BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Michael Houser toiled nine years in the minors, playing 283 games, most of them in the ECHL, for seven teams before an opportunity to start an NHL game materialized.
Tonight against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center, Houser, 28, will make his NHL debut, interim coach Don Granato said. Houser will be the sixth Sabres goalie to start a game this season.
Houser has spent most of the past seven ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Michael Houser arrived at the visiting dressing room that night six weeks ago in Madison Square Garden sweating.
Minutes earlier, Houser, 28, had been watching the action against the New York Rangers from a suite with other members of the team’s taxi squad.
Then Carter Hutton suffered a lower-body injury less than three minutes into the game, meaning Houser, the emergency backup, had to rush downstairs and get ready.
“I had ... Read the full article
If injured Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark keeps progressing, he could play this week, perhaps as soon as tonight. So Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s first taste of the NHL might be brief.
Still, spending just a day or two with the Sabres, even on the taxi squad as their third goalie, should be a significant step for Luukkonen’s development.
“The more time a prospect can get around (the NHL), the easier it becomes for them to associate, ... Read the full article
Top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will be joining the Rochester Americans, his Finnish team announced today.
The Sabres loaned Luukkonen, 21, to HC TPS, a Liiga team, in August and had extended the loan agreement throughout the season.
The Amerks, the Sabres’ AHL affiliate, opened training camp Friday. The AHL season is scheduled to start Feb. 5.
In 13 games with HC TPS, Luukkonen compiled a 6-3-4 record with a 2.52 ... Read the full article
The Cincinnati Cyclones, the Buffalo Sabres’ ECHL affiliate, will not play in the 2020-21 season, according to Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and The Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski.
The Kalamazoo Wings and Idaho Steelheads will also sit out the season, according to Marek.
The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated minor league teams, which rely on gate revenue to operate.
On Nov. 18, the ECHL’s six-team North Division – the Adirondack Thunder, Brampton Beast, Maine Mariners, Newfoundland Growlers and ... Read the full article
The Buffalo Sabres added goaltending depth to the organization today, signing Dustin Tokarski to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $725,000.
The veteran, one of the AHL’s most experienced goalies, is likely ticketed for the Rochester Americans, where he can help mentor goalie prospects Jonas Johansson and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
Tokarski’s arrival means Luukkonen, Buffalo’s top goalie prospect, could spend part of the upcoming season, assuming it can be played, with the ... Read the full article
Two years ago, new Buffalo Sabres winger Tobias Rieder pulled a Ville Leino, scoring zero goals in 67 games over a full season with the Edmonton Oilers.
Not surprisingly, teams showed little interest in Rieder following his miserable season. The German ended up settling for a tryout with the Calgary Flames, and he impressed them enough during training camp he earned a one-year contract.
So Rieder, 27, felt a sense of satisfaction when he ... Read the full article
The Buffalo Sabres have loaned top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to HC TPS, a Finnish Elite League team.
The move gives Luukkonen, 21, an opportunity to practice and play while he waits for the 2020-21 North American season to begin. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the AHL to target Dec. 5 as a possible start date instead of October.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Luukkonen shuttled between the AHL and ECHL as a rookie in 2019-20, playing ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Wayne Simmonds doesn’t regret waiving his no-trade clause to join the Sabres two weeks ago.
The Sabres, having crept within six points of a playoff spot, wanted the respected veteran winger to help their push. Meanwhile, Simmonds, an unrestricted free agent following the season, wanted a fresh opportunity after enduring a rough campaign.
So far, the deal – the Sabres sent the New Jersey Devils a conditional fifth-round pick – hasn’t paid many ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Expect Linus Ullmark to morph into a workhorse again over the final four weeks this season. If the goalie can stay healthy, he might start 12 or 13 of the reeling Sabres’ 14 remaining games.
Ullmark, who hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury Jan. 28, will likely start tonight against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.
Before Ullmark missed 17 games – he backed up Carter Hutton on Saturday – he seized ... Read the full article