Jeff Skinner has scored 30 goals three times. ©2018, Hickling Images

Jeff Skinner acquisition shows Sabres believe they can win now

Before Thursday’s acquisition of slick winger Jeff Skinner, so many of the Buffalo Sabres’ trades throughout their seemingly endless rebuild focused on the future. Deals would often net them prospects or draft picks, a sign winning wasn’t imminent.

But Sabres general manager Jason Botterill made a different swap to nab the three-time 30-goal scorer from the Carolina Hurricanes. For one of the few times in recent years, the Sabres dealt futures for a proven commodity.... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner offers the Sabres more scoring. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres acquire Jeff Skinner from Hurricanes

The Buffalo Sabres pulled off a rare August trade early tonight, acquiring three-time 30-goal scorer Jeff Skinner from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for forward prospect Cliff Pu, a second-round pick in 2019 and third- and sixth-round selections in 2020.

The trade for Skinner, who’s entering the final season of his contract, gives the Sabres another proven scorer at wing. The Sabres, the NHL’s lowest-scoring team last season, needed to replace the offense they lost ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly was traded Sunday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabre Ryan O’Reilly finds spark after trade to Blues

Ryan O’Reilly sounded rejuvenated. Getting traded quickly reignited the passion he lost last season as the Buffalo Sabres trudged to a 31st-place finish.

Almost three months ago, O’Reilly, 27, stunned the hockey world, saying the disastrous year made him lose his “love for the game multiple times.”... Read the full article

Tage Thompson attended nine schools growing up. ©2018, Hickling Images

Nomadic childhood helped prepare Sabres’ Tage Thompson for NHL life

BUFFALO – Tage Thompson leaves the counting to his mother, Kim. The new Sabres winger can’t tally the exact number of places he has lived. He just knows he moved around a lot growing up because of his father’s playing and coaching career.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” said Thompson, who was acquired in Sunday’s blockbuster Ryan O’Reilly trade with the St. Louis Blues. “I know my mom’s tried to do the math.”... Read the full article

Tage Thompson moved around a lot growing up. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres present special opportunity for Tage Thompson

BUFFALO – Tage Thompson leaves the counting to his mother, Kim. The new Sabres winger can’t tally the exact number of places he has lived. He just knows he moved around a lot growing up because of his father’s playing and coaching career.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” said Thompson, who was acquired in Sunday’s blockbuster Ryan O’Reilly trade with the St. Louis Blues. “I know my mom’s tried to do the math.”... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly's departure leaves a big hole in the Sabres' lineup. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres GM Jason Botterill: Ryan O’Reilly didn’t need change of scenery

BUFFALO – Jason Botterill indicated months ago, long before he traded center Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues, a significant move was needed to shake up the Sabres.

The Sabres’ wretched 31st-place finish embarrassed Botterill and the entire organization. The general manager knew the group he had wasn’t working.

“We felt that in our meetings at the end of our season as a management group, we had to change the dynamic,” Botterill said on ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly played three seasons in Buffalo. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres trade Ryan O’Reilly to Blues

BUFFALO – The Sabres traded Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues tonight.

O’Reilly was owed a $7.5 million by midnight, a bonus the Blues will likely pay now.

O’Reilly, 27, played three seasons with the Sabres, becoming one of the NHL’s most versatile centers. The Sabres, however, never improved with him, and following their last-place finish in 2017-18, he talked about the how the constant losing sapped his love for hockey.

Stay tuned ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly was due a big bonus Sunday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Ryan O’Reilly’s price likely going up

BUFFALO – If the Sabres pay Ryan O’Reilly his $7.5 million bonus by midnight, the dynamic of any potential trade for the center would change, general manager Jason Botterill said.

Speaking earlier in the day on a conference call, Botterill explained based on his conversations with other teams, paying the money would mean the Sabres have a new asking price.... Read the full article

There is interest in Ryan O'Reilly around the NHL. ©2018, Hickling Images

Paying bonus to Ryan O’Reilly changes trade dynamic for Sabres

BUFFALO – At some point today, assuming the Sabres keep Ryan O’Reilly and deposit a $7.5 million bonus in his bank account, the dynamic of any potential trade for the center will change, general manager Jason Botterill said.

On a conference call this afternoon, Botterill explained based on his conversations with other teams, that would mean “anything from an asking price or what we’d be looking for from a trade perspective.”... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin (blue) tries to grab the puck Saturday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Rasmus Dahlin’s presence ‘inspiring,’ offers hope to Sabres

BUFFALO – With so many shiny prospects gathered together, development camp can make an NHL team’s future look brighter than the reality.

Optimism often runs rampant during the summer. When a first-round pick or two wows you up close, it’s easy to get a little more excited.

Right now, the enthusiasm for the Sabres is understandable.... Read the full article