Jeff Skinner was the Sabres' first 40-goal scorer in 10 years. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner needs time to think about future

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner needs time to decompress following a grueling 82-game season before he starts thinking about his next contract.

Sure, the 40-goal scorer said he loves playing in Buffalo. Despite the Sabres’ sorry season – coach Phil Housley was fired Sunday – he believes they’re heading in the right direction.

But Skinner, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, made sure his contract took a backseat during the season.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel blamed the players, not Phil Houlsey. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres surprised by Phil Housley’s firing, believe players at fault

BUFFALO – Just days before Phil Housley’s dismissal, captain Jack Eichel was adamant the Sabres’ woes should be pinned on the players, not the coach.

Eichel’s words, which he repeated this morning, couldn’t save Housley, who was fired Sunday after the Sabres’ sorry finish.

“It’s on us in the room,” Eichel said as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held end-of-season-meetings inside KeyBank Center. “We’re the product on the ice. It’s unfortunate that ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles in front of Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard on Thursday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ youngsters stand out in overtime loss to Red Wings

BUFFALO – Rookie Victor Olofsson heard Jack Eichel calling for the puck, so he quickly spun around along the right boards and adroitly fed the Sabres captain as a zoomed down the slot.

A second later, an uncovered Eichel beat Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, tying the game 15:42 into the third period Thursday.

“I was just trying to get it in there in the middle,” Olofsson said following his NHL debut, a 5-4 ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson was a seventh-round pick in 2014. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Victor Olofsson earns spot beside Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – By late October, as Sabres prospect Victor Olofsson closed a stellar month in which he scored five goals and 15 points, a recall to the NHL felt inevitable.

But instead of summoning Olofsson, 23, from the Rochester Americans right away, the Sabres left the slick Swedish winger in the AHL for almost six months.

The 5-foot-11, 181-pound Olofsson, meanwhile, kept scoring and acclimating to North American hockey, cementing his spot among the Sabres’ ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson has enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Victor Olofsson thrilled to join Sabres: ‘I’m good enough to play up here’

BUFFALO – Rasmus Dahlin has never seen a shot as lethal as the one Sabres newcomer Victor Olofsson possesses.

“He’s probably got the best shot I’ve ever seen in my whole life,” the defenseman said of Olofsson, who will make his NHL debut tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. “It’s unbelievable.”

Dahlin, of course, knows Olofsson well. The rookies spent last season together starring at home in Sweden for Frolunda HC. Their time as teammates ... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut played 25 games with the Sabres earlier this season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres recall Lawrence Pilut from Amerks

The Buffalo Sabres recalled rookie defenseman Lawrence Pilut, who played 25 NHL games earlier this season, from the Rochester Americans this afternoon.

Pilut, 23, compiled one goal, six points and a minus-3 rating in nearly three months with the Sabres.

Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian is missing from today’s practice, according to reports from Newark. Defenseman Matt Hunwick (upper body) is also injured.

Pilut has been dynamic at times in his first American Hockey League ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin never saw a live NHL game until last year. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Swedish Sabres excited about playing games in Stockholm

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin grew up far away from the NHL in Trollhattan, Sweden, a city of 46,000 about a three- or four-hour car ride from Stockholm.

“Most of my friends have never seen an NHL game before,” the rookie said Thursday inside KeyBank Center.

So the thought of playing two regular-season games in front of his family and friends next season had Dahlin smiling Thursday. The Sabres will face the Tampa Bay ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill made a significant move Sunday night. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ acquisition of Brandon Montour shows they want to win now

TORONTO – On Sunday night, Sabres general manager Jason Botterill made a significant trade for this season, sending a 2019 first-round pick and defense prospect Brendan Guhle to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Brandon Montour.

Think about that, the Sabres, a team seemingly in perpetual rebuilding mode, dealt futures for an established NHL player before today’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.

But for the first time since 2011-12, the Sabres are in the playoff ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has quietly enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart enjoys first hat trick in Buffalo

BUFFALO – On the first of his three goals Saturday afternoon, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart showcased a little flash.

After grabbing center Evan Rodrigues’ nifty one-handed pass, Reinhart unleashed a wicked wrist shot from the right circle, beating Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby over the right shoulder 12:51 into the 5-2 win.

Later in the contest, Reinhart put the Sabres up two goals again, sealing the game by tipping defenseman Matt Hunwick’s shot in front ... Read the full article

Scott Wilson will play this afternoon. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo skates; Danny O’Regan, Scott Wilson to play

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo, out since suffering a concussion last Friday, skated this morning, coach Phil Housley said.

“That’s a great sign,” Housley said inside KeyBank Center. “He’s got a smile on his face. So those are all good signs for us.”

Okposo, 30, has a concerning history of concussions. The veteran hasn’t played since suffering another one fighting New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo.

Housley believes Okposo will play again this season.... Read the full article