ROCHESTER – It took four years for this opportunity to materialize. During his first stint in the Buffalo Sabres organization, the Americans utilized Sean Malone as a checker, often giving him short minutes as their third- or fourth-line center.
Malone, 26, scored with some consistency despite playing down the lineup, hitting the 12-goal mark twice. Still, the West Seneca native craved a larger role.
“I’ve always wanted to show my offensive side,” Malone said after ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Historically, NHL teams that score first or hold the lead at the end of the first period go on to win the game.
The Sabres won only 15 of their 56 games last season, finishing dead last. Still, when they opened the scoring, they compiled a strong 8-6-5 record. When they led after 20 minutes, they went 4-3-4.
Sabres coach Don Granato brought up the value of an early goal or lead Wednesday ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons represented Latvia in an Olympic-qualifying tournament late in the summer, NHL players hadn’t committed to participating in the 2022 Beijing Games.
“But I still decided to go over and compete in the qualification because even if I wasn’t going, what it means to other players back home to go is a big thing,” said Girgensons, who played for Latvia in the 2014 Sochi Games, the last time the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sometimes, Mark Pysyk said, it seems like he only left the Sabres a week ago. Other times, however, he acknowledged it feels like it has been a long time.
The Sabres, who signed a one-year, $900,000 contract to return, left in 2016. Only one teammate from the affable defenseman’s first run here, center Zemgus Girgensons, is still with the team.
“I see him walking around, the way he plays, his body takes a ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In a year or two, after wingers J-J Peterka and Jack Quinn acclimate to pro hockey, they could flank center Dylan Cozens on the Sabres’ No. 1 trio.
But right now, the intriguing line is simply an experiment for tonight’s preseason opener in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. Instead of putting the talented youngsters beside veterans, Sabres coach Don Granato wants them to learn on their own.
While Cozens, 20, played 41 NHL ... Read the full article
After losing goalie Linus Ullmark to the Boston Bruins in free agency this afternoon, the Buffalo Sabres made their second addition of the day, acquiring defenseman Will Butcher and a fifth-round pick in 2022 from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for, well, nothing.
The Devils gave Butcher, 26, to the Sabres because they just signed defenseman Dougie Hamilton to an seven-year, $63 million contract, according to reports, and needed to clear salary cap space.... Read the full article
The days of the Sabres trying to lure big-name free agents to Buffalo are over. When the market opens today, they’ll likely be bit players, focusing on filling some of their many holes and adding depth while attempting to re-sign goalie Linus Ullmark.
Ullmark’s departure would be a massive blow to the Sabres. The Swede, their backbone and MVP, earned nine of the team’s 15 wins last season in only 20 outings.
They don’t ... Read the full article
In what are almost certainly his final days in Buffalo, winger Taylor Hall is still involved in all Sabres-related activities other than playing, interim coach Don Granato said.
So while Hall, 29, is still around the team, he will be scratched again for tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center. The Sabres, of course, want to protect an asset as Monday’s trade deadline approaches.
They first scratched Hall, who is expected to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the last week, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin has finally settled down and started showcasing a sturdier game under interim coach Don Granato.
Dahlin, whose ghastly minus-34 rating ranks last in the NHL, hasn’t suddenly recaptured his old form. Still, he has looked much more comfortable playing for Granato than he did under Ralph Krueger, who was fired March 17.
Simply playing a calmer, more composed style – Dahlin, 20, has ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – In his first season with the Sabres, Brandon Davidson has mostly served as an extra defenseman, moving back to the taxi squad after playing the odd game.
So when an opportunity materialized for Davidson, 29, to skate for the Americans on Friday, he jumped at it.
Having played just six times with Buffalo this season, he needs to experience game action.
“That’s all it is is repetition,” Davidson said on a Zoom call ... Read the full article