Henri Jokiharju has played two seasons in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres re-sign Casey Mittelstadt, Henri Jokiharju to identical contracts

The Buffalo Sabres on Thursday locked up two of their three restricted free agents, re-signing center Casey Mittelstadt and defenseman Henri Jokiharju to identical three-year, $7.5 million contracts.

Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is now the Sabres’ only restricted free agent. Training camp is scheduled to begin later this month.

The Mittelstadt and Jokiharju deals, which carry $2.5 million salary cap hits, could look like bargains in the near future.

... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt started unlocking his potential late last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres reward breakout stretch, re-sign Casey Mittelstadt to three-year contract

Early last season, Casey Mittelstadt toiled on the taxi squad and struggled to crack the Buffalo Sabres’ lineup as a winger. By the end of the year, however, he had morphed into the team’s No. 2 center.

The Sabres on Thursday rewarded Mittelstadt’s breakout stretch under new coach Don Granato, re-signing him to a three-year, $7.5 million contract.

Mittelstadt, 22, is the first key restricted free agent the Sabres have re-signed. Defensemen Rasmus ... Read the full article

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 Dahlin has played three NHL seasons. ©2021, Micheline Veluvlu

Sabres extend qualifying offers to five players

The Buffalo Sabres have extended qualifying offers to five restricted free agents, including defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and center Casey Mittelstadt, the team announced today.

Center Rasmus Asplund and defensemen Casey Fitzgerald and Henri Jokiharju also received qualifying offers before the 5 p.m. deadline.

The Sabres did not qualify forward Dawson DiPietro or goalie Stefanos Lekkas.... Read the full article

There had been speculation Buffalo would expose Rasmus Ristolainen to Seattle. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

NHL releases Sabres’ protected list for Expansion Draft

Sorry, Ron Francis, you won’t get a chance to snatch Rasmus Ristolainen for your Seattle Kraken defense corps. The Buffalo Sabres protected the Finn for Wednesday’s NHL Expansion Draft.

But if Francis, Seattle’s general manager, wants to grab a defenseman from the Sabres, he can take Will Borgen or Colin Miller, both of whom were left unprotected.

The Sabres’ 11-man protected list the NHL released Sunday morning features zero surprises. There had been speculation the ... Read the full article

Will Borgen played 10 games for Buffalo last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres could lose valuable young player to Kraken in NHL Expansion Draft

Since the Buffalo Sabres drafted Will Borgen 92nd overall in 2015, he has morphed from a relatively unknown prospect into a defenseman on the cusp of regular NHL duty.

The Sabres have guided Borgen’s development from his college career at St. Cloud State through his early pro days with the Rochester Americans to the big leagues.

Prior to breaking his forearm last season, Borgen, 24, appeared to be close to securing a spot on Buffalo’s ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has struggled over the past two seasons. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner waives no-movement clause for Expansion Draft

Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner has waived his no-movement clause for the upcoming NHL Expansion Draft, his agent, Don Meehan, confirmed to the Times Herald on Wednesday.

Skinner’s decision is significant. The Sabres can use his spot to protect a young forward – perhaps Rasmus Asplund, Anders Bjork or Tage Thompson – who could’ve been exposed to the Seattle Kraken next Wednesday.

Skinner, 29, has struggled since signing an eight-year, $72 million contract ... Read the full article

Buffalo goalie Michael Houser is embraced after Monday’s win by teammates Will Borgen (left) and Rasmus Ristolainen. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Michael Houser shines in NHL debut: ‘A very special night’

BUFFALO – Eight teams, nine seasons and 284 games into his pro career, Sabres goalie Michael Houser made his NHL debut, stopping 34 shots in Monday’s 4-2 come-from-behind win over the New York Islanders.

In a dreadful year in which the Sabres could finish dead last again, Houser’s first big league start created a feel-good story that provided some excitement and intrigue to a meaningless late-season game.

Houser, 28, has spent most of his career ... 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

Mattias Samuelsson was recalled Sunday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Mattias Samuelsson looks impressive in NHL debut

BUFFALO – A month ago, recalling defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and giving one of their top prospects a taste of the NHL wasn’t an option for the Sabres.

They were in the midst of their marathon 18-game winless skid, and the defense corps, like every aspect of the team, was struggling. They couldn’t expose a rookie to that environment.

But the defense has been thriving under interim coach Don Granato and interim assistant Dan Girardi, ... Read the full article