Mike Weber knows Buffalo will love Rasmus Dahlin. ©2018, Hickling Images

Mike Weber knows Rasmus Dahlin will be special player for Sabres

Prior to Mike Weber’s short stint overseas, the former Buffalo Sabres defenseman watched some highlights of a 17-year-old phenom he would be joining with Frolunda HC, a Swedish Hockey League team.

The whiz kid’s name? Rasmus Dahlin, the ultra-gifted defenseman the Sabres will select first overall after winning Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery.... Read the full article

New Jersey's Taylor Hall is known for scoring, not hitting. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Kyle Okposo unhappy with Taylor Hall’s hit

BUFFALO – At the 5:31 mark of the third period in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils, Taylor Hall knocked Sabres winger Kyle Okposo into the boards from behind.

While Okposo bounced right back up, the hit, which only earned Hall a two-minute boarding minor, was scary.

“That’s the play you’re trying to eliminate, right?” Okposo said Wednesday after the NHL fined Hall $5,000, the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement. “There’s ... Read the full article

Mike Weber warms up in Pittsburgh, his hometown, in 2015. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres defenseman Mike Weber happy in retirement

Mike Weber delayed the inevitable. The gritty former Buffalo Sabres defenseman opted for injections over surgery, endured more pain and couldn’t walk after games because he was wrapped up in so much ice.

In the end, Weber exhausted 10 more contests out of his wonky left knee before retiring, his second comeback after a serious injury last season.

Weber returned from that injury in five weeks – by then, the knee was almost bone on ... 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

Brendan Guhle (45) sticks his glove in Tim Schaller's face last Saturday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Brendan Guhle’s short stint leaves positive impression on Sabres

BUFFALO – In his first three NHL games, defenseman Brendan Guhle showcased consistency and poise, performing like a veteran, not a 19-year-old rookie the Sabres recalled from junior hockey on an emergency basis.

Guhle, less than a week into his big league career, quickly became one of the team’s top defensemen, helping solidify the injury-ravaged blue line.

But defensemen Josh Gorges and Dmitry Kulikov returned from injuries for Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, ... Read the full article

A vision problem ended Cody Franson's season Feb. 19. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Cody Franson healthy after career-worst season

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Cody Franson had never experienced anything like the unusual vision ailment that sidelined him the final 23 games last season.

“It was very weird,” Franson said Friday following the first sessions of training camp inside HarborCenter.

Franson was originally diagnosed with a concussion after Columbus’ Scott Hartnell boarded him Feb. 19. But the loquacious veteran quickly passed his testing and briefly resumed practicing before his season ended.

So what was wrong?... Read the full article

Robin Lehner only played 21 games last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner out of World Cup

Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner, who’s still recovering from season-ending ankle surgery in late March, has pulled out of next month’s World Cup of Hockey, Team Sweden announced today.

Former Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth, who signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday, will replace Lehner.

The Sabres expect Lehner, 25, to be their starting goalie in 2016-17 following a season in which he suffered a high right ankle sprain opening night and battled ... Read the full article

Cody Franson suffered a season-ending injury Feb. 19. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres need more defense depth

How remarkably healthy did the Buffalo blue line stay in 2015-16? The Sabres recalled a defenseman as an injury replacement just once.

Think about that. Over the course of the grueling six-month, 82-game season, the Sabres only dipped into the AHL on March 18, when they summoned Chad Ruhwedel to sub for Carlo Colaiacovo prior to their 72nd contest. Ruhwedel played that night and was quickly returned to the Rochester Americans.

The Sabres almost ... 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

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