Steve Ott knows the Sabres need help to make the playoffs. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know a loss to Rangers would likely end playoff hopes

BUFFALO – The Sabres have shattered the widespread belief they would finish a lost season meekly and perhaps contend for a lottery pick instead of making an unlikely run at the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.

In dealing captain Jason Pominville and two other respected veterans for draft picks and prospects prior to the April 3 trade deadline, general manager Darcy Regier openly talked about the future and shifting the focus to next season.

The ... Read the full article

Tyler Myers played 39 games this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres down to five defensemen after Myers’ season-ending leg injury

BUFFALO – With 2:17 left in the second period of Thursday’s dismal 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers absorbed P.K. Subban’s wicked one-timer from the point with his leg.

After blocking the lethal shot, Myers hobbled off seconds later when the Canadiens converted their five-on-three power play.

The 23-year-old finished the game, though, skating 25:37, his third-highest total this season, while blocking a game-high four shots.

Following the contest, Myers found ... Read the full article

Tyler Myers' season ended Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Myers’ season-ending leg injury leaves Sabres’ defense depleted

BUFFALO – With 2:17 left in the second period of Thursday’s dismal 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers laid out on the ice, blocking P.K. Subban’s wicked one-timer from the point.

Myers got up and hobbled off seconds later after the Canadiens scored on the five-on-three power play.

The 23-year-old finished the game, though, skating 25:37, his third-highest total this season, while blocking a game-high four shots.

Following the game, Myers ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis was recently named Rochester's captain. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks captain Ellis transitioning from Sabres back to AHL

BUFFALO – Reminders of the Sabres’ recent roster overhaul are all over Matt Ellis’ Clarence neighborhood.

Each day, the hardworking forward drives by “For Sale” signs in front of the homes Jordan Leopold and Jason Pominville recently left. When Ellis picks up neighbor Cody McCormick, instead of going downtown, the teammates drive 75 miles down the thruway to Rochester, their new playing home.

“The only one left in our neighborhood is (Thomas Vanek),” Ellis, ... Read the full article

Adam Pardy should stay in the NHL the rest of this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ new defense corps locking down, helping keep slim playoff hopes alive

BUFFALO – There are some perks to hotel life, Adam Pardy said. Each day, a maid makes his bed and cleans his room. That’s not a bad thing, right?

For three months, the defenseman has been living out of a suitcase while shuttling between the Sabres and the Rochester Americans, an experience Pardy chalks up to being “one of those years.”

“It (stinks), but it is what it is,” Pardy said about hotel living Saturday ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek drove Jason Pominville to the airport Thursday morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know Pominville’s departure could only be first major move

BUFFALO – Darcy Regier’s strong words stuck with Thomas Vanek. Prior to Saturday, the general manager had never publicly made any of his Sabres available to other teams during his long tenure. At that point, four days before trade deadline, the slick winger knew major changes could hit the Sabres.

Sure enough, Regier dealt captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday for two prospects and two draft picks.

It could just be the ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville played his first game with the Wild on Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Pominville calls trade from Sabres ‘a shock,’ makes Wild debut

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville felt his 11-year run with the Sabres organization could be ending. Before Wednesday’s trade deadline, the struggling team asked its captain to submit a list of eight clubs he could refuse a trade to. The Sabres, a colossal disappointment this season, seemed ripe for a major shakeup.

Still, when Sabres general manager Darcy Regier called Wednesday and said he had been traded to Minnesota, the star winger was shocked.

“It’s still ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek wants to talk to management. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Close friends sad to see Pominville leave Sabres; Vanek unsure about future

BUFFALO – After trading captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild, general manager Darcy Regier said the Sabres’ reconstruction could take some time.

Slick winger Thomas Vanek recently said he “would probably look in the other direction” if the Sabres had a two- or three-year plan.

So, did Wednesday’s deal, coupled with earlier trades of defensemen Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr, change Vanek’s mind?

“Probably, I mean, obviously we gave up three good players ... 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

Luke Adam spent more than a year in the minors. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Adam thrilled to be back in NHL after long wait

PITTSBURGH – One day this winter, Luke Adam finally had enough. The 22-year-old cleared his head and stopped wondering about his future with the Buffalo Sabres.

In just a few months last season, Adam suffered a stunning decline, morphing from a first-line NHL scoring threat into a forgotten AHL player repeatedly bypassed for recalls.

But fretting wasn’t helping Adam’s career.

“That’s what got me in trouble,” Adam said Tuesday prior to the Sabres’ 4-1 win ... Read the full article