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 fired Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres need to find new GM soon

BUFFALO – Given the speed at which the offseason moves, the Sabres must find a new general manager soon, perhaps in the next month, to replace Tim Murray, who was fired with coach Dan Bylsma on Thursday.

Of course, given owner Terry Pegula’s track record, would the Sabres even hire a GM first?

Remember, Pegula hired Pat LaFontaine as the team’s president of hockey operations in November 2013. LaFontaine lasted less than four months ... 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

Tyler Ennis was all smiles after scoring early Monday afternoon. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis scores early in return, attempts lacrosse-style goal

BUFFALO – In Monday afternoon’s warm-ups, Sabres winger Tyler Ennis said he felt “rusty.” Sitting out 30 straight games following groin surgery, of course, will do that.

So the team’s longest-tenured player could’ve been forgiven if he didn’t showcase some of his usual creativity and speed for a period or two against the Dallas Stars.

Then on Ennis’ first shift since Nov. 7, he pounced on John Klingberg’s errant pass, skated a few strides into ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis has missed 30 games following groin surgery. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know they must develop consistency

BUFFALO – When goalie Robin Lehner spent a few days at home recovering from the flu last week, the young veteran developed a different perspective on the Sabres’ struggles watching two road losses from his couch.

“Playing the game or being on the bench, it’s one thing,” Lehner said Sunday inside KeyBank Center. “But when you sit down on the couch and you turn on the TV, you kind of get a little perspective on ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Philippe Boucher 13th overall in 1991. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Memories of 1991 NHL Draft in Buffalo special for former Sabres

BUFFALO – As Philippe Boucher approached Buffalo on his eight-hour drive from Quebec City on Wednesday, the 25th anniversary of the 1991 NHL Draft, the former Sabres defenseman sounded nostalgic recalling his life-changing day at Memorial Auditorium.

“To be drafted by Buffalo in Buffalo obviously added to that day,” Boucher said by phone.

Boucher watched the NHL Draft on Friday from the First Niagara Center stands as youngsters experienced the same emotions he felt ... Read the full article

Jay McKee was recently promoted. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres standout Jay McKee ready for head coaching job

The tweets are gone now, most likely casualties of Jay McKee’s budding new career.

In between gigs a few years ago, before McKee, 38, quickly ascended up the junior coaching ladder, the popular former Buffalo Sabres defenseman often eschewed the mundane words and pictures many ex-athletes tweet and utilized Twitter to showcase his lively personality.

It was all, of course, harmless fun for McKee, who on May 12 was named coach of the Kitchener Rangers. ... Read the full article

Daniel Briere retired in August. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres star Daniel Briere enjoying retirement

BUFFALO – Among the long-retired NHL talent and beer leaguers skating in the Corporate Challenge tournament the Sabres recently hosted, an undersized, boyish-looking 38-year-old with some slick moves and soft hands stood out.

The scene, in fact, looked pretty odd: former co-captain Daniel Briere, on the same ice he had once starred for the Sabres, playing in what amounted to an alumni game with some locals.

Six months after retiring, Briere is enjoying ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark allowed an early goal Tuesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Late overturned goal costs Sabres in loss to Stars

BUFFALO – As the 18,101 fans roared and celebrated a late Sabres comeback that seemed improbable just minutes earlier Tuesday, back on the bench, coach Dan Bylsma knew Sam Reinhart’s tying power-play goal wouldn’t count.

“I knew it was offside before the puck went in,” Bylsma said about the goal 13:53 into the third period following the Sabres’ 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars inside the First Niagara Center.

For the third time in 18 ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff's Stars lead the NHL with 15 wins. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Lindy Ruff returns to Buffalo with elite Stars team

BUFFALO – A scorching start buoyed by the NHL’s best offense. Young superstar talent. Terrific depth.

When did the Dallas Stars’ Lindy Ruff have all that before? Nine years ago, when Ruff coached a slick young Sabres team to the 2006-07 Eastern Conference final following a 113-point regular season.

Back then, Ruff had a stacked club led by co-captains Daniel Briere and Chris Drury and young talent like Brian Campbell, Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville and ... Read the full article