Tyler Ennis signed a five-year, $23 million contract last week. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis ready for new challenges after signing 5-year contract

BUFFALO – The setting made Tyler Ennis reflect on a career that almost never started.

The slick Sabres center was about to skate at Callingwood Recreation Centre, the rink around the corner from his childhood home in Edmonton, when word arrived last week his new five-year, $23 million contract had been finalized.

His best friend, Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon, was with him. So were the memories of his struggles as a youngster.

“I was ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart skates during today's three-on-three tournament. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ted Nolan close to hiring new assistant coaches

BUFFALO – While no announcement is imminent, Sabres coach Ted Nolan is close to hiring some assistant coaches, general manager Tim Murray said.

“He’s talking to certain individuals, and he’s at a point where he’s talking contract with a couple individuals,” Murray said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “Now, whether the money and term suits them, I don’t know that. We’re not there yet.”

Following the season, the Sabres fired or reassigned the ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart should be ready for Friday's session. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Top Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart has maintenance day from development camp

BUFFALO – Relax, Sabres fans. Sam Reinhart should be ready for Friday’s three-on-three tournament. The top prospect simply enjoyed a maintenance day from development camp today, a team spokesman said.

No reason was given.

The 18-year-old center, the second overall pick last month, took some hits during Tuesday’s scrimmage. The prospects stayed off the ice for team-building activities Wednesday.

The Sabres had power-skating drills today inside the First Niagara Center. Development camp ends Friday.... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (right) battles Brendan Lemieux during Tuesday's scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Rasmus Ristolainen looking leaner, impressing during development camp

BUFFALO – While other Sabres prospects have packed on weight this summer, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has “lost a couple pounds.”

“Fat, not any muscles,” the 19-year-old Finn said following Tuesday’s development camp scrimmage inside the First Niagara Center.

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Ristolainen showcased some muscle early in the contest, hitting top prospect Sam Reinhart.

“I don’t watch who I’m hitting,” Ristolainen said. “If I get a chance, I hit. That’s all.”

Later on, Ristolainen ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart believes he can play in the NHL soon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sam Reinhart and deep prospect pool show Sabres could have bright future

BUFFALO – Up and down they went side-by-side, each stride drawing eyes inside the First Niagara Center. For a few moments during development camp Monday, Sam Reinhart and Brendan Lemieux, the jewels of the Sabres’ 2014 draft class, skated together, a brief-but-memorable glimpse into the future.

If the Sabres become contenders again someday, this week’s camp could be remembered as one of the building blocks.

Seven first-round picks are participating, including Reinhart, the slick ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart skates today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart wants to play in NHL immediately

BUFFALO – Slick center Sam Reinhart has no problem saying it. The top Sabres prospect, the No. 2 overall pick last month, wants to crack the NHL immediately next season.

“In my mind, I’m thinking if I come and play the way I’m capable of playing, I feel confident I can earn a spot and make an impact next year,” Reinhart said this afternoon following the opening session of development camp inside the First Niagara ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons spent all last season with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Plenty of intriguing Sabres prospects participating in development camp

BUFFALO – Some experts are already predicting the Sabres, a team three months removed from the worst NHL season in recent memory, will be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders in a few years.

Why? Their prospect pool might be the deepest in hockey.

Seven first-round picks are participating in the team’s development camp this week. Seven of the 41 prospects played in the NHL last season, including center Zemgus Girgensons, who spent the entire campaign ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart was smiling Friday at Coca-Cola Field. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign top prospect Sam Reinhart to entry-level deal

BUFFALO – Barely two weeks after drafting him No. 2 overall, the Sabres have signed slick 18-year-old center Sam Reinhart to a three-year, entry-level contract, the club announced today.

The Sabres expect Reinhart, who’s in town for the team’s upcoming development camp, to compete for an NHL roster spot next season.

“We are very excited to have Sam under contract,” Sabres general manager Tim Murray said in a statement. “We look forward to watching ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Sam Reinhart last month. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sam Reinhart and all of Sabres’ 2014 draft choices set to attend development camp next week

BUFFALO – Forty one prospects, including No. 2 pick Sam Reinhart and all of the Sabres’ 2014 draft choices, will be participating in the annual summer development camp from Monday to Friday, the team announced today.

Seven first-round picks are on the roster.

The sessions inside the First Niagara Center are free and open to fans. Here’s a complete schedule from the Sabres:

Monday               On-ice coach’s practice: 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Tuesday... Read the full article

Brian Gionta captained Montreal. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign 4 new players, become top destination in free agency

BUFFALO – For two weeks, Tim Murray bristled when the media asked him about the salary floor. The rebuilding Sabres would reach it, the general manager said. He wasn’t worried. They would lure strong veteran talent when free agency opened.

“But you’re never sure until the clock hits 12,” Murray said Tuesday inside the First Niagara Center.

When the clock hit noon Tuesday and the market opened, the Sabres, a laughingstock last season, quickly became ... Read the full article