Jason Botterill had to run a draft with scouts he barely knows. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill comfortable with scouts for NHL Draft

CHICAGO – When Jason Botterill was named Buffalo Sabres general manager May 11, he entered what he called a “different situation.”

The Sabres also fired amateur scouting director Greg Royce with GM Tim Murray on April 20. Botterill inherited Jeff Crisp, the team’s head amateur scout, and Murray’s old scouts.

So Botterill only had six weeks to prepare for the NHL Draft with Crisp and his new staff, not exactly ideal.... Read the full article

Kevin Devine has been with the Sabres 17 years. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres reassign Kevin Devine, promote Randy Cunneyworth

BUFFALO – Kevin Devine has been reassigned to director of player personnel, one of several front office changes the Sabres announced today.

Devine served as assistant general manager under former GM Darcy Regier.

In addition, Randy Cunneyworth has been named player development coach. Cunneyworth, Rochester’s former coach, mostly worked in player development with the AHL club last season. Dennis Miller, the old player development coach, is still with the organization, a team spokesman said.

Meanwhile, ... Read the full article

Tim Murray, who’s scouting this week in Lake Placid, hired his own people. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres change up front office, name new coaching staff

BUFFALO – Seven months after becoming Sabres general manager, Tim Murray has put his stamp on the front office, hiring a new assistant GM and two scouting directors.

Mark Jakubowski has been promoted to Murray’s assistant, the team announced Monday. Jakubowski was the assistant to the GM under Darcy Regier, Murray’s predecessor. Rob Murphy has been named scouting director. Greg Royce has been named amateur scouting director. Murray worked with Murphy and Royce with the ... Read the full article

Tim Murray has hired his own staff. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres revamp front office, name new assistant coaches

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Tim Murray put his stamp on the front office today, naming a new director of scouting, director of amateur scouting and assistant GM.

Rob Murphy, who worked beside Murray with the Ottawa Senators, will run the scouting department. Greg Royce, another scout Murray worked with in Ottawa, will run the amateur side. Mark Jakubowski is Murray’s new assistant. Jakubowski was the assistant to the GM under Darcy Regier.

Kevin Devine, ... Read the full article

The Sabres recalled Nathan Lieuwen today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Nathan Lieuwen nearly lost career to concussions

The Sabres recalled goalie Nathan Lieuwen from Rochester today. What’s the 22-year-old endured to make the NHL?

A lot.

I wrote this in July 2011 just a couple of weeks after the Sabres drafted him.

LEWISTON – Yeah, Nathan Lieuwen thought the worst. The Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect is only human, you know. He knew the two scary concussions that had derailed his promising junior hockey career could potentially force him to retire as teenager.... Read the full article

Pat LaFontaine speaks to the media Wednesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres owner Terry Pegula only began showing interest in Pat LaFontaine recently

BUFFALO – Joining the Sabres wasn’t on Pat LaFontaine’s radar. The legendary Hall of Fame center, whose No. 16 hangs in the First Niagara Center rafters, had just settled into a new job with the NHL.

But LaFontaine’s gig as the league’s vice president of hockey development recently brought him to a concussion conference in Florida, where he met with Sabres owner Terry Pegula, whose team has become a laughingstock this season.

Pegula and LaFontaine ... Read the full article

Eric Locke skates at development camp last week. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Coach believes Sabres prospect Eric Locke has Brett Hull-like shot

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Eric Locke possesses a “rocket” shot so quick and lethal it reminds his coach of a former NHL teammate.

Which one? The greatest goal scorer Greg Gilbert ever played with.

“Brett Hull, to be honest with you,” Gilbert, Locke’s junior coach with the Saginaw Spirit, said by phone earlier this week. “I mean, Hully was special, there’s no question about it. But Eric’s got that potential. He’s got that quick release. ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier talks about the Sabres’ offseason news Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres could still have Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek in fold when training camp opens

BUFFALO – With each passing day, general manager Darcy Regier acknowledged, it becomes more likely starting goalie Ryan Miller and slick winger Thomas Vanek will still be with the Sabres when training camp starts in September.

Regier has said both stars, whose contracts expire after next season, could be dealt from the rebuilding Sabres. He said he’s had some “discussions regarding both those players” with other teams.

“The nature of this business as you move ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen skates this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rasmus Ristolainen takes first steps toward making Sabres

BUFFALO – Even among a group of teenage prospects, Rasmus Ristolainen was one of the youngest players on the ice this morning for the first session of the Sabres’ summer development camp.

Of course, having spent the last two seasons in the SM-liiga, a Finnish men’s league, the 18-year-old’s used to facing older competition.

“That’s not a new thing for me,” Ristolainen, the No. 8 pick at last month’s NHL Entry Draft, said this afternoon. ... Read the full article

Nathan Gerbe played 188 games for the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Nathan Gerbe’s Sabres career over with team planning buyout

BUFFALO – Nathan Gerbe’s Sabres career is over.

The team placed the diminutive winger on waivers Wednesday for the purpose of buying him out, his agent, Jordan Neumann, told the Times Herald.

When asked if Gerbe had any warning, Neumann replied, “Absolutely none.” The Sabres still hadn’t contacted Neumann as of early Wednesday afternoon. Neumann said he understands the business, however.

Sabres general manager Darcy Regier told the media at least three times recently, ... Read the full article