Buffalo Sabres

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The Buffalo Sabres say more than 10,000 were in First Niagara Center to watch the team scrimmage Monday night.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

The NHL lockout is now officially over.

The players' union ratified the Collective Bargaining Agreement on Saturday and a necessary Memorandum of Understanding was agreed to as well. Training camps can now open and the schedule for a shortened season has been released. The Sabres play their first game next Sunday, hosting the Philadelphia Flyers at 12:30 in the afternoon.

Tickets for games will be on sale beginning Monday and Tuesday of this week.

WBFO News photo by Omar Fetouh

NHL owners will gather in New York City today to vote on the new collective bargaining agreement tentatively agreed to with the players' union last weekend. 

Hockey-dependent businesses welcome NHL's return

Jan 7, 2013
File photo

Business owners and employees of Buffalo bars and restaurants are breathing a sigh of relief with news that the National Hockey League and its players have reached a tentative deal on a new collective bargaining agreement.

WBFO News file photo

Many of the details need to be worked out, but the National Hockey League is gearing up for an abbreviated season  that could finish around the Fourth of July.

NHL games canceled through January 14

Dec 20, 2012

The NHL has wiped out all games through Jan. 14, and if it needs to make any more cancelations, the entire season could be the next thing to go.

WBFO News file photo

The National Hockey League is cancelling another batch of regular season games. 

The league says all games through November 1  have been scrubbed due to the absence of a collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players' Association.

The players have been locked out for more than a month.  The league had already canceled the first two weeks of the regular season. The initial cancelation wiped 82 games off the schedule. That number is now up to 135.

wbfo file photo / WBFO News

Buffalo Sabres' fans gathered at Alumni Plaza outside of First Niagara Center to honor the French Connection Friday night.

A seven foot bronze statue of Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and Rene Robert was unveiled, celebrating the greatness of the trio and the success of the blue-and-gold in the 70's. The voice of the Sabres, Rick Jeanneret, hosted the event, and team owner Terry Pegula was on hand.

The opening of the NHL season is being delayed by contract negotiations between the players and the owners.

NHL lockout continues

Oct 8, 2012

Negotiators are expected to meet again this week in an effort to reach a new NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, but there appears to be little sense of urgency to end a players' lockout that is proving costly to many.

The lockout enters its 23rd day today and the league has already canceled games through October 24th. The cancelations have cost the Buffalo Sabres four home games.

Lockout delays start of NHL season

Oct 4, 2012

The start of the NHL's regular season has now been pushed back by the lockout.

The league canceled the first two weeks of the 2012-13 season, which was scheduled to begin next week Thursday with four games. In all, 82 games were wiped out through October 24.

Despite negotiating regularly throughout the summer, the NHL and NHL Players' Association have been unable to make much progress in collective bargaining talks. The lockout is into its 19th day and the two sides currently don't have any negotiating sessions scheduled.

NHL announces cancelation of preseason games

Sep 19, 2012
WBFO News file photo

The National Hockey League has announced the cancelation of the 2012 preseason schedule through Sept. 30.  

The NHL says the cancelation of the schedule was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.

In addition, the 2012 Kraft Hockeyville preseason game, scheduled for Oct. 3 in Belleville, Ontario, has been postponed to 2013.  

As a result, the following Buffalo Sabres games have been canceled: Wednesday, Sept. 26 against the Bruins and Friday, Sept. 28 against the Maple Leafs.

Sabres react to NHL lockout

Sep 17, 2012
WBFO News file photo

The National Hockey League is engaged in yet another work stoppage as owners opted to lockout its players at midnight Saturday after a new Collective Bargaining Agreement could not be reached.

The  Buffao Sabres prepared for life after the lockout by signing restricted free agent Tyler Ennis to a two-year contract  Saturday.

The team announced a refund process will be in place for those holding tickets to any games that may be canceled.  Another option is to leave ticket payments intact and receive 4 percent interest.  

City chooses Pegula's proposal for Webster Block

Aug 30, 2012

A group led by Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula has been chosen to develop downtown Buffalo's Webster Block.  The announcement was made by Mayor Byron Brown late Wednesday morning. 

"Great things are happening in the city of Buffalo and today it is getting even better," said Mayor Brown as he started the news briefing.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret is one of six new 2012 Buffalo Broadcast Hall of Fame inductees. 

Jeanneret is being recognized for a 40+ year career in sports broadcasting that started in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  He joined the Sabres broadcast team for the 1971-72-season. 

In May of 2011 Jeanneret had scaled back from working all the Sabres games.  But this season, Jeanneret will be back in the broadcast booth for all 82 Sabres games. 

City seeks public input on Webster Block proposals

Jul 27, 2012
WBFO News file photo

The city of Buffalo is seeking the public's input on two proposals for developing the Webster Block in downtown Buffalo.

Companies tied to developer Carl Paladino and the Buffalo Sabres are the two bidders for the project.  Mayor Byron Brown says the city will announce the winning bid on August 15, but first they want to hear from citizens. 

The proposals can be viewed on the city's website.

Newest Sabre feels at home in Buffalo

Jul 19, 2012
Chris Caya/WBFO News

The newest member of the Buffalo Sabres met with reporters this morning at First Niagara Center.  Forward Steve Ott is promising to bring his hard work ethic to the team.

Ott calls Buffalo a first class place to play hockey, from ownership to management to staff. He says he wants to help make the Sabres, who have been criticized for lacking toughness, a harder team to play against.

"I think team toughness is your best toughness," Ott said. "I think if you go in there and you play a team-structured game, heavy heavy, that will take care of your toughness."

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The Buffalo Sabres will be honoring the famed French Connection line of the 1970s with a statue outside First Niagara Center. 

Sabres president Ted Black stood outside the arena Thursday to announce that a 10-foot bronze statue of the renowned trio -- Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert, and Rick Martin -- will be part of a larger, newly-renamed Alumni Plaza.

Buffalo Sabres team photo

The Buffalo Sabres pulled off a big trade Monday, sending veteran Derek Roy to Dallas in exchange for forward Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy.

Ott is the key element in the trade, able to play both center and wing and strong on faceoffs.

"We felt we had to, and still will have to...get a little bigger in the middle," said Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier.

Regier says he told Roy a trade was a real possibility and a trade with Dallas had been on the table for almost a year before he pulled the trigger as player free agency kicked off this week.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret will be in the broadcast booth for all 82 games next season.  That's a change from the past few seasons, where the veteran broadcaster took a reduced role behind the microphone, calling fewer games. 

Jeanneret signed a new, multi-year contract with the team earlier this month. 

Buffalo Sabres add depth to broadcast roster

Jun 12, 2012

The Buffalo Sabres are shaking up their broadcast team.

While Hall-of-Fame play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret has signed a contract extension, other familiar faces will be shifting roles.

Former Sabre Rob Ray will join Jeanneret in the broadcast booth taking over the analyst role previously held by Harry Neale.

Neale will work with Mike Robitaille on pre-game and intermission segments.

Other members of the broadcast team, Danny Gare and Brian Duff, will have expanded roles in this year's productions. 



File Photo / WBFO/AM 970 News

The Hockey Hall of Fame is welcoming the voice of the Buffalo Sabres, Rick Jeanneret.

Jeanneret will be the recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award and will have his name affixed in the Hall amongst other broadcasters.

The ceremony will take place on November 12th in Toronto.

Mark Leitner/WBFO

The greening of the downtown waterfront is about to be enhanced thanks to the Buffalo Sabres.

Mayor Byron Brown met with reporters at Main Street and Marine Drive beneath the Skyway Tuesday to announce that the Sabres organization is picking up the $120,000 tab for enhancements and landscaping at  unfinished parcels at the Central Wharf, near First Niagara Center.

The project will include the installation 90,000 square feet of new sod. The land is already being cleared and cleaned and existing fences and barriers will be removed to allow for greater public access.

Sabres ban smoking at arena, raise ticket prices

Apr 25, 2012

The Buffalo Sabres have announced that starting this fall, smoking will no longer be allowed on First Niagara Center property. 

Designated smoking areas outside the arena will become a thing of the past as of September 1.  Fans will not be able to smoke on arena grounds during any games or events.  The team says the change in policy comes at the request of fans and reflects similar trends at the sporting venues across the country. 

Sabres president: Ruff and Regier staying

Apr 11, 2012

Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black says the team is already looking ahead on how to rebound from this year's disappointing finish. And he adds those plans include moving forward with both general manager Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff.

As difficult as it was on the franchise to miss the playoffs, Black told the Associated Press by phone that there's ``no time to wallow in misery.'' He says the team will continue the aggressive approach in adding players it established last offseason, its first under new owner Terry Pegula.

Disappointing Sabres clear out lockers

Apr 9, 2012
WBFO News file photo

As 16 NHL teams prepare for the start of this week's Stanley Cup playoffs, the Buffalo Sabres will be cleaning out their lockers Monday and answering questions regarding their failure to make the post-season for the third time in the last five years.

A season-ending shootout loss on Saturday to the Boston Bruins gave the Sabres a 39-32-and-11 record,  producing 89 points which ranked 19th in the 30-team league.

Photo by Mark Scott

For listeners of WBFO’s FM signal, the voice of Morning Edition host Jay Moran is still relatively new to you.  But even long time listeners of AM 970 might not be aware of how Jay spends 40-plus evenings a year. 

Tuesday night, the Buffalo Sabres play their final home game of the season at First Niagara Center.  And if you plan on attending, you might just recognize Jay’s voice.  He moonlights as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres.  He’s been doing so since the Fall of 2005.

File Photo / WBFO News

Time Warner Cable customers may find themselves missing the rest of Buffalo's hockey season on television.

Fans have already missed most of the Sabres' season due to a dispute over a price increase demanded by the Madison Square Garden Network, or MSG. Network President Michael Bair reports that no end to the dispute appears to be imminent, and with just 27 games left in the Sabres' regular season, cable subscribers could be without the remaining games.

The contractual stalemate is affecting fans of professional sports teams from the New York City region as well.

WBFO News file photo

Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff was hurt during practice Monday morning at the First Niagara Center.

Ruff collided on the ice with Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold.

"This is the first time in 15 years that I remember this happening," said Mike Gilbert, Sabres spokesman. "Jordan Leopold slid into Lindy from behind and the two of them collided and unfortunately he landed on his side."

Ruff suffered  three broken ribs.   In the locker room Leopold told reporters accidents are part of the game, but noted it was an unexpected hit.   Leopold said he lost his breath.

WBFO News file photo

Late last week Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula pointed to player injuries as the root cause of the team's difficult season. 

But Pegula did note that he remains confident the team will be able to bounce back in the second half of the season.  

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley had a chance to ask a former Sabre about the lackluster season.

When the Sabres are in a slump, fans often call changes both on and off the ice.

Sabres Kaleta suspended for head butt

Nov 3, 2011
Photo from NHL video clip

 Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has been suspended, without pay, for four games for a head butt to another player.  

It involved an illegal hit to the face of  a Philadelphia Flyers forward during NHL Wednesday night in Buffalo.  The National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced the decision Thursday.