BUFFALO – In the first period Monday afternoon, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger tapped winger Vladimir Sobotka for two defensive-zone draws.
“He went right out there and cleanly won them and took us out of our end,” Krueger said following the Sabres’ 4-0 victory over the Dallas Stars inside KeyBank Center.
Then 4:20 into the third period, Sobotka’s nifty pass past a sliding defender created linemate Jeff Skinner’s goal.
The Czech’s first point this season put ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After receiving the weekend off, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton could start tonight’s game against superstar Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, his fifth nod in the last seven games and 40th appearance overall.
Following a rough six-week stretch in which he often took a backseat to Linus Ullmark, Hutton, 33, has started looking like his old self at times.
Hutton channeled his early-season form in two recent outings, stopping 70 of 73 shots ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As much as Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid tried to downplay the hype, say that Tuesday’s first-ever meeting between the top two picks was really about their teams, in the end, the rookies ended up being the talk of the Edmonton Oilers’ 2-1 overtime triumph against the Sabres.
The game almost played out like it had been scripted, with McDavid, the phenom Sabres fans coveted before the Oilers won the NHL Draft ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Dan Bylsma, as he loves to do, kept accompanying his words with a sly grin. The so-called rivalry between phenoms Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid is a “made-up” scenario, the Sabres coach said Tuesday.
The Sabres’ 2-1 overtime loss to McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers was the first-ever NHL meeting between the “generational talents” drafted first and second overall last year. The rookies barely know each other.
How could they truly be rivals?
“The hype ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For a rebuilding team fresh off two consecutive 30th-place finishes, the Sabres’ shopping list entering free agency, which opens today at noon, is relatively small. A weekend of wheeling and dealing at the NHL Draft pretty much set the roster for the upcoming season.
The Sabres have two goalies, four forward lines and almost a full defense corps. Not bad for a team that finished 2014-15 using a patchwork lineup filled ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The short Sabres careers of winger Cory Conacher and defenseman Jamie McBain are over.
The rebuilding club passed on giving them qualifying offers as restricted free agents, making them free to sign with any team.
The Sabres also didn’t qualify defensemen Nick Crawford and Matt MacKenzie, who played in Rochester, and goalie Connor Knapp, who played two NHL games last season.
Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Monday morning McBain, who struggled his ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Defenseman Jamie McBain’s short Sabres career is over.
The 26-year-old restricted free agent won’t be given a qualifying offer, general manager Tim Murray said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.
McBain struggled much of last season, compiling six goals, 17 points and a minus-13 rating in 69 appearances. The Sabres acquired him in the Andrej Sekera trade with Carolina a year ago today.
What about the other RFAs?
Murray said “maybe” when ... Read the full article
Since most NHL Entry Drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round picks from 2006-11 and some notable hits and misses. Fourteen of Buffalo’s 43 draft choices over that time have made the NHL.
The Sabres have eight picks this weekend in Philadelphia, including the No. 2 selection.
First-round pick: center Joel Armia, 16th overall
Armia endured a rough season in 2013-14, his ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The voice on the other end of the phone was excited. For a moment, Tony Varone thought his son, Sabres center Phil Varone, had been in a car accident.
“I said, ‘Is everything OK?’” the elder Varone recalled a day later inside the First Niagara Center.
Phil Varone, who nearly shunned the Sabres to play hockey for the University of New Brunswick in 2011, was calling with good news, though.
“He ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – At first, Nathan Gerbe said, he didn’t understand why the Sabres waived and bought him out in early July. The diminutive winger had no inkling they had given up on him after five seasons.
“I didn’t know it was coming, that’s for sure,” Gerbe said Thursday prior to the Carolina Hurricanes’ 5-3 win inside the First Niagara Center. “No one spoke to me about it. So I think you get a little shocked. ... Read the full article