C.J. Smith could be utilized against the New York Islanders. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres will likely field lineup with C.J. Smith, other taxi-squad players

BUFFALO – Having seven players on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list means the Sabres must utilize their taxi squad to dress a full lineup tonight.

So defensemen Will Borgen and Brandon Davidson and wingers Steven Fogarty and C.J. Smith could all be thrust into action against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center.

Borgen and Davidson have spent the entire season on the taxi squad. They haven’t played a game at any level since ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall (right) battles New Jersey’s P.K. Subban on Jan. 31. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Taylor Hall returns to practice; Sabres add three players from Amerks

BUFFALO – Winger Taylor Hall, who was added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list on Feb. 2, is practicing with the Sabres this morning inside KeyBank Center.

The Sabres still have eight players in the league’s COVID protocol. They’re scheduled to host the New York Islanders on Monday.

Hall, 29, is practicing at left wing beside center Eric Staal and Sam Reinhart. Jeff Skinner, meanwhile, is at left wing with top center Jack ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt ended last season in Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt among five players assigned to Sabres’ taxi squad

BUFFALO – Forward Casey Mittelstadt was among five players the Sabres assigned to their taxi squad this morning.

The Sabres also assigned center Rasmus Asplund, goalie Jonas Johansson and defensemen Will Borgen and Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad, which the NHL implemented this season because of the COVID-19.

Mittelstadt, the eighth overall pick in 2017, has played 114 NHL games. He ended last season with the Rochester Americans.... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens could make his NHL debut later this week. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ roster almost set; Dylan Cozens, Jack Quinn to remain in Buffalo

BUFFALO – The 27 players who participated in Tuesday’s practice will start the season on the Sabres’ roster or taxi squad, coach Ralph Krueger said.

That means 19-year-old forward prospects Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn, Buffalo’s last two first-round picks, will remain in the NHL for now.

Of course, the Sabres must sort some things out before Thursday’s opener against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Krueger said center Curtis Lazar (lower-body injury) and ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen could spent time in Buffalo on the taxi squad and in Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Implementing new taxi squad will be challenge for Sabres

In the COVID-19 world, the Sabres start each day by having a logistics meeting.

NHL teams can utilize a four- to-six man taxi squad this season, meaning in addition to figuring out the big league and AHL rosters, the Sabres have another group they must prepare to handle.

“This is so much a new world, trying to figure out exactly how we’re going to integrate the taxi squad,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said on a ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen got off to a torrid start in Finland this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres release training camp roster, schedule; 37 players to participate

On Friday, the Buffalo Sabres will touch the KeyBank Center ice for the first time in 296 days and begin preparing for the most unusual of seasons.

The NHL will be attempting to play during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will likely experience problems – positive tests, postponements or even cancellations – as the schedule unfolds.

But those potential roadblocks can be examined another day. The Sabres’ 10-month break is nearly over. Training camp officially ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski was ecstatic after winning the Calder Cup with Charlotte in 2019. ©2020, Gregg Forwerck, AHL

Goalie Dustin Tokarski thrilled to join Sabres: ‘I got that fire in me’

In his 11-year career, Dustin Tokarski has played 361 games in the American Hockey League, more than any active goalie. The Buffalo Sabres newcomer has won Calder Cup championships as a starter and a backup and as a prospect and a graybeard.

When Tokarski tends goal for the Rochester Americans, he will have played for 10 AHL teams. Three of them are no longer in the league.

Tokarski, 31, has experienced virtually everything in the ... Read the full article

The Sabres have signed a few players with connections to Ralph Krueger. ©2020, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ signings show Ralph Krueger’s growing influence under Kevyn Adams

When the Buffalo Sabres fired general manager Jason Botterill and gutted their hockey department four months ago, they also also elevated Ralph Krueger.

Technically, Krueger, 61, still holds the same title: head coach. But his influence has clearly grown under rookie GM Kevyn Adams, a front office neophyte.

Three of the five free agents the Sabres have signed this offseason – most notably, Taylor Hall, the 2017-18 Hart Trophy winner – have connections ... Read the full article

Jacob Markstrom received a six-year contract from Calgary. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres sign three depth players during odd day of free agency

The COVID-19 pandemic promised to make this offseason unusual.

NHL teams have generated little or no revenue over the past seven months. The league has frozen the salary cap at $81.5 million for 2020-21, a season it would like to start in January. That, of course, could be difficult.

The uncertainty surrounding the season created an odd opening day of free agency Friday. Many teams are operating on internal budgets far below the cap.

Instead ... Read the full article

Matt Irwin defends Buffalo’s Drew Stafford while a member of San Jose in 2014. ©2020, Dan Hickling, Hickling Images

Sabres sign Matt Irwin to one-year contract; Brandon Davidson inks deal

The Buffalo Sabres added some depth late this afternoon, signing left-shot defenseman Matt Irwin to a one-year, $700,000 contract, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Update: The Sabres have officially announced the deal.

Irwin, 32, helps balance the blue line a bit. The Sabres now have three left-handed defensemen and four righties.

The 6-foot-1, 207-pound Irwin compiled zero goals, three assists and a minus-15 rating in 36 total games last season with the Nashville Predators and ... Read the full article