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

Taylor Leier has spent a chunk of his career in Philadelphia. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks bring back Taylor Leier on AHL contract

The Rochester Americans have signed forward Taylor Leier to a one-year AHL contract, the Buffalo Sabres’ affiliate announced today.

Leier, 25, morphed into one of the Amerks’ top forwards following his Jan. 17 arrival from the Philadelphia Flyers organization, scoring 12 goals and 23 points in 35 games.

According to the Amerks, Leier had successful surgery this offseason. The team did not specify what kind of surgery he underwent.

Overall, Leier compiled 22 goal and ... Read the full article

Brandon Hickey received limited action last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Brandon Hickey learned from tough rookie season with Amerks

BUFFALO – Brandon Hickey attended his first development camp way back in 2014, so he knows what to expect this week at the Sabres’ annual summer prospect gathering.

This is the defenseman’s sixth camp with his third team.

“Two conferences, three time zones,” Hickey, 23, said of his travels from Calgary to Arizona to Buffalo.

While six players are older than him, Hickey’s long hair and beard make him look like the camp’s grizzled veteran.... Read the full article

Chris Taylor plans to soak up knowledge from the Sabres' new coaching staff. ©2019, Hickling Images

Chris Taylor happy with Amerks, likes Sabres’ hire of Ralph Krueger

BUFFALO – To many observers, Rochester Americans coach Chris Taylor possesses the talent to run an NHL bench someday.

Not only have the Amerks enjoyed two successful seasons under the affable Taylor, players seem to love playing for him.

Not surprisingly, Taylor’s name came up during the Sabres’ search for Phil Housley’s replacement. Taylor, course, has close ties to general manager Jason Botterill, his friend and former teammate.... Read the full article

Sean Malone played only 38 games last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres notes: Sean Malone signs AHL contract with Amerks

BUFFALO – Center Sean Malone’s 2018-19 season started ominously. After some impressive performances early in his second NHL training camp, the West Seneca native injured his knee in the Sabres’ preseason opener.

So instead of competing for a spot on the big club, Malone, 24, didn’t play his first game until Nov. 7 with the Rochester Americans.

Injuries limited Malone to only 38 appearances during a frustrating campaign. The Harvard product never seemed to ... Read the full article

Sean Malone endured a tough season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sean Malone signs with Amerks; Sabres give qualifying offers to NHL regulars

BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans have signed West Seneca’s Sean Malone, who wasn’t given a qualifying offer by the parent Sabres, to a one-year AHL contract, the team announced today.

Injuries limited Malone, 24, to only 38 games during a frustrating 2018-19 campaign. The center hurt his knee in the Sabres’ preseason opener and never seemed to find a groove.

In two seasons with the Amerks, Malone has compiled 16 goals, 35 points and ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill thinks Rasmus Ristolainen can keep developing. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres GM Jason Botterill knows teams will ask about Rasmus Ristolainen

VANCOUVER – Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill knows plenty of teams would like to pry away a 6-foot-4 defenseman capable of gobbling up minutes and producing points like Rasmus Ristolainen.

“We understand there’s going to be inquiries about him,” Botterill said Friday morning, hours before the NHL Draft inside Rogers Arena. “We’re open as an organization to continuing to try to find ways to improve our team. But we realize and we’re very ... Read the full article