Tyler Ennis enjoyed playing for Pat Quinn. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres have special memories of Pat Quinn; Michal Neuvirth ready to return

BUFFALO – Three Sabres – winger Tyler Ennis, center Cody Hodgson and defenseman Tyler Myers – played for former NHL coach and executive Pat Quinn, an iconic figure who died Sunday at 71 following a long illness.

Quinn coached the players to a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2009 world junior championship in Ottawa.

“He was awesome for us,” Ennis this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

Canada hasn’t won gold since, something ... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers was a defenseman until last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers trying to build on breakout season

BUFFALO – The whole season, Sabres winger Nick Deslauriers said, “was pretty crazy.”

Barely a year ago, Deslauriers was a defenseman in Los Angeles’ organization. Three years into his career, he hadn’t played an NHL game. Then a forward shortage forced the Kings to make him a winger.

Suddenly, Deslauriers became a goal scorer up front, compiling 16 in 60 games for AHL Manchester.

That scoring prowess, coupled with his usual nasty edge, caught the ... Read the full article

Patrick Kaleta was injured Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Injured Sabres Patrick Kaleta and Johan Larsson still being evaluated

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Ted Nolan had no updates on injured forwards Patrick Kaleta and Johan Larsson this afternoon. The players are still being evaluated.

“Nothing official yet,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “We’ll just wait until the official reports.”

The oft-injured Kaleta left Sunday’s 3-2 shootout preseason loss in Toronto just minutes in when Morgan Rielly’s slap shot hit the winger in the cheekbone area. Kaleta immediately skated off the ice to ... Read the full article

Chris Stewart zooms toward the net Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Michal Neuvirth struggles, Chris Stewart shines in Sabres’ preseason loss to Leafs

BUFFALO – If this keeps up, the battle to become the Sabres’ No. 1 goalie could be over soon.

Michal Neuvirth performed poorly in his first preseason action, making only 16 saves in the Sabres’ 6-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday inside the First Niagara Center.

The Leafs scored on four of their first seven shots and five of the first 12.

“A tough game, not a lot of shots,” Neuvirth said. ... Read the full article

Tim Schaller has looked impressive this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Tim Schaller to make preseason debut

BUFFALO – Ted Nolan knew very little about Sabres prospect Tim Schaller prior to training camp. The center hasn’t dazzled the coach, but his play away from the puck has been catching Nolan’s eye.

“I just thought his hockey intelligence was evident to a few of us,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “He kept doing it day after day after day. We just felt that he deserves an opportunity.”

Schaller, an ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov was sent back to junior early last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Nikita Zadorov believes strong training camp could earn NHL roster spot

BUFFALO – After a seven-game NHL trial as a rookie early last season, Sabres prospect Nikita Zadorov feels ready for primetime. The 19-year-old defenseman believes an impressive training camp could force the Sabres to keep him.

“I’m a year older, a year stronger – everything,” Zadorov said earlier this week. “I have experience.”

Zadorov will be at least a few games richer in experience by next week, after the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, ... Read the full article

Tim Murray (left) wants to sign veterans to support youngsters like Sam Reinhart. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

GM Tim Murray believes Sabres can add veterans in free agency, not worried about cap floor

BUFFALO – The Sabres have a pretty simple free agency plan. The rebuilding club wants to add some respected veterans, preferably skilled ones who can mentor the team’s youngsters and are willing to take a short term, perhaps just a year or two.

Yes, the Sabres need to add salary badly when the market opens at noon today. After all, they’re a stunning $20,580,834 under the floor. But reaching that mark, a touchy subject for ... Read the full article

The Sabres could draft Sam Reinhart this June. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres can’t keep top pick during lottery, will draft second in June

BUFFALO – Chalk up one more loss for the Sabres this season.

The rebuilding club couldn’t retain the No. 1 overall pick during Tuesday’s NHL Draft Lottery in Toronto. Instead, the Florida Panthers moved up one spot to the top selection.

The Sabres will pick second in June. Thanks to their 30th ranking this season, the Sabres had a 25 percent chance of keeping the top pick, more than any other team. The ... Read the full article

Tim Murray talks to the media this afternoon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

GM Tim Murray doesn’t hold back discussing Sabres’ future

BUFFALO – In an end-of-season news conference that will likely become part of local lore, general manager Tim Murray bluntly discussed the Sabres’ future, tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery and took some not-so-veiled shots at the team’s old regime this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

He even mentioned the Sabres getting their “pee-pee slapped” by the league recently.

More on that later.

Here are some highlights from the 28-minute chat from Murray and Sabres coach ... Read the full article

Henrik Tallinder will be a game-time decision tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Healthy bodies mean Sabres can send youngsters back to Amerks for playoff race

BUFFALO – Slowly, the injury-plagued Sabres are starting to get some healthy bodies back.

Three injured players returned in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Detroit. Now, they might have two more back for tonight’s road tilt against the New York Rangers.

Winger Drew Stafford (undisclosed) pronounced himself ready during Wednesday’s practice, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. Meanwhile, defenseman Henrik Tallinder (undisclosed) said he’s a game-time decision tonight.

“Hank, he gave me the old 95-percent sure look,” ... Read the full article