Casey Mittelstadt (17), flanked by Sabres general manager Jason Botterill (left) and owner Terry Pegula, was all smiles Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Casey Mittelstadt thrilled to be drafted by Sabres

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

Timothy Liljegren worked out at the NHL Scouting Combine on June 3. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres could land strong defense prospect at NHL Draft

BUFFALO – Thanks to his famous name and a 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame, NHL Draft prospect Callan Foote has eyes on him whenever he hits the ice.

Foote, 18, usually doesn’t disappoint, either. A defenseman like his father, two-time Stanley Cup winner Adam Foote, he can dominate a game when he utilizes his big body, NHL Central Scouting’s Dave Gregory said. The youngster also possesses a special ability to transition the puck, a key talent in ... Read the full article

Nolan Patrick participated in fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine today. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Top prospect Nolan Patrick grew up rooting for Sabres

BUFFALO – Growing up in Winnipeg, top prospect Nolan Patrick’s allegiance changed whenever his uncle, former NHL player and coach James Patrick, switched teams. So for most of his childhood, he rooted for the Sabres.

“Buffalo was my favorite team growing up,” Patrick said this afternoon following fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine inside HarborCenter. “I watched them a lot. It was mostly my favorite team just because he was coaching there, so I ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta (left) receives a silver stick from Sabres general manager Tim Murray on Monday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta honored for 1,000th game

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Tyler Ennis said undersized NHL players – a “brotherhood,” he called them – share “an unspoken bond.”

Small players, of course, have the odds stacked against them. Only they can truly understand what they endured to make the league.

Fifteen or 20 years ago, it was even tougher for them to crack the NHL. That’s why Ennis, who’s listed at 5-foot-9, grew up idolizing diminutive stars, including 5-foot-7 Sabres captain Brian ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta (12) isn't afraid to go to the net. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta ready for 1,000th game

BUFFALO – As another trying season winds down, the Sabres finally have something special to celebrate. Captain Brian Gionta will play his 1,000th NHL game tonight, and his teammates couldn’t be more excited.

“That’s a huge, huge honor in this league, a huge milestone and accomplishment,” Sabres winger Marcus Foligno said. “A thousand games in the NHL is rare.”

Tonight is all about Gionta, the 38-year-old Greece native who has enjoyed a long and unlikely ... Read the full article

Pat LaFontaine (left) shakes Tim Murray's hand Jan. 9. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Stunner: Pat LaFontaine resigns from Sabres

BUFFALO – In a stunning development, Sabres legend Pat LaFontaine, the team’s president of hockey operations less than four months, resigned today.

LaFontaine will return to the job he had with the NHL.

According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, the last straw for LaFontaine was Friday’s blockbuster deal in which the Sabres sent Ryan Miller to the St. Louis Blues.

LaFontaine wanted to give the 33-year-old Miller an extension. New general manager Tim Murray, who LaFontaine ... Read the full article

Matt Moulson will be an unrestricted free agent following the season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Matt Moulson open to staying with Sabres, not worried about getting traded again

BUFFALO – Thirty games into what could be a very short Sabres career, Matt Moulson said he’s given a lot of thought to a future he can’t control yet.

The winger, quietly one of the NHL’s top goal scorers for years, would be coveted as an unrestricted free agent this summer. But before that, if the Sabres want to deal the 30-year-old, he’d be in high demand as a rental prior to the March 5 ... Read the full article

Tim Murray speaks to the media Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Tim Murray ready to tackle Sabres’ ‘extremely attractive’ GM job

BUFFALO – Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray recently approached his nephew, Tim Murray, and told him the rebuilding Sabres, the NHL’s worst team, wanted permission to interview him for the vacant GM position.

Murray would be leaving what he called “comfortable situation” as the Senators’ assistant GM. The 50-year-old’s from the Ottawa area. His wife and children live there. Many speculated he would replace his uncle someday. At the very least, he acknowledged, he would’ve ... Read the full article

From left, Craig Patrick, Pat LaFontaine and Tim Murray today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres introduce Tim Murray as new GM, Craig Patrick as advisor

BUFFALO – The Sabres appointed Tim Murray their new general manager today, but not before making a surprise announcement.

Craig Patrick, a Hockey Hall of Famer and two-time Stanley Cup champion as Pittsburgh’s GM, has joined the team as a special assistant and advisor to the hockey department.

Here are some highlights from today’s new conference.

Murray

On his philosophy:

“You build a team through the draft. Good drafting allows you to trade well, and ... Read the full article

James Patrick has been beside Lindy Ruff for years. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Lindy Ruff brings former Sabres assistant coach James Patrick to Stars

BUFFALO – James Patrick is joining Lindy Ruff with the Dallas Stars.

In a move many expected, the Stars today added the 50-year-old former Sabres player and assistant coach to Ruff’s staff.

Patrick, Ruff’s assistant for seven years, stayed on after the Sabres fired Ruff in February. New coach Ron Rolston let Patrick go following the season, however.

Ruff and Patrick have been friends since playing together with the New York Rangers in the ... Read the full article