BUFFALO – The Sabres’ core group of young players has never played a meaningful late-season NHL game. This upcoming stretch will be a new experience.
A perfect weekend moved the Sabres to within six points of the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot with 20 games remaining. A team given up for dead has roared back into the postseason hunt.
So Sabres general manager Jason Botterill dealt aggressively before Monday’s trade deadline, acquiring winger Wayne Simmonds... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres have acquired winger Wayne Simmonds from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2021, the teams announced this afternoon.
The pick can turn into a fourth-rounder if the Sabres make the playoffs and Simmonds plays 10 games. The Devils will retain half of Simmonds’ $5 million salary.
The acquisition is significant. General manager Jason Botterill, whose Sabres have crept within six points of the Atlantic Division’s ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Over the past week or so, the Sabres settled down and started showcasing some of the early-season form that made them one of the NHL’s heavyweights.
Their ability to play tighter defense helped them consistently generate more offense. While it had only resulted in two wins, it felt like the Sabres could bust out soon.
Luckily for them, the hapless New Jersey Devils visited town.
In its 22-year existence, around 2,700 periods of ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Right away, Kyle Okposo knew something was wrong. Having suffered at least three concussions earlier in his Sabres career, the winger understands the symptoms well.
“I just knew right away that the neck wasn’t good,” said Okposo, who suffered his fourth concussion Nov. 16 when he collided with Ottawa Senators defenseman Ron Hainsey leaving the bench.
Right now, Okposo feels good again. The affable veteran smiled and was upbeat Monday morning after skating ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Victor Olofsson’s ability to quickly adapt and evolve has helped him morph from an unheralded Sabres prospect into one of the NHL’s top rookies.
Just weeks after beginning his North American career last season, Olofsson established himself as one of the AHL’s top scorers with the Rochester Americans.
Following his terrific 30-goal, 63-point campaign, the Swedish winger graduated to Buffalo, scoring six times in the first seven games this year.
But Olofsson, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – One by one Rick Jeanneret introduced them, 15 in all, including some of the greatest names in Sabres history.
Gilbert Perreault, the most iconic name, received a rousing standing ovation from the capacity crowd of 19,070. The fans roared for Danny Gare and Jason Pominville, two of the most popular players in franchise history.
Before the Sabres started Saturday’s 7-2 annihilation of the New Jersey Devils, they kicked off the home portion ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – More than 43 years later, Sabres legend Danny Gare still sounds surprised he hit the prestigious 50-goal mark in the grandest of fashions.
That night, after all, was supposed to be about Rick Martin’s pursuit of the milestone. The sniper needed to score just once to reach 50 goals for the third consecutive season.
Gare, meanwhile, had scored 47 times entering the season finale on April 4, 1976 against the Toronto Maple Leafs ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As promised, the Sabres held a team meeting this morning and skipped the pregame skate before their 50th anniversary home opener against the New Jersey Devils.
Except that to be the Sabres’ new routine. New coach Ralph Krueger believes his players do enough off-ice work to get their bodies ready.
In lineup news, Krueger said goalie Carter Hutton, fresh a strong 28-save outing in Thursday’s 3-1 win in Pittsburgh, will start ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After outplaying Carter Hutton last month, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark took a backseat Thursday, watching his partner’s splendid 28-save performance from the bench.
Coach Ralph Krueger said everything would be up for competition during training camp, and based on their preseason numbers, Ullmark deserved to start the Sabres’ 50th anniversary season opener.
But the decision, of course, wasn’t quite that simple.
Hutton, 33, played a career-high 50 games and started regularly for the ... Read the full article
TORONTO – After winning Tuesday’s NHL Draft Lottery, Ray Shero wouldn’t confirm the New Jersey Devils plan to select center Jack Hughes first overall.
Like most NHL general managers, he probably wants to respect the work his scouts have put in and leave a little suspense.
But the Devils, who own the first pick for the second time in three years, will almost certainly draft Hughes come June 21 in Vancouver.
Hughes, who has spent ... Read the full article