Jeff Skinner just finished a career-best season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Report: Sabres close to re-signing Jeff Skinner to huge long-term contract

The Buffalo Sabres are close to re-signing 40-goal scorer Jeff Skinner to an eight-year contact with an average annual value of around $9 million, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Update: The Sabres announced tonight Skinner has signed an eight-year, $72 million contract.

As a 27-year-old fresh off a career season and just weeks away from becoming an unrestricted free agent, the talented winger possesses plenty of leverage.

The Sabres, one of the NHL’s laughingstocks, desperately ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger talks Wednesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger arrives in Buffalo ready for new challenge

BUFFALO – Ralph Krueger spent the last five years running a soccer team in England, so on Wednesday, his first full day in his new city as Sabres coach, he was having NHL games loaded on a laptop.

“To look a little bit deeper,” Krueger, who was hired May 15, said during a news conference in the KeyBank Center atrium.

In addition to getting up to speed on the Sabres, Krueger, 59, must examine how ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner scored 40 goals in his first season in Buffalo. ©2019, Hickling Images

Ralph Krueger believes Jeff Skinner wants to stay with Sabres

BUFFALO – Shortly after being named coach last month, Ralph Krueger called winger Jeff Skinner, the 40-goal scorer the Sabres are trying to re-sign to a long-term contract.

Krueger said after a long and productive conversation – “I could feel his unbelievable passion for the game,” he said – he hung up the phone believing Skinner, 27, wants to return to the Sabres.

“His tone in his voice when it came to the past ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner scored a career-high 40 goals in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: GM Jason Botterill knows Jeff Skinner interested to see coach

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill understands 40-goal winger Jeff Skinner needed to know something important before making a huge decision.

“If you’re going to sign a long-term contract with an organization, you kind of want to know who the head coach is,” Botterill said Wednesday after announcing Ralph Krueger as the 19th head coach in franchise history.

Skinner, who turns 27 on Thursday, can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Until ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner was the Sabres' first 40-goal scorer in 10 years. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner needs time to think about future

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner needs time to decompress following a grueling 82-game season before he starts thinking about his next contract.

Sure, the 40-goal scorer said he loves playing in Buffalo. Despite the Sabres’ sorry season – coach Phil Housley was fired Sunday – he believes they’re heading in the right direction.

But Skinner, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, made sure his contract took a backseat during the season.... Read the full article

Phil Housley began his Hall of Fame playing career with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ second-half regression cost Phil Housley his job

BUFFALO – Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like coach Phil Housley would return next season unless the team totally fell apart down the stretch.

Well, the Sabres imploded, losing 16 of 17 games before winning their final two outings. That marked the first time they won back-to-back games since Dec. 11 and 13.

On Sunday, a day after the Sabres finished ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill will head overseas next month. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Botterill reluctant to talk about coaching search

BUFFALO – Out of respect for Phil Housley, the coach he fired hours earlier Sunday, Jason Botterill wouldn’t reveal what he’s looking for in a replacement. The Sabres general manager did, however, say a search has already started.

“Those are things I’m not going to talk about too much right now, and the simple fact is I just had a conversation with Phil Housley a couple of hours ago,” Botterill said Sunday afternoon inside KeyBank ... Read the full article

The Sabres have been in a four-month slump. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jack Eichel tries to accentuate positives of rough season

BUFFALO – After suffering eight straight losses, the Sabres enjoyed a rare opportunity to celebrate a little following Thursday’s 5-2 win, just their second victory in 17 outings.

Not only did they thump an opponent, winger Jason Pominville received a rousing ovation after scoring in what could’ve been his final home game with the Sabres, who close their miserable season tonight against the Red Wings in Detroit.

The salute to one of the franchise’s all-time ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner (53) waits for a faceoff against Nashville's Austin Watson on Tuesday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres coach Phil Housley miffed after no-goal call: ‘We got screwed’

BUFFALO – A seething Phil Housley said it over and over – four times in three minutes, to be exact – following Tuesday’s 3-2 loss, the Sabres’ eight straight setback.

“It’s frustrating because we got screwed,” the Sabres coach said.

To Housley, the Sabres “got screwed” against the Nashville Predators because 2:40 into the second period, winger Conor Sheary scored on a delayed penalty, appearing to tie the game at 2.

The Predators never gained ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe hadn't played since March 2. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jake McCabe returns to lineup as Marco Scandella leaves

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ beleaguered blue line received a much-needed addition Sunday, as Jake McCabe returned after missing 13 games.

Did it help? Well, no. The Columbus Jackets throttled the Sabres 4-0 inside KeyBank Center.

McCabe hadn’t played since suffering an upper-body injury March 2.

Defenseman Marco Scandella, who blocked a shot in Saturday’s ugly 5-1 road loss to the New York Islanders, missed Sunday’s contest. Housley said the Sabres will know more about Scandella’s ... Read the full article