Kyle Okposo cashed in early in free agency. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign Kyle Okposo to 7-year contract

BUFFALO – Winger Kyle Okposo, arguably the best free agent available, signed a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Sabres shortly after the market opened this afternoon, according to multiple reports.

The signing is significant. Just 15 months removed from their second consecutive 30th-place finish, the Sabres, who improved 27 points last season, secured a strong talent to play beside centers Jack Eichel or Ryan O’Reilly.

Okposo is coming off a 22-goal, 64-point ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo will sign a lucrative contract. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres won’t find elite talent in free agency

BUFFALO – The pickings are so slim in NHL free agency this year, perhaps the most coveted player available, Kyle Okposo, has never cracked the 30-goal or 70-point marks.

Okposo, of course, is a talented winger. The Minnesota native is coming off a 22-goal, 64-point season with the New York Islanders. He has 139 goals and 369 points in 529 NHL games over nine years, including three 20-goal seasons and two 60-point campaigns.

Yes, Okposo ... Read the full article

Austin Osmanski was thrilled the Sabres drafted him. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Austin Osmanski’s selection by Sabres emotional

BUFFALO – By late Saturday morning, as the seven-round NHL Draft crept toward the end, East Aurora’s Austin Osmanski and his 50 or 60 supporters started getting nervous.

At one point, Osmanski, 18, joked to his father, Kevin, who was sitting beside him, they should leave. But deep down, the defenseman was really worried he wouldn’t be selected by anyone, let alone the hometown Sabres.

Osmanski responded to his aunt’s attempt to lighten the mood ... Read the full article

Tim Murray has already been active this offseason. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jimmy Vesey just one part of Sabres’ summer plan

BUFFALO – If Tim Murray wants to lure winger Jimmy Vesey to the Sabres, the general manager has a strong recruiter in center Jack Eichel, who’s currently playing summer hockey with the Hobey Baker Award winner in their native Massachusetts.

Eichel, of course, is one of the NHL’s supreme young talents, and, months before his 20th birthday, already a terrific ambassador for the Sabres and the city.

Failing to utilize Eichel might be ... Read the full article

Tim Murray talks this morning. ©2016, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Tim Murray on acquiring Jimmy Vesey’s rights: ‘It’s a gamble’

BUFFALO – If Tim Murray wants to lure winger Jimmy Vesey to the Sabres, the general manager has a strong recruiter in center Jack Eichel, who’s currently playing summer hockey with the Hobey Baker Award winner in their native Massachusetts.

“We might potentially use Jack as a tool,” Murray said this morning, less than a day after acquiring Vesey’s rights from the Nashville Predators. “I guess I would be a tool not to.”

The Sabres ... Read the full article

Tim Murray has a history of making big trades. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Acquiring Jimmy Vesey’s rights could be first move of week for Sabres

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ acquisition of Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey’s rights Monday could be the first of several notable moves general manager Tim Murray makes this NHL Draft week.

Murray, of course, has a penchant for wheeling and dealing, and with the Sabres hosting the draft and 11 picks in their arsenal, he might want to make a big splash.

The Sabres traded a 2016 third-round pick, 76th overall, for the 6-foot-2, ... Read the full article

Jimmy Vesey possibly wants to wear the Sabres logo. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres acquire Jimmy Vesey’s rights from Predators

BUFFALO – The Sabres today acquired the rights to Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a third-round draft pick, 76th overall, in this weekend’s NHL Draft.

The Sabres have until Aug. 15 to sign him.

Vesey, 23, refused to sign with the Predators, who drafted the forward in the third round, 66th overall, in 2012, following a 24-goal, 46-point senior season at Harvard University in which ... Read the full article