Leon Draisaitl could become the highest-drafted German ever. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL Draft profile: Leon Draisaitl wants to become face of German hockey

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – In Germany, soccer reigns supreme. The sport’s popularity can’t be matched. Hockey, meanwhile, competes for attention with basketball and even handball, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff once said.

Germany didn’t even qualify for Olympic ice hockey this year.

But in center Leon Draisaitl, the country has produced one of the game’s slickest prospects. The 18-year-old will likely become the highest-drafted German ever Friday at the NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia.

With ... Read the full article

Alexander Sulzer played 57 games with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabre Alexander Sulzer signs 5-year deal in native Germany

BUFFALO – Former Sabres defenseman Alexander Sulzer has signed a five-year contract with Kolner Haie, a DEL team in his native Germany.

Sulzer was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The 29-year-old played 57 games with the Sabres over parts of three years, compiling six goals and 14 points.

He suffered a season-ending concussion March 13. He said last month he was still experiencing headaches.

The Sabres’ old regime waived ... Read the full article

Alexander Sulzer played only 25 games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Alexander Sulzer still recovering from first concussion, open to returning to Sabres

BUFFALO – Despite having played 12 professional seasons, Sabres defenseman Alexander Sulzer avoided his first concussion until March 13, his 505th game.

Jiri Tlusty hit Sulzer a few minutes into the Sabres’ 4-2 loss in Carolina. He bumped his head on the glass.

“Then it went back and forth a couple times,” Sulzer recalled Monday.

Sulzer’s disappointing season – and possibly his 57-game Sabres career – was over.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” ... Read the full article

Tyler Myers missed the last 10 games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Myers had broken ribs, will likely play at world championship

BUFFALO – Tyler Myers’ season isn’t over yet. The Sabres defenseman said the broken ribs that sidelined him the final 10 games have mostly healed. The 24-year-old will likely accept an invitation to play for Team Canada at next month’s world championship.

Myers crashed into the net March 25 in Montreal. He didn’t reveal his injury until Monday.

“It’s coming along quite well,” Myers said as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held end-of-season ... Read the full article

Tyler Myers chats with reporters this morning. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Broken ribs sidelined Sabres’ Tyler Myers, defenseman could play at world championship

BUFFALO – Here are some quick updates on several of the injured Sabres. With the season finally over, most players will tell you exactly what happened to them.

– Defenseman Tyler Myers said he broke a couple of ribs when he crashed into the net March 25 in Montreal.

“It’s coming along quite well,” Myers said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “I had a week of hope after it happened. It turned out ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen played five times during his recall. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres send rookie Rasmus Ristolainen to Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres today sent rookie defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to Rochester following a five-game recall.

Defensemen Tyler Myers (arm) or Alexander Sulzer (upper body) could be ready to return Tuesday in Montreal.

The 19-year-old Ristolainen compiled zero points and a minus-5 rating during the recall. The Finn has one goal, one point and minus-9 rating in 24 NHL games this season.

Goalie Matt Hackett will start against the Canadiens, interim Sabres coach Ted ... Read the full article

Cory Conacher was never drafted and played in the ECHL briefly. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Cory Conacher endured long road to reach NHL dream

BUFFALO – There was no straight path to the NHL for Cory Conacher. About 10 years ago, after the AAA Burlington Cougars cut him, the diminutive Sabres winger figured his hockey career was over.

“You always run into a certain coach that just doesn’t like your physical stature,” Conacher recalled Friday, “and that’s kind of I think what happened.”

But the 5-foot-8 Conacher had a chip on his shoulder that would help buoy him ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has played 30 AHL games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall rookie Rasmus Ristolainen from Amerks

BUFFALO – With defenseman Alexander Sulzer out, the Sabres today recalled rookie Rasmus Ristolainen from Rochester.

The 19-year-old should play tonight in New York against the Islanders, his first NHL game since Nov. 15.

Ristolainen, the eighth overall pick in June, compiled one goal and four penalty minutes in 19 games after making the Sabres out of training camp. He played one game under interim coach Ted Nolan before the Sabres sent him to the ... Read the full article

Zenon Konopka has a line of wines. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zenon Konopka donating money from wine sales to local charities

BUFFALO – Zenon Konopka has worked with Stop Concussions, former NHL star Keith Primeau’s foundation, for years. So the center wanted to get involved locally after the Sabres claimed him off waivers in January.

The native of nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., said he’s met some unbelievable local doctors “doing some great things with concussions, especially with young kids.”

To help out with concussions and other causes, Konopka, who has a line of wines available at zkwines.com... Read the full article

Pete Weber before Tuesday’s game. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres broadcaster Pete Weber back in booth after suffering heart attack

BUFFALO – Just 33 days after suffering a heart attack, veteran play-by-play man Pete Weber is calling games again. Incredibly, the Nashville Predators’ 4-1 win Tuesday inside the First Niagara Center was the former Sabres broadcaster’s seventh contest back.

Sitting in his booth about two hours before faceoff, the affable Weber, a popular Buffalo sports voice in the 1980s and 1990s, recalled the scary day.

“Right people, right time and right location,” said Weber, whose ... Read the full article