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

Dan Bylsma lasted two seasons as coach. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres start over again by firing GM Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma

BUFFALO – Now what? In a stunning move, general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma are gone, victims of the Sabres’ last-place finish.

Tanking, gutting the roster and starting from scratch were supposed to transform the Sabres into perennial contenders.

Instead, they’ve remained a laughingstock. So on Thursday, 11 days after the Sabres completed a disappointing 78-point season in which they regressed, owner Terry Pegula fired Murray and Bylsma.

Obviously, missing the playoffs by ... Read the full article

Tim Murray was hired in January 2014. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres must find direction after firing GM Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma

BUFFALO – Now what? In a stunning move, general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma are gone, victims of the Sabres’ last-place finish.

Tanking, gutting the roster and starting from scratch were supposed to transform the Sabres into perennial contenders.

Instead, they’ve remained a laughingstock. So on Thursday, 11 days after the Sabres completed a disappointing 78-point season in which they regressed, owner Terry Pegula fired Murray and Bylsma.

Obviously, missing the playoffs by ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk figured he was in the Sabres' plans. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Mark Pysyk surprised by trade from Sabres to Panthers

BUFFALO – Fresh off his first full NHL season, Mark Pysyk figured he was in the Sabres’ long-term plans. With the defenseman skating regular minutes in 55 games, the team improved 27 points, moving from last overall to 23rd.

“I wasn’t really banking on anything happening,” Pysyk told the Times Herald by phone Sunday.

Then Saturday morning, as Pysyk slept, his phone began lighting up with calls and texts. Eventually, his fiancé informed ... Read the full article

Dmitri Kulikov fills a big need for the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to pursue Steven Stamkos

BUFFALO – In acquiring Dmitry Kulikov from the Florida Panthers on Saturday morning, the Sabres added the versatile, left-handed defenseman they coveted and filled perhaps their biggest need.

“We have a need for a left-shot D,” Sabres general manager Tim Murray said after the NHL Draft ended.

There are, of course, other holes, including up front, where the Sabres must add more scoring, either through trades or free agency.

“The best that are available at ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has been a strong pick for the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ recent drafts have yielded potential high-end talent

BUFFALO – To thrive in the modern NHL, teams must build through the draft. It’s that simple. The days of loading up with veteran players through free agency or trades are long gone. The league belongs to the 20-somethings now, and if teams draft poorly, they’re doomed.

How good are the Sabres at drafting? Judge for yourself below. Since drafts usually don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at their selections ... Read the full article