Matt Duchene will land a huge contract in free agency. ©2019, Hickling Images

Trades, not free agents, likely Sabres’ best option for improving roster

BUFFALO – The Sabres must examine every option to improve their weak roster, so, yes, general manager Jason Botterill acknowledged, they’ve discussed some of the top free agents on the market.

It’s no secret center Matt Duchene would fill a glaring need as the No. 2 pivot behind Jack Eichel.

For a few years, even as the Sabres kept struggling, their greatest strength was up the middle.

Most teams are lucky to have one top ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson was a seventh-round pick in 2014. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Victor Olofsson earns spot beside Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – By late October, as Sabres prospect Victor Olofsson closed a stellar month in which he scored five goals and 15 points, a recall to the NHL felt inevitable.

But instead of summoning Olofsson, 23, from the Rochester Americans right away, the Sabres left the slick Swedish winger in the AHL for almost six months.

The 5-foot-11, 181-pound Olofsson, meanwhile, kept scoring and acclimating to North American hockey, cementing his spot among the Sabres’ ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour possesses some coveted talents. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Trade puts chip on Brandon Montour’s shoulder

TORONTO – Buffalo Sabres newcomer Brandon Montour doesn’t turn 25 for another six weeks. Over his three NHL seasons, he has established himself as the rarest of commodities: a right-handed, puck-moving defenseman.

Still, the Anaheim Ducks, who have imploded this season, dished Montour to the Sabres on Sunday, a day before the NHL trade deadline.

Not surprisingly, Montour said getting dealt has put a chip on his shoulder.

“It’s one of those things where I ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu has played three straight games. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Nathan Beaulieu on trade deadline: ‘No one really likes this day’

TORONTO – Last month, during a stretch in which he sat out 21 of 25 games as a healthy scratch, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu requested a trade.

But suddenly, Beaulieu, 26, has started earning regular action again, playing three straight games entering tonight’s contest against the Maple Leafs.

So perhaps the Sabres will keep Beaulieu past today’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.

Update: The Sabres have traded Beaulieu to the Winnipeg Jets for a ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has quietly enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart enjoys first hat trick in Buffalo

BUFFALO – On the first of his three goals Saturday afternoon, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart showcased a little flash.

After grabbing center Evan Rodrigues’ nifty one-handed pass, Reinhart unleashed a wicked wrist shot from the right circle, beating Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby over the right shoulder 12:51 into the 5-2 win.

Later in the contest, Reinhart put the Sabres up two goals again, sealing the game by tipping defenseman Matt Hunwick’s shot in front ... Read the full article

Scott Wilson will play this afternoon. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo skates; Danny O’Regan, Scott Wilson to play

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo, out since suffering a concussion last Friday, skated this morning, coach Phil Housley said.

“That’s a great sign,” Housley said inside KeyBank Center. “He’s got a smile on his face. So those are all good signs for us.”

Okposo, 30, has a concerning history of concussions. The veteran hasn’t played since suffering another one fighting New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo.

Housley believes Okposo will play again this season.... Read the full article

Danny O'Regan played two games with the Sabres last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres recall Danny O’Regan, Scott Wilson, send Lawrence Pilut down

BUFFALO – The Sabres added two forwards this afternoon, recalling Danny O’Regan and Scott Wilson from the Rochester Americans.

They also sent defenseman Lawrence Pilut back to the AHL and placed winger Kyle Okposo, who has a concussion, on injured reserve.

The Sabres host the Washington Capitals on Saturday, their last game before Monday’s trade deadline.... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues has enjoyed a productive stretch. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Evan Rodrigues grew under Rangers’ David Quinn

BUFFALO – Sabres center Evan Rodrigues figured David Quinn would stay put at Boston University until the coach guided the Terriers to a national championship.

Quinn’s success at the NCAA level, of course, generated plenty of interest from the NHL. Still, Rodrigues, whose dynamic exploits nearly helped BU win a title in 2015, enjoys a close relationship with Quinn.

“You can always go into his office and talk about anything to him,” Rodrigues said prior ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian has battled injuries in recent seasons. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian day-to-day with lower-body injury

BUFFALO – Oft-injured Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian, who played only 18 games last season, is day-to-day after suffering a lower-body injury Tuesday, coach Phil Housley said.

Housley said Bogosian, 28, will be reevaluated later today after leaving the Sabres’ 4-2 preseason loss to Columbus early.

Injuries, of course, have ravaged Bogosian. The Massena native has missed 114 games – a whopping 42 percent of Buffalo’s outings – since he joined the Sabres on Feb. ... Read the full article

The Sabres stretch earlier today inside Clinton Arena. ©2018, Olean Times Herald

Hockeyville in Clinton provides unique experience for Sabres

CLINTON – When center Casey Mittelstadt told some of his teammates skating this morning inside tiny Clinton Arena this felt like high school, he said they starting making fun of him.

But Mittelstadt, 19, is less than two years removed from playing high school hockey. Memories of skating in old rinks like the 65-year-old barn where the Sabres will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in tonight are fresh.... Read the full article