In 2017, former general manager Jason Botterill and his assistant, Randy Sexton, took an unusual first step in rebuilding the Buffalo Sabres’ struggling AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.
Barely a year after the Sabres’ previous regime had let Chris Taylor go as an assistant coach from the Amerks, Botterill and Sexton, who also served as Rochester’s GM, rehired him as head coach.
The move made sense. Taylor, who was fired again Tuesday, spent his ... Read the full article
Five more “Sabres Classics” – this time regular-season games from 2005-06, one of the most memorable campaigns in franchise history – will be rebroadcast on MSG next week.
That season, of course, the Sabres morphed into a powerhouse after the NHL lockout ended, roaring to the Eastern Conference final. Co-captains Daniel Briere and Chris Drury led what was arguably the league’s deepest and most exciting lineup.
The games are being aired because the COVID-19 pandemic ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – A week before Thanksgiving, the same team that started the season 8-1-1 has already fallen apart. Right now, having lost eight of their last nine games, the Sabres are reeling.
The Sabres can deny it all they want, but it feels eerily similar to last season, when they won 10 straight games in November before imploding and missing the playoffs.
“Listen, we’re not talking about last year,” captain Jack Eichel said following the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – General manager Jason Botterill said before tonight’s game he’s “actively looking” to find a forward to help the injury-depleted Sabres.
“But we also are very happy with how our players have come up from Rochester and played so far,” said Botterill, whose team played without five forwards against the Minnesota Wild.
The Sabres had lost a forward to injury in five straight games entering Tuesday. The organization is so depleted – three Rochester ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Jack Eichel, of course, had scored four goals in a game before his dynamic, career-best performance in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. The Sabres captain just can’t remember the last time he did it.
“I don’t honestly know,” Eichel said after the Sabres ended their six game-losing streak.
Eichel, 23, said he never scored four goals with Boston University or the U.S. National Team Development Program, his stops before the NHL.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Jack Eichel’s night started ominously, with the Sabres captain passing up a glorious scoring chance in front of wonky San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones.
It wouldn’t be the last time Eichel did it early in Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime victory, a wild contest in which the Sabres roared back thanks to their young star’s dynamic performance.
“(I was) a little frustrated with myself more than anything,” Eichel said after scoring the overtime winner, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Long after perhaps the worst season of Kyle Okposo’s 12-year NHL career mercifully ended, everything about it – the Sabres’ freefall down the standings, his meager production – kept weighing on the veteran winger.
“It stayed with me for a long time,” a candid Okposo told the Times Herald following Monday’s session of training camp inside KeyBank Center.
These days, Okposo, 31, sounds happy.
Instead of returning to Minnesota following the season, Okposo ... Read the full article
It finally hit Chris Butler after the Stanley Cup arrived at his door last week in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Even as Butler lifted hockey’s most coveted prize over his head on the TD Garden ice and kissed it June 12, it didn’t fully sink in he and his hometown St. Louis Blues had captured their first Cup.
“There’s such a wave of emotion going on at the time, almost disbelief of what just transpired,” said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For eight seasons, Sabres winger Jeff Skinner only knew one organization. He grew up with the Carolina Hurricanes, joining them as a teenager and quickly becoming the face of the franchise. He felt a certain comfort there.
So his transition here could’ve been tough. Everything was new. Even the best players often need time to acclimate.
“It was a lot of change and there was a lot of adjustments, I think,” Skinner said ... Read the full article
In the end, the Buffalo Sabres needed to re-sign slick winger Jeff Skinner, even if it meant overpaying the 40-goal scorer.
As a 27-year-old fresh off a career season and just weeks away from becoming an unrestricted free agent, the two-time NHL All-Star possessed most of the leverage.
So late Friday, the Sabres awarded Skinner an eight-year, $72 million contract.... Read the full article