Jason Botterill played 36 games with the Sabres. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former teammate: Jason Botterill would give Sabres GM with ‘all the right traits’

BUFFALO – More than 20 years ago, as Jason Botterill piled up goals at the University of Michigan and helped the Wolverines win an NCAA title, Bubba Berenzweig knew his friend and teammate possessed other special qualities that would help him accomplish great things off the ice someday.

Even back in the mid-1990s, Berenzweig sensed Botterill, now the Pittsburgh Penguins’ associate general manager, might run an NHL team someday.

“He’s freaking brilliant,” Berenzweig said of ... Read the full article

Craig Button believes the Sabres have plenty of assets. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Analyst: Sabres’ next GM entering ‘promising’ gig

BUFFALO – Despite inheriting a last-place club, the Sabres’ next general manager will also be entering a “promising” job, said former NHL GM Craig Button.

Why? The Sabres already possess two cornerstones at critical positions.

“When you start with (center) Jack Eichel and you’ve got a (defenseman like) Rasmus Ristolainen, you’ve got the framework for something to really move significantly ahead with,” said Button, the Calgary Flames’ GM for three years in the early ... Read the full article

Viktor Antipin enjoyed a strong postseason. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Report: Viktor Antipin terminates contract to join Sabres

Russian defenseman Viktor Antipin has terminated his contract with KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk to join the Buffalo Sabres, according to Sport-Express’ Igor Ironko.

The 5-foot-11, 179-pound Antipin, 24, compiled six goals and 24 points in 59 games this season, his fifth KHL campaign. He added seven goals – the most among defensemen – and 11 points in 18 playoff contests.... Read the full article

The Sabres could draft a defenseman like Cale Makar this year. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres will pick 8th in NHL Draft; Devils win lottery

The Buffalo Sabres fell two spots in Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery and will pick eighth overall June 23 in Chicago.

The Sabres, thanks to finishing 26th overall, had the sixth-highest odds, 7.6 percent, for the No. 1 pick. They couldn’t move back more than three slots.... Read the full article

Nolan Patrick is the son of former Sabres first-rounder Steve Patrick. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres won’t get ‘headliner’ pick in NHL Draft Lottery

BUFFALO – You won’t find any slick youngsters like Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews or Patrik Laine – franchise-changing talents capable of starring in the NHL immediately – at the top of this year’s draft class.

“You don’t have that headliner, like (people) used that word ‘generational’ player,” Dan Marr, the NHL’s director of Central Scouting, told the Times Herald on Friday. “The fact you had back-to-back years with McDavid and Eichel ... Read the full article

Devante Stephens just finished a strong offensive season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign Devante Stephens to 3-year, entry-level contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres have signed defenseman Devante Stephens to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced today.

The 6-foot-1, 172-pound Stephens just completed his third junior season with the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets, setting career highs with 13 goals, 22 assists and 35 points in 67 games. Stephens has 19 goals, 57 points and 166 penalty minutes in 203 career WHL games.

Former Sabres coach Dan Bylsma was so excited when the Sabres ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner played under former general manager Tim Murray in Ottawa. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With Tim Murray gone, Sabres goalie Robin Lehner a question mark as starter

BUFFALO – Before Tim Murray acquired Robin Lehner, the former general manager cycled through an absurd number of goalies – 10, to be exact – as he tore apart the Sabres in his first season and a half as general manager.

Despite terrific play from Jhonas Enroth, Anders Lindback and Michal Neuvirth – some believed they performed too well, hurting the tanking Sabres’ chances at the top pick – Murray wanted a new ... Read the full article

Terry Pegula fired his coach and his general manager Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Owner Terry Pegula hopes overhaul changes Sabres

BUFFALO – Before Sabres owner Terry Pegula, and his wife, Kim, spoke in depth with Tim Murray and Dan Bylsma, they hadn’t decided to fire their general manager and coach.

But after those separate meetings and talks with players and others in the organization, the Pegulas determined the Sabres needed a massive overhaul and culture change, so Murray and Bylsma were let go Thursday in a shocking move.

What made them reach that decision?... Read the full article

Terry Pegula wants to be involved in the Sabres' search for a new general manager. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres owner Terry Pegula wants culture change

BUFFALO – Before Sabres owner Terry Pegula, and his wife, Kim, spoke in depth with Tim Murray and Dan Bylsma, they hadn’t decided to fire their former general manager and coach.

But after those meetings and talks with players and others in the organization, the Pegulas decided the Sabres needed a massive overhaul following a last-place finish, so Murray and Bylsma were fired Thursday.

What made them reach that decision?... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma lasted two seasons as coach. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres start over again by firing GM Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma

BUFFALO – Now what? In a stunning move, general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma are gone, victims of the Sabres’ last-place finish.

Tanking, gutting the roster and starting from scratch were supposed to transform the Sabres into perennial contenders.

Instead, they’ve remained a laughingstock. So on Thursday, 11 days after the Sabres completed a disappointing 78-point season in which they regressed, owner Terry Pegula fired Murray and Bylsma.

Obviously, missing the playoffs by ... Read the full article