John Vogl, The Buffalo News
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John Vogl

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This is my 15th season writing about the Sabres for The Buffalo News.

The Sabres held their organizational scouting meetings last week. There definitely were awkward moments. New General Manager Jason Botterill didn’t know everyone. Five members of the scouting department have been let go, so others were wondering if they were next. “There’s nervous people from both ends – myself trying to get to know them, scouts trying to fig…

The Sabres held their organizational scouting meetings last week. There definitely were awkward moments. New General Manager Jason Botterill didn’t know everyone. Five members of the scouting department have been let go, so others were wondering if they were next. “There’s nervous people from both ends – myself trying to get to know them, scouts trying to fig…

Viktor Antipin has already announced he’s coming to Buffalo. Jason Botterill couldn’t say that was true, but the general manager’s smile sure did. “I can’t officially say anything in that regards just yet, but I think I’m excited about the possibility,” Botterill said Tuesday on the Sabres’ simulcast show, “The Instigators.” Antipin told Russia’…

People know Jason Botterill is searching for one head coach and possibly two. That’s made the Sabres’ general manager a very popular guy. “It is amazing how many sort-of friends I’ve had over the last week here, with people passing along names,” Botterill said Tuesday on the Sabres’ simulcast show, “The Instigators.” After holding scouting meetings la…

The NHL named Gilbert Perreault one of the top 100 players of all time. There’s now a portrait to prove it. The NHL released its top-100 list in January as part of its Centennial Celebration. The league is unveiling portraits of honored players every Monday, and this week’s portraits are of Perreault and Montreal’s Jacques Lemaire. https://twitter.com/PR_NHL/st…

I’m not Colin Jost or Michael Che, but here's your weekend update: *Ryan O’Reilly got Canada to the cusp of third straight gold medal. Sweden said no. O’Reilly was the Player of the Game during Saturday’s 4-2 seminfinal victory over Russia at the world championships. The Canadians were down, 2-0, entering the third period, but they overwhelmed the Russians fr…

Jason Botterill sees a straight line in building a successful development model. There’s scouting, drafting and winning. “If anything falls apart in that line, it just doesn’t work,” the Sabres’ general manager said. The winning part is where the Sabres’ development has gotten stuck. Buffalo’s minor-league team has won one playoff series in 12 years,…

When the buzzer sounded to finalize Finland’s upset of the United States, Jack Eichel trudged from the penalty box. He was going home without a goal. On this day, so were the Americans. The United States’ time at the world championships ended suddenly Thursday. It entered the elimination round as the hottest team in the tournament, but it could generate little in…

The United States’ time at the world championships ended suddenly Thursday. Jack Eichel’s tournament stopped a bit earlier. The Sabres center was in the penalty box when the clock struck zero for Finland’s 2-0 upset of the Americans in the quarterfinals. The United States entered the elimination round as the hottest team in the tournament, but it could generate no…

If the retired players suing the NHL about concussions win in court this summer, everyone who played in the league will become part of the class action lawsuit. Until then, it’s a personal decision to join. Two more players who skated in Buffalo have signed up. Paul Andrea, who was part of the inaugural Sabres, and Jim Krulicki, who played for the Buffalo Bisons of…

Before someone wins the Stanley Cup, the iconic trophy is coming to Buffalo. The NHL Centennial Fan Arena will stop at KeyBank Center on June 2-3, coinciding with the NHL Scouting Combine. The league is celebrating its 100th year with a free interactive traveling experience that honors players, teams and moments from the last century. In addition to seeing the Cup, f…

Robin Lehner was Tim Murray’s guy. It appears the goaltender will be Jason Botterill’s guy, too. “I have no problem starting next season with him in goal,” the Sabres’ general manager told Sportsnet in an article published Tuesday. “There are more pressing needs. I liked what I saw from him when he won the Calder Cup.” Lehner, who won the American Hocke…

Jack Eichel and his U.S. teammates lost the first game of the world championships. After celebrating their sixth straight victory Tuesday, they’re now a favorite to win gold. Eichel helped set up the game-winning goal in a 5-3 victory over Russia, vaulting the United States past the Russians to claim first place in Group A. The Americans finished the preliminary round…

Ville Leino was one of the worst free-agent signings in NHL history. Sabres fans don’t look back fondly at his time in Buffalo, and neither does he. Leino has a fashion company called Billebeino, and a hooded sweatshirt released Tuesday is titled “Jail.” It is about the Finn's final year with the Sabres, when Leino had no goals in 58 games in 2013-14. The artwo…

Robin Lehner was Tim Murray’s guy. It appears the goaltender will start as Jason Botterill’s guy, too. The Sabres’ new general manager gave a vote of confidence to Lehner in a conversation with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. “I have no problem starting next season with him in goal,” Botterill said in an article published Tuesday. “There are more pressin…