With NHL lottery, a new course will be set for Sabres

‘We find out Saturday: McDavid or Eichel?’

How Sabres slid into NHL’s basement

‘Openly egged on by, of all things, the team’s own flagship radio station, fans rooted long and hard for the Sabres to lose games. And then for the Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes to win them. In the end, the masses got what they wanted. Buffalo finished 30th overall for the second straight year, and will secure the spot Saturday in Toronto at the Draft Lottery to select either McDavid or Eichel in June.’

We’re No. 2: When it comes to runners-up, Western New York is tops

‘Buffalo is the second-largest city in the state. Both the Buffalo New Year’s Eve ball drop and the Taste of Buffalo are the second-largest in the country. The Peace Bridge is the second-busiest northern border crossing. And, of course, there were those four second-place Super Bowl finishes.’

Sabres will get franchise-changing talent in Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel at draft lottery

‘“I don’t think about the draft lottery. I just assume we’re going to lose, so it’s just another day,” Murray, who wouldn’t talk to reporters this week, told the team’s Web site. “We’ve got an 80 percent chance of losing the lottery. So if I spent my days worrying about that, I’d be a basket case by Saturday. It’s just another day in the process.”’

Sabres captain Brian Gionta on Ted Nolan’s firing: ‘It’s a result of how we played on the ice’

‘“No, Ted was a great guy,” Gionta said. “As far as the way he handle things, it was a tough year, we lost a lot. Things could’ve been much different. He did a good job handling things.”’

Sabres prospect Mark Pysyk feels good in return following collapse

‘The next two games could be the final AHL appearances for Pysyk, who served as captain with Drew Bagnall injured. After some regular duty last season, the Sabres let Pysyk overcook in the minors this season and perfect his game. He should be an NHL mainstay next season.’

Connor McDavid analyzes five teams with best odds to pick No. 1

‘“I love Buffalo. It’s a great place. I know it very well. Playing in Erie, I’ve been to Buffalo a whole bunch. It’s kind of the closest (NHL) place to Erie and there are a lot of Sabres fans living in the area. I live with a diehard Sabres fan in my billet (Bob Catalde). It’s a special place.”’

Buffalo is our kind of town — especially for ex-athletes

‘Former Bills who still call the Buffalo area home include Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Steve Tasker, Andre Reed, Mark Kelso, Steve Christie and Joe Devlin, to name a few. Former Sabres who remained in the area include Rob Ray, Larry Playfair, Mike Robitaille, Rene Robert, Rick Martin (until his death in March 2011), Matthew Barnaby, Bill Hajt, Andrew Peters and Darryl Shannon.’

McDavid is generational prize for team that wins NHL draft lottery

‘By finishing last, Buffalo is guaranteed one of the two franchise players available in the draft. If the Sabres don’t win the lottery, they’ll pick second and can take Boston University centre Jack Eichel.’

Tim Murray describes draft lottery as ”Another day in the process”

‘Murray will drive up to Toronto on Saturday, and will be present in Sportsnet’s downtown studios when the lottery announcement is made.’

Saturday’s Rochester Coverage

Reinhart provides a glimpse of future in Amerks’ debut (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Photo gallery (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Corrado, Jensen lead Comets past Amerks (Utica Observer Dispatch)
Reinhart shines in debut for Amerks (WGR-AM)
Reinhart posts two points as Amerks fall to Comets in regular season home finale (Amerks.com)
Final: Comets 3 @ Amerks 2 (UticaComets.com)

There are 14 NHL teams with eyes on the McDavid prize

‘McDavid’s influence, of course, goes even further than his impact on the ice. Some markets could use more season tickets. There would be impact on jersey sales in the home city and around the league online. Television ratings, especially local ones, would get a boost. And it’s widely believed Detroit’s Mike Babcock, a pending free agent coach who is looking to get paid with a capital “P” this offseason, would be keenly interested in a job in Buffalo or Toronto if the package included McDavid on the roster.’

McDavid will be in house when NHL reveals lottery slots

‘The league said McDavid and the two players expected to be the targets for most teams at No. 3, Erie forward Dylan Strome and Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifan, will also attend. Boston University forward Jack Eichel, the player the Sabres would presumably take at No. 2 if their 80 percent odds to claim that spot come through, is not scheduled to attend. A league spokesman said Eichel has a prior family commitment.’

What the 2015 NHL Draft means to Sabres fans – and where to watch it

‘A draft lottery involving the 14 teams that missed the playoffs this season will be conducted to determine the order of the 2015 draft, which will be held June 26 in Sunrise, Fla. Buffalo has a 20 percent chance of obtaining the first overall pick in the draft lottery and an 80 percent chance of picking second.’

Sabres’ Cody Hodgson on awful season: ‘I can’t explain what happened’

‘“This is by far the worst years just I’ve had in my whole life, not just in just in a National Hockey League year,” Hodgson said Sunday inside the First Niagara Center as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers following a 30th-place finish. “I can’t explain what happened or what happened in more than one instance.”‘