On with the summer

Devante Stephens already knows Sabres coach Dan Bylsma. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Familiarity and comfort surrounded Sabres defense prospect Devante Stephens throughout development camp last week.

New Sabres assistant Dan Lambert, Stephens’ junior coach with the Kelowna Rockets, was on the ice putting the youngsters through drills. Meanwhile, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma, who had just hired Lambert, his friend, was up in the stands watching.

Bylsma already knew Stephens well, having spent almost a week last season helping out Lambert, a former teammate. During Bylsma’s short stint working with the Western Hockey …

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Ryan O'Reilly was arrested just days after signing the largest contract in Sabres history. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

In Ryan O’Reilly’s first comments after the Sabres acquired him, the center discussed his desire to assume a leadership role in Buffalo.

Those words – “With the Sabres I have to be a more vocal guy, be that more off-ice leader and on-ice as well,” he said June 29 – are already haunting the 24-year-old.

Ten days after speaking and just six days after signing a seven-year, $52.5 million contract, O’Reilly was arrested and charged with impaired driving and leaving the scene …

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Mark Pysyk played only seven NHL games last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres re-signed defenseman Mark Pysyk to two-year contract worth $2.25 million Tuesday.

Pysyk, who was a restricted free agent, is expected to be a regular next season after playing only seven NHL games in 2014-15.

The 23-year-old will receive $1 million in 2015-16 and $1.25 million in 2016-17, according to CBC’s Tim Wharnsby. He had an $810,000 NHL salary last season.

Despite some strong play as an NHL regular two seasons ago, the Sabres kept Pysyk with the Rochester Americans …

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Ryan O'Reilly was arrested Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

Just days after signing a seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension, Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly was arrested Thursday and charged with impaired driving and leaving the scene of an accident after his pickup truck allegedly hit a Tim Hortons in Lucan, Ont.

The incident, which occurred at 4:05 a.m., was announced by the Ontario Provincial Police’s Middlesex County unit Monday night. CFPL-AM first reported the news earlier in the day.

The 24-year-old O’Reilly, who signed the biggest contract in Sabres history July …

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Phil Varone (84) chases after the puck last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres re-signed Phil Varone to a one-year, two-way contract today, avoiding arbitration with the forward.

Varone would’ve gone to an arbiter July 27. He’ll earn $600,000 in the NHL next season, according to CBC’s Tim Wharnsby, a $5,000 raise.

The 24-year-old, who had three goals and five points in 28 NHL games last season, likely wanted an AHL raise as a restricted free agent. He only had a $62,500 deal with the Rochester Americans last season.

Varone has led Rochester …

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The Sabres acquired Jason Kasdorf in February. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Some of hockey’s biggest young names switched teams in the Sabres’ blockbuster seven-player trade with the Winnipeg Jets in February.

The Sabres paid a hefty price for 30-goal winger Evander Kane and workhorse defenseman Zach Bogosian, giving up slick defenseman Tyler Myers, forward prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux, veteran winger Drew Stafford and a 2015 first-round pick.

Lost in the hubbub was a college goalie the Jets quietly sent the Sabres in the Feb. 11 deal.

Remember this name: Jason …

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Josh Chapman laid out a big hit and fought Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The nifty winning goal in today’s three-on-three development camp tournament wasn’t scored by Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart or one of the Sabres’ other high-end forward prospects.

Try 6-foot-3, 210-pound Josh Chapman, an undrafted defenseman the Sabres invited.

“Someone asked him how many goals he scored this year,” said winger Evan Rodrigues, Chapman’s teammate in the eight-team tournament. “He said none.”

That’s right, Chapman scored zero goals in 44 games last season with the Sarnia Sting and two in his 164-game Ontario …

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Tim Murray needs a lefty defenseman. ©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – One way or another, Sabres general manager Tim Murray plans to get another left-handed defenseman before the season starts.

“We’ve looked at everybody we feel is going to need waivers,” Murray said this afternoon following development camp inside the First Niagara Center. “We’re still talking trades with teams. We’re still talking about a couple of guys who are out there. But there’s no hurry.”

Murray’s willing to wait until right before the season, when some teams will need to pare …

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Dan Bylsma didn't know Andrew Allen. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Dan Bylsma had no previous connection to Andrew Allen before hiring the 38-year-old as goalie coach this week.

“Really word of mouth and had some great recommendations from people in Chicago,” Bylsma said Friday inside the First Niagara Center. “So I got to know him in the last week or 10 days and got him in here a little bit earlier this week.”

Allen, a former pro goalie, spent the last four seasons as the Chicago Blackhawks’ developmental …

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Jack Eichel was held scoreless Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The 17,115 Sabres fans who chose a hockey scrimmage – or, more appropriately, an opportunity to watch center Jack Eichel – over spending a beautiful Friday night in July outdoors probably don’t regret their decision.

For $10, they watched their newest star up close, saw center Sam Reinhart score twice and were treated to a five-on-five development camp exhibition with some unusual intensity.

“That was probably one of the most fun games of hockey I think I’ve ever played in …

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