Chris Stewart skates between Vancouver’s Eddie Lack (31) and Luca Sbisa (5) on Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Chris Stewart prepared to leave Sabres at trade deadline

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Chris Stewart will leave town with no regrets, he said. Despite some tough times in Buffalo, he enjoyed playing here.

The Sabres will likely deal the honest veteran today before the 3 p.m. trade deadline, ending his one-year run with the rebuilding club. He’s excited about the fresh opportunity a trade could bring him.

A year ago at the deadline, St. Louis, a team built to win the Stanley Cup, dealt ... Read the full article

Torrey Mitchell has become the Sabres’ No. 2 center. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Torrey Mitchell thriving, knows he could be traded

BUFFALO – On another team, Torrey Mitchell would simply be a checker, a speedy asset on the third or fourth line. The Sabres’ dearth of top talent has helped the 30-year-old morph into the rebuilding club’s No. 2 center.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan has been leaning on Mitchell, skating him more than 15 minutes a night. Mitchell has never enjoyed so many responsibilities or played so much in his eight-year career.

But this afternoon’s road ... Read the full article

The Sabres’ Torrey Mitchell splits the Vancouver defense Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Big third period pushes Sabres past Canucks

BUFFALO – Of course, the Sabres’ best stretch in two months could end soon. The trade deadline is three days away. The rebuilding club will almost certainly deal some of its top assets.

If Thursday’s 6-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks was the final game for a few players, they gave the Sabres one heck of a goodbye before a capacity crowd of 19,070 fans inside the First Niagara Center.

Consider the exploits of these ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons blocked a shot Tuesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons will play again this season

BUFFALO – Top Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons, who blocked a shot with his right ankle Tuesday, will play again this season, coach Ted Nolan said this morning.

Nolan hinted Girgensons could be finished after James Wisniewski’s shot hit the Latvian halfway through the 4-2 win in Columbus.

“It’s bad but not as bad as we thought,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center.

Nolan wouldn’t say if Girgensons’ ankle was broken.

“It could be, ... Read the full article

Jhonas Enroth started most of this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth could fit well with Stars

BUFFALO – The market for goalies this season is small. Most teams are set in net. Tim Murray had two soon-to-be free agents with starting experience on his roster, yet the Sabres general manager only received one call from an interested club.

“There’s very few that need a goalie right now,” Murray said Wednesday inside the First Niagara Center after trading goalie Jhonas Enroth to the Dallas Stars for 6-foot-6 goalie Anders Lindback and a ... Read the full article

Chris Stewart has been the Sabres’ best forward recently. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know trades will be coming soon

BUFFALO – Ted Nolan’s response raised some eyebrows. Coaches, after all, rarely acknowledge they have players who are ready to leave town.

But Tuesday in Montreal, hours before the Sabres’ 3-2 win ended their 14-game losing streak, Nolan, whose rebuilding club will likely be selling off assets soon, went a step further.

“We got some guys who could be very beneficial to some playoff teams,” Nolan replied when asked if coaching could be tougher because ... Read the full article

An upper-body injury sidelined Brian Gionta 13 games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hopeful long break can help rejuvenate season

BUFFALO – Instead of jetting to a tropical locale during the NHL All-Star break, Sabres coach Ted Nolan went home to Northern Ontario to relax a bit and clear his mind.

“Guys go to beaches,” Nolan said Monday afternoon, “I go to snow and shovel my deck off and enjoy the family and friends.”

The Sabres, losers of a franchise-record 11 straight games in regulation entering tonight’s tilt in Calgary, sorely needed some extended time ... Read the full article

Ted Nolan knows the Sabres are too soft. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres coach Ted Nolan on future: ‘I’ve never feared my position in the NHL’

BUFFALO – The Sabres have lost a franchise-record nine consecutive games and 31 of 45 this season. They rank 29th overall and dead last or close to the bottom in every major statistical category. They just lost 7-0 to a reeling Minnesota Wild team, their worst home defeat since 1977.

Of course, the Sabres were supposed to lose this season. But was the rebuilding club supposed to lose so badly this often? Opponents ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek scored his eighth goal Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres star Thomas Vanek struggling to score with Wild

BUFFALO – Call it hockey’s worst-kept secret.

Of course, Thomas Vanek couldn’t say anything as he bounced from team to team last season. But the former Sabres star confirmed the suspicions when free agency opened July 1, signing a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Minnesota Wild.

Vanek, a Minnesota resident and Golden Gophers college hero, wanted to return home.

“Honestly, every time I went out somewhere and got recognized, that was one of the ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta has missed 10 games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta likely out until after NHL All-Star break

BUFFALO – Of course, it’s tempting. Just having captain Brian Gionta back for practices has had a positive effect on the reeling Sabres. Coach Ted Nolan wants to play the veteran winger badly.

Nolan also wants to be careful and exercise some patience. So Gionta, out the last 10 games with an upper-body injury, will likely be sidelined until after the NHL All-Star break.

The Sabres play their first game after the break Jan. 27 ... Read the full article