Jimmy Vesey Watch

Archive:
Ullmark

Jason Kasdorf made his NHL debut April 8. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have re-signed goalie Jason Kasdorf, who made his NHL debut late last season, to a two-year, two-way contract, the team announced Sunday.

The 6-foot-3, 172-pound Kasdorf, 24, will likely begin next season with the AHL Rochester Americans.

Kasdorf, an afterthought in the blockbuster 2015 Evander Kane with the Jets, joined the Sabres in March after finishing his NCAA career with R.P.I. He played his only pro game April 8, making 26 saves in a 4-1 home loss to …

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Alexander Nylander hasn't worn a Sabres jersey on the ice yet. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Watching a top prospect skate in a Sabres jersey for the first time, even in a development camp setting, is a special experience for fans always eager to welcome new talent.

For the next six days, starting with today’s session inside HarborCenter, the Sabres’ rabid fan base will receive its first glimpses of Swedish winger Alexander Nylander, the eighth overall pick June 24 at the First Niagara Center, sporting blue and gold on the ice.

Nylander, of course, will be …

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Anders Nilsson played for two teams last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – After a goalie reneged on a verbal agreement with the Sabres on Friday, general manager Tim Murray said he was open to anything – a trade, landing another free agent or even using prospect Linus Ullmark – to fill the backup role.

With most of the established goalies in the Sabres’ price range already signed, Murray went the trade route today, sending a 2017 fifth-round draft pick to the St. Louis Blues for Anders Nilsson.

Murray loves to have size …

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Kyle Okposo was sold on Buffalo early. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The conversation lasted maybe 15 minutes. General manager Tim Murray wanted to gauge Kyle Okposo’s interest, and the free agent wanted to hear what the Sabres could offer him.

When Murray began telling him how underrated the city is, Okposo stopped him and said he knows all about Buffalo and likes it. The nine-year veteran wanted to learn more about the organization.

So after Murray talked about the Sabres and the bright future he envisions, Okposo hung up the phone …

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Kyle Okposo cashed in early in free agency. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Winger Kyle Okposo, arguably the best free agent available, signed a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Sabres shortly after the market opened this afternoon, according to multiple reports.

The signing is significant. Just 15 months removed from their second consecutive 30th-place finish, the Sabres, who improved 27 points last season, secured a strong talent to play beside centers Jack Eichel or Ryan O’Reilly.

Okposo is coming off a 22-goal, 64-point season with the New York Islanders. He has 139 …

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Kyle Okposo will sign a lucrative contract. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The pickings are so slim in NHL free agency this year, perhaps the most coveted player available, Kyle Okposo, has never cracked the 30-goal or 70-point marks.

Okposo, of course, is a talented winger. The Minnesota native is coming off a 22-goal, 64-point season with the New York Islanders. He has 139 goals and 369 points in 529 NHL games over nine years, including three 20-goal seasons and two 60-point campaigns.

Yes, Okposo has been productive over the years. But …

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Rasmus Ristolainen has been a strong pick for the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – To thrive in the modern NHL, teams must build through the draft. It’s that simple. The days of loading up with veteran players through free agency or trades are long gone. The league belongs to the 20-somethings now, and if teams draft poorly, they’re doomed.

How good are the Sabres at drafting? Judge for yourself below. Since drafts usually don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at their selections from 2008-13. Eighteen of Buffalo’s 47 …

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Linus Ullmark struggled late in the season in Rochester. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

ROCHESTER – In the midst of a nine-game AHL winless stretch in which Buffalo Sabres prospect Linus Ullmark allowed 37 goals, the rookie goalie received a much-needed confidence boost.

When a bruised finger prevented goalie Chad Johnson from playing April 9, the Sabres recalled the struggling Swede from the Americans hours before their season finale against the New York Islanders.

In his first NHL start since Jan. 12, Ullmark helped the Sabres win 4-3 in overtime. The victory, Ullmark’s only win at …

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Matt Ellis will have options if he retires. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

ROCHESTER – Physically, Matt Ellis said, he hasn’t felt this good in four or five years. At 34 years old, having just finished his 14th pro season, the popular former Buffalo Sabres forward believes he could keep playing.

“I definitely feel like I got lots left in the tank,” Ellis said Thursday inside the Blue Cross War Memorial.

Still, Ellis understands he could be nearing retirement. This season, his first out of the NHL in 10 years, he played only 56 times …

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Andrey Makarov became a spare part late this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
4

ROCHESTER – It rarely happens. In fact, it might have been a first. Five days after posting a 30-save shutout, the Americans scratched a healthy Andrey Makarov for their next game, Friday’s 5-0 loss to Albany.

Top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark started the home finale. Nathan Lieuwen, just back from his three-week NHL stint, backed up the Swede.

The loquacious Makarov, 22, watched from the stands wearing a suit.

Two years ago, Makarov was developing into the Buffalo Sabres’ best young …

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