Ralph Krueger has established a strong relationship with Jack Eichel. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Ralph Krueger says it’s ‘healthy’ for Jack Eichel to vent about losing

The pain and anger, as Ralph Krueger called it, is a good sign. The Buffalo Sabres coach believes it’s healthy for captain Jack Eichel to vent his frustrations over losing.

Of course, Eichel, who said on a Zoom call Thursday he was “fed up,” is not alone in his disappointment. He’s just the most visible member of the team.

The Sabres’ biggest star and the team’s young core haven’t come close to cracking the playoffs.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel scored a career-high 36 goals in his fifth NHL season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres captain Jack Eichel frustrated by losing: ‘I’m fed up’

In their first five seasons with Jack Eichel, the Buffalo Sabres have been a perennial loser, winning just 39 percent of their games. Despite earning his place among the game’s elite talents, the captain still hasn’t sniffed the playoffs.

This year, the Sabres missed the NHL’s 24-team postseason qualifying round by one win.

When Eichel was drafted second overall in 2015, the thought of the Sabres missing the playoffs for the next five ... Read the full article

Ramsus Ristolainen has played seven seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Rasmus Ristolainen knows he could be traded

Rasmus Ristolainen understands that if the Buffalo Sabres make significant moves this offseason, he could be dealt.

“If changes will happen, I know I’m one of the first ones probably who is going to get traded,” the defenseman said on a Zoom call Thursday, two days after the Sabres’ season officially ended. “It’s part of the business and I’m ready, whatever happens. I have really enjoyed my time in Buffalo. It’s home for me.”

Buffalo ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo makes Buffalo his permanent home. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo understands frustrations: ‘I know people are mad’

Last year, Kyle Okposo and his family decided to sell their home in Minnesota and make Clarence their permanent residence. The roots he laid down in Buffalo have helped the veteran winger develop a unique understanding of how the Sabres’ stunning run of futility has disenchanted a passionate fan base.

“I understand the weight of the team that’s on the city, and I get it, because I now live here full time,” Okposo said on ... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut has spent the past two seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Report: Lawrence Pilut leaving Sabres, joining Russian team

Defenseman Lawrence Pilut has left the Buffalo Sabres to join a Russian team in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Pilut, 24, has signed with Traktor Chelyabins, according to The Buffalo News. Hockeynews.se also reported Pilut was set to leave for Russia.

His new contract includes an NHL out clause, according to The News, although it’s unclear if he could depart the team during the season.

The Swede will become a restricted free agent when the ... Read the full article

Goalie Linus Ullmark stops Washington's Nicklas Backstrom in the Sabres' final game of the season March 9. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Another win could’ve earned Sabres path to playoffs in bizarre season

Throughout their nine-year playoff drought, the Buffalo Sabres have consistently ranked among the NHL’s bottom-feeders. Only once in that ugly stretch – in 2011-12, the season their run of futility began – have they contended for a postseason spot.

Eight years ago, the Sabres roared back from last place, briefly grabbing a spot before falling apart in the waning days of the season.

There haven’t been many what-ifs during the sorriest stretch in franchise history. ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (9) and Sam Reinhart (23) finished first and second, respectively, in scoring for the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

NHL’s return to play plan officially ends Sabres’ season

Seventy-five days after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NHL to suspend its schedule, the Buffalo Sabres’ season is officially over.

Rather than finishing the regular season, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman this afternoon announced a return to play plan in which 24 teams – the top 12 from each conference ranked by points percentage – will play a qualifying round before the Stanley Cup playoffs if the league can resume this summer.

The Sabres finished ... Read the full article

Clint Malarchuk (left) and Drew Ryan talk about more than hockey. ©2020, Drew Ryan

Former Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk passionate about helping veterans

They spent an hour catching up. Hockey, as it often does during conversations with Clint Malarchuk, was discussed. Drew Ryan, a goalie like Malarchuk, explained how a stretching regimen has added seven inches to the butterfly motion he plans to utilize.

Ryan treats tending goal for the USA Warriors Ice Hockey team so passionately he recently started developing a new, more composed style. He’s 57.

The retired Army colonel likes to say he’ll do ... Read the full article

Jesper Olofsson has spent his entire career overseas. ©2020, Rochester Americans

Amerks sign Jesper Olofsson, Victor’s brother, to one-year AHL contract

The Rochester Americans have signed Jesper Olofsson, the older brother of Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson, to a one-year AHL contract, the team announced today.

Jesper Olofsson, 28, has spent most of his career in the Swedish Hockey League, compiling 69 goals and 125 points in 254 games over parts of seven seasons. He spent the last two years with Färjestad BK, scoring 17 goals in each of those seasons and a career-high 33 ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has enjoyed a bounce-back season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres succeeded in helping Rasmus Ristolainen transform game this season

“We’re continuing to try to set this team up where we’re putting (Rasmus Ristolainen) in positions to have success.”

– Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, Aug. 17, 2019

As their nine-year run of futility indicates, the Sabres rarely accomplish what they set out to do. The once-proud franchise has become a laughingstock.

Still, in the case of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, the Sabres deserve credit for helping him develop a smarter, sturdier style as ... Read the full article