Phil Housley likes how his team welcomed its new players. ©2018, Hickling Images

New-look Sabres excited to open season: ‘A lot of enthusiasm’

BUFFALO – The first glimpse of the new-look Sabres comes tonight, 180 days after they ended perhaps the worst season in franchise history.

Seven new faces will dress against the Boston Bruins, including first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin and winger Jeff Skinner, a two-time 30-goal scorer. The optimism surrounding the Sabres is well-deserved.

They’re a much different team than the dreadful one that finished in 31st place six months ago.

“They’re excited,” Sabres coach ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary was injured the first day of training camp. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres lose Scott Wilson as Conor Sheary returns

BUFFALO – Just as one Sabres winger, Conor Sheary, returned from an injury Sunday, they lost another one.

Toward of the end of practice, Scott Wilson got tangled with defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and appeared to injure his right leg. Wilson stayed on the HarborCenter ice for a couple of minutes before being helped off. He couldn’t put any pressure on his right foot.... Read the full article

Scott Wilson is expected to occupy a spot on the fourth line. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Conor Sheary practices; Scott Wilson leaves with injury

BUFFALO – Just as one Sabres winger, Conor Sheary, returned from an injury today, they lost another one.

Toward of the end of practice inside HarborCenter, Scott Wilson got tangled with defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and appeared to injure his right leg. Wilson stayed on the ice for a couple of minutes before being helped off. He couldn’t put any pressure on his right foot.... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolaine (55) battles Arizona's Jordan Martinook on March 22. ©2018, Hickling Images

Jack Eichel, Rasmus Ristolainen and other Sabres day-to-day

BUFFALO – Seven Sabres, including center Jack Eichel and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, sat out today’s practice with “minor ailments” and will miss Friday’s preseason finale, coach Phil Housley said.

Housley said the players are all day-to-day. Center Johan Larsson, winger Conor Sheary and defensemen Zach Bogosian, Brandon Hickey and Marco Scandella also missed the session inside HarborCenter.... Read the full article

Scott Wilson (20) shadows Winnipeg's Tyler Myers on Jan. 10. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Scott Wilson adds weight, embraces checking role

BUFFALO – The list is, well, rather short. During the Sabres’ disastrous 2017-18 season, just one forward, winger Scott Wilson, exceeded expectations.

No wonder the Sabres finished dead last.

Wilson, 26, quickly morphed into a reliable fourth-liner after the Sabres acquired him from the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 4.... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian has battled injuries in recent seasons. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian day-to-day with lower-body injury

BUFFALO – Oft-injured Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian, who played only 18 games last season, is day-to-day after suffering a lower-body injury Tuesday, coach Phil Housley said.

Housley said Bogosian, 28, will be reevaluated later today after leaving the Sabres’ 4-2 preseason loss to Columbus early.

Injuries, of course, have ravaged Bogosian. The Massena native has missed 114 games – a whopping 42 percent of Buffalo’s outings – since he joined the Sabres on Feb. ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta retired Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta helped change hockey

BUFFALO – Twenty years ago, diminutive players like Brian Gionta – the ones teams list at, say, 5-foot-9 but are clearly much smaller – rarely received a chance in the NHL.

Sure, once in a while an undersized talent would break through. But for the most part, the league coveted size.

Then in the early 2000s, a few small forwards – Gionta, Daniel Briere and Martin St. Louis – started seizing their chances and morphing ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian sat out practice earlier this week. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Zach Bogosian being eased along after hip surgery

BUFFALO – The Sabres have a plan for Zach Bogosian. Instead of throwing the oft-injured defenseman right into the fray, they’re easing him into training camp.

Bogosian, 28, underwent hip surgery last winter and hasn’t played a game Jan. 9. So the Sabres held him out of practice earlier this week before letting him skate on his own.

Bogosian practiced with his teammates again Thursday inside HarborCenter.... Read the full article

Sean Malone looked impressive early in training camp. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres forwards Conor Sheary, Sean Malone out with injuries

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Conor Sheary, a newcomer expected to skate on a top line, is week-to-week after suffering an upper-body injury during Friday’s practice.

“In the first day (of training camp), he took a hit the wrong way, and we’re just making sure we’re on top of that,” said Sabres coach Phil Housley, who is dealing with three notable injuries just five days into camp.

Center Sean Malone will miss six weeks after ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson is one of the longest-tenured Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Poor season forced Sabres’ Johan Larsson to change

BUFFALO – Instead of talking about Johan Larsson’s rough season, Sabres coach Phil Housley chose to praise the Swedish center for the transformations he has made.

Larsson struggled mightily in 2017-18, enduring his worst NHL campaign. How bad was he? His wretched minus-30 was the fourth-worst rating among NHL forwards. He scored two of his career-low four goals into empty nets.

But Larsson, 26, accepted Housley and general manager Jason Botterill’s challenge to change ... Read the full article