Don Granato is excited about Buffalo’s future. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

One year after hiring, Don Granato has dramatically changed the Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Don Granato kept rattling off names. There was Taylor Hall, Brandon Montour, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen and Eric Staal.

“I’m probably missing a couple more,” Granato said following Wednesday’s practice at LECOM Harborcenter.

Then two more names, Jack Eichel and Jake McCabe, popped into his head.

One year ago today, Granato inherited a veteran-laden team at its nadir. The Sabres were 12 losses into what would become a stunning 18-game winless ... Read the full article

Jonathan Huberdeau and some Florida teammates celebrate score another goal against Buffalo goalie Craig Anderson on Monday. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres implode against Panthers, lose big: ‘That team doesn’t stop’

BUFFALO – For 20 minutes Monday, the Florida Panthers looked uncharacteristically sloppy and slow, mustering just three shots on goal against the Sabres.

Despite outplaying the Panthers early, the Sabres trailed 1-0 after the opening period. The Sabres had an opportunity to exploit one of the NHL’s heavyweights, but they couldn’t get any of their 11 shots by Panthers goalie Spencer Knight.

“Being down 1-0, that hurts when you only give up three,” winger Kyle ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has kept producing in Florida. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Ex-Sabre Sam Reinhart back in Buffalo thriving with Panthers

BUFFALO – In his six years here, ex-Sabres winger Sam Reinhart never experienced anything like this season. His playoff-bound Florida Panthers have established themselves as a Stanley Cup contender.

The Panthers, the NHL’s highest-scoring team, ranked fourth in the league entering Monday’s 6-1 win over the Sabres. They’re so deep that Reinhart, who spent most of his tenure in Buffalo as a first-liner, now skates on the third trio.

After more than 500 regular-season appearances, ... 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

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

Arttu Ruotsalainen scored in only his second NHL game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Arttu Ruotsalaien utilizes lethal shot to score first NHL goal

Buffalo Sabres rookie Arttu Ruotsalainen said when linemate Dylan Cozens delivered a short, soft pass to him in the right circle Sunday afternoon, he simply closed his eyes and shot the puck.

A second later, Ruotsalainen’s lethal one-timer blew by Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart 4:42 into the second period. The Finnish winger’s first NHL goal tied the game at 2.

“It’s awesome. It’s a dream,” a smiling Ruotsalainen said following his second NHL game, ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour played 112 games with the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Dealing Brandon Montour to Panthers likely only Sabres’ first deadline trade

BUFFALO – Defenseman Brandon Montour, like so many of the Sabres’ other notable acquisitions in recent years, left town having never sniffed the playoffs.

The Sabres on Saturday traded Montour, who turns 27 today, to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.

Barely two years ago, ex-Sabres general manager Jason Botterill paid a steep price for Montour, sending defense prospect Brendan Guhle and a first-round pick to the Anaheim ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour joined Buffalo before the 2018-19 trade deadline. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres start dealing, trade defenseman Brandon Montour to Panthers

BUFFALO – The Sabres this afternoon made their first trade before Monday’s deadline, dealing defenseman Brandon Montour to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.

At the end of this afternoon’s practice inside KeyBank Center, Montour, who did not skate, said goodbye to his teammates from the bench.

Montour, who turns 27 on Sunday, has registered five goals, 14 points and a minus-13 rating in 38 games this season. He signed ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has started looking like his old self. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Rasmus Dahlin performs dynamically in Sabres’ win over Devils: ‘Special player’

Over the last week, Rasmus Dahlin has morphed into a dynamic defenseman again, shaking off three dreadful months to help ignite the Buffalo Sabres.

Dahlin, 20, enjoyed his best night this trying season in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils inside Prudential Center. After tying the game in the second period, he corralled a bouncing puck inside the blue line and deftly created center Casey Mittelstadt’s game-winning power-play goal 10:20 into the third.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart scored the first goal in Wednesday’s win. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres finally end winless streak, beat Flyers: ‘Everybody stepped up’

BUFFALO – Instead of addressing the Sabres during Wednesday’s second intermission, interim coach Don Granato left his players alone.

No words of encouragement. Not even a tactical point or two.

The game was playing out eerily similar to Monday’s. Granato, whose Sabres also held a three-goal that night over the Philadelphia Flyers, wanted his players to take over.

“I wouldn’t have handed it off to them if I wasn’t confident that they could do it ... Read the full article