said this afternoon on a conference call. “I ... Read the full article