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

Jason Botterill played 36 games with the Sabres. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former teammate: Jason Botterill would give Sabres GM with ‘all the right traits’

BUFFALO – More than 20 years ago, as Jason Botterill piled up goals at the University of Michigan and helped the Wolverines win an NCAA title, Bubba Berenzweig knew his friend and teammate possessed other special qualities that would help him accomplish great things off the ice someday.

Even back in the mid-1990s, Berenzweig sensed Botterill, now the Pittsburgh Penguins’ associate general manager, might run an NHL team someday.

“He’s freaking brilliant,” Berenzweig said of ... Read the full article

Craig Button believes the Sabres have plenty of assets. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Analyst: Sabres’ next GM entering ‘promising’ gig

BUFFALO – Despite inheriting a last-place club, the Sabres’ next general manager will also be entering a “promising” job, said former NHL GM Craig Button.

Why? The Sabres already possess two cornerstones at critical positions.

“When you start with (center) Jack Eichel and you’ve got a (defenseman like) Rasmus Ristolainen, you’ve got the framework for something to really move significantly ahead with,” said Button, the Calgary Flames’ GM for three years in the early ... Read the full article

Terry Pegula fired his coach and his general manager Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Owner Terry Pegula hopes overhaul changes Sabres

BUFFALO – Before Sabres owner Terry Pegula, and his wife, Kim, spoke in depth with Tim Murray and Dan Bylsma, they hadn’t decided to fire their general manager and coach.

But after those separate meetings and talks with players and others in the organization, the Pegulas determined the Sabres needed a massive overhaul and culture change, so Murray and Bylsma were let go Thursday in a shocking move.

What made them reach that decision?... Read the full article

Terry Pegula wants to be involved in the Sabres' search for a new general manager. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres owner Terry Pegula wants culture change

BUFFALO – Before Sabres owner Terry Pegula, and his wife, Kim, spoke in depth with Tim Murray and Dan Bylsma, they hadn’t decided to fire their former general manager and coach.

But after those meetings and talks with players and others in the organization, the Pegulas decided the Sabres needed a massive overhaul following a last-place finish, so Murray and Bylsma were fired Thursday.

What made them reach that decision?... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma lasted two seasons as coach. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres start over again by firing GM Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma

BUFFALO – Now what? In a stunning move, general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma are gone, victims of the Sabres’ last-place finish.

Tanking, gutting the roster and starting from scratch were supposed to transform the Sabres into perennial contenders.

Instead, they’ve remained a laughingstock. So on Thursday, 11 days after the Sabres completed a disappointing 78-point season in which they regressed, owner Terry Pegula fired Murray and Bylsma.

Obviously, missing the playoffs by ... Read the full article

Tim Murray was fired Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres need to find new GM soon

BUFFALO – Given the speed at which the offseason moves, the Sabres must find a new general manager soon, perhaps in the next month, to replace Tim Murray, who was fired with coach Dan Bylsma on Thursday.

Of course, given owner Terry Pegula’s track record, would the Sabres even hire a GM first?

Remember, Pegula hired Pat LaFontaine as the team’s president of hockey operations in November 2013. LaFontaine lasted less than four months ... Read the full article