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 – At first glance, it appears Sabres winger Jason Pominville has been declining since hitting the prestigious 30-goal mark four years ago.
Statistical drops are usually inevitable as players progress into their 30s, and Pominville, 34, has experienced one, failing to reach 20 goals or 60 points the last three seasons.
In his first eight NHL seasons of 70 or more games, Pominville averaged 26 goals and 64 points. In the last two campaigns, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Among the 38 players the Sabres have used through five preseason games, very few have stood out.
Of course, center Jack Eichel has performed strongly, compiling one goal and four points in three appearances. Meanwhile, veteran winger Jason Pominville scored twice in his debut.
But those Sabres are expected to make notable contributions. What about the bubble players, the AHL guy looking to crack the big club out of training camp?... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As the son of a former Sabres coach, winger Jordan Nolan’s memories of his new team and this area are special.
As a child in the 1990s, Nolan sometimes tagged along with his father, Ted Nolan, to the rink. In 2013, when the Sabres brought the elder Nolan back for a second run, Jordan proudly watched the news conference inside KeyBank Center.
Buffalo, Jordan Nolan said, has “kind of shaped our ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Top Sabres forward prospect Alexander Nylander, the eighth overall pick in 2016, could be recalled from the Rochester Americans and make his NHL debut in tonight’s tilt against his brother, William, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Update: Nylander has been recalled.
Nylander, 19, was held out Sunday afternoon’s 2-1 road win against the Albany Devils. The Buffalo News reported the Sabres will summon the Swede from the AHL club.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The play will be seared in Sabres rookie C.J. Smith’s memory the rest of his life.
Halfway through Smith’s NHL debut, Sunday afternoon’s 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders, the speedy winger grabbed Evander Kane’s pass just outside the blue line and zoomed into the zone on a two-on-one.
Smith then dished a backhand saucer pass to Kane, who beat goalie Jaroslav Halak for his team-leading 27th goal. Just 10:08 into his ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In 74 games this season, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has averaged just under 27 minutes of playing time, the Sabres’ highest total. All together, the workhorse has spent almost 2,000 minutes on the ice in his fourth NHL campaign.
So while a three-game suspension for hitting Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel disappointed Ristolainen, 22, the short break from the rigors of a long year was welcomed.
“I got a good rest,” Ristolainen said of his absence. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Thursday, Sabres newcomer C.J. Smith’s first day in the NHL, was “extremely overwhelming,” the rookie winger said.
“I didn’t get to soak it in as much as I wanted to,” Smith said Saturday inside HarborCenter.
Smith signed his entry-level contract in the morning, practiced with his new teammates shortly after and had to take a test online – the finance major is still enrolled at UMass Lowell, where he spent three seasons – ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As Kyle Okposo started zooming up the ice on a long two-on-one in overtime Friday, the Sabres winger initially had one thought: shoot the puck.
But when Okposo hit the center red line, he spotted defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen racing into the play from behind.
“I knew I was giving it to him at that point,” Okposo said following the Sabres’ 3-2 comeback win against the New York Islanders, his former team he faced ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Months ago, coach Dan Bylsma and Kyle Okposo talked about different scenarios for the Sabres’ big offseason acquisition in the upcoming season.
Bylsma said he wanted Okposo, 28, to understand he didn’t have to carry the load after signing a seven-year, $42 million contract.
During that conversation, Bylsma said Okposo only talked about one game on the 2016-17 schedule – Friday’s tilt against the New York Islanders, the winger’s first meeting against ... Read the full article