Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen met with the Sabres at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen sensed interest from Sabres

CHICAGO – When Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen surveys Buffalo’s goaltending depth chart, the 18-year-old Finn sees an opportunity. With Cal Petersen passing on the Sabres, the team wants another strong netminding prospect to fill the void.

So in the second round Saturday, 54th overall, the Sabres selected Luukkonen at the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was all smiles this morning. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen excited for opportunity with Sabres

CHICAGO – When Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen surveys Buffalo’s goaltending depth chart, the 18-year-old Finn sees an opportunity. With Cal Petersen passing on the Sabres, the team wants another strong netminding prospect to fill the void.

So in the second round this morning, 54th overall, the Sabres selected Luukkonen at the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Jason Botterill has only been on the job since last month. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill front and center at NHL Draft

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

William Carrier was one of the Sabres' biggest surprises last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres leave big salaries unprotected for expansion draft

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

Sabres owner Terry Pegula (left) and new general manager Jason Botteril talk Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill ready to tackle new job

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

Craig Button believes the Sabres have plenty of assets. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Analyst: Sabres’ next GM entering ‘promising’ gig

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

Kyle Okposo is a popular teammate. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reports: Kyle Okposo hospitalized in intensive care; Sabres beat Canadiens

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo is hospitalized and in intensive care at Buffalo General Hospital, according to two reports.

Okposo, 28, is in the Neuro Surgical ICU, according to WGR. The Buffalo News also confirmed the report.

Prior to Wednesday’s 2-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said he was “very concerned” about Okposo, who has undergone testing and been out of the lineup since last week.... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander has spent the entire season in the AHL. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall prospect Alexander Nylander from Amerks

BUFFALO – Top Sabres forward prospect Alexander Nylander, the eighth overall pick in 2016, could be recalled from the Rochester Americans and make his NHL debut in tonight’s tilt against his brother, William, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Update: Nylander has been recalled.

Nylander, 19, was held out Sunday afternoon’s 2-1 road win against the Albany Devils. The Buffalo News reported the Sabres will summon the Swede from the AHL club.... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen is happy he can play again. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres ready to welcome Rasmus Ristolainen back to lineup

BUFFALO – In 74 games this season, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has averaged just under 27 minutes of playing time, the Sabres’ highest total. All together, the workhorse has spent almost 2,000 minutes on the ice in his fourth NHL campaign.

So while a three-game suspension for hitting Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel disappointed Ristolainen, 22, the short break from the rigors of a long year was welcomed.

“I got a good rest,” Ristolainen said of his absence. ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (55) hits Carolina's Jeff Skinner on Dec. 22. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rested Rasmus Ristolainen ready to return to Sabres

BUFFALO – For Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, his three-game suspension meant he received a short break from the rigors of a long season.

“I got a good rest,” Ristolainen said of his absence. “I worked out well, picked up practices and I’m ready to go. It felt like a month.”

Ristolainen’s ban for hitting Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel is over. The workhorse will return for Sunday afternoon’s home tilt against the New York Islanders.

While the ... Read the full article