The Sabres acquired Brandon Montour last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres believe they possess depth to handle Brandon Montour’s injury

BUFFALO – The good news for the Sabres is defenseman Brandon Montour’s hand injury probably won’t sideline him too long.

While Montour will miss the rest of the preseason, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said he should be ready “pretty soon” after the season opener Oct. 3.

The Sabres, who began training camp down three defensemen, could ill afford to lose another one, especially a point-producer capable of eating up minutes.

Then Montour, 25, left Tuesday’s ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour joined the Sabres last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Brandon Montour out with hand injury

BUFFALO – A hand injury will sideline Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour the rest of the preseason, the team announced this morning.

Montour, 25, was injured in the third period of Tuesday’s 4-1 preseason road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Sabres expect Montour, an acquisition from the Anaheim Ducks last season, to be a one of their top defensemen this year.... Read the full article

John Gilmour signed with the Sabres on July 1. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres newcomer John Gilmour took different path to NHL

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman John Gilmour found a team in – of all places – suburban Cleveland, about a nine-hour drive from his home outside of Montreal.

“Kind of a no-name school,” Gilmour said Friday following a session of training camp inside KeyBank Center.

The prep school willing to give a no-name hockey prospect an opportunity had a fitting name: Gilmour Academy.

“I wasn’t playing at the highest level for a 16-year-old, that’s for sure,” ... Read the full article

Matej Pekar made a positive impression with the Sabres this month. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres send prospect Matej Pekar back to junior team

BUFFALO – After awarding Matej Pekar an opportunity to play his first NHL exhibition game, the Sabres sent one of their top forward prospects back to the junior Barrie Colts today.

In Tuesday’s 4-1 road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Pekar registered a team-high four hits, three shots on goal, three blocked shots and a minus-1 rating.

Pekar, 19, recently stood out during the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament, showcasing his mix of skill and ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo struggled through last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres veteran Kyle Okposo refreshed following rough season

BUFFALO – Long after perhaps the worst season of Kyle Okposo’s 12-year NHL career mercifully ended, everything about it – the Sabres’ freefall down the standings, his meager production – kept weighing on the veteran winger.

“It stayed with me for a long time,” a candid Okposo told the Times Herald following Monday’s session of training camp inside KeyBank Center.

These days, Okposo, 31, sounds happy.

Instead of returning to Minnesota following the season, Okposo ... Read the full article

Matej Pekar loves to be an agitater. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Matej Pekar thrilled to earn spot in NHL exhibition game

BUFFALO – Matej Pekar acknowledged he had been thinking about this opportunity. Sure, it’s just an NHL preseason game. But for the Sabres prospect, tonight’s exhibition represents another small milestone.

“It’s happening,” Pekar said after he prepared for the Sabres’ road contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets, his preseason NHL debut. “I just have to be ready for it.”

While Pekar, 19, is probably a longshot to crack the Sabres, his mix of skill and ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens could be assigned to junior soon. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens ready for NHL preseason debut

BUFFALO – Coach Ralph Krueger wants center Dylan Cozens to relax during tonight’s preseason opener. Throughout the recent Prospects Challenge rookie tournament, the Sabres’ top pick often tried to do to much.

“He was trying to be a different-maker every time on the ice,” Krueger said after the Sabres prepared for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The seventh overall pick knows he must calm down a little.

“I can’t be out there trying to dangle everyone and ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith played 11 NHL games last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

AHL star C.J. Smith intent on sticking with Sabres this season

BUFFALO – Only about 10 Sabres forwards have roster spots locked up, meaning in a training camp filled with competition, the best battles might be taking place up front.

Among the players fighting for the four or so remaining slots are journeymen (Jean-Sebastien Dea, for example), NHL veterans (Vladimir Sobotka) and prized prospects (Victor Olofsson).

Then there’s C.J. Smith, an older (he turns 25 on Dec. 1) and often overlooked ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen enjoyed a breakout season in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen battling to stick in NHL

BUFFALO – The Sabres started calling Arttu Ruotsalainen late last year.

Sometimes assistant general manager Steve Greeley would phone the undrafted center. Other times European scout Teemu Numminen would check in.

“What we liked is were on a player probably before he totally popped,” Greeley said Saturday between sessions of training camp inside KeyBank Center. “I think we might’ve been a little bit ahead of the game, hopefully, in getting him in our organization.”

Over ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark finished poorly last season after a fast start. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark upbeat following tough season

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark figured he was better equipped to handle the grind of a seven-month, 82-game NHL season.

Ullmark, after all, thrived while carrying the load in his final two AHL seasons, playing 99 games before graduating to the NHL.

“But it’s a totally different thing, totally different beast to tame when you get up here in ‘The Show,’” Ullmark said Friday following the opening sessions of training camp inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article