Conor Sheary endured long goal droughts last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Conor Sheary knows consistency must improve to help Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Conor Sheary certainly showcased flashes of his scoring prowess last season.

On Nov. 18, Sheary scored in his third straight game, his sixth goal in just his 16th outing with the Sabres.

Then suddenly, Sheary, 27, went cold.

The speedy UMass product endured a 16-game goal drought. After scoring an empty-netter Dec. 22, he experienced an 11-game dry spell.

On. Jan 29, Sheary finally scored past a goalie again.... 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

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

Ralph Krueger (center) is flanked by Sabres owner Terry Pegula (right) and vice president of media relations Chris Bandura on June 5. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Ralph Krueger expects to begin training camp with Rasmus Ristolainen

BUFFALO – In the lockout-shortened season Ralph Krueger spent as an NHL coach in 2012-13, teams held abbreviated training camps in January.

So the Sabres coach has never ran a regular big league camp. Almost seven years ago, his Edmonton Oilers quickly convened for a camp that lasted less than a week.

Still, having spent most of his coaching career in international hockey, Krueger, 60, has ran plenty of camps.

“I have a big national ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Brett Murray in the fourth round in 2016. ©2019, Hickling Images

Prospect Brett Murray’s commitment to conditioning impresses Sabres

BUFFALO – Not long ago, the Sabres made a deal with Brett Murray, a prospect whose commitment to conditioning wasn’t up to pro standards.

“What we told him was, ‘Look, you have to make the commitment. If you make a commitment and we see it in development camp, we’ll bring you to the rookie tournament,’” Sabres assistant general manager Randy Sexton said prior to Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins inside Harborcenter.

The ... 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

The Sabres drafted Dylan Cozens seventh overall. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens looks sharp, scores in debut

BUFFALO – Once the puck dropped Friday, Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens never thought about the left thumb he had surgically repaired in July.

“I forgot about it and just went out and played hockey like I always play,” Cozens said after scoring a goal in Friday’s 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils. “I just put that behind me.”

Cozens, who hurt his thumb during a development camp scrimmage June 29, wasn’t cleared to play ... Read the full article

Matej Pekar always seems to be smiling. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Matej Pekar ready for first game action in eight months

BUFFALO – Matej Pekar couldn’t stop smiling. After eight months anxiously waiting on the sideline, the Sabres prospect will finally play a game again tonight.

“It definitely feels like forever,” Pekar said this morning after the Sabres prepared for their Prospects Challenge opener against the New Jersey Devils inside Harborcenter. “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 ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens injured his thumb in development camp. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens close to playing: ‘I’m feeling good right now’

BUFFALO – Instead of wearing a red jersey this afternoon, Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens dressed more appropriately for the first rookie camp practice.

Cozens, who underwent surgery on his left thumb in early July, ditched the non-contact threads and sported a yellow jersey, meaning the seventh overall pick could do everything on the ice.

“I think it’s feeling normal right now, just being with the guys again, going out, practicing, being treated like another normal ... Read the full article