Rasmus Dahlin has the Sabres and their fans excited. ©2018, Hickling Images

Coveted prospect Rasmus Dahlin will make Sabres relevant again

TORONTO – With the bounce of a ball, the Buffalo Sabres, one of the NHL’s laughingstocks for years, suddenly became relevant again.

Years from now, winning Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery could be remembered as a seminal moment in franchise history.

When the Sabres pick Rasmus Dahlin first overall June 22 in Dallas, they will possess arguably the best defense prospect in decades. The Swede has superstar potential. Even at 18 years old – if you ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin will instantly improve the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres win NHL Draft Lottery, right to select Rasmus Dahlin

TORONTO – Few expected this would happen. Sure, thanks to their last-place finish, the Buffalo Sabres owned the highest odds – just 18.5 percent – for the first overall pick in Saturday’ NHL Draft Lottery.

But Buffalo teams don’t have any luck, right? The Sabres also had the best odds in 2014 and 2015 and lost the lottery both times.

Then at 10:14 p.m. Saturday inside the CBC building, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly revealed ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin is the surefire top selection. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres have chance at No. 1 overall pick in NHL Draft Lottery

TORONTO – The Buffalo Sabres will have one of the top three picks in the upcoming NHL Draft.

Thanks to their last-place finish, the Sabres have the highest odds – just 18.5 percent – for the first overall pick in tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery.

When the league announced the 15th through fourth picks before the San Jose Sharks/Vegas Golden Knights second-round playoff tilt, the Sabres weren’t among them. They couldn’t have fallen past the fourth ... Read the full article

Phil Housley won 25 games as a rookie coach. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: GM Jason Botterill supports coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – It’s unlikely legendary coaches Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman could’ve done much with the Sabres this season. A dearth of talent helped them finish 31st overall.

Still, following such a miserable campaign, the question had to be asked: will Phil Housley be general manager Jason Botterill’s coach again next season?

“One-hundred percent Phil Housley will be our coach next year,” Botterill said Wednesday inside KeyBank Center. “I have certainly enjoyed working with Phil ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill isn't used to losing. ©2018, Hickling Images

Awful season leaves Sabres GM Jason Botterill seething

BUFFALO – Jason Botterill is usually measured in his comments, keeping his emotions in check. But discussing the Sabres’ wretched 31st-place finish made the rookie general manager seethe.

The Sabres hired Botterill from Pittsburgh, where he won three Stanley Cups in 10 seasons and never missed the playoffs.

So a lost season in which the Sabres won 25 games and earned a meager 62 points is humbling for Botterill.... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly wants to improve his mental toughness. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ constant losing sapped Ryan O’Reilly’s love for hockey

BUFFALO – Constant losing over three seasons has taken such a large toll on Ryan O’Reilly the center said he lost his love for hockey at times as the Sabres trudged to the NHL’s worst record this season.

Yes, you read that correctly. O’Reilly made the stunning comment Monday morning as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held exit interviews following their wretched 31st-place finish.

To O’Reilly, the Sabres are “stuck in this mindset ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons has experienced plenty of losing with the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Last-place Sabres never got on track during lost season

BUFFALO – Way back on opening night, Oct. 5, the Sabres caused KeyBank Center to buzz with excitement for one of the few times in recent memory.

The Sabres’ new regime of coach Phil Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman and Buffalo legend, and general manager Jason Botterill, who helped construct three Stanley Cup winners in Pittsburgh, had energized the fan base and offered hope.

Perhaps the Sabres wouldn’t make the playoffs in 2017-18, but ... Read the full article

Auston Matthews scored two goals and added a nifty assist Monday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres can’t match Maple Leafs’ skill

TORONTO – The NHL’s worst team can certainly tease you. Before Monday’s 5-2 loss, in the last week, the Buffalo Sabres had beaten the Nashville Predators and the Maple Leafs, two heavyweights.

A week ago, the Sabres defeated the 48-win Maple Leafs here 3-2, ending their 13-game home winning streak. On Saturday, the Sabres triumphed 7-4 in Nashville, kicking around the league’s best team.

But the Sabres have demonstrated little consistency this trying season. Dreadful ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles Montreal's Nick Deslauriers on March 23. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart never doubted talents in tough times

TORONTO – In the toughest days of his season, as Sam Reinhart endured goal droughts of 10 and 15 games, the Buffalo Sabres winger said he never changed a thing.

Reinhart, 22, kept preparing the same way each day. Thirty-eight games into his third NHL season, he had mustered only five goals and 11 points.

But Reinhart trusted his approach would pay dividends.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart scored three goals Saturday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart stayed course during rough stretch

TORONTO – In the toughest days of his season, as Sam Reinhart endured goal droughts of 10 and 15 games, the Buffalo Sabres winger said he never changed a thing.

Reinhart, 22, kept preparing the same way each day. Thirty-eight games into his third NHL season, he had mustered only five goals and 11 points.

But Reinhart trusted his approach would pay dividends.... Read the full article