Jack Eichel signed a new contract Tuesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel ready for duties that accompany contract

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel wouldn’t go on his own. So when the Sabres convened for their post-practice stretch at center ice, veteran Jason Pominville nudged the young star into the circle.

The scene inside HarborCenter was fitting. Eichel, in his first skate since signing an eight-year, $80 million contract extension Tuesday, surrounded by his teammates, leading them in the stretch.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel will be with the Sabres at least nine more years. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres, Jack Eichel complete massive contract extension

BUFFALO – The Sabres and center Jack Eichel finalized the largest contract in franchise history Tuesday night, an eight-year extension worth a whopping $80 million.

The average annual value of $10 million puts Eichel, 20, in line with some of the NHL’s other dynamic young stars.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, the youngster picked first overall in 2015, one spot ahead of Eichel, signed an eight-year extension worth $12.5 million a season earlier this ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle (45) sticks his glove in Tim Schaller's face last Saturday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Brendan Guhle’s short stint leaves positive impression on Sabres

BUFFALO – In his first three NHL games, defenseman Brendan Guhle showcased consistency and poise, performing like a veteran, not a 19-year-old rookie the Sabres recalled from junior hockey on an emergency basis.

Guhle, less than a week into his big league career, quickly became one of the team’s top defensemen, helping solidify the injury-ravaged blue line.

But defensemen Josh Gorges and Dmitry Kulikov returned from injuries for Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle played three games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With defensemen healthy, Sabres rookie Brendan Guhle must leave

BUFFALO – In his first three NHL games, Sabres defenseman Brendan Guhle showcased consistency and poise, performing like a veteran, not a 19-year-old rookie recalled from junior hockey on an emergency basis.

Guhle, less than a week into his big league career, quickly became one of the team’s top defensemen, helping solidify the injury-ravaged blue line.

But defensemen Josh Gorges (foot) and Dmitry Kulikov (back) are set to return tonight against the Washington Capitals, meaning ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe has been playing big minutes. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Versatile Jake McCabe Sabres’ ‘Swiss Army Knife’

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe, like most hockey players, has a pretty straightforward nickname he was given years ago, “Caber.”

But these days, McCabe, 23, is a top-pair defender, skating in every situation for a team whose blue line has been ravaged by injuries in recent weeks.

So the Wisconsin native’s versatility has earned him another moniker.

“We joked around, called him ‘The Swiss Army Knife,’” center Ryan O’Reilly said Thursday after the ... Read the full article

Josh Gorges has missed three games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Josh Gorges close to returning from foot fracture

BUFFALO – When practice started this morning, Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges, who was supposed to be sidelined weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his left foot, was skating with his teammates.

Incredibly, Gorges, who has missed three games, could play Friday against Washington.

“Testing it out, seeing how it feels,” Gorges said inside KeyBank Center. “When it’s in your boot, it’s not much different than being in your skate. The boot will act to ... Read the full article

Taylor Fedun is a productive AHL defenseman. ©2016, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres notes: Taylor Fedun debuts against Lightning

BUFFALO – Had Taylor Fedun been healthy enough to participate in training camp, then perhaps the Sabres would’ve recalled the high-scoring defenseman earlier this season.

But Fedun, who made his Sabres debut Thursday, fractured his foot in April playing with the Utica Comets, the Vancouver Canucks’ AHL affiliate. The Princeton product didn’t begin skating again until the day before training camp started, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.

So while Fedun, 28, participated in meetings with ... Read the full article

Steven Stamkos is a lethal scorer. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Lightning confident it can overcome Steven Stamkos’ injury

BUFFALO – On the surface, it might look like a season-killing injury for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Two-time 50-goal scorer Steven Stamkos could reportedly miss four months after tearing his lateral meniscus in an innocent-looking play Tuesday in Detroit.

The Lightning captain plans to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery in Colorado, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who also reported a four-month recovery is a best-case scenario.

Stamkos, 26, and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin are the only superstars ... Read the full article

Nick Baptiste played his first NHL game in Ottawa on Saturday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Nick Baptiste feels support in Ottawa

OTTAWA – As a native of nearby Barrhaven, about a 10-minute drive from the Canadian Tire Centre, Buffalo Sabres rookie Nick Baptiste had quite the cheering section for his sixth NHL game.

“There’s going to be a lot of people here tonight – a lot of family, friends, teachers, people in the area,” Baptiste said prior to Saturday’s 2-1 comeback win against the Senators, his first NHL appearance here. “My brother’s whole hockey team is ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno had four shots last game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Marcus Foligno finally possesses shoot-first mentality

OTTAWA – It was almost a year ago, around the time, not coincidentally, Marcus Foligno began the most consistent stretch of his career, that the Buffalo Sabres winger finally developed a shoot-first mentality.

By the end of 2015-16, Foligno had pumped a career-high 81 shots on goal. Considering he registered only nine shots in his first 20 games, the number was significant.

These days, Foligno’s consistently shooting the puck. No, he’s not exactly Alex Ovechkin. ... Read the full article