Jochen Hecht was a favorite of former coach Lindy Ruff. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Hecht’s benching related to Sabres’ personnel, not play

BUFFALO – Hours before scratching Jochen Hecht on Thursday, Ron Rolston praised the veteran’s play. Following practice a day later, the Sabres’ interim coach complimented the 35-year-old forward again.

So why did Rolston make Hecht, the Sabres’ longest-tenured player, a healthy scratch for the first time in his 10 seasons here?

“We had a lot of scenarios going on with players,” Rolston explained Friday after the Sabres practiced inside Cazenovia Ice Rink. “We have ... Read the full article

Brian Flynn skated 8:50 on Saturday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Flynn makes NHL debut as injured Vanek sits

BUFFALO – In Brian Flynn’s mind, he “had no business getting drafted.” Getting bypassed during two consecutive NHL Entry Drafts was no slight.

“I wasn’t very good,” the 24-year-old Flynn acknowledged Saturday afternoon prior to making his NHL debut in the Sabres’ 4-3 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils inside the First Niagara Center. “I was undersized. But I think that helped me a lot. Ever since then I’ve gotten better every year.”

Flynn ... Read the full article

Brian Flynn will make his NHL debut this afternoon. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Vanek out; Flynn set to make NHL debut

BUFFALO – When Thomas Vanek sat out practice as a maintenance day Friday, interim Sabres coach Ron Rolston thought his leading scorer would play today against the New Jersey Devils.

“Coming back this morning, he still was sore,” Rolston said earlier this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

Vanek (upper body) will sit today, although Rolston believes it’s just a short-term injury. The slick winger could return Sunday in New York versus the Rangers.

Meanwhile, ... Read the full article

Brian Flynn played collegiately at Maine. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Flynn from Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres recalled rookie Brian Flynn from Rochester early tonight, a curious move with 12 forwards believed to be healthy.

Sabres winger Thomas Vanek sat out practice today, although interim coach Ron Rolston said the team’s leading scorer was enjoying a maintenance day.

The 24-year-old Flynn, a college free agent from Maine, has been arguably the Americans’ biggest surprise this season, scoring a team-high 16 goals and 32 points in 45 games.

Flynn, ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson will return to the Sabres after the lockout ends. ©2012, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald

Sabres loan 20 players to Rochester

BUFFALO – With an NHL lockout likely hitting at midnight tonight, the Sabres loaned 20 AHL-eligible players, including forwards Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson, to the Rochester Americans on Friday.

Also assigned were: forwards Luke Adam, Riley Boychuk, Brian Flynn, Zemgus Girgensons, Jacob Lagace, Jonathan Parker, Kevin Sundher, Shawn Szydlowski, Corey Tropp, Phil Varone; defensemen Alex Biega, Nick Crawford, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Matt MacKenzie, Brayden McNabb, Mark Pysyk; goalies Connor Knapp and Nathan Lieuwen. The Sabres ... Read the full article

Superstar Sidney Crosby hasn’t played in Buffalo since Dec. 11, 2010. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ critical late-season tilt against Pens could be wildly entertaining

BUFFALO – Give it a shot. Try drawing up a better late-season NHL matchup. The Sabres’ tilt against the powerhouse Pittsburgh Penguins tonight could make for a wildly entertaining three hours inside the First Niagara Center.

This one promises to be action-packed and fun, folks.

The scorching Sabres, having climbed into eighth place Tuesday, are roaring toward another unlikely playoff appearance. They’ve won five straight games and seven of the last nine, piling up goals ... Read the full article

Knee injury will sideline Sabres’ Christian Ehrhoff indefinitely

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who left Tuesday’s 5-1 win in Washington following a knee-on-knee collision with the Capitals’ Troy Brouwer, is out indefinitely.

Coach Lindy Ruff offered few details about the slick German’s left knee injury Wednesday, only saying the 29-year-old had been evaluated and would miss “some time.” He wouldn’t specify if it could be days or weeks. He said the injury news was better than he expected.

Mike Weber, a healthy ... Read the full article