Rasmus Ristolainen compiled an NHL-worst minus-41 rating last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres want to put Rasmus Ristolainen in ‘positions to have success’

BUFFALO – General manager Jason Botterill said he wasn’t surprised or disappointed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen indicated in a Finnish interview last week he has asked the Sabres to be traded.

“There’s always stories coming out when players go back and … there’s stories from other organizations coming out of Finland and stuff, too,” Botterill said during Saturday’s Sabres Fan Fest inside KeyBank Center, an event that celebrated the team’s 50th anniversary season. “So those are ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander spent three seasons in the Sabres organization. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Trading Alexander Nylander was inevitable for Sabres

BUFFALO – Following another underwhelming season, it felt like only a matter of time before the Sabres cut their losses and traded winger Alexander Nylander.

Through three years as a pro, Nylander, the eighth overall pick by the Sabres’ old regime in 2016, has mostly been a bust.

Sure, the Swede has occasionally showcased his slick skills. Still, he hasn’t consistently displayed the tenacity to match them.

Nylander, 21, couldn’t develop into a dominant ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Alexander Nylander eighth overall in 2016. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres trade Alexander Nylander to Blackhawks for Henri Jokiharju

BUFFALO – The Sabres traded winger Alexander Nylander to the Chicago Blackhawks today for defenseman Henri Jokiharju, a swap of former first-round picks.

The deal is hardly surprising. Following another underwhelming season in which he battled injuries, Nylander’s days in the organization seemed numbered.

The Swede, the eighth overall pick by the team’s old regime in 2016, never showcased the tenacity to match his array of talents.... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson played with New Jersey and Boston last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Marcus Johansson excited about Sabres’ future: ‘It’s going to go well’

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Johansson began his NHL career playing center. When the Washington Capitals needed help there three years ago, he briefly moved back.

So, yes, Johansson, 28, certainly has experience at the position. But the Swede has spent the bulk of his nine-year career skating at left wing.

The Sabres, who signed Johansson to a two-year, $9 million contract on Saturday, need more depth down the middle.

So what role might he ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson began his NHL career as a center. ©2019, Hickling Images

Marcus Johansson open to any forward role with Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Johansson began his NHL career playing center. When the Washington Capitals needed help there three years ago, he briefly moved back.

So, yes, Johansson, 28, certainly has experience at the position. But the Swede has spent the bulk of his nine-year career skating at left wing.

The Sabres, who signed Johansson to a two-year, $9 million contract on Saturday, need more depth down the middle.

So what role might he ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson spent seven seasons in Washington. ©2019, Hickling Images

Signing Marcus Johansson gives Sabres scoring, playoff experience

In signing Marcus Johansson to a two-year, $9 million contract on Saturday, the Buffalo Sabres addressed a major need, adding a winger capable of filling a top-six role.

Johansson, 28, can also play center, so he offers the Sabres, who need help down the middle, versatility.

The Swede has played 90 NHL playoff games, more than any other Sabre. He just played 22 contests during the Boston Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup final.

That ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson began his career in Washington. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sign Marcus Johansson to two-year, $9 million contract

The Buffalo Sabres made their first notable addition in free agency today, signing winger Marcus Johansson to a two-year, $9 million contract.

Johansson, 28, can skate on the first or second line and, having played 94 career NHL playoff games, possesses more postseason experience than any Sabre.

The Swede can also play center. The Sabres, of course, need someone to pivot the second line.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Johansson has compiled 120 goals, 334 points and ... Read the full article

Jimmy Vesey spent three seaons with the Rangers. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jimmy Vesey should provide much-needed offense for Sabres

BUFFALO – General manager Jason Botterill never thought much about winger Jimmy Vesey’s history with the Sabres.

Botterill needed to add more scoring. The fact that Vesey once rejected the Sabres to become a free agent and join the New York Rangers wasn’t going to deter him from addressing a major need.

So on Monday morning, shortly before free agency opened, Botterill sent a third-round pick in 2021 to the Rangers for Vesey.

Besides, it ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar has spent most of his pro career in the NHL. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sign Andrew Hammond, Curtis Lazar and others for depth

BUFFALO – As general manager Jason Botterill promised, the Sabres added a third goalie shortly after free agency opened Monday, signing veteran Andrew Hammond.

Hammond, whose one-year, one-way deal is worth $700,000, is best known for compiling a 20-1-2 record as a rookie with the Ottawa Senators in 2014-15 and earning “The Hamburglar” nickname.

Overall, Hammond, 31, has put together a 27-15-6 mark with a 2.31 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and four shutouts ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville scored 16 goals last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jason Pominville could return to Sabres

BUFFALO – Before Jason Pominville returned to Montreal for the summer, the free agent winger and Sabres general manager Jason Botterill discussed his uncertain future.

Nothing was ruled out. They plan to keep the lines of communication open. So, yes, an 11th season with the Sabres is a possibility.

At the end of his 14th NHL campaign in April, Pominville, 36, hardly seemed ready to retire.... Read the full article