Jack Eichel has a stronger supporting cast this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ depth has buoyed strong start

BUFFALO – Depth means coach Phil Housley can utilize his so-called fourth line for critical defensive zone faceoffs. It means the Sabres can replace former center Ryan O’Reilly’s minutes by committee. It means it can often be hard to distinguish between the first and fourth trios.

Right now, for the first time in years, the 2-1 Sabres possess depth up front and the ability to roll four lines.

“We’ve been rolling them pretty good,” center ... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Tage Thompson on July 1. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Tage Thompson seizes early opportunity

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Tage Thompson knows everything he just earned – one of 23 coveted roster spots and a place on a scoring line – can vanish in a hurry.

As a rookie a year ago, Thompson cracked St. Louis’ opening-night lineup just months after leaving college. The former first-round pick lasted four games before the Blues demoted him to the San Antonio Rampage.

“You never want to feel comfortable,” Thompson said prior to ... Read the full article

Patrik Berglund spent 10 seasons in St. Louis. ©2018, Hickling Images

Fun-loving Patrik Berglund already one of Sabres’ leaders

BUFFALO – Patrik Berglund’s booming voice echoed throughout HarborCenter.

“Use your stick!” the Sabres center shouted, along with another word that can’t be reprinted, during a practice drill last week.

Some of Berglund’s new teammates then quickly burst out laughing. In the midst of an intense training camp, he provided some much-needed levity.

“This game’s about having fun,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said Monday inside KeyBank Center. “He enjoys coming to the rink and having ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart ended his holdout Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Tage Thompson promoted; Zach Bogosian, Sam Reinhart to debut

BUFFALO – Instead of utilizing Sam Reinhart or Kyle Okposo at right wing on the No. 1 line tonight, Sabres coach Phil Housley will give youngster Tage Thompson a look beside center Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner.

Thompson, 20, scored a nifty goal in Friday’s 5-3 loss in Toronto, carrying the puck into the zone before toe-dragging and unleashing a wicked wrist shot from the right circle.

“I really liked what he brought to ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin's presence makes the Prospects Challenge an intriguing tournament. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres release Prospects Challenge roster

BUFFALO – Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and center Casey Mittelstadt are among 27 Sabres scheduled to participate in this week’s Prospects Challenge rookie tournament the team will be hosting at HarborCenter.

Some other interesting names on the Sabres’ 27-man roster the team released today include:... Read the full article

Jack Eichel believes the Sabres can turns things around in a hurry. ©2018, Hickling Images

Jack Eichel anxious to start season, excited about revamped Sabres

BUFFALO – More than two weeks before training camp starts, around 20 Sabres – from star center Jack Eichel to rookies preparing for the upcoming prospect tournament – are already skating regularly at HarborCenter.

Informal summer skates, of course, are common. Still, having so many guys in town so early – heck, it’s still August – sends a strong message.

“It says you want to be here, right?” Eichel said Monday. “It says you want ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt can finally settle down in Buffalo. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres rookie Casey Mittelstadt grateful for dizzying path to NHL

TORONTO – Finally, after two whirlwind years, Casey Mittelstadt can settle down. Barring a disastrous training camp, the slick Sabres prospect will start the season in Buffalo, a place he will likely stay a long time.

“I’m definitely looking forward to that,” Mittelstadt said of remaining with one team. “I think – Green Bay, high school, the ‘U’ – I’ve been back and forth quite a bit.”

Mittelstadt, of course, left out two clubs he ... Read the full article

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