Don Granato has an extensive coaching resume. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres hire Don Granato, Mike Bales as assistant coaches

BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Don Granato and Mike Bales as assistant coaches on new head coach Ralph Krueger’s staff, the team announced this morning.

The Sabres also officially announced Krueger will retain assistant Steve Smith, a former NHL defenseman he had on his staff with the Edmonton Oilers.

Granato, 51, has coached at all levels – junior, college, pro and NHL – over his 26-year career. He spent the last two seasons ... Read the full article

Mike Bales won two Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh. ©2019, Hickling Images

Reports: Sabres to hire Mike Bales as goalie coach, retain Steve Smith

The Buffalo Sabres will hire Mike Bales as their new goalie coach and retain assistant coach Steve Smith, according to multiple reports.

Bales, 47, resigned as goalie coach of the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday. The Buffalo News, The Athletic and Sportsnet all reported Bales is bound for Buffalo.

Former Sabres coach Phil Housley hired Smith, a three-time Stanley Cup winner as a player, to run his defense last year. Ralph Krueger, Housley’s replacement, ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has one assist this season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Tage Thompson happy with Sabres’ plan

BUFFALO – Having grown up with a father who played pro hockey, Sabres winger Tage Thompson has a unique understanding of the dues-paying process that accompanies developing into an NHL player.

Before Thompson’s father, Brent, began his coaching career, he played 121 NHL games as a defenseman in the 1990s, mostly with the Los Angeles Kings.

Brent, like his son, shuttled between the big leagues and the minors as a youngster and probably sat out ... Read the full article

Phil Housley won 25 games as a rookie coach. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: GM Jason Botterill supports coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – It’s unlikely legendary coaches Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman could’ve done much with the Sabres this season. A dearth of talent helped them finish 31st overall.

Still, following such a miserable campaign, the question had to be asked: will Phil Housley be general manager Jason Botterill’s coach again next season?

“One-hundred percent Phil Housley will be our coach next year,” Botterill said Wednesday inside KeyBank Center. “I have certainly enjoyed working with Phil ... Read the full article

Phil Housley's team has generated much momentum all season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres need better efforts if they hope to be competitive

BUFFALO – It was a simple execution drill – “Attacking with wide speed and a middle lane drive,” Phil Housley explained – that forced the coach to lay into the Sabres.

Just hours after an embarrassing 4-1 home loss, the Sabres looked sluggish early during Thursday’s practice. At one point, associate coach Davis Payne barked at the players to stop coasting.

Housley finally had enough after watching them execute the drill incorrectly, yelling, “Get ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey skates away from Arizona's Derek Stepan (48) on Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres respond to coach Phil Housley’s practice message

BUFFALO – It was a simple execution drill – “Attacking with wide speed and a middle lane drive,” Phil Housley explained – that forced the coach to lay into the Sabres.

Fresh off Wednesday’s embarrassing 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, the Sabres looked sluggish early during this morning’s practice. At one point, associate coach Davis Payne yelled at the players to stop coasting.

Housley finally had enough after watching his players execute the drill ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles Vancouver's Thomas Vanek on Oct. 20. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres trying to ignite struggling power play

BUFFALO – In an otherwise glum season, the Sabres’ power play emerged as the NHL’s best a year ago, converting 24.5 percent of its opportunities.

Considering the Sabres kept their key personnel and hired coach Phil Housley, it wasn’t crazy to think they could become even more potent this year.

After all, few players in NHL history have performed better. Housley amassed 609 of his 1,232 points on the power play during his 21-year career ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has zero points this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Struggling Sabres want details in game

BUFFALO – Fresh off a dreadful road loss, the 0-2 Sabres started Sunday’s practice, well, pretty poorly. About 10 minutes into the session, associate coach Davis Payne finally had enough of their shoddy execution.

Payne yelled, “Let’s get (expletive) sharp!” A few seconds later, Payne let loose again on the KeyBank Center ice, saying, “Let’s get it (expletive) going!”

“It’s getting back to the little details,” Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly said of Sunday’s theme. “That’s ... Read the full article

Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly skates away from Montreal's Tomas Plekanec on Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres try to sharpen up after tough loss

BUFFALO – At 0-2, fresh off Saturday’s dreadful 6-3 road loss to the New York Islanders, the Sabres coaching staff hammered home some strong messages during this afternoon’s uptempo practice.

At one point inside KeyBank Center, associate coach Davis Payne yelled, “Let’s get (expletive) sharp!” A few seconds later, Payne let loose again, saying “Let’s get it (expletive) going!”... Read the full article

Jordan Nolan knows Buffalo well. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Buffalo memories special for Sabres newcomer Jordan Nolan

BUFFALO – As the son of a former Sabres coach, winger Jordan Nolan’s memories of his new team and this area are special.

As a child in the 1990s, Nolan sometimes tagged along with his father, Ted Nolan, to the rink. In 2013, when the Sabres brought the elder Nolan back for a second run, Jordan proudly watched the news conference inside KeyBank Center.

Buffalo, Jordan Nolan said, has “kind of shaped our ... Read the full article