Connor McDavid (97) downplayed hype before his first game in Buffalo. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel, Connor McDavid won’t buy into hype

BUFFALO – Dan Bylsma, as he loves to do, kept accompanying his words with a sly grin. The so-called rivalry between phenoms Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid is a “made-up” scenario, the Sabres coach said Tuesday.

The Sabres’ 2-1 overtime loss to McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers was the first-ever NHL meeting between the “generational talents” drafted first and second overall last year. The rookies barely know each other.

How could they truly be rivals?

“The hype ... Read the full article

The Sabres traded Derek Roy in July 2012. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ex-Sabres star Derek Roy feels at home with Blues, wanted to stay in Buffalo

BUFFALO – Derek Roy had some hard feelings against the Sabres after they traded him to Dallas in July 2012. The sometimes-slick center had just told former general manager Darcy Regier he wanted to stay in town.

The 30-year-old felt he had some unfinished business here.

“I thought we had a great team,” Roy said Tuesday prior to the St. Louis Blues’ 4-1 win against the Sabres, his first game back at the First ... Read the full article

Alexander Sulzer (52) never played regularly before joining the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres re-sign Alexander Sulzer, lose Adam Pardy

BUFFALO – When free agency opened Friday, Alexander Sulzer shopped around, drawing interest from a “number of teams,” his agent said.

Ultimately, though, the defenseman couldn’t leave the Sabres, who helped him become an NHL regular for the first time.

The 29-year-old German signed a one-year, $725,000 contract today.

“He really enjoyed playing there,” Scott Greenspun, Sulzer’s agent, told the Times Herald. “Buffalo was a place that gave him an opportunity to prove he was ... Read the full article

Two years ago, the Sabres signed Ville Leino, a winger, to a six-year, $27 million contract to play center. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres likely won’t pursue big names during free agency

BUFFALO – The focus during free agency, general manager Darcy Regier said, will be on adding supporting pieces to the Sabres’ younger core group. The crazy spending of the past appears to be over, at least for this summer.

So, when free agency opens at noon today, don’t expect the Sabres to wildly overpay or overreach for any Ville Leino-types again. And don’t expect them to throw tens of millions of dollars at any ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier talks Sunday at the NHL Entry Draft. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Darcy Regier unsure what Sabres will do with Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek

BUFFALO – For now at least, starting goalie Ryan Miller and slick winger Thomas Vanek, two veteran stars entering the final seasons of their contracts, are still members of the Sabres.

Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said Tuesday he has spoken to the players’ agents and both sides plan to continue chatting.

“As I’ve stated before, it’s incumbent upon me to have a sense of what the marketplace is or re-sign them versus allowing them ... Read the full article

Steve Ott’s face often sports many brusies and cuts. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean TImes Herald

Sabres’ Ott believes stick play could become looser with mandatory visor usage

BUFFALO – Like just about every hockey player, Steve Ott wore a visor as a youngster developing through the junior ranks. But the gritty Sabres winger ditched the facial protection when he cracked the NHL in 2002.

The visor bothered Ott. It cut him, fogged up and splashed water in his face. Playing without one made him feel more comfortable hitting.

But at the same time, he said it wasn’t a big deal wearing one.... Read the full article

Chad Ruhwedel played college hockey in Pittsburgh earlier this month. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Chad Ruhwedel back in Pittsburgh amid dizzying stretch

PITTSBURGH – Buffalo Sabres rookie Chad Ruhwedel hasn’t truly left college yet. Six games into his new life, the 22-year-old defenseman is still enrolled at UMass Lowell, where he’s a senior pursuing degrees in business and marketing and management.

Even in the NHL, Ruhwedel, who had junior playing status, has some school work to do. When the season ends, he’ll go back and finish the semester.

“A little tough, but my teachers have been pretty ... Read the full article

Steve Ott has missed the playoffs five straight seasons. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres believe they have plenty to play for after playoff elimination

BUFFALO – What’s left for the Sabres now? Three meaningless games, that’s it. With their slim playoff chances smothered Friday, starting with tonight’s home contest against the Winnipeg Jets, the Sabres are skating for pride and hoping to play a spoiler role.

As senior advisor Ken Sawyer, owner Terry Pegula’s close confidant, watched closely from the stands, a rarity, the Sabres practiced quietly Sunday for the first time since an ugly 8-4 loss to the ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller endured a tough night Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Shellacking from Rangers eliminates Sabres from playoff contention

BUFFALO – Two goals in 57 seconds. The New York Rangers couldn’t score another before the first period ended Friday, right?

The Sabres would buckle down facing elimination. Besides, the Rangers scored on fluky deflections.

Still, the crowd of 19,003 fans inside the First Niagara Center needed to vent.

So the surly spectators gave goalie Ryan Miller a Bronx cheer after he stopped a dump-in as the final seconds ticked down. Miller then nearly whiffed ... Read the full article

Jhonas Enroth kicks out a shot by Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier (4) in front of Mark Pysyk on Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Enroth grounds Lightning in second consecutive start

BUFFALO – This two-day stretch hardly mirrored the last time Sabres backup goalie Jhonas Enroth earned consecutive starts for a healthy Ryan Miller.

Back in November 2011, Enroth sported an eight-game winning streak as Miller was beginning a wretched three-month slump. The Swede’s second nod ignited a goaltending controversy.

These days, Miller’s entrenched as the No. 1 goalie. Enroth, meanwhile, recently regained the dynamic form he showcased early during his rookie season.

If the ... Read the full article