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2015–16 Buffalo Sabres · NHL
Division 7th Atlantic
Conference 14th Eastern
2015–16 record 35–36–11
Home record 16–19–6
Road record 19–17–5
Goals for 201
Goals against 222
General Manager Tim Murray
Coach Dan Bylsma
Captain Brian Gionta
Alternate captains Tyler Ennis
Josh Gorges
Ryan O'Reilly
Arena First Niagara Center
Team leaders
Goals Jack Eichel (24)
Assists Ryan O'Reilly (39)
Points Ryan O'Reilly (60)
Penalties in minutes Evander Kane (91)
Wins Chad Johnson (22)
Goals against average Chad Johnson (2.36)

The 2015–16 Buffalo Sabres season was the 46th season for the National Hockey League franchise that was established on May 22, 1970.[1] The season began its regular games on October 8, 2015 against the Ottawa Senators with a 3–1 loss.[2]

This was originally to be the final season in which Rick Jeanneret serves as the team's play-by-play announcer; he has been in that position since the team's second season in 1971. As in recent years, he will rotate with Dan Dunleavy in the position.[3] However, Jeanneret agreed to continue indefinitely as part-time announcer as long as his health allows it.[4]

Off-seasonEdit

The Sabres fired head coach Ted Nolan on April 12, 2015, amid poor on-ice record and disagreements with general manager Tim Murray. The team then made overtures to Mike Babcock, the most prominent head coach on the free agent market; despite a record-setting offer, Babcock instead sought (and received) the head coaching position for the Sabres' division and regional rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs. With the Sabres failing to land Babcock, the team's second choice, Dan Bylsma, was subsequently hired on May 28. Bylsma had spent the 2014-15 season out of professional hockey after spending the previous five seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Sabres held the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft after finishing last in the league in 2014-15 and losing the draft lottery to the Edmonton Oilers. The Sabres selected Jack Eichel with their pick.

The Sabres fired President Ted Black on July 27, 2015, and replaced him with Russ Brandon. Brandon also serves as President of the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League and will continue in that capacity in addition to his duties with the Sabres.

Training camp Edit

As in previous years, the Sabres held a summer development camp from July 6–11, 2015. The highlight of the camp was the "blue and gold" scrimmage on July 10; the scrimmage, which pit a "gold" team led by 2015 second overall pick Jack Eichel against a "blue" team led by 2014 second overall pick Sam Reinhart, drew 17,115 paying fans, nearly double the crowd that attended the 2014 event.[5] An additional 1,500 fans attended the less-publicized 3-on-3 scrimmage, which closed out the camp on July 11.[6]

The Sabres did not participate in the Detroit Red Wings' annual prospect tournament in Traverse City, Michigan as they have in recent years and instead launched their own "Prospect Challenge" beginning this season. For the first year, the Sabres, New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins prospects faced each other in a single round-robin mini-tournament.[7] Buffalo won both of their games and the tournament.[8]


StandingsEdit

Divisional standingsEdit

Script error


Conference standingsEdit

Script error

Script error

Script error

Schedule and resultsEdit

Pre-seasonEdit

Regular seasonEdit

2015–16 Game Log[10]

Legend:       Win (2 points)       Loss (0 points)       Overtime/shootout loss (1 point)

Player stats Edit

Final stats

SkatersEdit

Regular Season[11]
Player GP G A Pts +/− PIM
O'Reilly, RyanRyan O'Reilly 71 21 39 60 −16 8
Eichel, JackJack Eichel 81 24 32 56 −16 22
Reinhart, SamSam Reinhart 79 23 19 42 −8 8
Ristolainen, RasmusRasmus Ristolainen 82 9 32 41 −21 33
Kane, EvanderEvander Kane 65 20 15 35 −14 91
Gionta, BrianBrian Gionta 79 12 21 33 −5 12
McGinn, JamieJamie McGinn

|| 63 || 14 || 13 || 27 || −10 || 10

Bogosian, ZachZach Bogosian 64 7 17 24 −11 68
Foligno, MarcusMarcus Foligno 75 10 13 23 4 79
Moulson, MattMatt Moulson 81 8 13 21 −5 16
Girgensons, ZemgusZemgus Girgensons 71 7 11 18 0 20
Franson, CodyCody Franson 59 4 13 17 −5 26
Larsson, JohanJohan Larsson 74 10 7 17 −4 27
Legwand, DavidDavid Legwand 79 5 9 14 −4 14
McCabe, JakeJake McCabe 77 4 10 14 6 51
Deslauriers, NicolasNicolas Deslauriers 70 6 6 12 −14 59
Gorges, JoshJosh Gorges 77 2 10 12 −7 72
Pysyk, MarkMark Pysyk 55 1 10 11 −1 32
Ennis, TylerTyler Ennis 23 3 8 11 −9 11
O'Reilly, CalCal O'Reilly 20 3 4 7 −1 2
Colaiacovo, CarloCarlo Colaiacovo 36 1 4 5 −11 10
Weber, MikeMike Weber

|| 35 || 1 || 4 || 5 || 3 || 32

Nelson, CaseyCasey Nelson 7 0 4 4 1 8
Schaller, TimTim Schaller 17 1 2 3 3 2
Fasching, HudsonHudson Fasching 7 1 1 2 2 4
Rodrigues, EvanEvan Rodrigues 2 1 1 2 2 2
Varone, PhilPhil Varone

|| 5 || 1 || 1 || 2 || 1 || 2

Catenacci, DanielDaniel Catenacci 11 0 0 0 −2 0
Schneider, ColeCole Schneider 2 0 0 0 0 0
Ruhwedel, ChadChad Ruhwedel 1 0 0 0 0 2
Bailey, JustinJustin Bailey 8 0 0 0 −2 2

GoaltendersEdit

Regular Season[12]
Player GP GS TOI W L OT GA GAA SA SV% SO G A PIM
Johnson, ChadChad Johnson 45 40 2591:05 22 16 4 102 2.36 1270 .920 1 0 2 0
Lehner, RobinRobin Lehner 21 21 1164:05 5 9 5 48 2.47 634 .924 1 0 1 8
Ullmark, LinusLinus Ullmark 20 20 1130:40 8 10 2 49 2.60 565 .913 0 0 0 0
Kasdorf, JasonJason Kasdorf 1 1 60:00 0 1 0 4 4.00 30 .867 0 0 0 0

Denotes player spent time with another team before joining the Sabres. Stats reflect time with the Sabres only.
Denotes player was traded mid-season. Stats reflect time with the Sabres only.
Bold/italics denotes franchise record.

RosterEdit

Awards and honoursEdit

Awards Edit

Regular Season
Player Award Awarded
O'Reilly, R.R. O'Reilly NHL All-Star game selection[13] January 6, 2016
Eichel, J.J. Eichel NHL Third Star of the Week[14] February 1, 2016

Milestones Edit

Regular Season
Player Milestone Reached
Eichel, J.J. Eichel 1st Career NHL Game
1st Career NHL Goal
October 8, 2015
McCabe, J.J. McCabe 1st Career NHL Goal October 15, 2015
Reinhart, S.S. Reinhart 1st Career NHL Goal October 17, 2015
Ullmark, L.L. Ullmark 1st Career NHL Game October 24, 2015
Foligno, M.M. Foligno 200th Career NHL Game October 27, 2015
L. Ullmark 1st Career NHL Win October 30, 2015
J. Eichel 1st Career NHL Assist November 7, 2015
Moulson, M.M. Moulson 500th Career NHL Game December 4, 2015
Ristolainen, R.R. Ristolainen 1st Career NHL Hat Trick December 10, 2015
O'Reilly, R.R. O'Reilly 100th Career NHL Goal December 12, 2015
McGinn, J.J. McGinn 400th Career NHL Game December 19, 2015
Larsson, J.J. Larsson 100th Career NHL Game December 26, 2015
S. Reinhart 1st Career NHL Hat Trick January 10, 2016
Catenacci, D.D. Catenacci 1st Career NHL Game February 6, 2016
Bailey, J.J. Bailey 1st Career NHL Game February 11, 2016
Fasching, H.H. Fasching 1st Career NHL Game
1st Career NHL Goal
March 26, 2016
Nelson, C.C. Nelson 1st Career NHL Game
1st Career NHL Assist
March 26, 2016
Schneider, C.C. Schneider 1st Career NHL Game April 8, 2016
Rodrigues, E.E. Rodrigues 1st Career NHL Game April 8, 2016
Kasdorf, J.J. Kasdorf 1st Career NHL Game April 8, 2016
E. Rodrigues 1st Career NHL Goal
1st Career NHL Assist
April 9, 2016
H. Fasching 1st Career NHL Assist April 9, 2016
Gorges, J.J. Gorges 100th Career NHL Assist April 9, 2016


TransactionsEdit

The Sabres have been involved in the following transactions during the 2015–16 season:

TradesEdit

Date
Details
Ref
June 26, 2015 (2015-06-26) To Ottawa Senators
NYI's 1st-round pick in 2015
To Buffalo Sabres
Robin Lehner
David Legwand
[15]
June 26, 2015 (2015-06-26) To Colorado Avalanche
Nikita Zadorov
Mikhail Grigorenko
J. T. Compher
2nd-round pick in 2015
To Buffalo Sabres
Ryan O'Reilly
Jamie McGinn
[16]
February 23, 2016 (2016-02-23) To Washington Capitals
Mike Weber[Note 1]
To Buffalo Sabres
3rd-round pick in 2017
[17]
February 27, 2016 (2016-02-27) To Ottawa Senators
Phil Varone
Jason Akeson
Jerome Leduc
To Buffalo Sabres
Cole Schneider
Eric O'Dell
Alex Guptill
Michael Sdao
[18]
February 29, 2016 (2016-02-29) To Anaheim Ducks
Jamie McGinn
To Buffalo Sabres
conditional 3rd-round pick in 2016[Note 2]
[19]
June 20, 2016 (2016-06-20) To Nashville Predators
MIN's 3rd-round pick in 2016
To Buffalo Sabres
Jimmy Vesey (rights)
[20]

Notes
  • Note 1 Buffalo to retain 50% ($1.67 million) of salary as part of trade.
  • Note 2 Conditional 3rd-round pick will become 2nd-round pick in 2017 NHL Entry Draft if Ducks advance to 2016 Western Conference Finals and McGinn plays in 50% of playoff games in first two rounds.

Free agents acquiredEdit

Date Player Former team Contract terms
(in U.S. dollars)
Ref
July 1, 2015 (2015-07-01) Jason Akeson Philadelphia Flyers 1 year (2-way), $575,000 [21]
July 1, 2015 (2015-07-01) Matt Donovan New York Islanders 1 year (2-way), $825,000 [21]
July 2, 2015 (2015-07-02) Bobby Sanguinetti Vancouver Canucks 1 year (2-way), $600,000 [22]
July 3, 2015 (2015-07-03) Cal O'Reilly Utica Comets 2 years, $1,400,000 [23]
July 3, 2015 (2015-07-03) Carlo Colaiacovo Philadelphia Flyers 1 year, $900,000 [24]
September 10, 2015 (2015-09-10) Cody Franson Nashville Predators 2 years, $6.65 million [25]
March 22, 2016 (2016-03-22) Casey Nelson Minnesota State University entry-level contract [26]

Free agents lostEdit

Date Player New team Contract terms
(in U.S. dollars)
Ref
July 1, 2015 (2015-07-01) Anders Lindback Arizona Coyotes 1 years, $875,000 [27]
July 1, 2015 (2015-07-01) Matt Hackett Anaheim Ducks 2 years, $1.2 million [28]
July 1, 2015 (2015-07-01) Zac Dalpe Minnesota Wild 1 year, $600,000 [29]
July 1, 2015 (2015-07-01) Cody Hodgson Nashville Predators 1 year, $1.05 million [30]
July 2, 2015 (2015-07-02) Tyson Strachan Minnesota Wild 1 year, $650,000 [31]
July 6, 2015 (2015-07-06) Andre Benoit St. Louis Blues 1 year, $750,000 [32]
June 27, 2016 (2016-06-27) Andrey Makarov Spartak Moscow 2 years [33]

Claimed via waiversEdit

Player Previous team Date claimed off waivers Ref

Lost via waiversEdit

Player New team Date claimed off waivers Ref

Lost via retirementEdit

Player Ref
Cody McCormick [34]

Players releasedEdit

Date Player Via Ref
July 1, 2015 (2015-07-01) Cody Hodgson Buyout [35]

Player signingsEdit

Date Player Contract terms
(in U.S. dollars)
Ref
July 1, 2015 (2015-07-01) Jack Eichel 3 years, entry-level contract [36]
July 3, 2015 (2015-07-03) Ryan O'Reilly 7 years, $52.5 million contract extension [37]
July 13, 2015 (2015-07-13) Phil Varone 1 year, $600,000, two-way contract [38]
July 14, 2015 (2015-07-14) Mark Pysyk 2 years, $2.25 million [39]
July 21, 2015 (2015-07-21) Johan Larsson 1 year, $800,000 [40]
July 23, 2015 (2015-07-23) Jerry D'Amigo 1 year, $700,000, two-way contract [41]
July 27, 2015 (2015-07-27) Brendan Guhle 3 years, entry-level contract [42]
March 14, 2016 (2016-03-14) Jason Kasdorf entry-level contract [43]
March 21, 2016 (2016-03-21) Hudson Fasching entry-level contract [44]
March 25, 2016 (2016-03-25) Eric Cornel entry-level contract [45]
April 29, 2016 (2016-04-29) Johan Larsson 1 year [46]
May 21, 2016 (2016-05-21) Brycen Martin 3 years, entry-level contract [47]
May 26, 2016 (2016-05-26) Vaclav Karabacek 3 years, entry-level contract [48]
June 20, 2016 (2016-06-20) Nicolas Deslauriers 2 years, contract extension [49]

Draft picksEdit

See also: List of Buffalo Sabres draft picks

Below are the Buffalo Sabres' selections at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, held on June 26–27, 2015 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

Round # Player Pos Nationality College/Junior/Club Team (League)
1 2 Jack Eichel C Flag of the United States United States Boston University (Hockey East)
2 51[b] Brendan Guhle D Flag of Canada.svg Canada Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
4 92 William Borgen D Flag of the United States United States Moorhead Spuds (HS-Minnesota)
5 122 Devante Stephens D Flag of Canada.svg Canada Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
6 152 Georgio Estephan C Flag of Canada.svg Canada Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
7 182 Ivan Chukarov D Flag of the United States United States Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL)
Draft notes[50]

ReferencesEdit

  1. National Hockey League (2010). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book/2011. Triumph Books, 27. ISBN 978-1-60078-422-4. 
  2. Yerdon, Joe (October 9, 2015). Eichel scores first goal, but Sabres lose to Senators. NHL. Retrieved on October 10, 2015.
  3. http://www.buffalonews.com/columns/alan-pergament/rick-jeanneret-on-cancer-criticism-and-why-you-never-heard-him-talk-about-tanking-20150424
  4. Archived copy.
  5. What you need to know for the Sabres scrimmage Template:Webarchive. WGR. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  6. Hoppe, Bill (July 12, 2015). Josh Chapman unlikely standout at Sabres development camp. Olean Times Herald. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  7. http://sabres.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=776703
  8. http://www.buffalohockeybeat.com/sabres-rookie-jack-eichel-wows-with-overtime-winner-against-bruins/
  9. SABRES ANNOUNCE 2015 PRESEASON SCHEDULE. Sabres.nhl.com (June 16, 2015). Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  10. 2015-2016 Regular Season Schedule/Results - Buffalo Sabres - Schedule. Sabres.nhl.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  11. 2015–2016 – Regular Season – Buffalo Sabres – All Skaters – Summary – Points – NHL.com – Stats. NHL.
  12. 2015–2016 – Regular Season – Buffalo Sabres – Goalie – Summary – Wins – NHL.com – Stats. NHL.
  13. Star-studded Central roster highlights All-Star reveal. NHL (January 6, 2016).
  14. Scott, Atkinson, Eichel named stars of week. NHL (February 1, 2016).
  15. SABRES TRADE FOR LEHNER, LEGWAND FROM SENATORS. Buffalo Sabres (June 26, 2015).
  16. SABRES ACQUIRE O'REILLY, McGINN FROM COLORADO. Buffalo Sabres (June 26, 2015).
  17. SABRES ACQUIRE THIRD-ROUND PICK IN 2017 FOR MIKE WEBER. Buffalo Sabres (February 23, 2016).
  18. SABRES ACQUIRE FOUR FROM SENATORS. Buffalo Sabres (February 27, 2016).
  19. SABRES ACQUIRE CONDITIONAL 3RD-ROUND PICK FOR McGINN. Buffalo Sabres (February 29, 2016).
  20. SABRES ACQUIRE RIGHTS TO VESEY. Buffalo Sabres (June 20, 2016).
  21. 21.0 21.1 Jason Akeson, Matt Donovan sign one-year deals with Buffalo Sabres. NHL.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  22. Sabres Sign Bobby Sanguinetti. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  23. Sabres sign Cal O'Reilly. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  24. Colaiacovo signs one-year deal with Sabres. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  25. SABRES SIGN FRANSON. nhl.com. Retrieved on September 10, 2015.
  26. SABRES SIGN DEFENSEMAN CASEY NELSON. nhl.com. Retrieved on March 22, 2016.
  27. Coyotes Sign Lindback to One-Year Contract. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  28. Matt Hacket, Chris Mueller, Joe Piskula sign with Anaheim Ducks. NHL.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  29. Mikael Granlund, Nate Prosser sign two-year contracts with Minnesota Wild. NHL.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  30. Mike Ribeiro, Barret Jackman, Cody Hodgson sign with Nashville Predators. NHL.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  31. Wild Agrees To Terms Tyson Strachan and Signed Jared Knight. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  32. Blues Sign Benoit to Two-Way Contract. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  33. "June transfer news". Kontinental Hockey League (2016-06-27). Retrieved on 2016-06-27.
  34. http://www.buffalohockeybeat.com/blood-clots-will-force-sabres-cody-mccormick-to-retire/
  35. Cody Hodgson signs with Predators, hopes for career turnaround. Yahoo Sports (July 1, 2015). Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  36. SABRES SIGN EICHEL TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  37. O'Reilly signs seven-year extension with Sabres. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  38. SABRES RE-SIGN VARONE TO 2-WAY CONTRACT. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  39. SABRES SIGN PYSYK TO 2-YEAR CONTRACT. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 17, 2015.
  40. SABRES SIGN LARSSON TO 1-YEAR DEAL. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 21, 2015.
  41. SABRES SIGN D'AMIGO TO 2-WAY CONTRACT. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 23, 2015.
  42. SABRES SIGN GUHLE TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT. nhl.com. Retrieved on July 28, 2015.
  43. SABRES SIGN KASDORF TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT. nhl.com. Retrieved on March 15, 2016.
  44. SABRES SIGN FASCHING TO ENTRY-LEVEL DEAL. nhl.com. Retrieved on March 21, 2016.
  45. SABRES INK FORWARD CORNEL. nhl.com. Retrieved on March 28, 2016.
  46. SABRES EXTEND FORWARD LARSSON. nhl.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2016.
  47. SABRES INK MARTIN TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT. nhl.com. Retrieved on May 23, 2016.
  48. SABRES SIGN KARABACEK TO ENTRY-LEVEL DEAL. nhl.com. Retrieved on May 31, 2016.
  49. SABRES, DESLAURIERS AGREE TO TWO-YEAR EXTENSION. nhl.com. Retrieved on June 20, 2016.
  50. 2015 NHL Entry Draft Pending Transactions. Pro Sports Transactions. Retrieved on June 3, 2015.
  51. Trades completed during 2015 NHL Draft weekend (June 27, 2015). Retrieved on June 27, 2015.
  52. Avalanche trade O'Reilly to Sabres (June 26, 2015). Retrieved on June 26, 2015.
  53. Islanders acquire Vanek from Sabres. National Hockey League (October 27, 2013). Retrieved on October 28, 2013.
  54. Capitals acquire goalie Halak for Neuvirth, Klesla (March 5, 2014). Retrieved on March 5, 2014.


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