Jack Eichel

The Buffalo Sabres open the 2016-2017 season Thursday night with a game against the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center. But the team was dealt a major blow on Wednesday when young star Jack Eichel suffered a high-ankle sprain at practice. No timetable has been set for his return, but Eichel is expected to miss several weeks. WBFO's Omar Fetouh talked about the injury and the new season with Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe on the season premiere of Behind The Bench.


File photo

Buffalo Sabres star forward Jack Eichel suffered an ankle injury in practice Wednesday morning and had to be helped off the ice.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO

College hockey star Jimmy Vesey has chosen to sign a contract with the New York Rangers.

The NHL conducts its annual draft lottery Saturday evening. Last year at this time, Buffalo Sabres fans were eagerly awaiting whether the team would draw the first or second overall pick in a draft that included two consensus "franchise players." That followed months of anticipation in what many observers called a "tank," — setting the team up to fail in the short-term in order to secure a cornerstone player.

On the season finale of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe recaps the recently-concluded 2015-16 season, a year that saw the team show a marked improvement on the ice. Bill talks about phenom Jack Eichel's rookie campaign, players who took their game to the next level and the club's needs heading into the offseason.

Buffalo Sabres

While 16 NHL teams are getting ready for the playoffs, the Buffalo Sabres are looking ahead to next year after missing the post-season for the fifth straight year. Still, General Manager Tim Murray carried an optimistic tone into Monday's season-ending press conference.

On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's difficulty scoring first, the continued emergence of Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart and the strong play of a line made up of players who were mostly unproductive early this season.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the much-hyped first matchup between Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel and this week's trade deadline, which saw forward Jamie McGinn shipped to Anaheim for a draft pick.


On an All-Star break edition of WBFO'S Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about goalie Robin Lehner's first win as a member of the team, rookie Jack Eichel's recent resurgence, some much-needed production from forward Zemgus Girgensons, and the state of the team as it enters the NHL's unofficial second half.


On the final 2015 edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the Evander Kane situation, the team's struggles on the power play, a breakout game for Jack Eichel, and the pending return of the man who entered the year as the Sabres' starting goaltender.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres beat reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the first three games of the 2015-2016 season, games that included a significant injury and a spectacular Jack Eichel goal that has the hockey world buzzing.


Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Hope ran strong Thursday night during the Party in the Plaza, as fans readied for the opening game of the Buffalo Sabres season and the regular season debut of Jack Eichel. Eichel didn't disappoint, notching his first career goal in a 3-1 loss to Ottawa.


It's opening night for the Buffalo Sabres and with the new season comes the return of WBFO's Behind The Bench, our weekly look at the team both on and off the ice. Sabres beat reporter Bill Hoppe joins WBFO's Omar Fetouh for a preview of what fans can expect from this year's squad, which has undergone a massive overhaul over the past several months.


Sabres apparel is hot, Eichel jerseys on hold

Jul 6, 2015
Photo courtesy of Bill Hoppe

The Sabres anticipation and finally signing of Jack Eichel appears to be boosting sales of Sabres apparel.

New Sabre Eichel visits young Roswell Park patients

Jul 3, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Just one day after he signed his first-ever professional hockey contract, highly-touted Buffalo Sabres rookie Jack Eichel was out in the local community, visiting some special guests.

Eichel goes pro, signs contract with Sabres

Jul 1, 2015
Buffalo Sabres

Jack Eichel, the highly-hyped #2 overall pick in last week's NHL Draft, has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Buffalo Sabres.

nhl.com / National Hockey League

On the second day of the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Florida, the Buffalo Sabres picked up five new players, including a run of defenseman.

Bill Hoppe

There was little doubt whom the Buffalo Sabres would select with the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Sabres' Eichel era about to begin

Jun 26, 2015
File photo

Buffalo Sabres fans are about to be rewarded for their patience. As a result of finishing in last place this past season, the team will add a player many consider to be a once-in-a-generation talent.

Dave DeLuca/WBFO News

The Buffalo Sabres announced the hiring of two new assistant coaches on Thursday. Terry Murray and Dave Barr will join new head coach Dan Bylsma behind the bench.

Top NHL prospects McDavid, Eichel meet the media

Jun 5, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

As the National Hockey League's Scouting Combine winds down this weekend in Buffalo, the players expected to be selected first and second in the league's draft met with media in the HarborCenter.

Courtesy of goterriers.com

Jack Eichel looks confident in the World Hockey Championships, but is he ready for the NHL?

Eichel earns rave reviews after freshman year

Apr 20, 2015
photo courtesy of Boston University website

While they may have "lost" to the Edmonton Oilers Saturday night in the NHL Draft Lottery, a game of chance that determined who would pick first in the approaching draft, one writer believes the Buffalo Sabres will do well by picking Jack Eichel of Boston University with the second overall pick.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

The season is over for the Buffalo Sabres, but local hockey fans were glued to the television screen again this weekend.

File photo

On the season finale of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres beat reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's last place finish and what it will mean for this weekend's draft lottery, the firing of head coach Ted Nolan and some possible coaching candidates, and we look back on a strange season where the goal appeared to be short-term pain for long-term gain.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

The Buffalo Sabres have locked up last place in the NHL for the season.

ontariohockeyleague.com

On this week's edition of WBFO's 'Behind The Bench,' Buffalo Sabres beat reporter Bill Hoppe talks about where the team stands in the closely-watched race for last place in the NHL, a position that will allow that team to draft one of two much-hyped prospects.

Hockey prospects game to feature draft prize Eichel

Sep 25, 2014
Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

The CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game will take place at First Niagara Center in Downtown Buffalo Thursday. The game will feature some of the best young talent in the world, including top prospect John “Jack” Eichel.

Pages