Jeff Skinner scored a career-high 40 goals in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: GM Jason Botterill knows Jeff Skinner interested to see coach

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill understands 40-goal winger Jeff Skinner needed to know something important before making a huge decision.

“If you’re going to sign a long-term contract with an organization, you kind of want to know who the head coach is,” Botterill said Wednesday after announcing Ralph Krueger as the 19th head coach in franchise history.

Skinner, who turns 27 on Thursday, can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Until ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has scored twice in the last four games. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo responds to challenge from coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – Late in the winter, in the midst of perhaps his worst season ever, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo and coach Phil Housley had what the veteran called a “good conversation” about his play.

Okposo, of course, didn’t want to share details of his chat with Housley, someone he has known since he was a teenager.

But during their talk, Okposo said Housley, who wasn’t made available to the media Wednesday, “challenged me.”

“I just ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen missed four games. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Rasmus Ristolainen returns after battling flu

BUFFALO – Despite being confined to his bed by the flu last week unable to eat or drink, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen had no problem getting up for Tuesday’s meaningless late-season game.

“I mentally feel really fresh,” Ristolainen said prior to the Sabres’ 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators inside KeyBank Center. “It’s kind of fun to play hockey. Just sort of bring some fresh energy to the room and on the ice.”

The reeling ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella blocked a shot Saturday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Marco Scandella out for season; Rasmus Ristolainen set to return

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella’s season is over.

Scandella, out since blocking a shot with his foot Saturday, will miss the final three games, coach Phil Housley said.

The Sabres, however, will have minute-munching defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen back tonight against the Nashville Predators following a four-game absence.

Ristolainen, 24, said he lost “a lot” of weight battling the flu.

“Actually, I felt really, really good today,” Ristolainen said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “A ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles in front of Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard on Thursday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ youngsters stand out in overtime loss to Red Wings

BUFFALO – Rookie Victor Olofsson heard Jack Eichel calling for the puck, so he quickly spun around along the right boards and adroitly fed the Sabres captain as a zoomed down the slot.

A second later, an uncovered Eichel beat Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, tying the game 15:42 into the third period Thursday.

“I was just trying to get it in there in the middle,” Olofsson said following his NHL debut, a 5-4 ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson was a seventh-round pick in 2014. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Victor Olofsson earns spot beside Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – By late October, as Sabres prospect Victor Olofsson closed a stellar month in which he scored five goals and 15 points, a recall to the NHL felt inevitable.

But instead of summoning Olofsson, 23, from the Rochester Americans right away, the Sabres left the slick Swedish winger in the AHL for almost six months.

The 5-foot-11, 181-pound Olofsson, meanwhile, kept scoring and acclimating to North American hockey, cementing his spot among the Sabres’ ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson has enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Victor Olofsson thrilled to join Sabres: ‘I’m good enough to play up here’

BUFFALO – Rasmus Dahlin has never seen a shot as lethal as the one Sabres newcomer Victor Olofsson possesses.

“He’s probably got the best shot I’ve ever seen in my whole life,” the defenseman said of Olofsson, who will make his NHL debut tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. “It’s unbelievable.”

Dahlin, of course, knows Olofsson well. The rookies spent last season together starring at home in Sweden for Frolunda HC. Their time as teammates ... Read the full article

Will Borgen could make his NHL debut tonight. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres recall Will Borgen from Amerks

The Buffalo Sabres recalled Will Borgen from the Rochester Americans this morning, meaning a defenseman was possibly injured in Monday’s 3-1 road loss to the New Jersey Devils.

The Sabres play another road contest tonight against the Ottawa Senators. Coach Phil Housley will have an update later in the day.

Borgen could make his NHL debut.... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut (24) and Jeff Skinner look on Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Lawrence Pilut making case to stick in NHL

BUFFALO – Every once in a while a prospect like Sabres defenseman Lawrence Pilut comes along. After a short apprenticeship in the AHL – maybe just a few months or less – he arrives in the NHL and stays for good.

For as much as the Sabres and other teams stress development and paying dues, some guys are just ready for the big leagues right away.

Pilut, 22, is just four games into his career. ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolaine (55) battles Arizona's Jordan Martinook on March 22. ©2018, Hickling Images

Jack Eichel, Rasmus Ristolainen and other Sabres day-to-day

BUFFALO – Seven Sabres, including center Jack Eichel and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, sat out today’s practice with “minor ailments” and will miss Friday’s preseason finale, coach Phil Housley said.

Housley said the players are all day-to-day. Center Johan Larsson, winger Conor Sheary and defensemen Zach Bogosian, Brandon Hickey and Marco Scandella also missed the session inside HarborCenter.... Read the full article