Buffalo general manager Kevyn Adams (center) talks to reporters Thursday beside associate GM Jason Karmanos in KeyBank Center. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

As offseason ramps up for NHL Draft, Sabres could start making trades

BUFFALO – Just after 8 tonight, the Sabres will add a potentially franchise-changing talent in defenseman Owen Power, winger William Eklund or one of the other special NHL Draft prospects available to be picked first overall.

But right now, the draft, a virtual event that starts with the first round tonight, almost feels secondary. The Sabres have hit a critical juncture during an offseason in which they could trade captain Jack Eichel, their ... Read the full article

There had been speculation Buffalo would expose Rasmus Ristolainen to Seattle. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

NHL releases Sabres’ protected list for Expansion Draft

Sorry, Ron Francis, you won’t get a chance to snatch Rasmus Ristolainen for your Seattle Kraken defense corps. The Buffalo Sabres protected the Finn for Wednesday’s NHL Expansion Draft.

But if Francis, Seattle’s general manager, wants to grab a defenseman from the Sabres, he can take Will Borgen or Colin Miller, both of whom were left unprotected.

The Sabres’ 11-man protected list the NHL released Sunday morning features zero surprises. There had been speculation the ... Read the full article

Will Borgen played 10 games for Buffalo last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres could lose valuable young player to Kraken in NHL Expansion Draft

Since the Buffalo Sabres drafted Will Borgen 92nd overall in 2015, he has morphed from a relatively unknown prospect into a defenseman on the cusp of regular NHL duty.

The Sabres have guided Borgen’s development from his college career at St. Cloud State through his early pro days with the Rochester Americans to the big leagues.

Prior to breaking his forearm last season, Borgen, 24, appeared to be close to securing a spot on Buffalo’s ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has struggled over the past two seasons. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner waives no-movement clause for Expansion Draft

Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner has waived his no-movement clause for the upcoming NHL Expansion Draft, his agent, Don Meehan, confirmed to the Times Herald on Wednesday.

Skinner’s decision is significant. The Sabres can use his spot to protect a young forward – perhaps Rasmus Asplund, Anders Bjork or Tage Thompson – who could’ve been exposed to the Seattle Kraken next Wednesday.

Skinner, 29, has struggled since signing an eight-year, $72 million contract ... Read the full article

Don Granato quickly learned about the passion for the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Coach Don Granato wants to keep instilling pride in Sabres

It was Sept. 1, 2019, and Don Granato, one of the Buffalo Sabres’ new assistant coaches, was wandering the halls of Park Country Club in Williamsville looking for the banquet room.

Granato had been invited to the team’s annual alumni golf outing, and before everyone hit the course, they gathered for a meeting. When Granato found the room and sneaked in through a back door, the number of alumni in attendance shocked him.

“I ... Read the full article

Buffalo coach Don Granato has varied experience. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato paid dues, defied odds to become Sabres’ new coach

When the Buffalo Sabres named Don Granato their interim coach, he was expected to simply be a fill-in. After their disastrous season ended, general manager Kevyn Adams could start searching for Ralph Krueger’s permanent replacement.

But a funny thing happened. Granato, who was named the 20th head coach in franchise history Tuesday, quickly emerged as the Sabres’ best long-term option.

After losing their first six games under Granato, 53, the Sabres looked like a ... Read the full article

Don Granato took over the Sabres on an interim basis March 17. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres name Don Granato 20th coach in franchise history

When the Buffalo Sabres named Don Granato their interim coach, he was expected to simply be a fill-in. After their disastrous season ended, general manager Kevyn Adams could start searching for Ralph Krueger’s permanent replacement.

But a funny thing happened. Granato, who was named the 20th head coach in franchise history Tuesday, quickly emerged as the Sabres’ best long-term option.

After losing their first six games under Granato, 53, the Sabres looked like a radically ... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund scored seven goals in 28 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Confident Rasmus Asplund feels ready for regular duty with Sabres

Sabres winger Rasmus Asplund targeted 2021 from the get-go. By his third season in North America, the Swede wanted to be ready to stick in Buffalo.

Sure enough, Asplund, 23, accomplished his goal, playing the final 21 games of the year under interim Sabres coach Don Granato.

Considering Asplund was a spare part until April, his emergence ranks as one of the season’s biggest surprises.

Yes, Asplund, one of Buffalo’s top-rated prospects, was expected ... Read the full article

Don Granato has coached in college, junior and pro hockey. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

If Sabres pass on Don Granato, hiring an ex-NHL head coach could be wise move

Right now, Don Granato must wait as Kevyn Adams conducts what could be an exhaustive search for the Buffalo Sabres’ next head coach.

The general manager reiterated last week he plans to talk to a lot of people, so it might take several weeks before he makes the most critical decision of his short tenure.

If Adams gets it wrong, it will likely set the franchise back years.

Granato’s work transforming the Sabres as interim ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen earned his first taste of the NHL this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres will have more representation at World Championship

Buffalo Sabres winger Arttu Ruotsalainen and J-J Peterka, one of the organization’s top forward prospects, will participate in World Championship later this month in Riga, Latvia.

Ruotsalainen, 23, will represent Team Finland after compiling five goals and six points in his first 17 NHL games this season. He started his first North American campaign with the Rochester Americans, scoring five goals and 13 points in 13 outings.

Before NHL and AHL seasons started, Ruotsalainen ... Read the full article