Jordan Nolan wanted a new team. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jordan Nolan excited for fresh start in Buffalo

BUFFALO – As the son of a former Sabres coach, winger Jordan Nolan’s memories of his new team and this area are special.

As a child in the 1990s, Nolan sometimes tagged along with his father, Ted Nolan, to the rink. Years later, when the Sabres brought the elder Nolan back for a second run, Jordan proudly watched the news conference inside KeyBank Center.

Buffalo, Jordan Nolan said, has “kind of shaped our lives.”... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark wants to take shots high. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark using head to make saves

BUFFALO – The drill, Sabres netminder Linus Ullmark explained, is “very easy.” Someone – on Tuesday it was goalie coach Andrew Allen – shoots pucks at him “top shelf.”

“I just try to get my head up there and actually try to get the puck to where I want it to go,” Ullmark said following practice inside HarborCenter.

Yes, the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Swede really tries to redirect the puck with his head.... Read the full article

Jacob Josefson has scored on more than half of his shootout attempts. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jacob Josefson shootout star

TORONTO – Try figuring this out. In 276 NHL games, Buffalo Sabres center Jacob Josefson has scored only 18 goals. In three of his seven seasons, the Swede has recorded just a single goal.

Offensively, Josefson, 26, ranks among the league’s least productive forwards.

But Josefson, having scored 11 goals in 21 attempts, is a shootout stud. His 52.4 shooting percentage ranks fourth among active players, according to sportingcharts.com, trailing only Brandon Pirri, T.J. ... Read the full article

Auston Matthews scored 40 goals as a rookie last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres won’t see Leafs for months after weekend set

BUFFALO – How’s this for a scheduling quirk? After this weekend’s home-and-home preseason set with the Maple Leafs – the Sabres play tonight in Toronto – the fierce rivals don’t meet again until March 5.

“It’s crazy,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “When I looked at the schedule, here’s one of the rivals in our division, we’re not going to see them until March. Hopefully, they’re going to be real ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues impressed late last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Speed could help Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues secure roster spot

BUFFALO – A 28-game run in which Evan Rodrigues emerged as the Sabres’ biggest late-season surprise hardly made the young center feel comfortable in the NHL.

“If you kind of relax and take it easy a little bit, there’s a guy right behind you wanting to take your spot,” Rodrigues said after recording two assists in Monday’s 3-2 preseason overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.... Read the full article

Phil Housley wants the Sabres to get after it tonight. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Phil Housley excited, nervous for coaching debut

BUFFALO – Come about 7 p.m., just before the Sabres’ preseason opener against the Carolina Hurricanes, rookie coach Phil Housley will start feeling some butterflies.

“I’d be lying to you if I say when the game comes I’m (not) going to be nervous,” Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “Being a head coach for the first time behind the bench, it’s quite exciting for me.”... 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

Chad Johnson spent last season in Calgary. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres face challenges adding talent in free agency

BUFFALO – For a team fresh off a last-place finish, the Sabres have a high number of contracts, including a few bloated ones, in place for next season.

Counting restricted free agents expected to be back, the Sabres already have about 19 players who could be regulars in 2017-18. Veterans Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges and Matt Moulson combine for more than $14 million of salary cap space.

Bad teams usually don’t approach the cap, but ... Read the full article

Cal Petersen can pick his own team soon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie prospect Cal Petersen to pass on Sabres

CHICAGO – Forget about former Notre Dame goalie Cal Petersen joining the Buffalo Sabres. The 22-year-old prospect, who left school last month, will elect for free agency, general manager Jason Botterill said Friday morning.

“I don’t believe he’ll be signing with the Buffalo Sabres,” Botterill said hours before the first round of the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Cal Petersen recently left Notre Dame. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie prospect Cal Petersen won’t sign with Sabres

CHICAGO – Forget about former Notre Dame goalie Cal Petersen joining the Buffalo Sabres. The 22-year-old prospect, who left school last month, will elect for free agency, general manager Jason Botterill told reporters this morning.

“I don’t believe he’ll be signing with the Buffalo Sabres,” Botterill said hours before the first round of the NHL Draft.... Read the full article