John Gilmour is an AHL star. ©2019, China Wong, AHL

Strong training camp might’ve earned Sabres’ John Gilmour roster spot

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman John Gilmour has never experienced anything like this. In his first three NHL training camps, he never pushed for a roster spot.

“It’s new for me,” Gilmour said following this morning’s practice, the final session of camp.

So Gilmour, of course, is a little nervous. He has to wait another day or two – 23-man NHL rosters must be finalized by 5 p.m. Tuesday – to find out if he cracked ... Read the full article

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

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

Rasmus Ristolainen sounds like a guy who wants a change of scenery. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen back in Buffalo, but for how long?

BUFFALO – Rasmus Ristolainen rarely says much. On a good day, if you see the Sabres defenseman, he might answer a question by offering a couple vanilla sentences.

So if Ristolainen talks to the media today after training camp opens, we probably won’t learn much about his conversations with the Sabres over the summer or how he spent the last five months.

Does Ristolainen, 24, feel like he needs a change of scenery? Did he ... Read the full article

Matej Pekar broke his collarbone in January. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Matej Pekar tenacious presence in return to ice

BUFFALO – Matej Pekar couldn’t stop smiling. After eight months anxiously waiting on the sideline, the Sabres prospect was just hours away from playing a game again.

“It definitely feels like forever,” Pekar said prior to Friday’s 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils in the Prospects Challenge opener. “I haven’t played a game since January.”

On Jan. 10, the affable Pekar, 19, broke his collarbone with the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts, ending his ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens underwent thumb surgery in July. ©2019, Erica Perreaux, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Top Sabres pick Dylan Cozens could miss Prospects Challenge

BUFFALO – Top Sabres draft pick Dylan Cozens, who underwent surgery on his left thumb in early July, isn’t listed on the 25-man roster for the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament the Sabres are hosting next week at Harborcenter.

The center prospect injured his thumb in development camp, just days after the Sabres selected him seventh overall June 21.

After Cozens, 18, had surgery, the Sabres said he would need two to three months to ... Read the full article

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