Kyle Okposo (21) participated in Brian Gionta's 1,000th game ceremony prior to his last appearance in March. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo says concussion led to absence

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo said he’s fully healthy and ready to play again after a concussion he suffered in March left him hospitalized in intensive care.

In a letter to fans posted on the team’s website, Okposo said an innocent hit during practice late last season eventually forced him to be admitted to the neuro surgical unit at Buffalo General Hospital.... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo missed the end of last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo returns to ice

Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo, who was reportedly hospitalized late last season in the neuro surgical intensive care unit at Buffalo General Hospital, played in an informal summer league game Wednesday in Minnesota, his first notable action in months.

Okposo, 29, missed the final six games of 2016-17, his first season with the Sabres after signing a seven-year, $42 million contract. He paid immediate dividends, compiling 19 goals and 45 points in 65 appearances.... Read the full article

Randy Sexton talks Saturday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres assistant GM Randy Sexton passionate about new job

BUFFALO – After Randy Sexton completed his duties with the Pittsburgh Penguins last month, the veteran executive caught an early flight from the NHL Draft in Chicago to begin his job as one of the Sabres’ new assistant general managers.

Just weeks after winning his second straight Stanley Cup, Sexton was leaving a strong gig as Pittsburgh’s director of amateur scouting. Still, the opportunity to work with his friend, new Sabres GM Jason Botterill, ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson spent last season in Calgary. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres face challenges adding talent in free agency

BUFFALO – For a team fresh off a last-place finish, the Sabres have a high number of contracts, including a few bloated ones, in place for next season.

Counting restricted free agents expected to be back, the Sabres already have about 19 players who could be regulars in 2017-18. Veterans Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges and Matt Moulson combine for more than $14 million of salary cap space.

Bad teams usually don’t approach the cap, but ... 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

Kyle Okposo holds flowers for captain Brian Gionta's 1,000th game ceremony March 27, his final appearance last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Kyle Okposo ‘looking great,’ will be ready for training camp

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo, who was reportedly hospitalized late last season in the neuro surgical intensive care unit at Buffalo General Hospital, will be ready for training camp, general manager Jason Botterill said.

“Everything’s looking great for Kyle,” Botterill said Thursday during an introductory news conference for coach Phil Housley inside KeyBank Center. “Physically he looks great, mentally he looks great.”... Read the full article

The Sabres can negotiate a new contract with Jack Eichel on July 1. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to pursue contract extension for Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – When Tim Murray spoke to Jack Eichel on Wednesday, the general manager told his young star the Sabres would improve after a last-place finish.

“I made the promise to him that I would do the best that I could to make the team around him better and that we would be a longtime playoff team,” Murray said of his exit meeting with Eichel.

Eichel, 20, hasn’t handled the Sabres’ struggles well. The center ... Read the full article

Tim Murray talks this afternoon. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Tim Murray apologizes for Sabres’ poor season

BUFFALO – For now, after the Sabres’ disappointing last-place finish, Dan Bylsma is still coach, general manager Tim Murray said.

“He’s my coach today, I’m the general manager today,” Murray said this afternoon during his end-of-season news conference inside KeyBank Center. “There’s a review top to bottom. I have to meet with ownership next week in Florida. I’m sure I’ll be reviewed, I’m sure I’m being reviewed right now, as I should be.”

What does ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson played 36 games this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Johan Larsson’s absence hurt Sabres

BUFFALO – When center Johan Larsson suffered two season-ending dislocations New Year’s Eve, the Sabres quietly experienced a critical blow to their playoff hopes.

While the absences of some higher-profile forwards – Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo, for example – garnered more attention, the Sabres struggled to replace Larsson’s tenacious two-way game.

Without Larsson, who dislocated his elbow and wrist, the Sabres became a “different team,” said Marcus Foligno, the Swede’s regular winger on ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo only played two games after March 2. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres missed Kyle Okposo’s leadership

BUFFALO – How valuable is Kyle Okposo to the Sabres? They went 4-11-1 without the winger in his first season here. After a mysterious illness sidelined him late, they closed the disappointing campaign 1-5.

Okposo was discharged from the Neuro Surgical ICU at Buffalo General Hospital on Friday, according to WIVB.

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma had no update on Okposo, 28, on Monday.

On the ice, Okposo compiled 19 goals and 45 points in ... Read the full article