Big picture: Sabres still get to draft a true No. 1 center

‘Eichel has all the tools to become a franchise player, which is what the Sabres wanted all along. What’s the gap between him and McDavid? Is there a gap between him and McDavid?’

Sabres lose lottery to Oilers, will draft Jack Eichel with No. 2 pick

‘But Eichel wouldn’t commit to leaving school and turning professional. He just lost the national championship game. Perhaps another run to the Frozen Four could lure him back to college.’

Sabres Will Likely Deal With Eichel As Consolation Prize

‘McDavid, “the next one,” will be shipped off to the hockey wasteland that is Edmonton, where No. 1 picks go to die. The Oilers had their chance when they finished last in 2010 and drafted Taylor Hall. They weren’t good enough, so they won the lottery as the second-worst team the following year and drafted Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. How’d that work out? Oh, they finished seventh-worst, won the lottery again and picked Nail Yakupov. Those three talents made them so much better that they picked No. 7 the following year, and were back at No. 3 last year.’

Oilers euphoric, Sabres notsomuch with draft lottery

‘Make no mistake – Murray has been against the lottery process from the get-go. He was the only GM to vote against the format last season, sticking to his guns that the last place team should automatically get the top selection.’

Mitchell, Flynn went from hockey hell to heaven

‘“It’s a completely different atmosphere coming to the rink here and showing up here every day,” said Mitchell. “We’re pushing to win the Stanley Cup and it wasn’t like that in Buffalo.’

Sabres will not get McDavid

‘Now that the Sabres know they’ll get Eichel, the question is would Murray listen to offers. He said, “No, we would never hang the phone up, we don’t want to trade the number two pick, I said if we won the lottery maybe we’d make calls, but we’ve seen in this league time after time and we’ve seen the best player in this league get traded, so it doesn’t cost me anything to listen, listening is free, so I would listen definitely, but realistically I can’t imagine a scenario where anything would happen.”’

Sabres to select 2nd overall at 2015 draft

‘“We’ve said all along there are two top-end, impact – if not franchise – players in this draft,” he said after the results were announced. “They both play the right position in my opinion for rebuilding. As disappointed as we are for not having the No. 1 pick, we’re extremely happy to be able to pick 2 still.”’

Sunday’s Rochester Coverage

Sluggish Amerks shut out by Binghamton (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Amerks’ finale a reunion for Reinhart brothers (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
B-Sens finish with a flurry in a win over Rochester (Binghamton Press and Sun Bulletin)
Amerks get blanked by B-Sens, 5-0 (
B-Sens End Season with 5-0 Shutout (
Newcomer Garbowsky feels at home in Rochester (

Now the Sabres need to get lucky

‘After twice in this space complaining about Buffalo “fans” rooting against their own team in hopes of improving its draft position, emails flooded in questioning my intellect, heritage and career choice. Still, I share their desire for the team to dramatically improve, my issue was the way the Sabres positioned themselves to do it.’

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.’