Phil Housley won 25 games as a rookie coach. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: GM Jason Botterill supports coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – It’s unlikely legendary coaches Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman could’ve done much with the Sabres this season. A dearth of talent helped them finish 31st overall.

Still, following such a miserable campaign, the question had to be asked: will Phil Housley be general manager Jason Botterill’s coach again next season?

“One-hundred percent Phil Housley will be our coach next year,” Botterill said Wednesday inside KeyBank Center. “I have certainly enjoyed working with Phil ... Read the full article

Despite a hot stretch during the winter, Chad Johnson ended this season with some weak statistics. ©2018, Hickling Images

Goalie Chad Johnson’s second stint with Sabres went poorly

BUFFALO – If Chad Johnson had known the Sabres would struggle so much this season, the goalie likely would’ve looked for work elsewhere.

“I wouldn’t have put my career in a situation like that after having a lot of success and doing well,” Johnson said Monday as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held exit interviews inside KeyBank Center.

Thanks to two strong seasons, Johnson, 31, enjoyed some options during free agency last summer. ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons has experienced plenty of losing with the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Last-place Sabres never got on track during lost season

BUFFALO – Way back on opening night, Oct. 5, the Sabres caused KeyBank Center to buzz with excitement for one of the few times in recent memory.

The Sabres’ new regime of coach Phil Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman and Buffalo legend, and general manager Jason Botterill, who helped construct three Stanley Cup winners in Pittsburgh, had energized the fan base and offered hope.

Perhaps the Sabres wouldn’t make the playoffs in 2017-18, but ... Read the full article

Nick Baptiste has earned regular duty part of this season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres will soon replenish Amerks for AHL playoff run

BUFFALO – Casey Nelson believes the opportunity offers a “second chance.” In a few days, after the Sabres complete their disastrous season, about eight players will return to the AHL and begin the Rochester Americans’ first playoff series in four years.

“We all want nothing more than to win a championship,” the defenseman said Thursday inside KeyBank Center after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the start of a two-game, ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner played 53 games this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Goalie Robin Lehner won’t make Sabres’ final road trip

BUFFALO – Injured goalie Robin Lehner won’t accompany the Sabres on their season-ending two-game trip to Florida, according to the team.

Lehner has an expiring contract and was acquired by the team’s old regime, meaning his Sabres career could be over. A lower-body injury has sidelined him the last three contests.

In 53 games this season, Lehner went 14-26-9 with a 3.01 goal-against average and a .908 save percentage.... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander played his fifth NHL game Thursday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Productive stretch earns Alexander Nylander recall to Sabres

BUFFALO – Four or five months ago, it appeared slick Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander’s second pro season would be a dud.

In rookie camp, Nylander suffered a lower-body injury, costing him more than two months. The former eighth overall pick struggled following his season debut in mid-November, mustering only one goal and four points in his first 12 AHL outings.

But Nylander, 20, started turning a miserable campaign around early in the winter. The winger ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander has turned around his season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Physicality helped Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander earn recall

BUFFALO – Four or five months ago, it appeared slick Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander’s second pro season would be a dud.

In rookie camp, Nylander suffered a lower-body injury, costing him more than two months. The former eighth overall pick struggled following his season debut in mid-November, mustering only one goal and four points in his first 12 AHL outings.

But Nylander, 20, started turning a miserable campaign around early in the winter. The winger ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles Montreal's Nick Deslauriers on March 23. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart never doubted talents in tough times

TORONTO – In the toughest days of his season, as Sam Reinhart endured goal droughts of 10 and 15 games, the Buffalo Sabres winger said he never changed a thing.

Reinhart, 22, kept preparing the same way each day. Thirty-eight games into his third NHL season, he had mustered only five goals and 11 points.

But Reinhart trusted his approach would pay dividends.... Read the full article

This is Adam Wilcox's third trip to the NHL. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Recall to Sabres special for goalie Adam Wilcox: ‘It’s just really cool’

BUFFALO – Early in goalie Adam Wilcox’s childhood, the NHL hadn’t returned to Minnesota yet. So the South St. Paul resident began cheering for legendary goalie Dominik Hasek and, ironically, the Sabres.

“Minnesota didn’t have a team, so I always rooted for Hasek and the Sabres,” the loquacious Wilcox said Friday after the Sabres recalled him from the AHL.

Wilcox, 25, couldn’t stop smiling during his short chat with the media. He said his third ... Read the full article

Adam Wilcox has sported a Sabres mask all season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Adam Wilcox grew up rooting for Dominik Hasek, Sabres

BUFFALO – Early in goalie Adam Wilcox’s childhood, the NHL hadn’t returned to Minnesota yet. So the South St. Paul resident began cheering for legendary goalie Dominik Hasek and, ironically, his newest team.

“Minnesota didn’t have a team, so I always rooted for Hasek and the Sabres,” the loquacious Wilcox said today after the Sabres recalled him from the AHL.

Wilcox, 25, spent time in the NHL last season, dressing as a backup five times ... Read the full article