Brian Gionta is on a 21-goal pace. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta thriving in 15th season

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Dan Bylsma can’t tell you how old Brian Gionta is, which illustrates how much he cares about his captain’s age.

“I don’t even know,” Bylsma said Thursday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s tilt against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center.

Gionta, for the record, is 37 years old, an advanced age when most NHL players are long retired, or, at best, reduced to a bit role.

Occasionally, winger Marcus ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta (12) battles the New York Rangers' Brady Skjei on Tuesday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta happy back in checking role

BUFFALO – What’s new for Sabres captain Brian Gionta is really old.

As a youngster with the New Jersey Devils, years before he developed into an often lethal scoring threat, the diminutive winger won a Stanley Cup in 2003 playing on a checking line.

“I came into the league kind of in the role I’m in now,” Gionta said Wednesday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s road tilt against the Montreal Canadiens, the team he ... Read the full article

Jim Corsi joined the Sabres in 1998. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres fire assistant coaches from old regime

BUFFALO – The Sabres have fired or reassigned all of the assistant coaches Ted Nolan inherited from the previous regime.

Jim Corsi, the team’s popular goalie coach since 1998, is gone, the club announced today. So is Teppo Numminen, whose contract wasn’t renewed after three seasons. Joe Sacco and Jerry Forton have been offered new jobs within the organization’s hockey department after just one season with the team.

Nolan replaced Ron Rolston on an interim ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko has spent the last month with the Russian junior team. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Mikhail Grigorenko’s return to Sabres could be brief one

BUFFALO – At some point this week, prospect Mikhail Grigorenko, fresh off a five-goal, eight-point performance in seven world junior championship games, will be returning to the Sabres, interim coach Ted Nolan said.

But will the 19-year-old center be staying in the NHL?

“He’s coming here for Pat (LaFontaine) and I to discuss,” Nolan said Monday inside the First Niagara Center. “We’ll make that decision when he gets here.”

Nolan, however, acknowledged he would prefer ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson earned a huge contract despite only 34 points last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres ink Cody Hodgson to stunning 6-year, $25.5 million deal

BUFFALO – On Wednesday morning, an optimistic-sounding Darcy Regier said the Sabres would “make every attempt” to have unsigned restricted free agent Cody Hodgson on the ice today for the first session of training camp.

“The efforts that are being made by both sides would indicate that we want to get something done as quickly as possible,” the general manager said inside the First Niagara Center as the Sabres reported for camp and underwent their ... Read the full article

Locals have welcomed Ryan Miller back to Buffalo. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ryan Miller upbeat about future with Sabres as training camp opens

BUFFALO – Playing an 11th season with the rebuilding Sabres isn’t a bad situation, Ryan Miller said. The goalie, the subject of rampant trade speculation for months, is returning to a familiar city he considers a home.

Miller said he’s only received warm greetings from fans, many of whom jeered the 33-year-old and his teammates last season as they missed the playoffs again, since arriving back in town last week.

He understands why locals ... Read the full article

Two years ago, the Sabres signed Ville Leino, a winger, to a six-year, $27 million contract to play center. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres likely won’t pursue big names during free agency

BUFFALO – The focus during free agency, general manager Darcy Regier said, will be on adding supporting pieces to the Sabres’ younger core group. The crazy spending of the past appears to be over, at least for this summer.

So, when free agency opens at noon today, don’t expect the Sabres to wildly overpay or overreach for any Ville Leino-types again. And don’t expect them to throw tens of millions of dollars at any ... Read the full article

James Patrick had coached with the Sabres since 2006-07. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres fire assistant coaches Patrick and Adams as Rolston begins assembling staff

BUFFALO – The Sabres have fired assistant coaches James Patrick and Kevyn Adams, according to multiple reports.

It was believed new Sabres coach Ron Rolston, whose interim tag was removed Tuesday, would make some changes to his staff.

The reports state assistant Teppo Numminen will stay on. The status of goalie coach Jim Corsi is unclear.

Other than one year playing in Europe, Patrick has been a Sabres player or coach since 1998-99. The ... Read the full article

Kevyn Adams (left) was a regular assistant coach for Tyler Ennis and the Sabres since 2011-12 ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reports: Sabres fire assistant coaches Patrick and Adams

BUFFALO – The Sabres have fired assistant coaches James Patrick and Kevyn Adams, according to multiple reports.

It was believed new Sabres coach Ron Rolston, whose interim tag was removed Tuesday, would make some changes to his staff.

The reports state assistant Teppo Numminen will stay on.

Other than one year playing in Europe, Patrick has been a Sabres player or coach since 1998-99. The 49-year-old former defenseman, a top aid of former coach Lindy ... Read the full article

Sidney Crosby believes several tools make Thomas Vanek a superstar. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Crosby impressed by Sabres superstar Vanek

BUFFALO – With three straight pointless games entering this afternoon’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sabres superstar Thomas Vanek is struggling a bit for the first time this season.

Still, the slick winger’s 11-goal, 23-point start has been dynamic. Count Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby among those who’ve noticed Vanek’s exploits.

“I’m pretty aware of how consistent he’s been,” Crosby said Saturday after the Penguins prepared for the Sabres inside the First Niagara Center.

In Crosby’s ... Read the full article