Nick Baptiste played his first 14 NHL games last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Confident Nick Baptiste ready to crack Sabres for good

BUFFALO – Nick Baptiste sounds different this year, more confident in his abilities. The high-scoring winger talks openly about making the Sabres out of training camp.

A breakout AHL season can do that. So can earning your first 14 NHL games.... Read the full article

The Sabres invited Colin Blackwell to rookie camp. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Harvard graduate Colin Blackwell impressing Sabres

BUFFALO – As a Harvard graduate, Sabres prospect Colin Blackwell hears it all the time.

“Especially when you don’t have a job come Sept. 1,” the center said Saturday prior to registering an assist in the Sabres’ entertaining 7-4 win against the Boston Bruins in the Prospects Challenge.

Blackwell, 24, is often encouraged to look for work outside of hockey. He studied government and physiology at the prestigious university.... Read the full article

Justin Bailey has played 40 NHL games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Justin Bailey ready to stand out at rookie tournament

BUFFALO – By March, after seven weeks of regular duty, Sabres winger Justin Bailey said he started getting used to the NHL lifestyle.

Thanks to another torrid scoring stretch in the minors, Bailey traded bus travel and his AHL salary for chartered airplanes and a paycheck almost 10 times larger.... Read the full article

Marcus Davidsson stayed at home for the NHL Draft. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Marcus Davidsson wishes he attended NHL Draft

BUFFALO – If Marcus Davidsson had known he would be selected so early – the Sabres grabbed the center in the second round, 37th overall – then he would’ve attended the NHL Draft last month in Chicago.

Instead, Davidsson, 18, followed the draft at home in Sweden with his family and friends.... Read the full article

Chris Taylor knows the Amerks and Sabres well. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Friendship with Sabres GM Jason Botterill led Chris Taylor back to Amerks

ROCHESTER – Barely a year ago, after 14 seasons with the Americans as an AHL player and assistant coach, Chris Taylor was let go, the victim of new head coach Dan Lambert’s desire to field his own staff.

On Thursday, the Amerks, the Buffalo Sabres’ top affiliate, introduced Taylor as the 32nd head coach in franchise history.

A fired coach, of course, rarely returns to his old team, let alone in a larger role so ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor played for the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill believes Chris Taylor right fit for Amerks

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill learned 15 years ago Chris Taylor possessed the qualities to coach someday.

Back then, with Taylor feeding Botterill, the two formed one of the AHL’s most lethal scoring duos. But Taylor adjusted his game when he occasionally earned promotions from the Rochester Americans to the Sabres.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville played five seasons in Minnesota. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jason Pominville thrilled to return to Sabres, Buffalo

BUFFALO – After Jason Pominville learned he had been traded back to the Sabres today, like any good parent, he began worrying about how his children would react.

But right away, Jayden, his 7-year-old son, and Kaylee, his 5-year-old daughter, eased his fears.

“My little guy already has his jersey on right now, so he’s pumped and we’re excited,” Pominville said shortly after the Sabres reacquired him from the Minnesota Wild. “I couldn’t be happier ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville left the Sabres in 2013. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres acquire Marco Scandella, Jason Pominville from Wild for Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno

BUFFALO – Jason Botterill’s first multi-player trade is a big one, as the Sabres general manager today acquired defenseman Marco Scandella and former team captain Jason Pominville from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for wingers Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno.

“My little guy already has his jersey on right now, so he’s pumped and we’re excited,” Pominville said this afternoon on a conference call. “I couldn’t be happier for me and my family going somewhere ... Read the full article

Brad Tapper will serve on Dan Lamber's first Rochester staff. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks hire Lockport’s Chuck Weber, Brad Tapper as assistants

The Rochester Americans have hired Lockport native Chuck Weber and former NHL winger Brad Tapper as assistants on new coach Dan Lambert’s staff, the Buffalo Sabres’ AHL affiliate announced today.

Former assistants Paul Fixter and Chris Taylor were let go last week by Lambert, who took over the Amerks last month.

Weber, 43, was the Amerks’ head coach in 2010-11, their last season with the Florida Panthers before the Sabres bought the team. He was ... Read the full article

Auston Matthews received a lot of attention Friday. ©2016, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Auston Matthews knows Buffalo won’t always be so welcoming

BUFFALO – This city, the site of the 2016 NHL Scouting Combine and Draft, will always hold a special place in Auston Matthews’ heart.

After the combine concludes today, hockey’s biggest prospect will return in three weeks, and barring a seismic, unexpected turn of events, the Toronto Maple Leafs will select Matthews No. 1 overall June 24 inside the First Niagara Center.

The pinnacle of his young career will always be tied to Buffalo.

The ... Read the full article