Justin Falk has been playing big minutes. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Justin Falk earning keep on top defense tandem

PITTSBURGH – Buffalo Sabres veteran Justin Falk has carved out a solid 229-game NHL career by showcasing a gritty, no-frills style.

The 6-foot-5, 223-pound Falk is a defensive defenseman.

“In this league, I’ve always been pretty conservative as far as where I go on the offensive side and the rush and skating and all that,” Falk said prior to Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Penguins inside PPG Paints Arena.

But Sabres coach Phil Housley ... Read the full article

Matt Tennyson signed a two-year contract with the Sabres on July 1. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Defense injuries give Sabres’ Matt Tennyson opportunity

BUFFALO – As a depth defenseman for four seasons, Sabres newcomer Matt Tennyson often played sparingly during his frequent recalls to the NHL.

In a career-high 45 games with the Carolina Hurricanes a year ago, Tennyson, 27, hit the 18-minute mark once.

But these days, Tennyson is one of coach Phil Housley’s most trusted defensemen. In Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks, Tennyson played just over 21 minutes, his highest total since ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor played for the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill believes Chris Taylor right fit for Amerks

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill learned 15 years ago Chris Taylor possessed the qualities to coach someday.

Back then, with Taylor feeding Botterill, the two formed one of the AHL’s most lethal scoring duos. But Taylor adjusted his game when he occasionally earned promotions from the Rochester Americans to the Sabres.... Read the full article

Chad Ruhwedel might've found a home in Pittsburgh. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabre Chad Ruhwedel fitting in with Penguins

BUFFALO – By last season, when Chad Ruhwedel earned just a one-game recall, it was obvious the Sabres would move on from the talented AHL defenseman.

Of course, a lack of injuries – Buffalo’s blue line stayed remarkably healthy in 2015-16 – limited his action. But even the year before, as a 10-goal, 36-point campaign helped Ruhwedel receive Rochester Americans MVP honors, he managed only four NHL appearances.

“It was kind of a rough season ... Read the full article

Justin Falk has provided depth. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Justin Falk replaces injured Dmitry Kulikov

PITTSBURGH – For more than two weeks, as Buffalo Sabres defenseman Justin Falk sat out seven straight games as a healthy scratch, the 28-year-old still felt some rare comfort.

Falk, of course, wanted to play badly. But the one-year contract extension the journeyman signed Feb. 6 softened the blow of leaving the lineup following more than three months of near-regular duty.

“It does definitely makes things a little bit easier when your out of the ... Read the full article

Cody Franson suffered a season-ending injury Feb. 19. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres need more defense depth

How remarkably healthy did the Buffalo blue line stay in 2015-16? The Sabres recalled a defenseman as an injury replacement just once.

Think about that. Over the course of the grueling six-month, 82-game season, the Sabres only dipped into the AHL on March 18, when they summoned Chad Ruhwedel to sub for Carlo Colaiacovo prior to their 72nd contest. Ruhwedel played that night and was quickly returned to the Rochester Americans.

The Sabres almost ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo was sold on Buffalo early. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Kyle Okposo sees Stanley Cup in Sabres’ future

BUFFALO – The conversation lasted maybe 15 minutes. General manager Tim Murray wanted to gauge Kyle Okposo’s interest, and the free agent wanted to hear what the Sabres could offer him.

When Murray began telling him how underrated the city is, Okposo stopped him and said he knows all about Buffalo and likes it. The nine-year veteran wanted to learn more about the organization.

So after Murray talked about the Sabres and the bright future ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo cashed in early in free agency. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign Kyle Okposo to 7-year contract

BUFFALO – Winger Kyle Okposo, arguably the best free agent available, signed a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Sabres shortly after the market opened this afternoon, according to multiple reports.

The signing is significant. Just 15 months removed from their second consecutive 30th-place finish, the Sabres, who improved 27 points last season, secured a strong talent to play beside centers Jack Eichel or Ryan O’Reilly.

Okposo is coming off a 22-goal, 64-point ... Read the full article

Tyler Myers is out for the season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres star Tyler Myers won’t have Buffalo homecoming

BUFFALO – Tyler Myers’ first game back here will have to wait until another season. The Winnipeg Jets defenseman underwent knee surgery Thursday and will miss the rest of the year.

The Jets make their yearly visit to the First Niagara Center on Saturday afternoon.

After Myers’ knee is stabilized and the season ends, he will undergo major hip surgery that requires 16 to 20 weeks of recovery, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

“He ... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers beats Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson on Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers savors each goal

TORONTO – As a third- or fourth-liner known more for his fists than his soft hands, gritty Buffalo Sabres winger Nick Deslauriers has endured some long goal droughts.

While the likable Deslauriers scored his career-high sixth goal in Friday’s 3-1 home win against the Ottawa Senators, he has only 12 in his 160-game career. After scoring three times in the first 11 games this season, the former defenseman went 41 appearances before finally scoring again ... Read the full article