Tyler Ennis has a four-game point streak. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis showcasing tenacity

BUFFALO – To illustrate Tyler Ennis’ growing comfort and tenacity, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma cited a defensive play, not a slick offensive move, the speedy winger made late in Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime win against San Jose.

Shortly after the Sabres tied the contest, they nearly got caught without a defenseman during a change. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Ennis suddenly had to win a puck battle.

“If he doesn’t … there’s a real good chance it’s going ... Read the full article

Derek Grant began the season with the Sabres. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Full Sabres roster pushed Derek Grant to Amerks; Goalie Anders Nilsson to start

BUFFALO – OK, so if the Sabres need a fourth-line center – they’ve been using Nick Deslauriers sparingly in that spot, forcing them to essentially use only three trios – why did they assign Derek Grant to the Rochester Americans?

When the Sabres reclaimed Grant on waivers Monday, it was assumed they would utilize him as their No. 4 pivot. After all, Grant played 35 games in that role before the Nashville Predators claimed him ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has gotten off to a hot start. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo already paying dividends

BUFFALO – Kyle Okposo’s quick acclimation and productive start have been welcomed by the Sabres, whose previous high-priced free agents quickly turned into disasters.

Remember Christian Ehrhoff? How about Ville Leino? Both lasted three seasons before the Sabres exercised buyouts. Both are out of the NHL, now cautionary tales for the dangers of free agency.

The rest of Ehrhoff’s 10-year, $40 million contact is being paid through 2027-28. The remainder of Leino’s six-year, ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville spent eight seasons with the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Wild’s Jason Pominville still versatile presence

BUFFALO – Minnesota Wild winger Jason Pominville thought for a moment, scanned his mind for some names. The former Sabres captain came up with two.

“Uh, like, Foligno, Ennis,” Pominville said this Thursday prior to the Wild’s 4-0 win inside KeyBank Center. “Umm, that might be it.”

That’s it. Only two players from Pominville’s long tenure here, which ended April 3, 2013, are still with the Sabres: wingers Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno.

“There’s ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville's role has changed in recent seasons. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres captain Jason Pominville in new phase of career

BUFFALO – Minnesota Wild winger Jason Pominville thought for a moment, scanned his mind for some names. The former Sabres captain came up with two.

“Uh, like, Foligno, Ennis,” Pominville said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “Umm, that might be it.”

That’s it. Only two players from Pominville’s long tenure here, which ended April 3, 2013, are still with the Sabres: wingers Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno.

“There’s not a lot of guys ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) fends off Minnesota's Marco Scandella on Saturday afternoon. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blow late lead, lose to Wild in shootout

BUFFALO – Finally, thanks to rookie Jack Eichel’s score, it appeared the Sabres’ first shootout goal in months would help them eke out a win after blowing a late lead against the Minnesota Wild.

Eichel, just 66 games into his career, already has a commanding on-ice presence. His exploits create excitement and momentum, and his first NHL shootout goal in four tries had the capacity crowd of 19,070 fans inside the First Niagara Center buzzing ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) celebrates his first-period goal Sunday afternoon. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Sam Reinhart continues hot streak

BUFFALO – Many days, long after most of their Sabres teammates have finished practicing, center Ryan O’Reilly and winger Sam Reinhart stay on the ice and work on tip drills.

O’Reilly, an adroit passer, has probably fed Reinhart thousands of pucks this season, helping the rookie quickly morph into a supreme net-front presence.

The chemistry they’ve quickly developed was on display 17:14 into the Sabres’ 4-1 win Sunday afternoon against the Colorado Avalanche, when Reinhart ... Read the full article

Phil Varone has been a healthy scratch this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Phil Varone one of Amerks caught in veteran crunch

ROCHESTER – One of the oddest situations in the minors is unfolding with the AHL Americans, the Buffalo Sabres’ high-priced affiliate. The club has too many veterans, meaning some notable talent earning six figures has been forced to sit out to comply with league development rules.

The Amerks scratched Jerry D’Amigo and Patrick Kaleta, two forwards with 379 games of NHL experience, Friday. Forward Matt Ellis, an alternate captain less than a year removed ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff's Stars lead the NHL with 15 wins. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Lindy Ruff returns to Buffalo with elite Stars team

BUFFALO – A scorching start buoyed by the NHL’s best offense. Young superstar talent. Terrific depth.

When did the Dallas Stars’ Lindy Ruff have all that before? Nine years ago, when Ruff coached a slick young Sabres team to the 2006-07 Eastern Conference final following a 113-point regular season.

Back then, Ruff had a stacked club led by co-captains Daniel Briere and Chris Drury and young talent like Brian Campbell, Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville and ... Read the full article

Randy Cunneyworth talks Wednesday. ©2015, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Randy Cunneyworth happy to be back coaching Amerks

ROCHESTER – For three years, wherever Randy Cunneyworth went, he was asked the same question.

“I don’t think there was a person I came across that didn’t mention, ‘Are you going to get back into coaching or not?’” Cunneyworth recalled Wednesday after being introduced as the Rochester Americans’ new coach inside the Blue Cross War Memorial.

Cunneyworth enjoyed his player development job with the Buffalo Sabres – “I’m into whatever I’m doing,” he said – ... Read the full article