For the first time since Sam Reinhart played for the Vancouver NW Giants in 2010-11, the Buffalo Sabres winger is spending the fall at home.
Normally, Reinhart, who turns 26 on Friday, would be one month into a new hockey season. Since leaving home in 2011, he has spent his Octobers and Novembers in Kootenay, British Columbia, where he played junior, or Buffalo.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the NHL to push back the ... Read the full article
As the 181st overall pick in 2014, Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson faced long odds to play in the NHL.
For some perspective, consider the Sabres drafted 16 prospects in the seventh round from 2005 until 2016. Only two – Olofsson and defenseman Brady Austin, who played five games in 2016-17 – have cracked the big leagues.
So when Olofsson, 25, signed his second NHL contract Thursday – his 20-goal rookie season earned ... Read the full article
Linus Ullmark started small by tackling some easy home projects. Then the Buffalo Sabres goalie ramped up his renovations. For example, he designed a couch that created more storage in his family’s apartment in Sweden.
“Now we’re in full throttle of remodeling our kitchen back home,” Ullmark said on a Zoom call Thursday.
While Ullmark, 27, might not be the next Bob Vila, he enjoys working with his hands. The projects give his mind an ... Read the full article
Cody Eakin knew very little about Buffalo before he signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Sabres as a free agent earlier this month.
Eakin played eight of his first nine NHL seasons in the Western Conference, meaning he usually visited Buffalo just once a year. Still, Eakin, who spent some time in Buffalo as a member of Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship, has a basic understanding of his new city.... Read the full article
Two years ago, new Buffalo Sabres winger Tobias Rieder pulled a Ville Leino, scoring zero goals in 67 games over a full season with the Edmonton Oilers.
Not surprisingly, teams showed little interest in Rieder following his miserable season. The German ended up settling for a tryout with the Calgary Flames, and he impressed them enough during training camp he earned a one-year contract.
So Rieder, 27, felt a sense of satisfaction when he ... Read the full article
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
Few players understand what Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel has endured over his first five NHL seasons better than Taylor Hall.
Hall needed 529 games, eight seasons and two organizations before making his first playoff appearance.
Eichel, having played 354 games without sniffing the postseason, has experienced a similarly frustrating start to his career.
The American, 23, was supposed to lead the Sabres’ resurgence after they drafted him second overall in 2015. Hall, 28, ... Read the full article
If Jason Botterill hadn’t been fired as general manager, then perhaps center Johan Larsson would’ve returned to the Buffalo Sabres.
Larsson, 28, just enjoyed arguably his best NHL season, becoming one of coach Ralph Krueger’s trusted forwards. The checking line the Swede pivoted between Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo quickly solidified itself as the Sabres’ steadiest combination. Krueger kept the trio intact nearly all season.
It appeared Larsson, who signed a two-year contract with ... Read the full article
Taylor Hall wanted to connect with Ralph Krueger again, so on Sunday morning, hours before he would stun the hockey world by choosing the Buffalo Sabres, he and his old friend chatted on FaceTime.
After free agency opened Friday, Hall spoke to general manager Kevyn Adams, owners Terry and Kim Pegula and, of course, Krueger to learn more about the Sabres.
Hall, 28, liked what he heard. He needed to make a decision. But ... Read the full article
Before free agency started, Taylor Hall knew in the back of his head joining the Buffalo Sabres could be a terrific opportunity.
“If it came down to it,” an excited Hall said on a Zoom call Monday, a day after stunning the hockey world by signing a one-year, $8 million contract with the Sabres.
Hall, 28, had plenty of options to explore. After the market opened Friday, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, who knows Hall from ... Read the full article