BUFFALO – The Sabres locked up their last restricted free agent today, signing forward Zemgus Girgensons to a two-year, $3.2 million contract.
Girgensons, 23, compiled seven goals and 16 points in a career-high 75 games last season, his fourth NHL campaign. The Latvian has 37 goals and 86 points in 277 career contests.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres could still add more talent after signing two NHL players and six depth additions early in free agency.
Bringing back 38-year-old captain Brian Gionta is still a possibility, general manager Jason Botterill said Saturday after the market opened. And while Botterill said he feels comfortable with the Sabres’ overall toughness, acquiring more muscle could be a priority.
But after inking goalie Chad Johnson and winger Benoit Pouliot on Saturday, a day ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres brought back an old friend shortly after free agency opened today, signing backup goalie Chad Johnson to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.
The 31-year-old spent last season with his hometown Calgary Flames, going 18-15-1 with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 36 games.... Read the full article
CHICAGO – As the first round of the NHL Draft approached, no one seemed to have any idea how the early portion would play out and where youngsters like new Buffalo Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt could be picked.
Sure, it was expected centers Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick would go first and second overall Friday, and they did. But after that, several guys like Mittelstadt were pegged to go anywhere from third or fourth or ... Read the full article
CHICAGO – We don’t have a book on Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill yet. We don’t know his tendencies, what kind of team he truly wants to build or which players he values over others.
Botterill, widely regarded as one of the NHL’s brightest young minds, has been on the job 43 days. So far, the 41-year-old has made only minor deals, acquiring defenseman Nathan Beaulieu and reaching an agreement with the expansion ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As expected, the Sabres have left underachieving, high-priced veterans Zach Bogosian and Matt Moulson unprotected for Wednesday’s NHL Expansion Draft.
But they also left winger William Carrier, perhaps the Sabres’ biggest surprise as a rookie last season, unprotected for the Vegas Golden Knights, according to a list the league released this morning. Could that move be a side deal general manager Jason Botterill worked out with counterpart George McPhee to lay off ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – New general manager Jason Botterill left a darn good gig as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ associate GM to return here and run the Sabres, a reeling team that hasn’t made the playoffs in six years.
On Wednesday, just hours before he was named the eighth GM in Sabres history, Botterill was in Washington watching Pittsburgh beat the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal. The Penguins could be weeks away from earning ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – New general manager Jason Botterill left a darn good gig as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ associate GM to return here and run the Sabres, one of the NHL’s perennial dregs.
On Wednesday, just hours before he was named the eighth GM in Sabres history, Botterill was in Washington watching the Penguins beat the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Despite inheriting a last-place club, the Sabres’ next general manager will also be entering a “promising” job, said former NHL GM Craig Button.
Why? The Sabres already possess two cornerstones at critical positions.
“When you start with (center) Jack Eichel and you’ve got a (defenseman like) Rasmus Ristolainen, you’ve got the framework for something to really move significantly ahead with,” said Button, the Calgary Flames’ GM for three years in the early ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Now what? In a stunning move, general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma are gone, victims of the Sabres’ last-place finish.
Tanking, gutting the roster and starting from scratch were supposed to transform the Sabres into perennial contenders.
Instead, they’ve remained a laughingstock. So on Thursday, 11 days after the Sabres completed a disappointing 78-point season in which they regressed, owner Terry Pegula fired Murray and Bylsma.
Obviously, missing the playoffs by ... Read the full article