Phil Housley was close with Jim Johansson. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres coach Phil Housley emotional over Jim Johannson’s passing

BUFFALO – In 2012, Team USA general manager Jim Johannson made an out-of-the-box choice, hiring a high school coach to lead the country’s entry at the World Junior Championship.

His name? Phil Housley.

Housley, an NHL legend, had served as an assistant twice for Team USA at the tournament. Still, he had no pro, college or major junior coaching experience. He had only been a head coach for Stillwater High School in Minnesota.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel loves playing in Buffalo. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

City, organization helped Jack Eichlel sign extension with Sabres

BUFFALO – By dinnertime Tuesday night, as Jack Eichel sat on the couch enjoying a meal with two teammates, the young Sabres star was still hush-hush about the eight-year, $80 million contract extension he had just signed.

“I didn’t really tell anyone for a while,” Eichel said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center.

But by the time Eichel, 20, returned to dinner after taking a congratulatory call from Sabres owner Terry Pegula, word had spread on ... Read the full article

Matt Moulson scored 14 goals last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Matt Moulson upbeat about Sabres’ future, new regime

BUFFALO – In his 11 NHL seasons, winger Matt Moulson has played for nine coaches, including four with the Sabres.

There have been Stanley Cup winners (Marc Crawford and Dan Bylsma), rookies (Scott Gordon, Ron Rolston and others) and old school veterans (Terry Murray and Ted Nolan).

Moulson, 33, has experienced the NHL coaching gamut. So when the three-time 30-goal scorer says new Sabres coach Phil Housley’s sessions “are some of the best practices I’ve ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has never played in a playoff game. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel on first two seasons: ‘I’ve proven nothing’

BUFFALO – In his first two seasons, Sabres center Jack Eichel has quickly morphed into one of the NHL’s most dynamic talents, compiling 48 goals and 113 points in 142 outings.

At just 20 years old, he is the face of the franchise, often an electrifying presence and a potential superstar. In the near future, the former second overall pick should sign a long-term contract worth perhaps $10 million a season.... Read the full article

Brett Murray joined Penn State for the second semester. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Brett Murray happy at Penn State

BUFFALO – In early January, as the upstart Penn State men’s hockey team vaulted up the USCHO poll to the brink of a No. 1 national ranking, the Nittany Lions welcomed a new player, Sabres prospect Brett Murray.

Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky wondered how the NCAA freshman would assimilate to a team enjoying its best season ever.

“For a freshman to come in halfway through the season, I think could be, if the guy ... Read the full article

Randy Sexton talks Saturday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres assistant GM Randy Sexton passionate about new job

BUFFALO – After Randy Sexton completed his duties with the Pittsburgh Penguins last month, the veteran executive caught an early flight from the NHL Draft in Chicago to begin his job as one of the Sabres’ new assistant general managers.

Just weeks after winning his second straight Stanley Cup, Sexton was leaving a strong gig as Pittsburgh’s director of amateur scouting. Still, the opportunity to work with his friend, new Sabres GM Jason Botterill, ... Read the full article

Phil Housley (center) poses with a Sabres jersey beside owner Terry Pegula (left) and general manager Jason Botterill on Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres legend Phil Housley paid many dues to become Buffalo’s coach

BUFFALO – On Thursday, Phil Housley’s 32nd wedding anniversary, he forgot to get his wife, Karin, a card. Sure enough, when the legendary Sabres defenseman returned to his room after meeting with general manager Jason Botterill, he noticed a card from her on the table.

Housley, however, never panicked. He had something better for their special day.

“I said, ‘I’m the new head coach of the Buffalo Sabres,” Housley said Thursday during his introductory news ... Read the full article

Mike Sullivan worked in player development and coached in the AHL before being promoted to Pittsburgh. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill wants coach with Mike Sullivan’s traits

BUFFALO – When Sabres general manager Jason Botterill interviewed Mike Sullivan for Pittsburgh’s AHL coaching vacancy two years ago, thoughts of the candidate’s unsuccessful run as an assistant in Vancouver were fresh in his mind.

“I had an impression,” Botterill said Thursday of Sullivan, who spent a tumultuous season with the Canucks in 2013-14 beside embattled coach John Tortorella.

But Sullivan changed that impression. The former Boston Bruins coach had just spent a year as ... Read the full article

Sabres owner Terry Pegula (left) and new general manager Jason Botteril talk Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill ready to tackle new job

BUFFALO – New general manager Jason Botterill left a darn good gig as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ associate GM to return here and run the Sabres, a reeling team that hasn’t made the playoffs in six years.

On Wednesday, just hours before he was named the eighth GM in Sabres history, Botterill was in Washington watching Pittsburgh beat the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal. The Penguins could be weeks away from earning ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill also played for the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres finally name Jason Botterill GM

BUFFALO – The wait is over. The Sabres this morning named Jason Botterill the eighth general manager in franchise history.

Botterill, a key figure in the construction of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup winners in 2009 and 2016, has been regarded as one of the NHL’s brightest young minds and a future GM for years. He most recently served as Pittsburgh’s associate GM.... Read the full article