Casey Mittelstadt smiled a lot Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Casey Mittelstadt happy to be Sabres’ top pick

CHICAGO – As the first round of the NHL Draft approached, no one seemed to have any idea how the early portion would play out and where youngsters like new Buffalo Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt could be picked.

Sure, it was expected centers Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick would go first and second overall Friday, and they did. But after that, several guys like Mittelstadt were pegged to go anywhere from third or fourth or ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill has only been on the job since last month. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill front and center at NHL Draft

CHICAGO – We don’t have a book on Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill yet. We don’t know his tendencies, what kind of team he truly wants to build or which players he values over others.

Botterill, widely regarded as one of the NHL’s brightest young minds, has been on the job 43 days. So far, the 41-year-old has made only minor deals, acquiring defenseman Nathan Beaulieu and reaching an agreement with the expansion ... 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

Sabres owner Terry Pegula (left) and new general manager Jason Botteril talk Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill ready to tackle new job

BUFFALO – New general manager Jason Botterill left a darn good gig as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ associate GM to return here and run the Sabres, a reeling team that hasn’t made the playoffs in six years.

On Wednesday, just hours before he was named the eighth GM in Sabres history, Botterill was in Washington watching Pittsburgh beat the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal. The Penguins could be weeks away from earning ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill talks this afternoon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres introduce Jason Botterill as GM

BUFFALO – New general manager Jason Botterill left a darn good gig as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ associate GM to return here and run the Sabres, one of the NHL’s perennial dregs.

On Wednesday, just hours before he was named the eighth GM in Sabres history, Botterill was in Washington watching the Penguins beat the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.... Read the full article

Craig Button believes the Sabres have plenty of assets. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Analyst: Sabres’ next GM entering ‘promising’ gig

BUFFALO – Despite inheriting a last-place club, the Sabres’ next general manager will also be entering a “promising” job, said former NHL GM Craig Button.

Why? The Sabres already possess two cornerstones at critical positions.

“When you start with (center) Jack Eichel and you’ve got a (defenseman like) Rasmus Ristolainen, you’ve got the framework for something to really move significantly ahead with,” said Button, the Calgary Flames’ GM for three years in the early ... Read the full article

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

Ryan O'Reilly wants to improve his own play and be a better leader. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly frustrated after ‘terrible season’

BUFFALO – On the surface, Ryan O’Reilly’s season looks decent enough. In 72 games, the center compiled 20 goals and 55 points, numbers that ranked third and second on the Sabres, respectively.

But O’Reilly, as fans here have learned throughout his two seasons, never seems content. He always expects more of himself.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel was the Sabres' leading scorer this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Disappointing season leaves Sabres’ Jack Eichel seething

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel looked like he would’ve rather been anywhere else. The Sabres center was restless throughout his six-minute chat with the media Monday, mostly giving terse statements and looking around as he stood at a podium.

Eichel, 20, isn’t handling the Sabres’ last-place finish in the Atlantic Division – they also ended 2016-17 an embarrassing 15th in the 16-team Eastern Conference – very well.

“It’s tough,” a seething Eichel said inside KeyBank Center ... Read the full article