Rasmus Dahlin has had a strong offensive start this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Rasmus Dahlin could enjoy greatest offensive season by Sabres defenseman

BUFFALO – Having already produced seven points through five games, Rasmus Dahlin could be in the early stages of the greatest offensive season ever enjoyed by a Sabres defenseman.

Dahlin, of course, will likely cool off. At his current pace entering this afternoon’s home game against the Dallas Stars, he would score 115 points over an 82-game campaign.

Only five NHL defensemen have ever recorded a 100-point season. The last one, Brian Leetch, hit the ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe joined the Sabres late in 2013-14. ©2019, Hickling Images

Marcus Johansson, Jake McCabe named Sabres’ alternate captains

BUFFALO – New Sabres coach Ralph Krueger announced today he has named center Marcus Johansson and defenseman Jake McCabe alternate captains for the 2019-20 season.

“We feel that that’s a strong group for the ice,” Krueger said following today’s practice inside KeyBank Center.

Johansson and McCabe replace defenseman Zach Bogosian and winger Kyle Okposo.... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens needed stitches today. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Prospect Dylan Cozens still with Sabres, but for how long?

BUFFALO – If Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens returns to the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the coming days, he can show his junior teammates a souvenir from the NHL.

“He took a little bit of a stick today in the lips, so he’s got a first badge of honor here coming up,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said this afternoon. “But he took it well, bounced right back into practice and got a little stitched up after practice.”... Read the full article

C.J. Smith is an AHL star. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres reassign 15 players, including Arttu Ruotsalainen, C.J. Smith

BUFFALO – The Sabres made their first significant roster cuts of training camp this morning, reassigning 15 players, most notably center Arttu Ruotsalainen and winger C.J. Smith.

The Sabres sent Ruotsalainen, 21, back to Ilves, a Finnish team in Liiga. Meanwhile, Smith, 24, must clear waivers before he can go to the Rochester Americans.

The Sabres also sent the following players to the Amerks, their AHL affiliate: forwards Eric Cornel, Sean Malone, Andrew Oglevie, ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary endured long goal droughts last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Conor Sheary knows consistency must improve to help Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Conor Sheary certainly showcased flashes of his scoring prowess last season.

On Nov. 18, Sheary scored in his third straight game, his sixth goal in just his 16th outing with the Sabres.

Then suddenly, Sheary, 27, went cold.

The speedy UMass product endured a 16-game goal drought. After scoring an empty-netter Dec. 22, he experienced an 11-game dry spell.

On. Jan 29, Sheary finally scored past a goalie again.... 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

Rasmus Ristolainen sounds like a guy who wants a change of scenery. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen back in Buffalo, but for how long?

BUFFALO – Rasmus Ristolainen rarely says much. On a good day, if you see the Sabres defenseman, he might answer a question by offering a couple vanilla sentences.

So if Ristolainen talks to the media today after training camp opens, we probably won’t learn much about his conversations with the Sabres over the summer or how he spent the last five months.

Does Ristolainen, 24, feel like he needs a change of scenery? Did he ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju won two gold medals last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Henri Jokiharju impressed Sabres GM Jason Botterill before up-close look

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill knew of Henri Jokiharju’s talents before he watched the defenseman up close during Team Finland’s run to a gold medal at the World Championship in the spring.

So even if Botterill hadn’t run Team Canada’s entry in Slovakia, the Sabres still might’ve dished winger Alexander Nylander to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Jokiharju on July 9.

“It certainly helps things out to see a player play on ... 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