The Sabres traded Justin Bailey last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Former Sabres prospect Justin Bailey happy to land with Canucks

Justin Bailey figured he fit in the Flyers’ plans. After arriving via a trade from the Buffalo Sabres organization in January, the Williamsville native shuttled between Philadelphia and the minors, playing 11 NHL games.

“Chuck Fletcher just traded for me in January,” Bailey told the Times Herald. “I got my games, I thought I showcased myself to the best of my ability with the opportunity that was given to me.”

But Fletcher, who took over ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander spent three seasons in the Sabres organization. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Trading Alexander Nylander was inevitable for Sabres

BUFFALO – Following another underwhelming season, it felt like only a matter of time before the Sabres cut their losses and traded winger Alexander Nylander.

Through three years as a pro, Nylander, the eighth overall pick by the Sabres’ old regime in 2016, has mostly been a bust.

Sure, the Swede has occasionally showcased his slick skills. Still, he hasn’t consistently displayed the tenacity to match them.

Nylander, 21, couldn’t develop into a dominant ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Alexander Nylander eighth overall in 2016. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres trade Alexander Nylander to Blackhawks for Henri Jokiharju

BUFFALO – The Sabres traded winger Alexander Nylander to the Chicago Blackhawks today for defenseman Henri Jokiharju, a swap of former first-round picks.

The deal is hardly surprising. Following another underwhelming season in which he battled injuries, Nylander’s days in the organization seemed numbered.

The Swede, the eighth overall pick by the team’s old regime in 2016, never showcased the tenacity to match his array of talents.... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons joined the Sabres in 2013. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres re-sign Zemgus Girgensons to one-year contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed forward Zemgus Girgensons to a one-year, $1.6 million contract, the team announced this afternoon.

The Latvian, 25, was a restricted free agent.

Girgensons, a veteran of 420 NHL games, is one of three Sabres left from the 2013-14 squad that finished dead last in the NHL. Forward Johan Larsson and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen are the others.

Only Ristolainen (424 games) has made more appearances over that stretch.

The 6-foot-2, ... Read the full article

Andrew Hammond has earned the nickname "The Hamburglar." ©2019, Hickling Images

Season spent in minors special for Sabres goalie Andrew Hammond

BUFFALO – Last season, for the first time in his six-year career, new Sabres goalie Andrew Hammond didn’t play a single NHL game.

Even as an undrafted rookie in 2013-14, Hammond earned 35 minutes of big league action. In 2017-18, a tough campaign in which he bounced around and started just one regular-season contest, he won a playoff game for the Colorado Avalanche.

But last year, the affable Hammond, 31, spent the entire season with ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith enjoyed a huge season in 2018-19. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres re-sign Amerks star C.J. Smith to two-year contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed forward C.J. Smith to a two-year, $1.4 million contract, the team announced today.

Smith, 24, was a restricted free agent.

The UMass Lowell product enjoyed a huge AHL season in 2018-19, compiling 28 goals and 58 points and a team-high plus-26 rating in 62 appearances with the Rochester Americans. He also earned multiple recalls to the Sabres, scoring his first two NHL goals during his 11-game look.... 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

Matt Duchene will land a huge contract in free agency. ©2019, Hickling Images

Trades, not free agents, likely Sabres’ best option for improving roster

BUFFALO – The Sabres must examine every option to improve their weak roster, so, yes, general manager Jason Botterill acknowledged, they’ve discussed some of the top free agents on the market.

It’s no secret center Matt Duchene would fill a glaring need as the No. 2 pivot behind Jack Eichel.

For a few years, even as the Sabres kept struggling, their greatest strength was up the middle.

Most teams are lucky to have one top ... Read the full article

Erik Portillo has some gaudy equipment. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres goalie prospect Erik Portillo stands out on ice

BUFFALO – You can’t miss Erik Portillo on the ice. In addition to being one of three Sabres prospects listed at 6-foot-6 on the roster, the Swede sports the gaudiest equipment of any of the six goalies in development camp.

European teams love plastering advertising everywhere, and Portillo’s Frölunda gear features plenty. Even the back of his pants have two McDonald’s logos.

But fans attending this morning’s three-on-three tournament, the conclusion of the four-day camp ... Read the full article