C.J. Smith compiled 17 goals and 44 points last season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres re-sign C.J. Smith; Sam Reinhart last unsigned RFA

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed forward C.J. Smith, one of the AHL’s top rookies last season, to a one-year, two-way deal, the team announced today.

The contract is worth $874,125 at the NHL level.

Winger Sam Reinhart is now the Sabres’ only unsigned restricted free agent.... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin sports his new No. 26 jersey Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Excitement over NHL arrival hasn’t waned for Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin

BUFFALO – On Saturday, a day after the Sabres drafted Rasmus Dahlin, the first overall pick was still walking around American Airlines Center proudly wearing his Blue and Gold jersey.

Most first-round selections don’t show up for the later rounds of the NHL Draft. But the day in Dallas provided the slick defenseman another opportunity to experience what he said “was my best time in my life.”

“To be able to be a part of ... Read the full article

Victor Antipin played 47 games with the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Victor Antipin let go after one season

BUFFALO – The Sabres did not tender a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Victor Antipin by Monday’s deadline, making the Russian defenseman a free agent.

Antipin, 25, signed a one-year contract last year following a strong season in the KHL. In 47 games as a rookie in 2017-18, Antipin compiled 10 assists.

“We were really impressed with him,” Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said Monday inside KeyBank Center. “I know things didn’t go maybe ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin (left) and Jason Botterill hold up the Swede's new jersey today. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin will wear No. 26

BUFFALO – In the Sabres’ 48-year existence, players of all talents wore No. 26 before the team awarded the digits to defenseman Rasmus Dahlin today.

Two-time 40-goal scorer Thomas Vanek sported it. So did Randy Wyrozub, one of the franchise’s first players. The Sabres issued the number 20 times before Dahlin, according to hockey-reference.com.... Read the full article

Mattias Samuelsson's father played in the NHL. ©2018, Hickling Images

Mattias Samuelsson knew Sabres might draft him early

DALLAS – Like any prospect, Mattias Samuelsson wanted to be picked early. Some NHL Draft experts even projected the American defenseman as a first-round selection.

But after the first 31 picks Friday night, Samuelsson, 18, was still on the board.

“Everyone wants to be a first-rounder and everything,” Samuelsson said inside American Airlines Center. “It was a little upsetting, but coming into this I knew I was going to be called pretty quick here.”

Sure ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark was a sixth-round pick in 2012. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ inability to find steals in NHL Draft contributed to demise

BUFFALO – Nine years ago, the Sabres, whose knack for unearthing mid- and late-round draft gems helped them morph into a Stanley Cup contender earlier in the decade, found another undervalued youngster.

When the Sabres selected Marcus Foligno in the fourth round, 104th overall, he was simply a talented kid with a familiar name.

But the son of former Sabres captain Mike Foligno would quickly develop into one of junior hockey’s top forward prospects.... Read the full article

Constant losing has worn Ryan O'Reilly out. ©2018, Hickling Images

Anything could happen as GM Jason Botterill tries to overhaul Sabres

BUFFALO – Right now, save for young centers Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt, anyone is probably available from the Sabres if you meet their asking price.

So for a puck-moving defenseman and a speedy winger capable of scoring 20 goals, perhaps you can pry center Ryan O’Reilly away at the NHL Draft later this week in Dallas or in the near future.... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has the Sabres and their fans excited. ©2018, Hickling Images

Coveted prospect Rasmus Dahlin will make Sabres relevant again

TORONTO – With the bounce of a ball, the Buffalo Sabres, one of the NHL’s laughingstocks for years, suddenly became relevant again.

Years from now, winning Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery could be remembered as a seminal moment in franchise history.

When the Sabres pick Rasmus Dahlin first overall June 22 in Dallas, they will possess arguably the best defense prospect in decades. The Swede has superstar potential. Even at 18 years old – if you ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin will instantly improve the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres win NHL Draft Lottery, right to select Rasmus Dahlin

TORONTO – Few expected this would happen. Sure, thanks to their last-place finish, the Buffalo Sabres owned the highest odds – just 18.5 percent – for the first overall pick in Saturday’ NHL Draft Lottery.

But Buffalo teams don’t have any luck, right? The Sabres also had the best odds in 2014 and 2015 and lost the lottery both times.

Then at 10:14 p.m. Saturday inside the CBC building, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly revealed ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin is the surefire top selection. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres have chance at No. 1 overall pick in NHL Draft Lottery

TORONTO – The Buffalo Sabres will have one of the top three picks in the upcoming NHL Draft.

Thanks to their last-place finish, the Sabres have the highest odds – just 18.5 percent – for the first overall pick in tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery.

When the league announced the 15th through fourth picks before the San Jose Sharks/Vegas Golden Knights second-round playoff tilt, the Sabres weren’t among them. They couldn’t have fallen past the fourth ... Read the full article