Author Archives: chrisdierken


BUFFALO, N.Y. (May 26, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced Dan Lambert has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Rochester Americans (AHL).

“I would like to thank Dan for his hard work and contributions to our organization during the last two seasons and I wish him the best in the future,” said Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill said. “I felt this was the right move for both the Sabres and Amerks and we will begin the process of searching for a new head coach immediately.”


BUFFALO, N.Y. (May 25, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed defenseman Victor Antipin (an-TEE-pihn) to a one-year, entry-level contract.

Antipin (5’11”, 179 lbs., 12/6/1992) appeared in 59 games with Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL) in the 2016-17 season, registering 24 points (6+18). He also totaled 11 points (7+4) in 18 playoff games.

“Victor is a well-rounded defenseman who has played in all situations at the pro level,” Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill said. “His mobility and puck-moving skills make him a perfect match for what we’re hoping to build with our defense corps next season.”

A native of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, Antipin has been a member of Magnitogorsk for the last seven seasons. The defenseman finished with 98 points (36+62) in 266 regular-season KHL games, adding 37 points (17+20) in 79 total playoff games. Antipin helped guide Magnitogorsk to two Gagarin Cup Championships (2013-14 and 2015-16) during his KHL career. His individual honors include a selection to the 2013 KHL All-Star Game, the Gentleman on Ice award in 2014-15, and a Golden Helmet in 2016-17, an award given to the members of the league’s post-season All-Star Team.

Internationally, Antipin has represented Russia at five major tournaments, including each of the last three IIHF World Championships. He won a silver medal at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2015 IIHF World Championship, and took home a bronze medal at both the 2016 and 2017 IIHF World Championships.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (May 25, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed an affiliation agreement with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL, the professional developmental league for the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League. Cincinnati joins the Rochester Americans, the Sabres’ AHL affiliate, as the chief minor-league development teams for the Sabres organization.

“We’re excited to be able to partner with the Cyclones and fill an important part of our minor league system,” said Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill. “The ECHL has proven to be a valuable training ground for prospects in the past and we anticipate Cincinnati becoming an asset to our organization in terms of developing talent for the NHL and AHL levels.”

Since returning to the ECHL before the 2006-07 season, the Cyclones have been Kelly Cup Champions twice (2008 and 2010) and made the playoffs in eight of nine seasons. The team also won its division in 2009 and 2013 and was crowned ECHL Eastern Conference Champions in 2014.

The original Cincinnati Cyclones franchise debuted in the ECHL in 1990 before playing in the International Hockey League from 1992 to 2001. Prior to the 2001-02 season, a new franchise returned to the ECHL under the Cyclones name before going dormant from 2004 to 2006.

The ECHL, formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League, is considered the premier “AA” professional hockey league and has sent hundreds of players, coaches, officials and administrators to the AHL and NHL ranks since its founding in 1988.


Organization alumnus becomes the eighth general manager in franchise history

BUFFALO, N.Y. (May 11, 2017) — Buffalo Sabres Owner Terry Pegula today announced the team has hired Jason Botterill to be the team’s General Manager.

“We are very happy to welcome Jason Botterill to the Buffalo Sabres family,” Owner Terry Pegula said.  “Jason’s hockey knowledge, experience drafting and developing players, and his approach to management stood out to us during our interview process. Jason has built a solid reputation as a leader that connects strongly with players and staff around him. We are confident he will have a positive impact within our organization and will help us get to our ultimate goal.”

An 11-year veteran of NHL front offices, Botterill joins the Sabres after spending the last 10 seasons as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, where he played an integral role in building the roster of two Stanley Cup Champion teams (2008-09 and 2015-16).

In his most recent post as Associate General Manager, Botterill was involved in scouting, player development, contract negotiations and salary cap management. He also served as General Manager of the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins from 2009-10 to 2016-17, guiding the team to two division titles and eight consecutive playoff appearances.

Botterill joined the Penguins as their Director of Hockey Administration in July 2007 after serving as a scout for the Dallas Stars in 2006-07. He was later promoted to Assistant General Manager in 2009 before becoming the Associate General Manager in 2014.

A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Botterill also developed a championship pedigree during his playing career. He won a gold medal as a member of the Canadian World Junior Championship team in 1994, 1995 and 1996, and was a part of the University of Michigan’s NCAA Championship squad in 1996. Botterill later won a Calder Cup in 2001 as a member of the St. John Flames.

Botterill played in the Sabres organization during his final three professional seasons, posting eight points (3+5) in 36 games for the Sabres and 100 points (59+41) in 118 games for the Rochester Americans (AHL).


BUFFALO, N.Y. (May 2, 2017) — The National Hockey League and the Buffalo Sabres today announced the NHL Scouting Combine will remain in Buffalo through 2019, with each of the next three events being held at KeyBank Center and HarborCenter. The NHL Scouting Combine, which has taken place in Buffalo each of the last two years, showcases the top draft-eligible prospects from North America and Europe ahead of the NHL Draft.

“It’s been a pleasure to host this event the last two years and we are honored to be chosen to continue hosting through 2019,” said Sabres President Russ Brandon. “The combination of KeyBank Center and HarborCenter provides the perfect venue for the Combine, and we look forward to building on the success we’ve achieved during the last two events.”

“The Buffalo Sabres, HarborCenter complex and the City of Buffalo have proven to be amazing hosts and the ideal location for our annual Scouting Combine,” said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “The NHL and its Member Clubs are pleased that this modern, all-encompassing venue will play host for the next three years.”

The event, held annually in late May and early June, consists of player interviews, medical assessments and a series of physical fitness tests. All 31 NHL clubs have the opportunity to conduct individual interviews with players in preparation for the NHL Draft.

Since 2015, more than 225 draft-eligible players have come to Buffalo for the Scouting Combine, including the Sabres’ Jack Eichel and former No. 1 overall picks Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) and Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs). This year, 106 participants are invited to the event, which will begin on May 29 and run through June 3.

HarborCenter is a 650,000-square-foot complex connected to the Buffalo Sabres’ KeyBank Center in downtown Buffalo. The complex features two NHL-size rinks with feature rink capacity of 2,000, classroom and theater facilities, IMPACT Sports Performance training facility, a 205-room full service Marriott Hotel, (716) Food and Sport restaurant, a unique Tim Hortons Café & Bakeshop dedicated to the Sabres legend, The Healthy Scratch eatery, parking and boutique retail shops.