Ramsus Ristolainen has never played an NHL playoff game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Ex-Sabre Rasmus Ristolainen welcomes fresh start after trade to Flyers

BUFFALO – In defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen’s first eight seasons, the Sabres morphed into the NHL’s laughingstock, finishing dead last four times and winning barely one-third of their games.

The constant losing and turmoil – Ristolainen played for a whopping six coaches and four general mangers, stunning numbers that illustrate the Sabres’ futility – wore on him. The straight-shooting Finn often voiced his frustration.

On Friday afternoon, hours before the Sabres picked Michigan defenseman Owen Power... Read the full article

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

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

Buffalo drafted Marcus Davidsson 37th overall. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres don’t give 2017 second-round pick Marcus Davidsson contract

The Buffalo Sabres did not give 2017 second-round pick Marcus Davidsson an entry-level contract by today’s 5 p.m. deadline, making the center a free agent.

The Sabres selected Davidsson 37th overall in ex-general manager Jason Botterill’s first draft, 17 picks before they took goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who played his first four NHL games in April.

Davidsson is the only player from the Sabres’ 2017 draft class they did not sign. Their other selections ... Read the full article

Jack Quinn played 15 games for Rochester this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Jason Karmanos impressed with Sabres prospects J-J Peterka, Jack Quinn

During Jason Karmanos’ tenure with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Buffalo Sabres’ new associate general manager said he was “intimately involved” in the NHL Draft.

So Karmanos arrived in Buffalo last month with strong knowledge of the Sabres’ prospect base.

“I’m excited they’re here, because these are guys that I liked on my own and that our previous staff liked,” Karmanos said on a Zoom call Monday.

Karmanos, who was fired as Pittsburgh’s assistant GM on ... 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

Jason Karmanos has won three Stanley Cups. ©2021, Rochester Americans

Sabres add to front office, hire Jason Karmanos as associate GM

After Kevyn Adams took over as Buffalo Sabres general manager last June, he said he wanted to catch his breath and develop an understanding of what he needed for his front office.

Adams, who had never worked in a hockey department, inherited a skeleton crew with no assistant GMs after the Sabres fired GM Jason Botterill and 21 members of his department.

On Wednesday, Adams added a major piece, hiring Jason Karmanos as associate GM.... Read the full article

Don Granato has quickly made an impact on the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Kevyn Adams: Don Granato ‘absolutely … in the mix’ for Sabres’ coaching job

Even before Don Granato started winning games and unlocking talent from struggling players, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said he wanted the interim coach to be in the mix when he began pursuing a regular coach.

“From the beginning, I always thought that Donnie should be part of this conversation regardless of what happens exactly on the wins and losses of our team,” Adams said on a Zoom call Tuesday after the trade deadline.... Read the full article

Brandon Montour played 112 games with the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Dealing Brandon Montour to Panthers likely only Sabres’ first deadline trade

BUFFALO – Defenseman Brandon Montour, like so many of the Sabres’ other notable acquisitions in recent years, left town having never sniffed the playoffs.

The Sabres on Saturday traded Montour, who turns 27 today, to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.

Barely two years ago, ex-Sabres general manager Jason Botterill paid a steep price for Montour, sending defense prospect Brendan Guhle and a first-round pick to the Anaheim ... Read the full article