Jason Botterill had to run a draft with scouts he barely knows. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill comfortable with scouts for NHL Draft

CHICAGO – When Jason Botterill was named Buffalo Sabres general manager May 11, he entered what he called a “different situation.”

The Sabres also fired amateur scouting director Greg Royce with GM Tim Murray on April 20. Botterill inherited Jeff Crisp, the team’s head amateur scout, and Murray’s old scouts.

So Botterill only had six weeks to prepare for the NHL Draft with Crisp and his new staff, not exactly ideal.... Read the full article

©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres pass on signing Giorgio Estephan

BUFFALO – The Sabres have apparently passed on signing center prospect Giorgio Estephan.

NHL teams had until 5 p.m. today to ink their 2015 non-collegiate draft picks to entry-level contracts. While a late contract announcement could be made, it is highly unlikely.

Estephan, 20, enjoyed a big junior season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2016-17, scoring 35 goals and 89 points in 68 games. He added 11 goals and 24 points in 18 playoff ... 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

Terry Pegula wants to be involved in the Sabres' search for a new general manager. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres owner Terry Pegula wants culture change

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 former general manager and coach.

But after those meetings and talks with players and others in the organization, the Pegulas decided the Sabres needed a massive overhaul following a last-place finish, so Murray and Bylsma were fired Thursday.

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 could have a busy summer ahead of him. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Tim Murray ready to make moves at NHL Draft

BUFFALO – In his two and a half years as general manager, Tim Murray has developed a well-deserved reputation for wheeling and dealing to rebuild the Sabres, a team the previous regime gutted into a laughingstock.

So it’s only natural to assume Murray, who has the Sabres positioned to contend for their first playoff spot since 2011, will be active again at the NHL Draft his team is hosting this weekend, starting with tonight’s first ... Read the full article

Devante Stephens was drafted in the fifth round. ©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres feel they have steal in prospect Devante Stephens

SUNRISE, Fla. – For a few days during his year away from the NHL, Buffalo Sabres coach Dan Bylsma helped out a former teammate, Kelowna Rockets coach Dan Lambert, and ran some practices for the Western Hockey League team.

At least one youngster, Devante Stephens, a 6-foot-1, 171-pound defenseman the Sabres drafted in the fifth round, 155th overall on Saturday, caught his eye. Bylsma didn’t know it then, but Buffalo had a strong interest ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle enjoyed his visit to Buffalo. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres draft pick Brendan Guhle feels comfortable in Buffalo

SUNRISE, Fla. – Brendan Guhle left the NHL Scouting Combine earlier this month in Buffalo feeling good about his future. The defenseman had some impressive pre-draft workouts and felt he interviewed well with the Sabres. He also enjoyed seeing sights around the city during his brief stay.

The 6-foot-1, 184-pound Guhle left Buffalo feeling good about his chances of returning.

Lucky for him, he’ll be visiting again real soon. The Sabres selected the 17-year-old in ... Read the full article

Kevin Devine has been with the Sabres 17 years. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres shake up front office again, reassign Kevin Devine and promote Randy Cunneyworth

BUFFALO – Kevin Devine has been reassigned to director of player personnel, one of several front office changes the Sabres announced today.

Devine served as assistant general manager under former GM Darcy Regier.

In addition, Randy Cunneyworth has been named player development coach. Cunneyworth, Rochester’s former coach, mostly worked in player development with the AHL club last season. Dennis Miller, the old player development coach, is still with the organization, a team spokesman said.

Meanwhile, ... Read the full article

Tim Murray, who's scouting this week in Lake Placid, hired his own people. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres change up front office, name new coaching staff

BUFFALO – Seven months after becoming Sabres general manager, Tim Murray has put his stamp on the front office, hiring a new assistant GM and two scouting directors.

Mark Jakubowski has been promoted to Murray’s assistant, the team announced Monday. Jakubowski was the assistant to the GM under Darcy Regier, Murray’s predecessor. Rob Murphy has been named scouting director. Greg Royce has been named amateur scouting director. Murray worked with Murphy and Royce with the ... Read the full article