Buffalo Sabres home arena changing names to KeyBank Center

‘It’s the latest name change for the downtown arena that was first called Marine Midland Arena when it opened in 1996. The name has since been altered to keep up with a series of bank mergers and takeovers.’

The downtown arena is getting its fourth name change

‘KeyBank is merging with First Niagara Bank and officials from KeyBank say pending approval, the Sabres will open next season in the KeyBank Center.’

Wednesday’s Rochester Coverage

Amerks season rewind featuring rookie forward Justin Bailey (Amerks.com)

Should the Sabres trade for Yakupov?

‘There’s also questions about makeup and character and how Yakupov might fit into a Sabres locker room that is mostly filled with leaders and competitors these days. Players like Jack Eichel, Rasmus Ristolainen, Ryan O’Reilly, Brian Gionta, Zemgus Girgensons, Sam Reinhart etc. are all known for being leaders and hard workers. Could they provide stability for Yakupov or would he struggle to fit in?’

Sabres players gear up for World Championships

‘The Buffalo Sabres will have five players representing the team in this tournament. Both forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Sam Reinhart will play on Team Canada, defenseman Jake McCabe and forward Hudson Fasching will don the red, white, and blue with the United States, and Zemgus Girgensons will play with his home nation, Latvia.’

Johnson still hungry for more success

‘On his expiring contract and pending free agency: “I definitely believe there are teams out there that I can help. For myself, it’s a business. If it was easy, I’d want to be back with the Sabres. I want to come back, compete for a starting job, and be a part of the chemistry that was built this past season. I didn’t play 60 games a year all through my 20s, so I still see myself as just reaching my peak and as someone who can play a lot more.”’

10 defenseman the Sabres could target in the offseason

‘The Blues have series salary cap issues and may want to move Shattenkirk out before he hits the final year of his contract. As for as “power play quarterbacks” there is nobody better in the entire NHL. He is a brilliant puck distributor who consistently puts up 40-plus points. At even strength, Shattenkirk is a puck possession driver, pushing the puck up the ice with quality D-zone exit passes. He is occasionally over aggressive and not a perfect defender, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Shattenkirk would have to come along with a long-term contract extension and would have a fairly high price on the trade market.’

Gionta looks forward to NHL Draft in Buffalo

‘”Being from Rochester (N.Y.), I drove up and did some team interviews in the hotels a couple of nights before the draft and everyone in my family was there,” Gionta said. “So I think that was the loudest cheer for a third-round pick, ever, at a draft. I had the whole section and they all went nuts for a third-round pick.’

Sabres came together, learned how to win in 2015-16

‘”I would say they didn’t gel right off the bat because we did make a lot of changes,” general manager Tim Murray said. “That’s a coaching staff, players, support staff – there was a lot of change here.”‘

Sabres’ Eichel not in the running for the Calder

‘The NHL has announced the finalists for the Calder Trophy as the league’s best rookie and Jack Eichel of the Sabres is not in the top three.’

Buffalo-Toronto rivalry could have American feel as Leafs win NHL Draft Lottery

‘The Maple Leafs won the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night, giving them the right to select Auston Matthews with the No. 1 pick in June. The Arizona native has already been favorably compared to the Sabres’ Jack Eichel, and the centers would have at least four face-to-face meetings every year to see who should be the next face of U.S. hockey.’

Leafs win draft lottery; Sabres will select 8th

‘The will be the fourth straight year they have a pick in the top 10. They last selected No. 8 in 2013, when they drafted defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.’

Leafs Win Lottery; Sabres Select 8th

‘The Sabres stayed put with the 8th overall pick. Buffalo had a 6% change of obtaining the top spot, while Toronto owned the best odds going into the lottery. The Oilers, who had the second-best odds, slipped to 4th overall while the Canucks landed in the five spot.’

Maple Leafs win draft lottery, Sabres to select 8th at NHL Draft

‘The Sabres had a six percent chance at winning the top pick after finishing 23rd in the league standings this season.’

Sabres to pick 8th overall at 2016 NHL draft

‘”It’s still the draft and there’s a lot of things that have to happen after the draft where you’ve got to put a player in a good position and give him every opportunity to succeed. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and put the cart ahead of the horse here,” Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said. “We knew we were going to get a good player 1 through 4. Having the ability to pick first, obviously, we’re going to pick whoever we think is the best.”‘