Linus Ullmark enjoyed a stellar season on a bad team in 2020-21. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Losing top goalie Linus Ullmark in free agency would be huge blow to Sabres

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

Rasmus Ristolainen has experienced a lot of losing in his eight seasons in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen open to being traded or staying in Buffalo

In defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen’s eight seasons in Buffalo, the Sabres have never sniffed the playoffs. In that ugly stretch, they’ve finished dead last four times, including this year, when they won just 15 of their 56 games.

So not surprisingly, Ristolainen, who has one year left on his contract, told Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams he’s open to being traded this offseason.

“Like I told Kevyn a little while ago, I just said, ‘I’m ... Read the full article

Anders Bjork has played 13 games with Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Anders Bjork feeling comfortable with Sabres, earns promotion to top line

BUFFALO – In a 14-minute stretch Tuesday, Sabres newcomer Anders Bjork erased the New York Islanders’ lead, scoring two goals.

First, Bjork redirected defenseman Colin Miller’s point shot past Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin late in the second period. Then Bjork scored from the right circle 10:56 into the third period, tying a game the Sabres would win 4-3 in a shootout.

What do both goals have in common? Bjork, 24, created them by tenaciously ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen left Saturday’s game after the second period. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose ugly game to Bruins, goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to injury

After a solid few weeks, the Buffalo Sabres have started reminding everyone why they’ve occupied the NHL’s basement for months.

Saturday’s afternoon’s ugly 6-2 setback to the Boston Bruins was their fourth consecutive loss and fifth in the last six games.

In an outing reminiscent of the Ralph Krueger era, the Sabres looked disjointed all over the ice, allowing the Bruins to throttled them.

On top of their dismal performance, rookie goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen suffered ... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson believes Buffalo played better than Thursday’s 5-2 loss indicates. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres started winning, showcased rapid improvement in April

A month ago, the Buffalo Sabres were in the midst of an embarrassing 18-game winless skid, so finishing April with a 6-8-2 record illustrates their rapid improvement in barely four weeks.

Remember, the Sabres had trouble scoring a single goal most games in February and March. Now, they’ve morphed into a team capable of beating any of their heavyweight East Division opponents.

Of course, they’re not exactly a playoff-caliber team yet. But they’re clearly getting ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 36 saves Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen shines in NHL debut, helps Sabres beat Bruins

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looked a little wonky early in his NHL debut, allowing a goal on the first shot he faced barely two minutes into the game. Later in the period, the Boston Bruins hit two goal posts.

But Luukkonen, 22, enjoyed plenty of help for much of Friday’s 6-4 win, allowing him to settle in and grow more comfortable as the night progressed inside KeyBank Center.

The Sabres stymied Boston’s offense ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has played 14 games for Rochester this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen ready for chance in NHL

BUFFALO – Forget about goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s last six outings, Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert said.

Yes, Luukkonen, 22, has looked sloppy at times since the Amerks’ COVID-19 pause ended late last month, compiling a 2-3-1 record and an awful .863 save percentage.

But a lot of players struggle after being forced to sit idle. Luukkonen did not play for three weeks.

Appert believes Luukkonen’s early-season exploits and the strong habits he has developed illustrate ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin loved playing in Tuesday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin responds to challenge of playing heavy Bruins

In his three-year career, Rasmus Dahlin has never experienced the NHL postseason. But in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres defenseman received a taste of what heavy playoff hockey feels like.

“I haven’t been in a playoff game, but it didn’t feel like a regular-season game,” said Dahlin, whose goal 11:53 into the third period tied the game at 2.

Tuesday’s game inside TD Garden was the Sabres’ most physical ... Read the full article

Anders Bjork spent his entire career in Boston’s organization before Monday’s trade. ©2021, Providence Bruins

Anders Bjork excited for opportunity with Sabres: ‘A fresh start for me’

Four seasons into his NHL career, Buffalo Sabres newcomer Anders Bjork said he is still trying to establish an identity.

Two shoulder surgeries and a brutal concussion stymied the 6-foot, 197-pound winger’s development with the Boston Bruins. This year, he fell out of the lineup, becoming a healthy scratch.

So when the Bruins traded Bjork, 24, to the Sabres on Monday in the Taylor Hall deal, he welcomed a change of scenery.

“I was ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar signed a two-year contract in the offseason. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Curtis Lazar shocked by trade to Bruins after rebuilding career with Sabres

Ex-Buffalo Sabres center Curtis Lazar signed a two-year contract prior to the season and quickly solidified a regular spot in the lineup, so he wasn’t expecting to be traded before this afternoon’s deadline.

“Yeah, it completely caught me off guard,” said Lazar, who was dealt to the Boston Bruins earlier today with winger Taylor Hall in exchange for forward Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in 2021.

At 11 p.m. Sunday, Lazar, 26, said he ... Read the full article