Casey Mittelstadt scored 12 goals as a rookie. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Casey Mittelstadt believes he can thrive in Ralph Krueger’s system

BUFFALO – For seven months last season, Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt lived the hectic NHL life. The rookie practiced almost daily, played 77 games and logged thousands of air miles traveling across North America.

Mittelstadt, 20, had never experienced anything like it.

Then in the second week of April, everything stopped. When the season ended, Mittelstadt quickly became bored.

“You go from 100 mph to literally zero,” Mittelstadt said prior to Wednesday’s 4-3 preseason overtime ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe has battled shoulder problems in the past. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jake McCabe to miss rest of preseason

BUFFALO – An upper-body injury will sideline Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe the rest of the preseason, the team announced this morning.

“It was in practice yesterday, just light upper body,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said inside KeyBank Center. “We’re expecting him to be good to go for the first league game.”

McCabe, 25, has battled shoulder problems in the past.

In addition to McCabe, four other Sabres defensemen – Zach Bogosian (hip), Matt Hunwick (neck), ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson was traded to Boston last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Marcus Johansson learned from short tenure with Bruins

BUFFALO – Counting 22 postseason appearances, forward Marcus Johansson played 32 games with the Bruins. The Swede arrived in Boston on Feb. 25 and was gone by July 6, when he signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Sabres.

But Johansson’s short run with one of the NHL’s model franchises recharged his career.

After battling injuries, including two concussions, with the New Jersey Devils over a season and a half, Johansson played regularly throughout ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has shown some rapid growth during training camp. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Prospect Dylan Cozens earns another look from Sabres

BUFFALO – Before Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens’ impressive effort in Friday’s preseason loss, the coaching staff marked him down as a possibility to play again in tonight’s rematch against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“There was a good chance he was going to play, but he confirmed it yesterday with what he showed us, and we need one more look here,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said this morning inside KeyBank Center.

Cozens, 18, was one ... Read the full article

Matej Pekar loves to be an agitater. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Matej Pekar thrilled to earn spot in NHL exhibition game

BUFFALO – Matej Pekar acknowledged he had been thinking about this opportunity. Sure, it’s just an NHL preseason game. But for the Sabres prospect, tonight’s exhibition represents another small milestone.

“It’s happening,” Pekar said after he prepared for the Sabres’ road contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets, his preseason NHL debut. “I just have to be ready for it.”

While Pekar, 19, is probably a longshot to crack the Sabres, his mix of skill and ... Read the full article

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

Sam Reinhart has never played an NHL playoff game. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart excited to play for new coach Ralph Krueger

BUFFALO – Since the Sabres drafted high-scoring winger Sam Reinhart second overall in 2014, the team has employed four coaches, a ridiculous number.

Not surprisingly, Reinhart, who has played 331 regular-season NHL games, has never sniffed the postseason.

But last spring, Reinhart, 23, played some meaningful contests as Team Canada captured a silver medal at the World Championship in Slovakia. In 2016, fresh off his rookie season, he won a gold medal at the tournament.... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar has spent most of his pro career in the NHL. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sign Andrew Hammond, Curtis Lazar and others for depth

BUFFALO – As general manager Jason Botterill promised, the Sabres added a third goalie shortly after free agency opened Monday, signing veteran Andrew Hammond.

Hammond, whose one-year, one-way deal is worth $700,000, is best known for compiling a 20-1-2 record as a rookie with the Ottawa Senators in 2014-15 and earning “The Hamburglar” nickname.

Overall, Hammond, 31, has put together a 27-15-6 mark with a 2.31 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and four shutouts ... Read the full article

Andrew Hammond enjoyed an amazing rookie season with Ottawa in 2014-15. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres add depth, sign Andrew Hammond, Curtis Lazar and others

BUFFALO – As general manager Jason Botterill promised, the Sabres added a third goalie today, signing veteran Andrew Hammond to a one-year, $700,000 contract.

Hammond, 31, is best known for compiling a 20-1-2 record as a rookie with the Ottawa Senators in 2014-15.

Overall, Hammond has put together a 27-15-6 mark with a 2.31 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and four shutouts in 56 career NHL outings.

Hammond spent last season with the Iowa ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart welcomed Dylan Cozens to the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jason Botterill believes Sabres’ young talent terrific selling point

VANCOUVER – Shortly before the Sabres’ higher-ups traveled to the NHL Draft, Sam Reinhart told Jason Botterill he wanted join them during their stay in his hometown.

So one night, Reinhart met the general manager, coach Ralph Krueger and Terry and Kim Pegula for dinner.

Then on Friday, Reinhart, a winger the Sabres selected second overall in 2014, warmly greeted center Dylan Cozens after the team’s top pick left the draft floor inside Rogers Arena.... Read the full article