Drew Stafford often skates on the fourth line. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Drew Stafford reunited with Mike Grier; Scott Wilson waived

BUFFALO – Former Sabres winger Drew Stafford still remembers the first time he saw Mike Grier.

It was the mid-1990s, more than a decade before they became teammates with the Sabres for two seasons. Stafford would sometimes help his uncle, Barry, the Edmonton Oilers’ equipment manager, as a stick boy. Grier, meanwhile, was just beginning his 14-year NHL career as a winger.

“I was like, ‘This is the largest human being I’ve even seen ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford has received limited action this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Former Sabres Drew Stafford, Mike Grier meet up again with Devils

BUFFALO – Former Sabres winger Drew Stafford still remembers the first time he saw Mike Grier.

It was the mid-1990s, more than a decade before they became teammates with the Sabres for two seasons. Stafford would sometimes help his uncle, Barry, the Edmonton Oilers’ equipment manager, as a stick boy. Grier, meanwhile, was just beginning his 14-year NHL career as a winger.

“I was like, ‘This is the largest human being I’ve even seen ... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut (24) and Jeff Skinner look on Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Lawrence Pilut making case to stick in NHL

BUFFALO – Every once in a while a prospect like Sabres defenseman Lawrence Pilut comes along. After a short apprenticeship in the AHL – maybe just a few months or less – he arrives in the NHL and stays for good.

For as much as the Sabres and other teams stress development and paying dues, some guys are just ready for the big leagues right away.

Pilut, 22, is just four games into his career. ... Read the full article

The team presented Jason Pominville a silve sabre before the game. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres honor Jason Pominville for 1,000th game, annihilate Senators

BUFFALO – Celebrations like the one the Sabres threw for Jason Pominville’s 1,000-game milestone often mean a long, distinguished career is entering its final stage.

These days, with 30 being considered old by NHL standards, very few players possess longevity like Pominville’s. Even fewer keep producing offense like they’re still in their mid-20s.

But right now, Pominville, a winger who has compiled 285 goals and 710 points over his NHL seasons, looks like he’s still ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford signed with New Jersey in August. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Drew Stafford adapting with age

BUFFALO – Evolve and adapt, Drew Stafford said. That’s why at 32, an age that often signals the end of an NHL career, the former Sabres winger is enjoying his 12th season.

“You have to or else, the way the game goes, guys are out of jobs or teams move on,” Stafford said Tuesday prior to the New Jersey Devils’ 3-1 win inside KeyBank Center. “There’s always a bunch of changing pieces.”

... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu has committed some costly turnovers. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres newcomer Nathan Beaulieu struggling early

BUFFALO – By the 12-minute mark of the second period, with the New Jersey Devils throttling the Sabres and a huge gaffe fresh in his mind, defenseman Nathan Beaulieu figured he better do something notable.

So the struggling newcomer, whose turnover minutes earlier created New Jersey’s fourth goal, fought Miles Wood, winning a quick and easy decision.

“I was obviously frustrated with the way it was going and just trying to find a spark,” Beaulieu ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson relieved Robin Lehner on Saturday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson to start against Devils

BUFFALO – Backup goalie Chad Johnson, who relieved Robin Lehner for the final 31 minutes of Saturday’s 6-3 road loss to the New York Islanders, will start this afternoon’s tilt against the New Jersey Devils.

“We looked at the schedule, we wanted to get him a game early, right away,” Housley said. “The plan was not to have Robin pulled so early in the second period. We felt Chad had a good outing.”

Johnson ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has zero points this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Struggling Sabres want details in game

BUFFALO – Fresh off a dreadful road loss, the 0-2 Sabres started Sunday’s practice, well, pretty poorly. About 10 minutes into the session, associate coach Davis Payne finally had enough of their shoddy execution.

Payne yelled, “Let’s get (expletive) sharp!” A few seconds later, Payne let loose again on the KeyBank Center ice, saying, “Let’s get it (expletive) going!”

“It’s getting back to the little details,” Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly said of Sunday’s theme. “That’s ... Read the full article

The Sabres traded Drew Stafford in 2015. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Early-season concussions scared Jets’ Drew Stafford

BUFFALO – Drew Stafford’s season started ominously. In a Winnipeg Jets preseason game, the former Sabres winger suffered two injuries from one hit.

At first, Stafford thought the thump from Ottawa’s Michael Blunden had only hurt his shoulder.

“I also didn’t realize it at the time – I felt like I was OK – but I had some concussion symptoms early on then, because I hit my head and my shoulder into the boards,” Stafford ... Read the full article

Tom Ward has an impressive high school resume. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hire Tom Ward as assistant coach; Dan Catenacci re-signed

BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Tom Ward, a top prep coach who groomed Sidney Crosby, Kyle Okposo and other future NHL players at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, as the final assistant on Dan Bylsma’s staff, the team announced this afternoon.

Ward, 52, spent the last 18 seasons as the head coach of the boys prep team at the Minnesota high school, winning nine USA Hockey National Championships and finishing as runner-up twice.

Shattuck is known for ... Read the full article