Sean Malone played one NHL game last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Sean Malone healthy, ready for pro hockey

BUFFALO – Before Sabres prospect Sean Malone knew it, his short taste of the NHL, the finishing touch on his whirlwind season, was over.

On April 6, the West Seneca native played his 115th and final game with Harvard, a 2-1 loss to Minnesota Duluth in the semifinal of the NCAA Tournament. Two days later, Malone debuted with the Sabres, skating 12 minutes, 12 seconds in their 3-0 road loss to the Florida Panthers.... Read the full article

Dave Andreychuk started his Sabres career in 1982. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres great Dave Andreychuk honored by Hall of Fame election

Dave Andreychuk, of course, knew it was the day. Even though the Hockey Hall of Fame had passed him over in his first nine years of eligibility, the Buffalo Sabres legend still paid attention to the annual vote.

So Monday, as Andreychuk was driving to the Tampa Bay airport to pick up his wife, Susan, who was returning from Buffalo, he noticed someone from 416, Toronto’s area code, was calling him.

“My heart started to ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen met with the Sabres at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen sensed interest from Sabres

CHICAGO – When Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen surveys Buffalo’s goaltending depth chart, the 18-year-old Finn sees an opportunity. With Cal Petersen passing on the Sabres, the team wants another strong netminding prospect to fill the void.

So in the second round Saturday, 54th overall, the Sabres selected Luukkonen at the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Mike Sullivan worked in player development and coached in the AHL before being promoted to Pittsburgh. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill wants coach with Mike Sullivan’s traits

BUFFALO – When Sabres general manager Jason Botterill interviewed Mike Sullivan for Pittsburgh’s AHL coaching vacancy two years ago, thoughts of the candidate’s unsuccessful run as an assistant in Vancouver were fresh in his mind.

“I had an impression,” Botterill said Thursday of Sullivan, who spent a tumultuous season with the Canucks in 2013-14 beside embattled coach John Tortorella.

But Sullivan changed that impression. The former Boston Bruins coach had just spent a year as ... 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 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