Phil Varone will replace Zemgus Girgensons. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Phil Varone; Mark Pysyk in against Capitals

BUFFALO – Just a couple of weeks ago, the chances of Phil Varone earning another recall to the Sabres appeared to be slim. The center, 25, was struggling with the Rochester Americans, getting scratched thanks to a glut of veterans and a terrible minus rating.

When the Amerks played a game on Dec. 30 at the First Niagara Center, Varone sat out.

But Varone, the Amerks’ leading goal scorer with 10, has recently been the ... Read the full article

Phil Varone has been a healthy scratch this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Phil Varone one of Amerks caught in veteran crunch

ROCHESTER – One of the oddest situations in the minors is unfolding with the AHL Americans, the Buffalo Sabres’ high-priced affiliate. The club has too many veterans, meaning some notable talent earning six figures has been forced to sit out to comply with league development rules.

The Amerks scratched Jerry D’Amigo and Patrick Kaleta, two forwards with 379 games of NHL experience, Friday. Forward Matt Ellis, an alternate captain less than a year removed ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner played his first game Friday since Oct. 8. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner feels good in Amerks rehab start

ROCHESTER – Robin Lehner knew his first rehab appearance for the AHL Americans could be a bit rocky. After all, the goalie hadn’t played since suffering a high ankle sprain opening night, his debut as the Buffalo Sabres’ new starter.

Lehner, 24, looked shaky at times Friday inside the Blue Cross War Memorial. In his first action since Oct. 8, the Swede allowed a goal on the fifth shot he faced and three scores on ... Read the full article

Matt Moulson scored a career-low 13 goals last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Matt Moulson knows he must score goals

BUFFALO – After his family, the most important thing in his life, Sabres winger Matt Moulson has two other loves.

“Scoring is my second love after winning,” Moulson said Sunday inside the First Niagara Center.

Moulson, 31, did little of either throughout a brutal 2014-15 season in which the Sabres won only 23 times and he scored a career-low 13 goals.

He struggled from the get-go beside some pedestrian centers, only occasionally showcasing the talents ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson finished last season as the Sabres’ top center. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres suddenly possess impressive center depth

BUFFALO – Dan Bylsma wanted to count them all first. So before the coach talked about the impressive center depth the Sabres have quickly assembled, he rattled off each one on the roster.

When Bylsma stopped, he had named eight: Ryan O’Reilly, No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel, Zemgus Girgensons, Johan Larsson, David Legwand, Sam Reinhart and Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno, two wingers with experience down the middle.... Read the full article

Justin Bailey was a 2013 second-round pick. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres send 10 players to Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres have sent 10 players to the Rochester Americans, including Williamsville native Justin Bailey, a wing prospect beginning his first professional season.

The Sabres also sent forwards Nick Baptiste, William Carrier, Dan Catenacci, Jerry D’Amigo, Jean Dupuy Justin Kea, Jack Nevins and Phil Varone and goalie Andrey Makarov to the AHL club. D’Amigo and Varone must clear waivers.

In addition, the Sabres released forward Matt Garbowsky and defenseman Matt Prapavessis from their ... Read the full article

Phil Varone (84) chases after the puck last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres re-sign Phil Varone to two-way deal

BUFFALO – The Sabres re-signed Phil Varone to a one-year, two-way contract today, avoiding arbitration with the forward.

Varone would’ve gone to an arbiter July 27. He’ll earn $600,000 in the NHL next season, according to CBC’s Tim Wharnsby, a $5,000 raise.

The 24-year-old, who had three goals and five points in 28 NHL games last season, likely wanted an AHL raise as a restricted free agent. He only had a $62,500 deal with the ... Read the full article

Carlo Colaiacovo didn’t sign a contract until October last year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Carlo Colaiacovo excited for opportunity with Sabres

BUFFALO – Two days after signing a one-year contract with the Sabres, Carlo Colaiacovo hadn’t stopped smiling yet, the defenseman said Sunday.

A year ago, Colaiacovo couldn’t find work. As the summer dragged on, the free agent became uneasy. The stress wore on him.

Colaiacovo eventually decided to bolt to a Russian club in the KHL. But the contract took so long to consummate a one-year-deal with Philadelphia materialized in October before he could leave.... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson scored six goals last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Awful season costs Cody Hodgson job with Sabres

BUFFALO – Cody Hodgson’s Sabres career is over.

The team put the struggling winger on unconditional waivers Monday, meaning the final four seasons of his six-year, $25.5 million contract will be bought out for one-third the remaining value since he’s under 26 years old.

The Sabres owe him $6.333 million over the next eight years, money that will count against the salary cap until 2022-23, according to They must absorb a $1,041,666 hit ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart made his AHL debut Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart hopes for NHL success with new style

ROCHESTER – It wasn’t easy for Sam Reinhart to change his style. After all, the slick Buffalo Sabres prospect spent three seasons dominating junior hockey as an elite scorer.

“It’s hard in junior to force yourself to play the way you’re going to need to in the AHL and NHL,” Reinhart said Friday following his AHL debut with the Rochester Americans.

But Reinhart’s nine-game NHL trial in October taught the 19-year-old center some valuable lessons ... Read the full article