Sean Malone was the second local player the Sabres selected in June. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Best Sabres photos of 2013: Sean Malone’s draft smile

Over the next few days, ace photographer Dan Hickling will be sharing and talking about some of his favorite shots from 2013.

Take it away, Dan …

The Sabres have occasionally selected local players during the NHL Entry Draft, as they did twice — taking both Justin Bailey and Sean Malone — in the 2013 confab held June 30 in Newark, N.J. Here, Malone, a West Seneca native taken in the sixth round (159th overall), ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons scored twice Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Zemgus Girgensons starting to showcase offensive ability

BUFFALO – With 8:12 left in the second period of Sunday’s preseason opener, Sabres prospect Zemgus Girgensons grabbed Kevin Porter’s pass off the boards at the Montreal blue line and zoomed in down the right wing.

A second later, the Latvian whistled a shot by goalie Zachary Fucale’s glove from the faceoff dot, the second goal of his NHL preseason debut.

“I was pretty happy with myself,” Girgensons said this afternoon inside the First Niagara ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko played 25 NHL games last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres youngster Mikhail Grigorenko ineligible for NHL Prospect Tournament

BUFFALO – Prospect Mikhail Grigorenko is ineligible for the 2013 NHL Prospect Tournament “because of the number of NHL games he was on the Sabres’ roster” last season, the team announced this afternoon, a day before play begins in Traverse City, Mich.

Grigorenko, who made 25 NHL appearances as a rookie in 2012-13, was arguably the biggest name on the 24-man roster the Sabres released for the eight-team tournament last month.

Two other youngsters on ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey fields questions Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Local prospects Justin Bailey and Sean Malone thrilled to be drafted by Sabres

NEWARK, N.J. – The memory is seared in Justin Bailey’s mind. The Williamsville native vividly remembers watching from his grandparents’ house as Brett Hull’s disputed “No Goal” eliminated his favorite team, the Buffalo Sabres, from the 1999 Stanley Cup final.

“It was crushing for me,” Bailey said Sunday inside the Prudential Center minutes after the Sabres selected him 52nd overall with their third second-round pick in the NHL Entry Draft.

Even as a 3-year-old, ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey grew up loving the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Justin Bailey on getting picked by hometown Sabres: ‘I’m at a loss for words’

NEWARK, N.J. – The memory is seared in Justin Bailey’s mind. The Williamsville native vividly remembers watching from his grandparents’ house as Brett Hull’s disputed “No Goal” eliminated his favorite team, the Buffalo Sabres, from the 1999 Stanley Cup final.

“It was crushing for me,” Bailey said tonight inside the Prudential Center minutes after the Sabres selected him 52nd overall with their third second-round pick in the NHL Entry Draft.

Even as a 3-year-old, ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov talks with the media this afternoon. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Darcy Regier says Sabres were close to grabbing fifth pick; Andrej Sekera traded to Carolina

NEWARK, N.J. – How close were the Buffalo Sabres, who owned the eighth and 16th picks in the NHL Entry Draft, to moving up and grabbing the fifth overall pick?

“Pretty close,” Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said this afternoon inside the Prudential Center.

Carolina chose slick Swedish forward Elias Lindholm at No. 5. The Sabres kept their picks and took defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov.

The Sabres couldn’t have moved up any ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey takes a break from the arduous bike test at the NHL Scouting Combine earlier this month. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL Draft profile: Williamsville’s Justin Bailey grateful for mother’s support

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Justin Bailey didn’t mince words. On June 16, the Williamsville native, a possible second-round pick in Sunday’s NHL Entry Draft, tweeted, “Happy Father’s Day to the closest thing I have to a Dad! Thanks for everything.”

The 17-year-old posted two Instagram photos of him beside his grandfather.

Bailey, a slick winger with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers, has a famous father, former Buffalo Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey. But the ... Read the full article