Chris Butler, his wife, Jordan, and their daughters, Avery (left) and Sloane, enjoyed a day with the Stanley Cup on July 22. ©2019, Chris Butler

Former Sabre Chris Butler retires happy after winning Stanley Cup with Blues

It finally hit Chris Butler after the Stanley Cup arrived at his door last week in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

Even as Butler lifted hockey’s most coveted prize over his head on the TD Garden ice and kissed it June 12, it didn’t fully sink in he and his hometown St. Louis Blues had captured their first Cup.

“There’s such a wave of emotion going on at the time, almost disbelief of what just transpired,” said ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton makes a shootout stop on St. Louis' Ryan O'Reilly to secure Sunday afternoon's win. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres end losing streak, get building roaring again

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo heard the crowd roaring and wanted in on the action.

For a 27-second stretch late in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s entertaining 4-3 shootout win, the Sabres started thumping every opponent in sight.

The normally docile fans inside KeyBank Center grew louder and louder with each hit.

So Okposo wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to hit St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly spent three seasons with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Ryan O’Reilly returns to Buffalo thriving with Blues

BUFFALO – St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly hasn’t experienced a season like this in five years, since he played for the Colorado Avalanche.

For the first time since 2013-14, O’Reilly, 28, has a legitimate chance to reach the playoffs.

Simply contending for a spot has helped rejuvenate O’Reilly, who was beaten down by the losing he endured in Buffalo so much he acknowledged following last season it sapped some of his love for hockey.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville also sat out Jan. 30. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jason Pominville to be healthy scratch against Blues

BUFFALO – The Sabres cleared one huge hurdle in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes by, uh, scoring a goal for the first time in more than three games.

“It certainly was a relief,” coach Phil Housley said of the Sabres ending their drought at 199:58. “I really like the way we started, and just taking a look at the game after the fact, I really liked the way we played. We had a ... Read the full article

Losing sapped Ryan O'Reilly's love for hockey last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Trading Ryan O’Reilly looks like brutal deal for Sabres

BUFFALO – The trade could go down as one of the worst in Sabres history.

For NHL All-Star Ryan O’Reilly, the Sabres received two overpaid veteran forwards, a prospect who has been in and out of the lineup and first- and second-round picks from the St. Louis Blues, this afternoon’s opponent at KeyBank Center.

The Sabres’ struggles this season can be sliced and diced a thousand ways. But getting rid of O’Reilly on July ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly spent three seasons in Buffalo. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabre Ryan O’Reilly producing for Blues amid losing season

Not much has changed for ex-Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly in St. Louis. The Blues utilize him constantly, relying on him to play big minutes. Just like in Buffalo, the versatile center quickly seized his opportunities, morphing into perhaps his new team’s best player.

And just like in Buffalo, O’Reilly has endured a lot of losing.

The Blues, one of the NHL’s heavyweights for years, just missed the playoffs last season, earning 94 points. When they ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly was traded Sunday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabre Ryan O’Reilly finds spark after trade to Blues

Ryan O’Reilly sounded rejuvenated. Getting traded quickly reignited the passion he lost last season as the Buffalo Sabres trudged to a 31st-place finish.

Almost three months ago, O’Reilly, 27, stunned the hockey world, saying the disastrous year made him lose his “love for the game multiple times.”... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly's departure leaves a big hole in the Sabres' lineup. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres GM Jason Botterill: Ryan O’Reilly didn’t need change of scenery

BUFFALO – Jason Botterill indicated months ago, long before he traded center Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues, a significant move was needed to shake up the Sabres.

The Sabres’ wretched 31st-place finish embarrassed Botterill and the entire organization. The general manager knew the group he had wasn’t working.

“We felt that in our meetings at the end of our season as a management group, we had to change the dynamic,” Botterill said on ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly played three seasons in Buffalo. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres trade Ryan O’Reilly to Blues

BUFFALO – The Sabres traded Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues tonight.

O’Reilly was owed a $7.5 million by midnight, a bonus the Blues will likely pay now.

O’Reilly, 27, played three seasons with the Sabres, becoming one of the NHL’s most versatile centers. The Sabres, however, never improved with him, and following their last-place finish in 2017-18, he talked about the how the constant losing sapped his love for hockey.

Stay tuned ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner makes a second-period stop on St. Louis' Vladimir Tarasenko on Saturday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Snakebitten Sabres fall to Blues

BUFFALO – Progress is measured differently for the 2017-18 edition of the Buffalo Sabres, the NHL’s second-worst team.

On Saturday, they lost again, falling 1-0 to the St. Louis Blues before 18,777 fans. After winning three straight road games, they’ve dropped three consecutive home contests, falling to stunning 6-15-3 at KeyBank Center.

Overall, the Sabres are a wretched 14-29-9.... Read the full article