Carter Hutton started Thursday's game. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ plan for goalies Carter Hutton, Linus Ullmark still unclear

BUFFALO – After outplaying Carter Hutton last month, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark took a backseat Thursday, watching his partner’s splendid 28-save performance from the bench.

Coach Ralph Krueger said everything would be up for competition during training camp, and based on their preseason numbers, Ullmark deserved to start the Sabres’ 50th anniversary season opener.

But the decision, of course, wasn’t quite that simple.

Hutton, 33, played a career-high 50 games and started regularly for the ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson has impressed coach Ralph Krueger. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Marcus Johansson honored by earning letter

PITTSBURGH – Marcus Johansson rarely displays much emotion. In good times and bad, the Buffalo Sabres center usually keeps an even keel.

Still, Ralph Krueger could tell being named one of the Sabres’ two alternate captains earlier this week had special meaning to Johansson.

“His Swedish persona (was) able to kind of tuck it away in the talk with me, but I thought he was extremely honored,” Krueger said prior to Thursday’s 3-1, season-opening win ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton played a career-high 50 games last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton to start opener; Evan Rodrigues to sit

PITTSBURGH – In almost equal preseason action, Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark outplayed Carter Hutton, posting a goals-against average 64 points lower and a save percentage 49 points higher than his partner.

But Hutton, 33, handled the load last season, playing a career-high 50 games.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, who said everything was up for competition during training camp, probably wants to show Hutton respect on opening night against the Penguins.

The veteran will ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger hasn't coached an NHL game since 2013. ©2019, Hickling Images

Communication skills help Ralph Krueger win over Sabres early

PITTSBURGH – Kyle Okposo figures they spent 10 minutes talking about hockey. For most of the evening, the three Buffalo Sabres veterans dining with their new coach, Ralph Krueger, discussed their backgrounds and families.

The sport that consumes so much of their lives didn’t come up much.

“We barely talked about hockey,” Okposo said of the get-together.

When the Sabres hired Krueger on May 15, he hadn’t coached in the NHL in six years. ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson will be back soon. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres send Victor Olofsson, Henri Jokiharju to Amerks, make other moves

BUFFALO – In what are almost certainly paper transactions, the Sabres sent winger Victor Olofsson and defenseman Henri Jokiharju to the Rochester Americans this afternoon.

The Sabres also recalled forwards Jean-Sebastien Dea and Curtis Lazar and defenseman Lawrence Pilut.

In addition, the Sabres placed defensemen Zach Bogosian, Matt Hunwick and Brandon Montour and goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen on injured reserve.... Read the full article

Tage Thompson joined Rochester late last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

‘Full-time job’ eating helped Sabres’ Tage Thompson pack on muscle

TORONTO – In the offseason, Buffalo Sabres winger Tage Thompson started what he called a “full-time job.”

“I was eating a lot,” Thompson said prior to Friday’s 3-0 exhibition loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Yes, Thompson, 21, spent much of the spring and summer devouring food.

“I was probably eating five square meals a day with snacks in between,” Thompson said in Buffalo before the Sabres traveled to Scotiabank Arena.

Sound like fun? Well, ... 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

Linus Ullmark finished poorly last season after a fast start. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark upbeat following tough season

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark figured he was better equipped to handle the grind of a seven-month, 82-game NHL season.

Ullmark, after all, thrived while carrying the load in his final two AHL seasons, playing 99 games before graduating to the NHL.

“But it’s a totally different thing, totally different beast to tame when you get up here in ‘The Show,’” Ullmark said Friday following the opening sessions of training camp inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark had an arbitration hearing Friday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres re-sign goalie Linus Ullmark, go over salary cap

BUFFALO – The Sabres have gone over the NHL’s $81.5 million salary cap, according to capfriendly.com.

It appears re-signing goalie Linus Ullmark to a one-year, $1.325 million contract Saturday put them over. But it had been expected the Sabres would exceed the cap as they inked their restricted free agents.

Earlier Saturday, the Sabres avoided arbitration with Jake McCabe, re-signing the defenseman to a two-year, $5.7 million contract. McCabe’s hearing was scheduled for today.... Read the full article