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Columns

Ralph Krueger insisted on his opening conference call with Buffalo reporters Wednesday that the 2019 Sabres are ahead of the Edmonton Oilers he coached in 2013, who were mired in the "rebuild phase completely." The Sabres, of course, have big-name talents Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin and Sam Reinhart, as well as the promise of many younger players on the NHL roster and in…

Columns

While texting this week with a Western Conference colleague about Buffalo Sabres coaching candidates, he stopped me in my tracks when he asked if I ever had seen the commercials for Dos Equis, the Mexican beer that featured "the most interesting man in the world." "I think that is Ralph Krueger," my friend said confidently. "Who else has been an NHL head coach, ran Sout…

Colleges

When the news first broke Monday morning, it was a stunner. It seemed like Michigan was going to be the last stop on John Beilein's long and winding coaching road. At age 66, he was the program's winningest head coach with 278 wins – more than the likes of Maize and Blue legends Johnny Orr, Bill Frieder and Steve Fisher. He had job security. He had money. He also had he…

Latest Sabres

This is on Jason Botterill. All of it. Poor roster construction. Questionable moves. Odd development decisions. And ultimately, the decision to fire Phil Housley. While Housley's two seasons as coach rate among the most disappointing in Buffalo Sabres history, the general manager did his head coach no favors. As a tandem, Housley and Botterill were a colossal failure. …

Latest Sabres

After a game in which they kept their noses to the grindstone for 65 minutes, a quick apology to the Sabres for the first thing that popped into this corner's head on Selection Sunday night. In a day featuring a quasi Buffalo-St. Louis doubleheader, the wrong Buffalo team won. How sweet it would have been for a few more St. Bonaventure shots to have dropped home at t…

Latest Sabres

The Edmonton Oilers are still a longshot to sneak into the Stanley Cup playoffs. But they're saving face with a 5-1-1 burst and three straight wins to finish a nine-day road trip. Helps when Connor McDavid can put up five points in the last two games and make it look pretty effortless, too. McDavid has seemed frustrated at times this season. Who wouldn't be with what…

Latest Sabres

Jason Botterill knows it might be a longshot for the Sabres to make the playoffs, but it was pretty clear the general manager stepped over a line he had yet to cross here with this year's version of the NHL trade deadline. Botterill isn't dealing with just futures anymore. Getting Brandon Montour was about today, something the Sabres haven't been about nearly enough in …

Latest Sabres

In about a half-hour Saturday afternoon, you saw exactly why the Buffalo Sabres have to be more about the present and stop always looking at the future. Play out the worst-case scenarios in your head for a minute. What if Jeff Skinner hadn't pulled a Willis Reed act and come back out for the third period of the 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals? Imagine if his ank…

Latest Sabres

When they take the ice Thursday night in KeyBank Center, the Sabres will be staging their first season opener at home against the Boston Bruins since they met in Memorial  Auditorium on Oct. 10, 1974. A bizarre piece of trivia to be sure, that their longtime rivals have not been the opening opponent for 44 years. Sabres legend Danny Gare was surprised to hear it, too, w…

Latest Sabres

This is the season of Rasmus Dahlin, the most talented defenseman the Sabres have drafted since some 18-year-old named Phil Housley showed up here 36 years ago. It's the season of change, where General Manager Jason Botterill swapped out most of predecessor Tim Murray's big names for some of his own. Exit Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Ryan O'Reilly. Enter the likes of …

Latest Sabres

So much of the attention around the new look of the Buffalo Sabres is going to be spent on speed and offense. Can Jack Eichel become an MVP-caliber player? Can Sam Reinhart become a 30-goal man for the first time? How many points does Casey Mittelstadt pile up? How many goals for newcomers Jeff Skinner and Conor Sheary, or in a potential bounce-back season for Kyle Okpo…

Bisons and Baseball

(Through Friday's games. Most recent rankings in parentheses) 1. Boston Red Sox.  Mookie's grand slam off 13-pitch AB vs. Jays' Happ was great theater. (2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABnabalDzIk 2. New York Yankees.  They're going to have to get another starter to survive in October.  (1) 3. Houston Astros.  Demoted closer Giles to Triple-A after he cursed…

Latest Sabres

The Stanley Cup final may be over but there was no shortage of topics to discuss Monday morning as I chatted with Gord Stellick on Sirius XM's "Hockey This Morning" on NHL Network Radio. Talking points included the Caps finally getting over the Pittsburgh curse – and just skating by Game 3 in Columbus when it all could have fallen apart in the first round – as well as t…

Bisons and Baseball

(Through Friday's games. Most recent rankings in parentheses) 1. New York Yankees.  Current pace is 113 wins -- and a struggle just to win AL East. (1) 2. Boston Red Sox. On pace for 109 wins and a tough wild-card game against an AL West foe.(2) 3. Seattle Mariners. Runaway MLB leader in one-run wins with 20, a streak that can't last. (6) 4. Houston Astros. Alt…

Bisons and Baseball

(Through Friday's games. Most recent rankings in parentheses) 1. New York Yankees. With Torres leading the way, hit three homers in five straight games for first time in franchise history. (1) 2. Boston Red Sox. Said stunning goodbye to struggling Hanley. (2) 3. Houston Astros. Allowed just 126 runs through first 50 games, fewest in Live Ball era to 1920. (3) 4…