William Nylander (left) interviews his brother, Alexander, before the NHL Draft in June. ©2016, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander ready for meeting with brother

BUFFALO – Growing up, Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander and his brother, William, a Toronto Maple Leafs youngster, were ultra-competitive in whatever game or sport they played.

So, despite being very close, the Nylanders would occasionally get a little emotional.

“We fought a lot, there was a lot when we were playing knee hockey, shinny,” Alexander Nylander said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “We always came clean after it and were best buddies again.”

Don’t expect ... Read the full article

Derek Grant beats Ottawa goalie Matt O’Connor for the tying goal Tuesday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Derek Grant, Robin Lehner help Sabres down Senators in overtime

BUFFALO – Forget that the Sabres rallied to beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in Tuesday’s preseason home opener. Forget that they did it in spectacular fashion, tying it late before defenseman Jake McCabe scored a nifty overtime winner.

Individual efforts often matter the most during exhibition contests, and the Sabres received some strong performances, led by center Derek Grant’s one-goal, three-point night and No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner’s 37-save outing.

Grant tied it at 2 ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner plans to play the entire game tonight. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner ready for preseason debut

BUFFALO – Six months removed from ankle surgery, fiery Sabres goalie Robin Lehner, as you might expect, is excited to play his first game preseason game tonight.

“I don’t know if the excitement I sense is because it’s a new year and where he’s at physically and being ready to go or playing the Ottawa Senators and (he) doesn’t want (Mike) Hoffman to score tonight,” coach Dan Bylsma said after the Sabres prepared for ... Read the full article

Matt Moulson scored only eight goals last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Matt Moulson determined to prove doubters wrong

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Matt Moulson knows he has plenty of doubters. The former 30-goal scorer understands following a miserable year punctuated by his general manager challenging his work habits, some support for him has eroded.

Moulson, 32, has clearly been humbled. An eight-goal season can do that. So can drawing Tim Murray’s ire.

“I definitely have a chip on my shoulder coming in to prove a lot of people wrong that maybe lost a ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis hasn’t scored a goal since Oct. 27. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Concussion recovery gave Sabres’ Tyler Ennis new appreciation

BUFFALO – In the more than three months Tyler Ennis spent recovering from a concussion last season, the Sabres’ longest-tenured player learned he needed to approach what he calls a “pretty special job” differently.

“It makes you really not only appreciate what you got, but want to do better the next time,” Ennis said Thursday inside KeyBank Center after veterans reported to training camp for physicals.

That’s probably one reason why Ennis, who’s generously listed ... Read the full article

Phil Kessel has a long history with USA Hockey. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres weigh in on Phil Kessel tweet

BUFFALO – The Phil Kessel tweet, a butt-end into the midsection of Team USA, had more than 73,000 retweets and 115,000 likes as of this afternoon.

As the Americans suffered an embarrassing 4-2 elimination loss Tuesday in the World Cup to Team Canada, the Pittsburgh Penguins star, the most notable talent left off a squad that flopped miserably, riled up the hockey universe with the following tweet:

“Just sitting around the house tonight w my ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons was all over the ice last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

5 storylines to follow during Sabres training camp

BUFFALO – The Sabres team that will convene today for training camp physicals, the official start of the 2016-17 season, isn’t much different from the one that just finished seventh in the Atlantic Division.

Sure, there were some notable summer additions. Winger Kyle Okposo, who signed a seven-year, $42 million contract July 1, was arguably the best free agent available. Dmitri Kulikov gives the Sabres a sturdy veteran to skate beside No. 1 defenseman ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner tries to stop Colorado’s Erik Johnson last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner on different look, weight loss: ‘New choices, new me’

BUFFALO – At first glance, you might not recognize Robin Lehner. While the 6-foot-5 Sabres goalie wouldn’t give an exact number, he appears to have shed around 40 pounds since April. His hair, which he has often worn long, is closely cropped. His bushy beard is gone.

“I’ve lost a decent amount of weight, got in shape,” Lehner said Monday after skating inside HarborCenter. “I’ve done some life changes. It’s not always going in ... Read the full article

Tom Ward has an impressive high school resume. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hire Tom Ward as assistant coach; Dan Catenacci re-signed

BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Tom Ward, a top prep coach who groomed Sidney Crosby, Kyle Okposo and other future NHL players at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, as the final assistant on Dan Bylsma’s staff, the team announced this afternoon.

Ward, 52, spent the last 18 seasons as the head coach of the boys prep team at the Minnesota high school, winning nine USA Hockey National Championships and finishing as runner-up twice.

Shattuck is known for ... Read the full article

Tim Murray won’t let himself worry about Jimmy Vesey. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Tim Murray knows Jimmy Vesey could sign elsewhere

BUFFALO – The constant talk about whether former Harvard University star Jimmy Vesey will sign with the Sabres amazes general manager Tim Murray.

No one, of course, has more invested in Vesey than Murray, who traded a third-round pick for the Hobey Baker Award winner’s rights on June 20, a deal he has called a “gamble.”

If Vesey signs, Murray might have a first- or second-line winger to skate beside Jack Eichel or Ryan O’Reilly. ... Read the full article