Randy Sexton (left) and Jason Botterill spent three years with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Disconnect with Pegulas costs Jason Botterill job as Sabres GM

If the NHL could’ve held its draft as scheduled next week, Jason Botterill would likely still be employed as the Buffalo Sabres’ general manager. But the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to postpone the annual event until the fall.

The extra time gave Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula an opportunity to discuss and plan the team’s future – “Really start digging in,” Kim Pegula said on a Zoom call Tuesday to discuss Botterill’s firing ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko spent three seasons in the Sabres organization. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Former Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko signs with Blue Jackets

Former Buffalo Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko has landed with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Following three seasons in the KHL starring for CSKA Moscow, Grigorenko today signed a one-year contract worth $1.2 million, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

The 25-year-old Russian last played in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche in 2016-17.... Read the full article

Vladimir Tsyplakov played 70 games with the Sabres. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Reports: Former Sabre Vladimir Tsyplakov passes away at 50

Former Buffalo Sabres forward Vladimir Tsyplakov has passed away, according to multiple reports. He was 50.

Tsyplakov spent six seasons in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings and Sabres, compiling 69 goals and 170 points in 331 games. He scored 13 goals and 33 points in 70 regular-season games with the Sabres.

Former general manager Darcy Regier acquired Tsyplakov from the Kings for an eighth-round midway through the 1999-00 season. He remained with ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson is one of the longest-tenured Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Poor season forced Sabres’ Johan Larsson to change

BUFFALO – Instead of talking about Johan Larsson’s rough season, Sabres coach Phil Housley chose to praise the Swedish center for the transformations he has made.

Larsson struggled mightily in 2017-18, enduring his worst NHL campaign. How bad was he? His wretched minus-30 was the fourth-worst rating among NHL forwards. He scored two of his career-low four goals into empty nets.

But Larsson, 26, accepted Housley and general manager Jason Botterill’s challenge to change ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark was a sixth-round pick in 2012. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ inability to find steals in NHL Draft contributed to demise

BUFFALO – Nine years ago, the Sabres, whose knack for unearthing mid- and late-round draft gems helped them morph into a Stanley Cup contender earlier in the decade, found another undervalued youngster.

When the Sabres selected Marcus Foligno in the fourth round, 104th overall, he was simply a talented kid with a familiar name.

But the son of former Sabres captain Mike Foligno would quickly develop into one of junior hockey’s top forward prospects.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville played five seasons in Minnesota. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jason Pominville thrilled to return to Sabres, Buffalo

BUFFALO – After Jason Pominville learned he had been traded back to the Sabres today, like any good parent, he began worrying about how his children would react.

But right away, Jayden, his 7-year-old son, and Kaylee, his 5-year-old daughter, eased his fears.

“My little guy already has his jersey on right now, so he’s pumped and we’re excited,” Pominville said shortly after the Sabres reacquired him from the Minnesota Wild. “I couldn’t be happier ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel just completed a 57-point season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Report: Sabres start contract extension discussions with Jack Eichel

The Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel’s camp have started “preliminary discussions” about a contract extension for the star center, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The 20-year-old has one year with a base salary of $925,000 left on his entry-level deal. He can’t sign an extension until July 1.

If superstar Connor McDavid’s reported new contract – an eight-year deal with an average annual value of $13.25 million – is any indication, Eichel will break the ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill has only been on the job since last month. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill front and center at NHL Draft

CHICAGO – We don’t have a book on Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill yet. We don’t know his tendencies, what kind of team he truly wants to build or which players he values over others.

Botterill, widely regarded as one of the NHL’s brightest young minds, has been on the job 43 days. So far, the 41-year-old has made only minor deals, acquiring defenseman Nathan Beaulieu and reaching an agreement with the expansion ... Read the full article

George McPhee can stock Vegas with strong talent. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

NHL Expansion Draft has evolved; Sabres could lose William Carrier

BUFFALO – Seventeen years ago, as president and general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Doug MacLean spent almost a year preparing for the NHL Expansion Draft.

“Hundreds and hundreds of hours went into it,” MacLean, now an analyst for Sportsnet, told the Times Herald by phone Saturday.... 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