Liam Kirk drew a crowd at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2018, Hickling Images

Draft prospect Liam Kirk aiming to become UK’s first NHL player

BUFFALO – Even after Liam Kirk reached the pinnacle of British hockey, earning a spot in his country’s top pro league at just 16 years old, the NHL remained a far-flung dream for the English prodigy.

After all, in the NHL’s long history, zero players who were born and trained in the United Kingdom have played even one game. So while Kirk said he always believed he possessed the talent to make the NHL, he ... Read the full article

Tyson Strachan played a career-high 46 games with the Sabres in 2014-15. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks’ Tyson Strachan offers Sabres depth

BUFFALO – Tyson Strachan’s only human, you know. So while the veteran said his confidence never wavered looking for work during the summer, thoughts about his uncertain future crept into his head.

As the weeks dragged on without a contract, the gritty former Sabres defenseman wondered if he might have to play overseas or complete his degree at Ohio State University.

“I’d be lying to say those things don’t come into your mind,” Strachan said ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle has impressed again this preseason. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Prospect Brendan Guhle could make Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Brendan Guhle tries not to think about it. The defenseman doesn’t ask any questions, either.

He’s happy as long as he’s in Buffalo.

“It’s definitely a little nerve-racking, I’d say,” Guhle said Thursday inside KeyBank Center.

Six days before opening night, Guhle, 19, is still battling to make the Sabres out of training camp as a junior-age player, a rarity.

Thanks to injuries to defensemen Zach Bogosian (groin) and Dmitry Kulikov ... Read the full article

Ryan O’Reilly played just part of one preseason game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly day-to-day

BUFFALO – Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly is day-to-day after leaving Wednesday’s 3-2 preseason loss early as a precaution because of a spasm in his back and midsection, coach Dan Bylsma said.

O’Reilly, who was playing his first preseason game following the World Cup of Hockey, didn’t practice this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. He’s out of Friday’s exhibition finale in Ottawa, Bylsma said.

The Sabres, of course, are dealing with a slew of injuries exactly one ... Read the full article

Dmitry Kulikov fell Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Zach Bogosian, Dmitry Kulikov sidelined from Sabres practice

BUFFALO – Just like that, the Sabres’ defense is a little thin. Sure, it’s 12 days before the season opener. The injuries, of course, could be minor.

But with Zach Bogosian (mild groin strain) and Dmitry Kulikov (“bruised butt bone,” according to coach Dan Bylsma) sidelined from practice today, the Sabres are down two of their top four defensemen. Don’t forget, top defender Rasmus Ristolainen is practicing without a contract.

Bogosian hurt his groin in ... 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

Tyson Strachan spent all of 2014-15 in Buffalo. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks sign Tyson Strachan to AHL contract

Two years ago, when the Sabres signed Tyson Strachan to a two-way contract, the defenseman ended up staying in Buffalo the entire season, playing 46 games.

Strachan, 31, never made it to the minors. This year, however, he should see regular duty with the Rochester Americans, as they inked the veteran to a one-year AHL contract today.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Strachan adds some much-needed depth to Buffalo’s top affiliate. Only 10 defensemen in the organization ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian (47) showcased some speed Saturday afternoon against Detroit. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ defense corps much improved

BUFFALO – When Mark Pysyk returns from his broken foot later this week, the Sabres will receive a smooth, puck-moving defenseman and have what coach Dan Bylsma believes is a good problem.

Assuming no one else gets injured before Pysyk plays his first game since Nov. 17, the Sabres, who have used the same six defensemen the last 11 games, will have eight on the roster, “not a good number to have,” Bylsma said.

Still, ... Read the full article

Andrej Sekera might get snatched up early in free agency. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres might have short want list in free agency

BUFFALO – For a rebuilding team fresh off two consecutive 30th-place finishes, the Sabres’ shopping list entering free agency, which opens today at noon, is relatively small. A weekend of wheeling and dealing at the NHL Draft pretty much set the roster for the upcoming season.

The Sabres have two goalies, four forward lines and almost a full defense corps. Not bad for a team that finished 2014-15 using a patchwork lineup filled ... Read the full article

Bryan Trottier is one of the New York Islanders’ all-time greats. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres assistant coach Bryan Trottier has special memories of Nassau Coliseum

BUFFALO – New York Islanders legend Bryan Trottier remembers the noise. The roar inside Nassau Coliseum would become deafening, funneling down from the stands to the ice.

“To the point where you’re reading lips,” Trottier, a Sabres assistant coach, said Friday. “Until you actually experience it, it’s just fantastic.”

The Isles are moving to bigger and better digs 24 miles away next season, the shiny Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Trottier, a Hall of Famer who ... Read the full article