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

Casey Nelson has played eight straight games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Casey Nelson becoming regular

BUFFALO – Call Casey Nelson the forgotten Sabres defenseman. As injuries ravaged the blue line earlier this season, he stayed in Rochester, playing big minutes as the Americans got off to their best start in years.

The Sabres recalled Nelson in mid-November. But he only sat out as a healthy scratch before going back to the AHL later in the month.... Read the full article

Casey Nelson has quietly become a regular. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Casey Nelson earning keep

BUFFALO – Call Casey Nelson the forgotten Sabres defenseman. As injuries ravaged the blue line earlier this season, he stayed in Rochester, playing big minutes as the Americans got off to their best start in years.

The Sabres recalled Nelson in mid-November. But he only sat out as a healthy scratch before going back to the AHL later in the month.... Read the full article

Johan Larsson (22) and Minnesota's Matt Dumba collide Nov. 22. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Johan Larsson surprised by two-game suspension

BUFFALO – Having never been suspended in his 229-game career, Sabres center Johan Larsson figured the NHL would slap him with a one-game ban for cross-checking Florida Panthers center Vincent Trocheck in the face late in Thursday’s 4-2 loss.

“I have no history, I’m kind of surprised I got two games,” Larsson said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “The guy didn’t get hurt or anything.”

During Friday’s phone hearing, Larsson argued he tried to ... Read the full article

Benoit Pouliot has scored nine goals this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Benoit Pouliot trying to regain early-season form

BUFFALO – Late last month, Benoit Pouliot tried something new. After 12 NHL seasons and nearly 600 games played, the struggling Sabres winger removed the visor from his helmet.

“A spur-of-the-moment type of (thing),” Pouliot explained Friday. “I wanted to change some things, so I just took the visor off.”

Will shedding some plastic really help Pouliot? Probably not. But right now, the veteran is trying to break out of a funk.

... Read the full article

Jack Eichel contributed to the Sabres' win Saturday afternoon. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Stars front and center in Sabres’ win over Blues

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel set up a nifty goal to Nick Baptiste shortly after the Sabres fell behind 91 seconds into Saturday afternoon’s tilt against the St. Louis Blues. Evander Kane scored his 20th goal, continuing his torrid stretch. Ryan O’Reilly netted the eventual winner on the power play.

Then goalie Robin Lehner dazzled late, making 16 of his 37 saves in the third period as the Blues blitzed the Sabres.

In the Sabres’ 3-2 ... Read the full article

Nick Baptiste beats St. Louis goalie Jake Allen on Saturday afternoon. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Nick Baptiste scores early in return to Sabres

BUFFALO – A positive trend has developed in the last few months for the Sabres. Each time they recall one of their forward prospects from the Rochester Americans, the youngsters make a strong case to stick around.

Rookies Justin Bailey, William Carrier and Evan Rodrigues have all seized their opportunities and started earning regular NHL duty.

After speedy winger Nick Baptiste’s impressive performance in Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 win against the St. Louis Blues – ... Read the full article