NHL Expansion Draft has evolved; Sabres could lose William Carrier

BUFFALO – Seventeen years ago, as president and general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Doug MacLean spent almost a year preparing for the NHL Expansion Draft.

“Hundreds and hundreds of hours went into it,” MacLean, now an analyst for Sportsnet, told the Times Herald by phone Saturday.... Read the full article

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly ends slump with helmetless goal

BUFFALO – In his eight-year NHL career, Ryan O’Reilly has scored 117 times, so the Sabres center has about every type of goal on his impressive resume.

But after O’Reilly recently lost his helmet in the thick of the action and nearly scored, he started thinking – or, perhaps more appropriately, daydreaming – about getting a goal and celebrating without, as hockey players say, his “bucket.”

“We talked about this like two weeks ago,” O’Reilly ... Read the full article

Sabres’ Jack Eichel wows in season debut

OTTAWA – The Jack Eichel Show started on the slick center’s third shift of the season, just 6:16 into the Buffalo Sabres’ exciting 5-4 win against the Senators.

Stationed above the left circle on the power play, Eichel showcased some supreme vision and adroit passing, finding Kyle Okposo in front for the opening goal Tuesday.

On his next shift, Eichel, 20, unleashed a wicked power-play one-timer from the left circle off Ryan O’Reilly’s feed, beating ... Read the full article

Sabres’ Evander Kane ready to play; Jack Eichel progressing

BUFFALO – For the next little bit, Evander Kane will likely have to endure some pain on the ice. The Sabres winger, out since breaking four ribs Oct. 13, hasn’t quite healed 100 percent.

“I don’t think anything is really healed kind of right when I get back, but it’s healed enough to where I can play and come back,” said Kane, who will return tonight against the Ottawa Senators. “I’m sure there’ll be ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner stars in comeback win against Senators

OTTAWA – Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner, coach Dan Bylsma said recently, gets a twinkle in his eye whenever he plays the Senators.

Lehner, 25, clearly relishes beating his old team, which traded him to keep Saturday’s counterpart, Craig Anderson, who’s 10 years older.

“Absolutely I can tell that,” a grinning Bylsma said following the Sabres’ 2-1 comeback win, a game in which Lehner starred, stopping 32 shots.

The Swede dazzled strong throughout his ... Read the full article

Sabres rookie Nick Baptiste ready for hometown debut

OTTAWA – As a native of nearby Barrhaven, about a 10-minute drive from the Canadian Tire Centre, Buffalo Sabres rookie Nick Baptiste will have quite the cheering section tonight for his sixth NHL game.

“There’s going to be a lot of people here tonight – a lot of family, friends, teachers, people in the area,” Baptiste said after the Sabres’ optional morning skate. “My brother’s whole hockey team is coming. There’s going to be quite ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart hits 20-goal mark in Sabres’ win over Senators

BUFFALO – The significance should be noted. For the first time in 41 years and only the third time in franchise history, two Sabres rookies – Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart – have scored 20 goals.

The 20-goal mark has long been a standard in hockey. In this low-scoring era, the milestone has an increased importance.

Just months into their NHL careers, the youngsters drafted second overall and charged with leading the Sabres back to ... Read the full article

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons finding offensive game beside Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – Barely a minute into the third period last Tuesday, Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons roared down the left side into the Ottawa zone before stopping and lifting a saucer pass to center Jack Eichel, who was zooming to the net down the middle.

The rookie connected, got stymied by Senators goalie Craig Anderson but managed to tuck the loose puck in for the winner in the Sabres’ 3-2 comeback victory.

The slick score, ... Read the full article

Sabres’ Jack Eichel scores in NHL debut

BUFFALO – For the first two periods of his NHL debut, Jack Eichel blended in among the other 10 skaters on the ice. The slick Sabres center looked like, well, a rookie playing against superior competition.

Then suddenly, like he somehow matured over a brief intermission, Eichel, 18, morphed into the best player on the ice late in the Sabres’ 3-1 opening-night loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

“You didn’t see him skate in ... Read the full article

Sabres believe goalie Robin Lehner worth high price

SUNRISE, Fla. – Parting with the 21st pick in a deep NHL Draft wasn’t easy for Tim Murray. With the Buffalo Sabres locked into picking Jack Eichel second overall Friday, the general manager recently told his scouts to focus on the team’s other first-round pick.

Murray wanted them to go deep and dig into those prospects.

But the Sabres desperately needed a goalie for next season. Murray had choices. Plenty of established ones – ... Read the full article