BUFFALO – The Sabres must examine every option to improve their weak roster, so, yes, general manager Jason Botterill acknowledged, they’ve discussed some of the top free agents on the market.
It’s no secret center Matt Duchene would fill a glaring need as the No. 2 pivot behind Jack Eichel.
For a few years, even as the Sabres kept struggling, their greatest strength was up the middle.
Most teams are lucky to have one top ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Don Granato and Mike Bales as assistant coaches on new head coach Ralph Krueger’s staff, the team announced this morning.
The Sabres also officially announced Krueger will retain assistant Steve Smith, a former NHL defenseman he had on his staff with the Edmonton Oilers.
Granato, 51, has coached at all levels – junior, college, pro and NHL – over his 26-year career. He spent the last two seasons ... Read the full article
The Buffalo Sabres will hire Mike Bales as their new goalie coach and retain assistant coach Steve Smith, according to multiple reports.
Bales, 47, resigned as goalie coach of the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday. The Buffalo News, The Athletic and Sportsnet all reported Bales is bound for Buffalo.
Former Sabres coach Phil Housley hired Smith, a three-time Stanley Cup winner as a player, to run his defense last year. Ralph Krueger, Housley’s replacement, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In a harrowing first-person essay, former Sabres goalie Robin Lehner shares details how his drug and alcohol addiction and untreated bipolar disorder led him to contemplate suicide multiple times late last season before seeking help.
“I wanted to kill myself. I was extremely close multiple times,” Lehner wrote in The Athletic New York. “The battle playing hockey was nothing compared to the battle inside my brain. It was at its worst.”... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The open communication among the Sabres and the accountability it has bred is new and welcome.
In the recent past, the team’s problems often festered or worsened over time. Players clearly felt uncomfortable discussing any issues.
Then following last season’s dreadful 31st-place finish, coach Phil Housley challenged the Sabres. He wanted self-reflection. He wanted them to change before the new season, which started this morning with veterans reporting for their training camp physicals.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Despite finishing dead last in 2017-18, the Sabres kept their entire coaching staff. There will, however, be one addition to Phil Housley’s crew next season.
The Sabres have hired former NHL defenseman Steve Smith, a three-time Stanley Cup winner, as an assistant coach, the team announced this morning.
Other than Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman, the only former NHL defender on staff, Chris Hajt, played six games. Given the Sabres just drafted ... Read the full article
DALLAS – Brian Campbell noticed something unusual when he watched videos of Rasmus Dahlin, the ultra-talented defenseman the Buffalo Sabres plan to select first overall tonight at the NHL Draft.
Campbell, of course, knew Dahlin skated on the back end. Still, in the clips the former Sabres defenseman and NHL All-Star examined, the youngster moved so swiftly, created so much offense he looked liked his team’s top center.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – It’s unlikely legendary coaches Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman could’ve done much with the Sabres this season. A dearth of talent helped them finish 31st overall.
Still, following such a miserable campaign, the question had to be asked: will Phil Housley be general manager Jason Botterill’s coach again next season?
“One-hundred percent Phil Housley will be our coach next year,” Botterill said Wednesday inside KeyBank Center. “I have certainly enjoyed working with Phil ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jason Pominville, of course, knew center Jack Eichel possessed lethal speed.
“From zero to 60 pretty quick,” Pominville said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Penn State.
But in his first days back with the Sabres, Pominville has also seen the other ways Eichel’s dynamic talents allow him to dictate the play.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – A season ago, as Seth Griffith bounced around the Atlantic Division, getting waived and claimed three times in a three-month span, the Sabres winger lived a nomadic life out of a suitcase.
Griffith, a stud AHL scorer with 58 games of NHL experience, never settled down, spending time in Boston, Toronto (twice) and Florida.
So after a long day at the rink or a road trip, Griffith couldn’t simply go home and unwind.... Read the full article