Dylan Cozens could be assigned to junior soon. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens ready for NHL preseason debut

BUFFALO – Coach Ralph Krueger wants center Dylan Cozens to relax during tonight’s preseason opener. Throughout the recent Prospects Challenge rookie tournament, the Sabres’ top pick often tried to do to much.

“He was trying to be a different-maker every time on the ice,” Krueger said after the Sabres prepared for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The seventh overall pick knows he must calm down a little.

“I can’t be out there trying to dangle everyone 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

Ralph Krueger wants Sabres hockey to be recognizable. ©2019, Hickling Images

Coach Ralph Krueger wants Sabres to establish early identity

BUFFALO – In just three or four weeks, coach Ralph Krueger would like the Sabres’ brand of hockey to be easily identifiable.

“You underline the fact that we’re playing like this, this is Sabres hockey,” Krueger said Friday following the first sessions of training camp inside KeyBank Center.

That, of course, is no easy task for a new coach, let alone one that inherited a laughingstock.

The Sabres haven’t possessed a positive identity in a ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander spent three seasons in the Sabres organization. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Trading Alexander Nylander was inevitable for Sabres

BUFFALO – Following another underwhelming season, it felt like only a matter of time before the Sabres cut their losses and traded winger Alexander Nylander.

Through three years as a pro, Nylander, the eighth overall pick by the Sabres’ old regime in 2016, has mostly been a bust.

Sure, the Swede has occasionally showcased his slick skills. Still, he hasn’t consistently displayed the tenacity to match them.

Nylander, 21, couldn’t develop into a dominant ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson played with New Jersey and Boston last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Marcus Johansson excited about Sabres’ future: ‘It’s going to go well’

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Johansson began his NHL career playing center. When the Washington Capitals needed help there three years ago, he briefly moved back.

So, yes, Johansson, 28, certainly has experience at the position. But the Swede has spent the bulk of his nine-year career skating at left wing.

The Sabres, who signed Johansson to a two-year, $9 million contract on Saturday, need more depth down the middle.

So what role might he ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson began his NHL career as a center. ©2019, Hickling Images

Marcus Johansson open to any forward role with Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Johansson began his NHL career playing center. When the Washington Capitals needed help there three years ago, he briefly moved back.

So, yes, Johansson, 28, certainly has experience at the position. But the Swede has spent the bulk of his nine-year career skating at left wing.

The Sabres, who signed Johansson to a two-year, $9 million contract on Saturday, need more depth down the middle.

So what role might he ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson spent seven seasons in Washington. ©2019, Hickling Images

Signing Marcus Johansson gives Sabres scoring, playoff experience

In signing Marcus Johansson to a two-year, $9 million contract on Saturday, the Buffalo Sabres addressed a major need, adding a winger capable of filling a top-six role.

Johansson, 28, can also play center, so he offers the Sabres, who need help down the middle, versatility.

The Swede has played 90 NHL playoff games, more than any other Sabre. He just played 22 contests during the Boston Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup final.

That ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson began his career in Washington. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sign Marcus Johansson to two-year, $9 million contract

The Buffalo Sabres made their first notable addition in free agency today, signing winger Marcus Johansson to a two-year, $9 million contract.

Johansson, 28, can skate on the first or second line and, having played 94 career NHL playoff games, possesses more postseason experience than any Sabre.

The Swede can also play center. The Sabres, of course, need someone to pivot the second line.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Johansson has compiled 120 goals, 334 points and ... Read the full article

Jimmy Vesey spent three seaons with the Rangers. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jimmy Vesey should provide much-needed offense for Sabres

BUFFALO – General manager Jason Botterill never thought much about winger Jimmy Vesey’s history with the Sabres.

Botterill needed to add more scoring. The fact that Vesey once rejected the Sabres to become a free agent and join the New York Rangers wasn’t going to deter him from addressing a major need.

So on Monday morning, shortly before free agency opened, Botterill sent a third-round pick in 2021 to the Rangers for Vesey.

Besides, it ... Read the full article

Jimmy Vesey passed on the Sabres in 2016. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres acquire Jimmy Vesey from Rangers for draft pick

BUFFALO – Three years ago, the Sabres’ old regime gambled a bit, trading a third-round pick to the Nashville Predators for the rights to the Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey.

But the high-scoring college winger rejected the Sabres, waited until mid-August to become a free agent and signed with the New York Rangers.

In his first trip to Buffalo as a rookie, Vesey, of course, was booed.

So the Sabres’ acquisition of Vesey ... Read the full article