Sports

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The Buffalo Sabres surprised many on Wednesday by naming Ralph Krueger their new head coach. Krueger takes over for Phil Housley, who was fired in April after two years on the job. Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe shares his thoughts on a special edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench.


Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres have gone outside of the box in the selection of their new head coach, hiring Ralph Krueger as the 19th head coach in franchise history.

Buffalo Bills superfan "Pancho Billa" passes away

May 14, 2019
Twitter/@PanchoBilla1

He was born in Texas and had no Western New York roots. Yet Ezra Castro became attached to the Buffalo Bills and, as part of his passionate support for the pro football team, became the superfan character Pancho Billa. Castro passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 39 in his home state of Texas after battling stage four cancer, his family announced.

Leila Fadel / National Public Radio

New York lawmakers are taking a closer look at authorizing sports betting on smart phones and whether it would require a change to the state Constitution.

NWHL

Over 200 women last week said they would boycott the upcoming NWHL season for multiple reasons including a lack of resources. Now, Pegula Sports and Entertainment says it will no longer operate the Buffalo Beauts moving forward. WBFO's Nick Lippa spoke to NWHL and Victory Press writer Melissa Burgess about what's next for the league.

NWHL.zone

The owner of the Buffalo Beauts gave up control of the team Wednesday in a move that further jeopardizes the future of the National Women’s Hockey League as it struggles to keep its five franchises afloat without the support of the world’s top players.

NWHL

Hundreds of the world's best women hockey players have said they will not compete in North America this upcoming year until they "get the resources that professional hockey demands and deserves." This could threaten not only the upcoming Buffalo Beauts season, but the NWHL itself.

Decrying the sorry state of salary and support for women's hockey, around 200 female players announced Thursday they won't play the game at the professional level across North America, until they get a league with "the resources that professional hockey demands and deserves."

With the ninth pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills selected Ed Oliver, a defensive tackle from the University of Houston. The move received favorable reviews from analyst Matt Sabuda who expects Oliver to be a contributor in the 2019 season.  As for the team's remaining nine picks, Sabuda would like to see the Bills add to the offensive line, a unit which struggled throughout the 2018 season.

On the season finale of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the firing of Phil Housley and what it means for an organization undergoing yet another coaching change. Who are the most likely candidate to replace him and does the failure mean for general manager Jason Botterill? What went wrong in a season that showed promise early on? What went right? And what are the team's biggest needs this offseason?


UB

Jim Whitesell has been tapped as the 14th head coach in University at Buffalo Men's Basketball program history, suceeding Nate Oats who recently left to take the head coaching job at Alabama. On Monday, Whitesall said he hopes to continue the gritty, physical playing style that has become synonymous with Buffalo basketball.

File photo

The Buffalo Sabres announced Sunday that head coach Phil Housley has been relieved of his duties after two seasons behind the bench  

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The start of a new baseball season brings with it assurances that yes indeed, spring is back. The Buffalo Bisons got their season off to a winning start Thursday, opening their 2019 International League campaign with an 8-3 win at Sahlen Field against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about a good effort this week against Nashville, which followed two ugly games last weekend that had many wondering if the team has quit on coach Phil Housley. Forward Jeff Skinner could reach the 40-goal mark in the final two games, but given the Sabres' dreadful second half, is the pending free agent's presumed (by many) re-signing with the team in jeopardy? And Bill recently caught up with former Sabres goalie Daren Puppa, who recently put on the pads again for the first time in a long time.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the latest embarrassment in the team's dreadful run toward the end of the season. Tuesday's defeat to the Ottawa Senators was Buffalo's 13th straight road loss and their 11th loss in their last 12 games. Will, and should, head coach Phil Housley be given another season behind the Sabres' bench?


Oats resigns from UB men's hoops for position at Alabama

Mar 27, 2019
Chris Caya, WBFO

The University at Buffalo Department of Athletics announced Wednesday that Nate Oats has resigned as head coach of the men's basketball team to take a similar position at the University of Alabama.

On this week's edition WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's poor showing against the Toronto Maple Leafs and how far ahead the cross-border rivals are after both teams underwent rebuilds in recent years. Also, with former Sabre Ryan O'Reilly returning to Buffalo last weekend, how does the trade that shipped him to St. Louis look now? And Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander is showing signs why he was a first-round pick in 2016.


Wikipedia

Upstate New York casinos authorized to offer sports gambling could be accepting wagers by Memorial Day weekend.

Twitter

Former Denver Broncos backup quarterback Chad Kelly has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor second-degree criminal trespassing for entering a couple's suburban Denver home uninvited.

Buffalo Beauts

The Buffalo Beauts fell just short in their attempt to win the National Women's Hockey League's Isobel Cup Sunday in St. Paul, MN. It was the fourth consecutive year the Beauts plated for the championship, which they won in 2017. WBFO's Omar Fetouh caught up with the team's head coach and general manager, Cody McCormick to discuss the season.

YouTube

The regional president of the New York State Amateur Hockey Association has resigned and apologized to the family of an Amherst teen hockey player who was subjected to racist taunts in a game in January.

On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's continued collapse, now having lost 11 of their last 13 games, as well as Jeff Skinner's goal-scoring drought, the illegal hit that led to Jack Eichel's two-game suspension, and the prospects for 2016 first-round draft pick Alexander Nylander, who is back up with the big club.


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The world of professional wrestling has lost a local veteran and ambassador for the sport. Dick "The Destroyer" Beyer died at his home in Akron.

On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's tendency to give up goals in bunches, often sinking otherwise-strong efforts. Many fans are calling for the ouster of head coach Phil Housley, but would firing another coach after two years be wise move? And what do defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen's horrid plus/minus numbers tell us about a player who frustrates fans and has grown frustrated himself?


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's latest setbacks, losses to Toronto and Philadelphia, which have left them even further outside of a playoff position. Also a look at the two trades GM Jason Botterill made prior to Monday's deadline and how the addition of defenseman Brandon Montour is a move for both the present and the future.


Buffalo Bills

Michael Cohen said during his congressional testimony Wednesday that Donald Trump grossly overstated his wealth before becoming president, including inflating his assets during a failed bid to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014.

On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about a team in turmoil, which has lost three straight games and is falling out of the playoff race. Head coach Phil Housley called his team "soft" last week, but many fans blame him for the current state of affairs. How much fault falls on the shoulders of Housley and GM Jason Botterill, who has been inactive when it comes to improving the roster? How should Botterill approach the upcoming trade deadline? And what now for Kyle Okposo, who has suffered his third concussion in two years?


File Photo / WBFO News

Before the Buffalo Bills open their exhibition season this summer, Erie County will be putting around $3 million into a series of projects in Orchard Park, including a new playing surface for the stadium.


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the team's improved defense over their last three games, the strong play of the "fourth" line, and how the Sabres, who are in the thick of the playoff race, are rejecting the concept of "moral victories."


On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about head coach Phil Housley's recent line-shuffling, the team's continued defensive woes, and whether it's finally time for Linus Ullmark to take over the role of number one goaltender.


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