Anders Nilsson earned a two-year contract from Vancouver. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Season with Sabres ignited goalie Anders Nilsson’s NHL career

BUFFALO – Goalie Anders Nilsson figured after a breakout season in which he emerged as one of the NHL’s top backups, the Sabres would be interested in re-signing him.

In his first start-to-finish NHL campaign, Nilsson performed strongly, going 10-10-4 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a sparkling .923 save percentage.

Nilsson, 27, morphed into a terrific option for the Sabres, pushing starter Robin Lehner while showcasing consistency throughout his 26 appearances.... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson spent one season with the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Canucks goalie Anders Nilsson grateful for season with Sabres

BUFFALO – Goalie Anders Nilsson figured after a breakout season in which he emerged as one of the NHL’s top backups, the Sabres would be interested in re-signing him.

In his first start-to-finish NHL campaign, Nilsson performed strongly, going 10-10-4 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a sparkling .923 save percentage.

Nilsson, 27, morphed into a terrific option for the Sabres, pushing starter Robin Lehner while showcasing consistency throughout his 26 appearances.... Read the full article

Chad Johnson signed a one-year contract July 1. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Chad Johnson happy with Sabres

BUFFALO – Instead of getting a new paint job this year, goalie Chad Johnson simply dusted off the popular blue Sabres mask he sported two years ago throughout his best NHL season.

“It was one of my favorites,” Johnson said Wednesday following practice inside HarborCenter. “I had a lot of good feedback on it. … Some people wanted me to bring it back. I couldn’t come up with anything better, so I stuck with it.”... Read the full article

Benoit Pouliot just endured a poor season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

GM Jason Botterill happy with Sabres: ‘It’s been a good week’

BUFFALO – The Sabres could still add more talent after signing two NHL players and six depth additions early in free agency.

Bringing back 38-year-old captain Brian Gionta is still a possibility, general manager Jason Botterill said Saturday after the market opened. And while Botterill said he feels comfortable with the Sabres’ overall toughness, acquiring more muscle could be a priority.

But after inking goalie Chad Johnson and winger Benoit Pouliot on Saturday, a day ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson played for the Sabres in 2015-16. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign Chad Johnson, Benoit Pouliot as free agency opens

BUFFALO – The Sabres brought back an old friend shortly after free agency opened today, signing backup goalie Chad Johnson to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.

The 31-year-old spent last season with his hometown Calgary Flames, going 18-15-1 with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 36 games.... Read the full article

William Carrier was one of the Sabres' biggest surprises last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres leave big salaries unprotected for expansion draft

BUFFALO – As expected, the Sabres have left underachieving, high-priced veterans Zach Bogosian and Matt Moulson unprotected for Wednesday’s NHL Expansion Draft.

But they also left winger William Carrier, perhaps the Sabres’ biggest surprise as a rookie last season, unprotected for the Vegas Golden Knights, according to a list the league released this morning. Could that move be a side deal general manager Jason Botterill worked out with counterpart George McPhee to lay off ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner played under former general manager Tim Murray in Ottawa. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With Tim Murray gone, Sabres goalie Robin Lehner a question mark as starter

BUFFALO – Before Tim Murray acquired Robin Lehner, the former general manager cycled through an absurd number of goalies – 10, to be exact – as he tore apart the Sabres in his first season and a half as general manager.

Despite terrific play from Jhonas Enroth, Anders Lindback and Michal Neuvirth – some believed they performed too well, hurting the tanking Sabres’ chances at the top pick – Murray wanted a new ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson closed the season in Rochester. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie prospect Jonas Johansson learning North American game

ROCHESTER – With the Buffalo Sabres boasting some of hockey’s best goalie prospects, it can be easy for Jonas Johansson to get overlooked.

After all, Linus Ullmark morphed into one of the AHL best goalies this season, becoming the Rochester Americans’ backbone and MVP. Two years into his North American career, the Swede looks ready to graduate to Buffalo.

The Sabres also own the rights to Notre Dame junior Cal Petersen, one of the ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe has been one of the Sabres' best defensemen all season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jake McCabe on benching: ‘I’m not going to lose sleep over it’

BUFFALO – On Wednesday, the same night the Sabres honored Jake McCabe as their Unsung Hero, coach Dan Bylsma scratched the defenseman because of some recent gaffes.

McCabe has morphed into a top contributor this season, skating almost 21 minutes a night, sometimes on the first pair. So getting benched, even after a poor stretch, was a bit surprising.

“I’m not going to lose sleep over it,” a curt McCabe said this morning inside HarborCenter. ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis had a 23-game goal drought. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis feeling healthy again

BUFFALO – It’s the surest sign Tyler Ennis has regained some of his slick form after undergoing early-season groin surgery and struggling for months. The speedy Sabres winger has started showcasing his old burst.

Just over halfway into Wednesday’s 2-1 win, a rebound squirted into the slot between two Montreal Canadiens defensemen. Ennis read the play perfectly, zooming in and beating them to the loose puck.

A split-second later, Ennis scored his first goal since ... Read the full article