Alexander Nylander is the Sabres' top prospect in Rochester. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill plans to make Rochester a priority

BUFFALO – Very quietly, general manager Jason Botterill played a key role in the development of the talent that once made the Sabres a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Botterill played three seasons with the Rochester Americans, piling up goals while helping prospects like Paul Gaustad, Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville, Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek acclimate to the AHL and eventually graduate to the Sabres.... Read the full article

Sabres owner Terry Pegula (left) and new general manager Jason Botteril talk Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill ready to tackle new job

BUFFALO – New general manager Jason Botterill left a darn good gig as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ associate GM to return here and run the Sabres, a reeling team that hasn’t made the playoffs in six years.

On Wednesday, just hours before he was named the eighth GM in Sabres history, Botterill was in Washington watching Pittsburgh beat the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal. The Penguins could be weeks away from earning ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill talks this afternoon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres introduce Jason Botterill as GM

BUFFALO – New general manager Jason Botterill left a darn good gig as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ associate GM to return here and run the Sabres, one of the NHL’s perennial dregs.

On Wednesday, just hours before he was named the eighth GM in Sabres history, Botterill was in Washington watching the Penguins beat the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.... Read the full article

Jason Botterill also played for the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres finally name Jason Botterill GM

BUFFALO – The wait is over. The Sabres this morning named Jason Botterill the eighth general manager in franchise history.

Botterill, a key figure in the construction of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup winners in 2009 and 2016, has been regarded as one of the NHL’s brightest young minds and a future GM for years. He most recently served as Pittsburgh’s associate GM.... Read the full article

Jason Botterill played 36 games with the Sabres. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former teammate: Jason Botterill would give Sabres GM with ‘all the right traits’

BUFFALO – More than 20 years ago, as Jason Botterill piled up goals at the University of Michigan and helped the Wolverines win an NCAA title, Bubba Berenzweig knew his friend and teammate possessed other special qualities that would help him accomplish great things off the ice someday.

Even back in the mid-1990s, Berenzweig sensed Botterill, now the Pittsburgh Penguins’ associate general manager, might run an NHL team someday.

“He’s freaking brilliant,” Berenzweig said of ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark played 55 games in Rochester this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Heavy workload helped Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark with Amerks

ROCHESTER – In what quickly became another rough season, one bright spot emerged for the Americans, workhorse Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark.

Ullmark’s numbers won’t wow you. In an AHL-high 55 games, the Swede’s 2.87 goals-against average ranked 31st in the league. His .909 save percentage ranked 24th.

But Ullmark, 23, tended goal for a sixth-place club with a porous defense. He faced a league-high 1,678 shots – 31 a contest and 136 ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson closed the season in Rochester. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie prospect Jonas Johansson learning North American game

ROCHESTER – With the Buffalo Sabres boasting some of hockey’s best goalie prospects, it can be easy for Jonas Johansson to get overlooked.

After all, Linus Ullmark morphed into one of the AHL best goalies this season, becoming the Rochester Americans’ backbone and MVP. Two years into his North American career, the Swede looks ready to graduate to Buffalo.

The Sabres also own the rights to Notre Dame junior Cal Petersen, one of the ... Read the full article

A lower-back bruise limited Dmitry Kulikov all season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres saw late glimpses of Dmitry Kulikov’s talents

BUFFALO – Three weeks ago, after months of waiting, Sabres general manager Tim Murray finally caught some glimpses of defenseman Dmitry Kulikov’s slick talents.

First, manning a point on the power play, Kulikov fed Jack Eichel a “perfect one-time pass right on the tape,” Murray said.

“Right where it should be, and it’s a goal,” he said Wednesday during his end-of-season news conference inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel was the Sabres' leading scorer this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Disappointing season leaves Sabres’ Jack Eichel seething

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel looked like he would’ve rather been anywhere else. The Sabres center was restless throughout his six-minute chat with the media Monday, mostly giving terse statements and looking around as he stood at a podium.

Eichel, 20, isn’t handling the Sabres’ last-place finish in the Atlantic Division – they also ended 2016-17 an embarrassing 15th in the 16-team Eastern Conference – very well.

“It’s tough,” a seething Eichel said inside KeyBank Center ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe has been one of the Sabres' best defensemen all season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jake McCabe on benching: ‘I’m not going to lose sleep over it’

BUFFALO – On Wednesday, the same night the Sabres honored Jake McCabe as their Unsung Hero, coach Dan Bylsma scratched the defenseman because of some recent gaffes.

McCabe has morphed into a top contributor this season, skating almost 21 minutes a night, sometimes on the first pair. So getting benched, even after a poor stretch, was a bit surprising.

“I’m not going to lose sleep over it,” a curt McCabe said this morning inside HarborCenter. ... Read the full article