BUFFALO – Jason Botterill has never experienced a trade deadline like this one. Prior to joining the Sabres, the rookie general manager spent 10 seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ front office, winning three Stanley Cups.
The Penguins contended for the Cup every season of Botterill’s tenure, meaning they loaded up for a long playoff run, dealing prospects and draft picks for talent that could help them immediately.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – With 26 seconds left in Monday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals and the Sabres readying for one last rush with goalie Chad Johnson pulled, Rasmus Ristolainen tried leaving a drop pass for Evan Rodrigues.
Ristolainen, however, fanned and Rodrigues overskated the puck, allowing Evgeny Kuznetsov to score an easy empty-net goal.
With the Sabres’ third straight loss cemented, Ristolainen lost his cool, swinging his stick into the corner boards – it ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Late in Thursday’s 3-2 overtime loss, Sabres defenseman Casey Nelson stymied a rush and quickly dished the puck up to winger Kyle Okposo.
Okposo then zoomed through the neutral zone and into the high slot when he noticed center Evan Rodrigues streaking down the right wing.
“I saw that their D was kind of shading over toward (Evander Kane), so I just tried to take the middle,” Okposo explained Friday. “I was ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL’s top team, you figure the Sabres would start No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner, who has played 42 times this season.
But Lehner, fresh off Sunday’s 5-4 home loss to Colorado, will sit tonight for backup Chad Johnson.
Why start Johnson, who has just three wins and zero at home?... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres can soften Jack Eichel’s loss, of course, if some of their other top players – think Ryan O’Reilly and Rasmus Ristolainen – step up and seize additional opportunities in his absence.
If they don’t, what could happen without Eichel, their most dynamic presence and leading scorer? They won only 16 of their first 55 games with Eichel, who’s sidelined indefinitely after suffering a high right ankle sprain Saturday.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Jack Eichel’s high right ankle sprain, an injury that will sideline the Sabres center indefinitely, hit the young star in the midst of a career-best stretch.
Eichel went on a tear beginning Dec. 1, morphing into one of the NHL’s most lethal scoring threats. His 15 goals and 34 points in 30 games since then both rank ninth overall.
The Sabres stand 30th in a 31-team league and have scored the second-fewest goals. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – With Jake McCabe out three to four weeks after undergoing thumb surgery today and Rasmus Ristolainen struggling, the Sabres’ defense corps will look much different tonight against the New York Islanders.
Casey Nelson, a recent recall quickly earning coach Phil Housley’s trust, will play with Marco Scandella, Ristolainen’s partner much of the season on the No. 1 pair. Ristolainen, meanwhile, will move back and skate with Nathan Beaulieu.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Forget about struggling winger Evander Kane, the asset that could fetch the Sabres the greatest return before the upcoming trade deadline is goalie Robin Lehner.
Kane has been struggling for months, producing just four goals over a 32-game span, including zero in the past 13 contests. His value has dropped dramatically.
Lehner, meanwhile, has been tending some strong goal for the hapless Sabres, who have lost four straight home games. In ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The emotion buoyed them, put the Florida Panthers back on their heels. Winger Evander Kane said the Sabres started possessing an “F-you attitude.”
Scrums and fights erupted late Thursday during a heated Atlantic Division tilt inside KeyBank Center. The Sabres even went after a head.
Of course, this all transpired after the Sabres allowed three straight goals and ended the first period trailing 3-1.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In what are likely his final days with the Sabres, winger Evander Kane said he’s trying to embrace his uncertain future.
Whether it goes down today, next week or hours before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, the last-place team will almost certainly deal Kane, an established scorer set to cash in as an unrestricted free agent this summer.
“It’s not something I really try to block out,” Kane, who was reunited with top ... Read the full article