Henrik Tallinder left the Sabres in 2010. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres bring back Henrik Tallinder from Devils

BUFFALO – Three years ago, Henrik Tallinder sensed his Sabres career was ending. Despite a strong season helping then-rookie Tyler Myers develop into of the NHL’s top defensemen, the Swede knew the team had little interest in awarding him a long-term contract.

So when free agency opened, Tallinder signed a four-year, $13.5 million deal with the New Jersey Devils.

Had the Sabres offered even three years to Tallinder, he said he might’ve considered staying with ... Read the full article

Two years ago, the Sabres signed Ville Leino, a winger, to a six-year, $27 million contract to play center. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres likely won’t pursue big names during free agency

BUFFALO – The focus during free agency, general manager Darcy Regier said, will be on adding supporting pieces to the Sabres’ younger core group. The crazy spending of the past appears to be over, at least for this summer.

So, when free agency opens at noon today, don’t expect the Sabres to wildly overpay or overreach for any Ville Leino-types again. And don’t expect them to throw tens of millions of dollars at any ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier should be busy today. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With 10 picks and stars to deal, draft day could dramatically change rebuilding Sabres

NEWARK, N.J. – By tonight, following what promises to be a busy, even chaotic day at the NHL Entry Draft inside the Prudential Center, the Buffalo Sabres could be radically reshaped for the future.

With four of the first 52 picks in a deep draft, including the eighth and 16th selections, the Sabres should nab some elite prospects. But general manager Darcy Regier’s rebuild goes beyond simply adding draft picks.

Starting goalie Ryan Miller ... Read the full article

Terry Pegula rarely speaks about his team. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres owner Pegula defends Regier, wants Miller and Vanek back

BUFFALO – Terry Pegula has finally spoken again.

In a rare “interview,” the Sabres owner fielded questions on his team’s radio program, “Sabres Hockey Hotline,” this morning, chatting 25 minutes by phone with hosts and team employees Kevin Sylvester and Andrew Peters.

Most notably, Pegula defended general manager Darcy Regier, whose teams have missed the playoffs the last two seasons, asking, “What’s he done wrong?” Pegula said he wants Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek, ... Read the full article

Toronto star Joffrey Lupul skates Monday morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Upstart Leafs used Sabres’ abandoned philosophies as blueprint to success

TORONTO – Think about it, Buffalo Sabres fans, a couple of years ago, your team switched identities with the hated, mega-market Maple Leafs.

As the small-market Sabres morphed into a free-spending, win-at-all-costs club under new owner Terry Pegula, the Leafs began embracing development and patience, the Sabres’ old and successful philosophies.

The Leafs’ major volte-face has quickly paid off. They finished fifth this season, their highest spot since 2003-04.

Inside a noisy Air Canada Centre ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier is putting the Stanley Cup, the ultimate goal, ahead of simply reaching the postseason. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Regier warns Sabres’ Stanley Cup goal ‘may require some suffering’

BUFFALO – The Sabres want their rabid fan base to understand something, general manager Darcy Regier said. The organization’s new philosophy – one that embraces building for a Stanley Cup, not simply making the playoffs – could require some suffering.

“We have gone with more determination in a very distinct direction, which is about the Stanley Cup,” Regier said Monday during a contentious and even bizarre 46-minute season-ending news conference inside the First Niagara Center. ... Read the full article

Ted Black jabbed with reporters Monday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres president Black grilled at season-ending news conference

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ season-ending news conference Monday started innocently enough.

Sabres president Ted Black said Darcy Regier would be returning as general manager. Regier talked about interim coach Ron Rolston’s future, which will be determined later.

But that tranquility only lasted briefly. The atmosphere inside the cramped First Niagara Center press room quickly became contentious.

Within minutes, reporters started hammering Black on the Sabres’ decision to announce their 4 percent season-ticket increase on Friday, ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier said his goal is to win a Stanley Cup, not simply make the postseason. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Regier wants Sabres fans to know Stanley Cup goal could cause ‘suffering’

BUFFALO – The Sabres want their rabid fan base to understand something, general manager Darcy Regier said. The organization’s new philosophy – one that embraces building for a Stanley Cup, not simply making the playoffs – could require some suffering.

“We have gone with more determination in a very distinct direction, which is about the Stanley Cup,” Regier said this afternoon during a contentious and even bizarre 46-minute season-ending news conference inside the First Niagara ... Read the full article

Steve Ott has missed the playoffs five straight seasons. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres believe they have plenty to play for after playoff elimination

BUFFALO – What’s left for the Sabres now? Three meaningless games, that’s it. With their slim playoff chances smothered Friday, starting with tonight’s home contest against the Winnipeg Jets, the Sabres are skating for pride and hoping to play a spoiler role.

As senior advisor Ken Sawyer, owner Terry Pegula’s close confidant, watched closely from the stands, a rarity, the Sabres practiced quietly Sunday for the first time since an ugly 8-4 loss to the ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville became a Sabres regular in 2005-06. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres thinking long-term after trading captain Pominville to Wild

BUFFALO – Instead of trading captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild before the deadline Wednesday, the 13th-place Sabres could’ve tried staying in the playoff chase and acquiring another player to make a run at eighth place, general manager Darcy Regier said.

But the Sabres, whose owner, Terry Pegula, has spent tens of millions of dollars pursuing his championship dream, no longer embrace that kind of philosophy.

They’ve started thinking long-term.

“The preference ... Read the full article