C.J. Smith played 11 NHL games last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

AHL star C.J. Smith intent on sticking with Sabres this season

BUFFALO – Only about 10 Sabres forwards have roster spots locked up, meaning in a training camp filled with competition, the best battles might be taking place up front.

Among the players fighting for the four or so remaining slots are journeymen (Jean-Sebastien Dea, for example), NHL veterans (Vladimir Sobotka) and prized prospects (Victor Olofsson).

Then there’s C.J. Smith, an older (he turns 25 on Dec. 1) and often overlooked ... Read the full article

Mike Ramsey spent 14 seasons with the Sabres. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Former Sabres captain Mike Ramsey enjoying life away from hockey

BUFFALO – Former Sabres captain Mike Ramsey usually offers the same answer when someone asks him what he’s up to these days.

“I tell people I’m writing a book, because everybody wants to know what I’m doing,” Ramsey said during Saturday’s Sabres Fan Fest at KeyBank Center, an event that celebrated the team’s 50th anniversary season. “‘What do you do with your time? I’m writing a book.’ And it stops them right away.”

So, what’s ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju won two gold medals last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Henri Jokiharju impressed Sabres GM Jason Botterill before up-close look

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill knew of Henri Jokiharju’s talents before he watched the defenseman up close during Team Finland’s run to a gold medal at the World Championship in the spring.

So even if Botterill hadn’t run Team Canada’s entry in Slovakia, the Sabres still might’ve dished winger Alexander Nylander to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Jokiharju on July 9.

“It certainly helps things out to see a player play on ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin (26) battles St. Louis' Jaden Schwartz as a rookie. ©2019, Hickling Images

Rasmus Dahlin enjoyed one of Sabres’ greatest rookie seasons ever

BUFFALO – Rookie seasons like the one Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin just enjoyed don’t come along very often.

At 18, the Swede quickly morphed into one of the Sabres’ most valuable players, taking over games with his dynamic puck-moving skills and producing offense at a historic rate.

Only one defenseman in NHL history – former Sabres star Phil Housley, who recorded 57 points as an 18-year-old in 1982-83 – compiled more points before his ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin (26) enjoyed a terrific rookie season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin named finalist for Calder Trophy

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is among three finalists for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year, the league announced today.

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington and Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson were also named with Dahlin.

Dahlin, 19, enjoyed a terrific season, leading all rookie defensemen with 44 points. The Swede’s 35 assists ranked second among all first-year players. So did the 21 minutes, 9 seconds of ice time ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner (53) waits for a faceoff against Nashville's Austin Watson on Tuesday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres coach Phil Housley miffed after no-goal call: ‘We got screwed’

BUFFALO – A seething Phil Housley said it over and over – four times in three minutes, to be exact – following Tuesday’s 3-2 loss, the Sabres’ eight straight setback.

“It’s frustrating because we got screwed,” the Sabres coach said.

To Housley, the Sabres “got screwed” against the Nashville Predators because 2:40 into the second period, winger Conor Sheary scored on a delayed penalty, appearing to tie the game at 2.

The Predators never gained ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe hadn't played since March 2. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jake McCabe returns to lineup as Marco Scandella leaves

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ beleaguered blue line received a much-needed addition Sunday, as Jake McCabe returned after missing 13 games.

Did it help? Well, no. The Columbus Jackets throttled the Sabres 4-0 inside KeyBank Center.

McCabe hadn’t played since suffering an upper-body injury March 2.

Defenseman Marco Scandella, who blocked a shot in Saturday’s ugly 5-1 road loss to the New York Islanders, missed Sunday’s contest. Housley said the Sabres will know more about Scandella’s ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner could score 50 goals this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner might’ve found long-term home in Buffalo

BUFFALO – Three-quarters into the season, Jeff Skinner hasn’t shown many signs of cooling off. Having scored a team-high 36 goals through 60 games, the slick winger could become the first Sabre to hit the prestigious 50-goal mark in 26 years.

Entering this afternoon’s home game against the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, Skinner is scoring at a torrid 49-goal pace over his first season with the Sabres.

While Skinner, 26, hasn’t scored in the ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has scored seven goals this season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres notes: Kyle Okposo showcasing more physicality

BUFFALO – Over the last week or two, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo has finally started showcasing signs of his old self, playing a heavier, straight-line game.

“He’s going to the net a lot better,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said prior to Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning inside KeyBank Center. “I think he’s attacking off the wing and he’s shooting a lot more.”

Not surprisingly, Okposo has started scoring a bit. After enduring ... Read the full article

Rene Robert still spends some of the year in Buffalo. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres legend Rene Robert happy in Buffalo, excited about current team

BUFFALO – Nearly 47 years after he first arrived here, Rene Robert hasn’t officially left town. The high-scoring winger and member of the legendary French Connection line still uses “we” when he talks about the Sabres.

Sure, these days, Robert lives much of the year in Punta Gorda, Fla., but he returns every year and spends the summer in Williamsville.

“This is my home,” Robert told the Times Herald on Sunday. “I’ve been here since ... Read the full article