Dan Bylsma lasted two seasons as coach. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres start over again by firing GM Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma

BUFFALO – Now what? In a stunning move, general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma are gone, victims of the Sabres’ last-place finish.

Tanking, gutting the roster and starting from scratch were supposed to transform the Sabres into perennial contenders.

Instead, they’ve remained a laughingstock. So on Thursday, 11 days after the Sabres completed a disappointing 78-point season in which they regressed, owner Terry Pegula fired Murray and Bylsma.

Obviously, missing the playoffs by ... Read the full article

Tim Murray was hired in January 2014. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres must find direction after firing GM Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma

BUFFALO – Now what? In a stunning move, general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma are gone, victims of the Sabres’ last-place finish.

Tanking, gutting the roster and starting from scratch were supposed to transform the Sabres into perennial contenders.

Instead, they’ve remained a laughingstock. So on Thursday, 11 days after the Sabres completed a disappointing 78-point season in which they regressed, owner Terry Pegula fired Murray and Bylsma.

Obviously, missing the playoffs by ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons finally scored a goal at home Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons scoring goals, finding confidence

BUFFALO – Almost six minutes into the third period Saturday afternoon, Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons kicked the puck along the boards and quickly headed to the net.

A second later, he knocked down Matt Moulson’s shot in front, skated across the crease and swept a backhander past Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck, the tying goal in the Sabres’ raucous 4-3 come-from-behind victory.

Then Girgensons, normally a calm presence, let loose with an emotional celebration, pumping ... Read the full article

Jordan Nolan understands he's a role model. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Kings’ Jordan Nolan speaks up about Standing Rock

BUFFALO – As a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Los Angeles Kings, Jordan Nolan’s hockey fame has brought him some influence in the First Nations community.

“We’re in a position where a lot of young Native men look up to us,” Nolan said Tuesday prior to the Sabres’ 6-3 win against the Kings inside KeyBank Center. “We’re role models, so I think we have to take that pretty seriously.”

So Nolan, 27, and teammate ... Read the full article

Jordan Nolan has won two Stanley Cups. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Kings’ Jordan Nolan wants to raise awareness about Standing Rock

BUFFALO – As a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Los Angeles Kings, Jordan Nolan’s hockey fame has brought him some influence in the First Nations community.

“We’re in a position where a lot of young Native men look up to us,” Nolan said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. “We’re role models, so I think we have to take that pretty seriously.”

So Nolan, 27, and teammate Dwight King, who also has First Nations heritage, ... Read the full article

Cal O'Reill skates Saturday in his first NHL game this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Cal O’Reilly’s hot start with Amerks rewarded

BUFFALO – Some heads turned when the Sabres awarded center Cal O’Reilly, a talented minor leaguer almost four years removed from his last NHL game, a two-year, $1.4 million contract in 2015.

But O’Reilly, the AHL’s leading scorer, has morphed into a valuable asset for the organization, captaining the Rochester Americans and providing depth for the Sabres.

O’Reilly, 30, proved that Saturday just hours after earning a recall, scoring the shootout winner in the ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons has moved back to center. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons positive after rough season

BUFFALO – Instead of dwelling on a season in which his offensive production plummeted and he struggled to find a role on the revamped Sabres, center Zemgus Girgensons said he’s “going all positive.”

“I’m not looking back,” Girgensons said Saturday following practice inside KeyBank Center. “It doesn’t matter what it was last year. It’s a brand new year, you start from all zeros. That’s how I look at it. I feel confident in myself and ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons was all over the ice last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

5 storylines to follow during Sabres training camp

BUFFALO – The Sabres team that will convene today for training camp physicals, the official start of the 2016-17 season, isn’t much different from the one that just finished seventh in the Atlantic Division.

Sure, there were some notable summer additions. Winger Kyle Okposo, who signed a seven-year, $42 million contract July 1, was arguably the best free agent available. Dmitri Kulikov gives the Sabres a sturdy veteran to skate beside No. 1 defenseman ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons struggled last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres re-sign Zemgus Girgensons to 1-year contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed forward Zemgus Girgensons to a one-year contract, the team announced this afternoon.

With Girgensons’ $1.15 million salary, the Sabres have $8.537 million left in salary cap space, according to generalfanager.com. Their last restricted free agent is defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Training camp opens in about three weeks.

Girgensons, 22, is coming off a disappointing season in which he mustered only seven goals and 18 points in 71 games. ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis wants to improve his practice habits. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis confident he’ll regain old form

BUFFALO – As winger Tyler Ennis watched his teammates enjoy some success during his three-month recovery from a concussion, the Sabres’ longest-tenured player reflected on his career and how he must improve.

One day, Ennis, 26, told Tim Murray, “I used to come in to practice and put my skates and pants on and have fun,” the general manager said Monday inside the First Niagara Center.

“Maybe this makes him a better player,” Murray said. ... Read the full article