Andrej Meszaros has been playing big minutes. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Andrej Meszaros enjoying fresh start with Sabres

TORONTO – Coach Ted Nolan noticed a little smirk on Andrej Meszaros’ face following the defenseman’s recent Buffalo Sabres debut.

Meszaros had just skated a whopping 29 minutes, 39 seconds in Tuesday’s 2-0 win against Carolina. The minutes felt like a warm welcome.

“It felt pretty good,” Meszaros said last week.

Meszaros, 28, hadn’t played that much in a 60-minute game since May 6, 2011. Back then, the Slovak had just been named Philadelphia’s top ... Read the full article

Connor Knapp made 22 saves Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Connor Knapp on first NHL start: ‘Quite a moment in my life’

BUFFALO – On March 15, more than 4,000 miles from Buffalo, Sabres goalie Connor Knapp stopped 24 shots in the Alaska Aces’ 4-2 win against the Colorado Eagles in Anchorage.

Twenty-nine days later, Knapp, the sixth goalie on the organization’s depth chart, made his first NHL start in the Sabres’ 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders.

Knapp grew up in York, a small town about 30 miles from Rochester.

“It’s crazy,” the 23-year-old ... Read the full article

Andrej Sekera (4) and Nathan Gerbe left the Sabres after last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres Nathan Gerbe, Andrej Sekera thriving with Hurricanes

BUFFALO – At first, Nathan Gerbe said, he didn’t understand why the Sabres waived and bought him out in early July. The diminutive winger had no inkling they had given up on him after five seasons.

“I didn’t know it was coming, that’s for sure,” Gerbe said Thursday prior to the Carolina Hurricanes’ 5-3 win inside the First Niagara Center. “No one spoke to me about it. So I think you get a little shocked. ... Read the full article

Martin Biron retired from the NHL on Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres goalie Martin Biron content with retirement

BUFFALO – A year ago, as Martin Biron spent the 113-day NHL lockout at home in East Aurora with his wife, Anne Marie, and four small children, the popular former Sabres goalie began seriously thinking about his post-hockey life.

Biron enjoyed attending all of his children’s activities – cheerleading competitions, football games, school events – something he couldn’t do while tending goal in the NHL.

The family time “made me realize all the things that ... Read the full article

Martin Biron played twice this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres goalie Martin Biron retires from NHL

The end came quickly for popular former Buffalo Sabres goalie Martin Biron.

Earlier this month, the loquacious 36-year-old was beginning his 16th NHL season and the fourth as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup with the New York Rangers.

Today, having been waived by the Rangers last week, Biron retired.

“After thinking about it with my family, I’ve decided to retire as a player and move on to a new chapter,” Biron tweeted. “Thank you all ... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Cody Hodgson at last season’s trade deadline. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ recent trade-deadline activity has yielded mixed results

PITTSBURGH – With the NHL trade deadline hitting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, here’s the Buffalo Sabres’ Eastern Conference standing and their activity since 2006:

2006, third place, 83 points

General manager Darcy Regier made no additions, only trading No. 3 goalie Mika Noronen to Vancouver for a second-round pick (current backup goalie Jhonas Enroth). Some argued the inactivity bit the surprising Sabres, who lost four defensemen to injury during their run to the Eastern Conference ... Read the full article

Martin Biron has become one of the NHL’s best backup goalies. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres goalie Martin Biron thriving as Rangers’ backup

BUFFALO – When the 113-day NHL lockout ended and Martin Biron left his East Aurora home for his backup goaltending gig in New York, the 35-year-old’s wife and four children stayed behind.

With a shortened season, a new house and the school year in full swing, the loquacious former Sabre didn’t want to uproot his family.

For now, Biron’s living alone in New York, an arrangement that has worked out “OK.”

“There’s times I’m sitting ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko could make his NHL debut Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Top prospect Grigorenko makes 23-man roster; Sabres mum on status for opener

BUFFALO – The Sabres first planted the seeds almost seven months ago inside the Consol Energy Center. Mikhail Grigorenko, the slick center that had just fallen to them 12th overall at the NHL Entry Draft, would be given every chance to play in the big leagues immediately, they said.

The strong words from the team’s brass that June night in Pittsburgh resonated. The Sabres hadn’t had an 18-year-old play regularly for them since center ... Read the full article

Rick Jeanneret’s induction into the Sabres’ Hall of Fame kicked off a string of honors, including today’s, the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Memorial Award. ©2012, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rick Jeanneret still going strong as Hall honor arrives

BUFFALO – The scene plays out just about each time Rick Jeanneret walks around in public. Inevitably, fans stop the Sabres’ legendary announcer and tell him how much they enjoy the team’s broadcast.

Then they make a short plea to the play-by-play veteran, whose enthusiasm and passionate calls have made him a local icon.

“The other thing they say is, ‘Please don’t retire,’” Jeanneret, who will be honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame on ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville wants to stay even-keeled as formal CBA talks begin again. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Players taking wait-and-see approach to new NHL labor talks

AMHERST – Don’t get too giddy yet, players cautioned. A new collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its locked-out talent doesn’t appear imminent.

Nonetheless, for one of the few times during the 52-day work stoppage, there’s some encouraging news. The NHL and the Players’ Association will formally meet today in New York, the first face-to-face bargaining session since mid-October.

A long, productive meeting between NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel ... Read the full article