CLINTON – When center Casey Mittelstadt told some of his teammates skating this morning inside tiny Clinton Arena this felt like high school, he said they starting making fun of him.
But Mittelstadt, 19, is less than two years removed from playing high school hockey. Memories of skating in old rinks like the 65-year-old barn where the Sabres will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in tonight are fresh.... Read the full article
TORONTO – Following a three-year AHL apprenticeship, the Sabres expect goalie Linus Ullmark to play around 30 games this season as their new backup.
So watching the Maple Leafs score on their first two shots and three of their first eight in the opening 3:42 of Friday’s preseason tilt had to be concerning.
Then Ullmark, 25, settled down nicely after the Sabres, who opened the scoring 30 seconds in, fell behind 3-1. Over the final ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Coaches regularly jumble their preseason line combinations as they evaluate talent and move players in and out. What you see during exhibition games usually doesn’t stick together for the regular season.
Still, one intriguing trio the Sabres will utilize tonight could remain intact.
This morning inside KeyBank Center, coach Phil Housley assembled three first-round picks – center Casey Mittelstadt and Alexander Nylander and Tage Thompson – for the Sabres’ road tilt against the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Conor Sheary, a newcomer expected to skate on a top line, is week-to-week after suffering an upper-body injury during Friday’s practice.
“In the first day (of training camp), he took a hit the wrong way, and we’re just making sure we’re on top of that,” said Sabres coach Phil Housley, who is dealing with three notable injuries just five days into camp.
Center Sean Malone will miss six weeks after ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In a harrowing first-person essay, former Sabres goalie Robin Lehner shares details how his drug and alcohol addiction and untreated bipolar disorder led him to contemplate suicide multiple times late last season before seeking help.
“I wanted to kill myself. I was extremely close multiple times,” Lehner wrote in The Athletic New York. “The battle playing hockey was nothing compared to the battle inside my brain. It was at its worst.”... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The open communication among the Sabres and the accountability it has bred is new and welcome.
In the recent past, the team’s problems often festered or worsened over time. Players clearly felt uncomfortable discussing any issues.
Then following last season’s dreadful 31st-place finish, coach Phil Housley challenged the Sabres. He wanted self-reflection. He wanted them to change before the new season, which started this morning with veterans reporting for their training camp physicals.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed forward C.J. Smith, one of the AHL’s top rookies last season, to a one-year, two-way deal, the team announced today.
The contract is worth $874,125 at the NHL level.
Winger Sam Reinhart is now the Sabres’ only unsigned restricted free agent.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed forwards Nick Baptiste and Danny O’Regan to one-year, two-way contracts, the team announced this morning.
The deals are worth $787,500 and $874,125, respectively, in the NHL.
Baptiste, 22, earned regular NHL duty throughout the second half last season, compiling four goals and six points in 33 games with the Sabres.
The Sabres drafted Baptiste in the third round, 69th overall, in 2013. He compiled seven goals and 18 points ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Despite finishing dead last in 2017-18, the Sabres kept their entire coaching staff. There will, however, be one addition to Phil Housley’s crew next season.
The Sabres have hired former NHL defenseman Steve Smith, a three-time Stanley Cup winner, as an assistant coach, the team announced this morning.
Other than Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman, the only former NHL defender on staff, Chris Hajt, played six games. Given the Sabres just drafted ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres did not tender a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Victor Antipin by Monday’s deadline, making the Russian defenseman a free agent.
Antipin, 25, signed a one-year contract last year following a strong season in the KHL. In 47 games as a rookie in 2017-18, Antipin compiled 10 assists.
“We were really impressed with him,” Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said Monday inside KeyBank Center. “I know things didn’t go maybe ... Read the full article