Darcy Regier is trying to be realistic about the Sabres landing an early draft pick. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Regier doubtful Sabres will land top pick; Miller and Vanek’s future still in air

BUFFALO – The Sabres hold four of the first 52 picks in this month’s deep NHL Entry Draft, including the eighth and 16th selections. They also have starting goalie Ryan Miller and ace scorer Thomas Vanek, two stars with a year left on their contracts, dangling.

Still, despite a slew of assets, Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said Thursday securing one of the top three selections – future stars Jonathan Drouin, Seth Jones and ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier has assets to trade. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Regier says securing early pick ‘extremely impossible,’ open to Miller and Vanek returning to Sabres

BUFFALO – The Sabres hold four of the first 52 picks in this month’s deep NHL Entry Draft, including the eighth and 16th selections. They also have starting goalie Ryan Miller and ace scorer Thomas Vanek, two stars with a year left on their contracts, dangling.

Still, despite a slew of assets, Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said today securing one of the top three selections – future stars Jonathan Drouin, Seth Jones and ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff was fired Feb. 20. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Report: Stars set to hire Ruff as coach

BUFFALO – Get ready to cringe, Sabres fans.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting the Dallas Stars are going to hire former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff as their new coach.

The Stars, of course, beat Ruff’s Sabres for the 1999 Stanley Cup with Brett Hull’s infamous “No Goal” in Game 6 at what was then called Marine Midland Arena.

For more details on the possible hiring, click here.

The Sabres fired Ruff on Feb. ... Read the full article

Jhonas Enroth could compete for the starting job next season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres re-sign goalie Enroth to 2-year deal

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed goalie Jhonas Enroth, who would’ve become a restricted free agent next month, to a two-year contract, the team announced this morning.

The backup would likely have the inside edge for the No. 1 job next season if the Sabres trade starting netminder Ryan Miller this offseason.

After struggling for more than a year, the Swede finished this season strongly, going 4-1-1 with a 1.47 goals-against average, a .956 save ... Read the full article

Terry Pegula rarely speaks about his team. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres owner Pegula defends Regier, wants Miller and Vanek back

BUFFALO – Terry Pegula has finally spoken again.

In a rare “interview,” the Sabres owner fielded questions on his team’s radio program, “Sabres Hockey Hotline,” this morning, chatting 25 minutes by phone with hosts and team employees Kevin Sylvester and Andrew Peters.

Most notably, Pegula defended general manager Darcy Regier, whose teams have missed the playoffs the last two seasons, asking, “What’s he done wrong?” Pegula said he wants Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek, ... Read the full article

Harry Neale is known for his quick wit. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres analyst Neale humbled by Hall of Fame honor

BUFFALO – Harry Neale said he couldn’t believe the news, so when Chuck Kaiton informed the longtime NHL color analyst the Hockey Hall of Fame would be honoring him with the 2013 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, Neale told the Carolina Hurricanes’ play-by-play announcer to ring him again.

“It had never even crossed my mind that it was a possibility, and so I said, ‘Call me back in five minutes and reconfirm this, would you?’” an ... Read the full article

Harry Neale will be honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame later this year. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres analyst Neale calls Hall of Fame honor ‘glorious moment’

BUFFALO – Harry Neale said he couldn’t believe the news, so when Chuck Kaiton informed the longtime NHL color analyst the Hockey Hall of Fame would be honoring him with the 2013 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, Neale told the Carolina Hurricanes’ play-by-play announcer to ring him again.

“It had never even crossed my mind that it was a possibility, and so I said, ‘Call me back in five minutes and reconfirm this, would you?’ Neale ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff played for the New York Rangers from 1989-91. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reports: Rangers receive permission to talk with former Sabres coach Ruff

BUFFALO – The New York Rangers have received permission to talk with former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff about their vacancy, according to ESPN.com and “Hockey Night in Canada” analyst Glenn Healy.

Ruff, arguably the best veteran coach on the market, recently spoke to Dallas and also talked with Tampa Bay shortly after his Feb. 20 firing after more than 15 years leading the Sabres.

The Sabres technically possess Ruff’s “rights” since they’re still paying ... Read the full article

Steve Ott's face often sports many brusies and cuts. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean TImes Herald

Sabres’ Ott believes stick play could become looser with mandatory visor usage

BUFFALO – Like just about every hockey player, Steve Ott wore a visor as a youngster developing through the junior ranks. But the gritty Sabres winger ditched the facial protection when he cracked the NHL in 2002.

The visor bothered Ott. It cut him, fogged up and splashed water in his face. Playing without one made him feel more comfortable hitting.

But at the same time, he said it wasn’t a big deal wearing one.... Read the full article

The Sabres selected Alex Lepkowski in 2011. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres pass on Buffalo native Lepkowski

BUFFALO – The Sabres didn’t sign defenseman Alex Lepkowski, the 137th overall pick in 2011, before the midnight deadline, so the 20-year-old will re-enter the NHL Entry Draft later this month.

Lepkowski, a Buffalo native, just finished his fourth season in the Ontario Hockey League.

The fifth-round pick had zero goals, nine points and 78 penalty minutes in 60 games this season with the Barrie Colts.... Read the full article