Jochen Hecht talks to the media Saturday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Former Sabre Jochen Hecht enjoying life as scout in Germany

BUFFALO – After Jochen Hecht retired from the DEL in 2016, the former Sabres forward spent two seasons coaching with his hometown team, Adler Mannheim.

One of his players, defenseman Mark Stuart, played 673 NHL games over 12 seasons.

Hecht knew him well.

On Nov. 7, 2009, Hecht fought for the fifth and final time in his NHL career against, of all opponents, Stuart, according to hockeyfights.com.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) and Jeff Skinner (53) celebrate a Sabres goal Saturday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres honor past captains, annihilate Devils before raucous crowd

BUFFALO – One by one Rick Jeanneret introduced them, 15 in all, including some of the greatest names in Sabres history.

Gilbert Perreault, the most iconic name, received a rousing standing ovation from the capacity crowd of 19,070. The fans roared for Danny Gare and Jason Pominville, two of the most popular players in franchise history.

Before the Sabres started Saturday’s 7-2 annihilation of the New Jersey Devils, they kicked off the home portion ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville's contract expired after last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Forward depth might keep Sabres from re-signing Jason Pominville

BUFFALO – The odds of winger Jason Pominville starting training camp with the Sabres later this week appear to be slim.

While general manager Jason Botterill said bringing back Pominville, 36, hasn’t been ruled out, right now, the Sabres have plenty of depth up front.

“We’re excited about where we are from a depth standpoint and the competitions we’re going to have,” Botterill said this afternoon inside Harborcenter following the end of the Prospects Challenge. ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville wants to spend more time with his children. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Jason Pominville understands long career could be over

BUFFALO – Right now, it is business as usual for Jason Pominville. The popular winger is preparing for the upcoming season like he has a contract with the Sabres or another NHL team. Earlier this month, he and his family returned to Clarence from their summer home in Montreal.

Pominville, 36, said he feels he owes it to himself to stay ready in case an opportunity materializes he and his family can embrace.

“But ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville scored 16 goals last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jason Pominville could return to Sabres

BUFFALO – Before Jason Pominville returned to Montreal for the summer, the free agent winger and Sabres general manager Jason Botterill discussed his uncertain future.

Nothing was ruled out. They plan to keep the lines of communication open. So, yes, an 11th season with the Sabres is a possibility.

At the end of his 14th NHL campaign in April, Pominville, 36, hardly seemed ready to retire.... Read the full article

Matt Duchene will land a huge contract in free agency. ©2019, Hickling Images

Trades, not free agents, likely Sabres’ best option for improving roster

BUFFALO – The Sabres must examine every option to improve their weak roster, so, yes, general manager Jason Botterill acknowledged, they’ve discussed some of the top free agents on the market.

It’s no secret center Matt Duchene would fill a glaring need as the No. 2 pivot behind Jack Eichel.

For a few years, even as the Sabres kept struggling, their greatest strength was up the middle.

Most teams are lucky to have one top ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner will be 34 when his contract ends. ©2019, Hickling Images

Rewards of Jeff Skinner’s long-term contract outweigh risks for Sabres

Jason Botterill sensed he would be asked a question about 40-goal scorer Jeff Skinner’s new long-term contract, so the Buffalo Sabres general manager decided to answer it himself.

“Probably one of the next questions is going to be about giving an eight-year contract to a 27-year-old,” Botterill said of Skinner’s $72 million deal on a conference call Saturday, a day after awarding the hefty contract. “But there’s always going to be risk sometimes in doing ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel pins the Sabres' woes on the players. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ inability to find coaching stability has contributed to demise

BUFFALO – In less than five seasons with the Sabres, defenseman Zach Bogosian has already played for three coaches.

“Three coaches in this amount of years, you’ve got to really take a long, hard look (at yourself),” Bogosian said Monday, a day after the Sabres fired Phil Housley following an awful second half.

Not long ago, the Sabres were a model of coaching stability. Lindy Ruff lasted through three ownership regimes over 16 years. When ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel blamed the players, not Phil Houlsey. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres surprised by Phil Housley’s firing, believe players at fault

BUFFALO – Just days before Phil Housley’s dismissal, captain Jack Eichel was adamant the Sabres’ woes should be pinned on the players, not the coach.

Eichel’s words, which he repeated this morning, couldn’t save Housley, who was fired Sunday after the Sabres’ sorry finish.

“It’s on us in the room,” Eichel said as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held end-of-season-meetings inside KeyBank Center. “We’re the product on the ice. It’s unfortunate that ... Read the full article

The Sabres have been in a four-month slump. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jack Eichel tries to accentuate positives of rough season

BUFFALO – After suffering eight straight losses, the Sabres enjoyed a rare opportunity to celebrate a little following Thursday’s 5-2 win, just their second victory in 17 outings.

Not only did they thump an opponent, winger Jason Pominville received a rousing ovation after scoring in what could’ve been his final home game with the Sabres, who close their miserable season tonight against the Red Wings in Detroit.

The salute to one of the franchise’s all-time ... Read the full article