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

Don Granato was hired as Buffalo’s permanent coach Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Confident Don Granato embraces challenge of coaching Sabres

After the Sabres’ tumultuous season ended, Don Granato told general manager Kevyn Adams how much he coveted the team’s permanent head coaching position.

Granato, having transformed the Sabres into a competitive group during his 28-game stint as interim coach, likely could’ve pursued opportunities on higher-profile clubs.

But Granato, who on Tuesday was named the 20th coach in franchise history, wanted to stay in Buffalo.

“This is the position I wanted to be in, I had ... Read the full article

Buffalo coach Don Granato has varied experience. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato paid dues, defied odds to become Sabres’ new coach

When the Buffalo Sabres named Don Granato their interim coach, he was expected to simply be a fill-in. After their disastrous season ended, general manager Kevyn Adams could start searching for Ralph Krueger’s permanent replacement.

But a funny thing happened. Granato, who was named the 20th head coach in franchise history Tuesday, quickly emerged as the Sabres’ best long-term option.

After losing their first six games under Granato, 53, the Sabres looked like a ... Read the full article

Don Granato took over the Sabres on an interim basis March 17. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres name Don Granato 20th coach in franchise history

When the Buffalo Sabres named Don Granato their interim coach, he was expected to simply be a fill-in. After their disastrous season ended, general manager Kevyn Adams could start searching for Ralph Krueger’s permanent replacement.

But a funny thing happened. Granato, who was named the 20th head coach in franchise history Tuesday, quickly emerged as the Sabres’ best long-term option.

After losing their first six games under Granato, 53, the Sabres looked like a radically ... Read the full article

Buffalo drafted Marcus Davidsson 37th overall. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres don’t give 2017 second-round pick Marcus Davidsson contract

The Buffalo Sabres did not give 2017 second-round pick Marcus Davidsson an entry-level contract by today’s 5 p.m. deadline, making the center a free agent.

The Sabres selected Davidsson 37th overall in ex-general manager Jason Botterill’s first draft, 17 picks before they took goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who played his first four NHL games in April.

Davidsson is the only player from the Sabres’ 2017 draft class they did not sign. Their other selections ... Read the full article