Taylor Hall took a critical look at the Sabres. ©2020, Dan Hickling, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Taylor Hall ‘very interested’ in making Buffalo long-term home

Before free agency started, Taylor Hall knew in the back of his head joining the Buffalo Sabres could be a terrific opportunity.

“If it came down to it,” an excited Hall said on a Zoom call Monday, a day after stunning the hockey world by signing a one-year, $8 million contract with the Sabres.

Hall, 28, had plenty of options to explore. After the market opened Friday, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, who knows Hall from ... Read the full article

The Sabres hired Kevyn Adams on June 16. ©2020, Dan Hickling, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Kevyn Adams reached out to Jack Eichel shortly after hiring

Since the Buffalo Sabres drafted Jack Eichel in 2015, they’ve employed three general managers and three coaches. The startling numbers illustrate the franchise’s dysfunction.

After the Sabres fired GM Jason Botterill on June 16, Kevyn Adams, his replacement, called Eichel later that day. Adams and owners Terry and Kim Pegula also had a conversation with their captain and biggest star.

“From there, (we) exchanged some notes back and forth,” Adams said on a Zoom call ... Read the full article

Missing out on the NHL's qualifying tournament ticks Rasmus Dahlin off. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin using offseason to develop into elite talent

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced much of the world into quarantine, Sweden remained open, offering Rasmus Dahlin an opportunity to hone his skills on the ice as most NHL players stayed in their homes.

“I’m working on my shot almost every day,” the Buffalo Sabres defenseman said on a Zoom call May 27. “That’s my main thing right now, my shot.”

Dahlin, of course, already possesses a terrific shot. Still, he believes it can improve, ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo makes Buffalo his permanent home. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo understands frustrations: ‘I know people are mad’

Last year, Kyle Okposo and his family decided to sell their home in Minnesota and make Clarence their permanent residence. The roots he laid down in Buffalo have helped the veteran winger develop a unique understanding of how the Sabres’ stunning run of futility has disenchanted a passionate fan base.

“I understand the weight of the team that’s on the city, and I get it, because I now live here full time,” Okposo said on ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has enjoyed a bounce-back season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres succeeded in helping Rasmus Ristolainen transform game this season

“We’re continuing to try to set this team up where we’re putting (Rasmus Ristolainen) in positions to have success.”

– Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, Aug. 17, 2019

As their nine-year run of futility indicates, the Sabres rarely accomplish what they set out to do. The once-proud franchise has become a laughingstock.

Still, in the case of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, the Sabres deserve credit for helping him develop a smarter, sturdier style as ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin was excited to have a chance in the shootout. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Rasmus Dahlin borrowed from former Sabre to score first NHL shootout goal

BUFFALO – Rasmus Dahlin couldn’t help himself. The Sabres defenseman waited 141 games for his first NHL shootout opportunity. After beating goalie Braden Holtby in the fourth round Monday, the normally mild-mannered Swede wanted to celebrate his goal.

So Dahlin yelled and moved his arms as he skated to the bench.

“Did some stupid celly there,” Dahlin said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “But I was all happy. I was very happy, actually, so it ... Read the full article

Wayne Simmonds hasn't experienced a win with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Wayne Simmonds doesn’t regret waiving no-trade clause

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

Wayne Simmonds waived his no-trade clause to leave New Jersey. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres deal aggressively, trade for Wayne Simmonds, Dominik Kahun

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ core group of young players has never played a meaningful late-season NHL game. This upcoming stretch will be a new experience.

A perfect weekend moved the Sabres to within six points of the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot with 20 games remaining. A team given up for dead has roared back into the postseason hunt.

So Sabres general manager Jason Botterill dealt aggressively before Monday’s trade deadline, acquiring winger Wayne Simmonds... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner hadn't scored a goal since Dec. 2. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Jeff Skinner scores goal against Penguins, ends long slump

PITTSBURGH – After ending his career-long 23-game goal drought, Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner said he did not really feel a sense of relief.

“I felt pretty good,” Skinner said after scoring 5:39 into the third period of Saturday afternoon’s 5-2 win over the Penguins. “I don’t know. I feel like I scored a few times and usually it feels pretty good. I don’t know.

“You can use ‘relief,’ I guess, if that sort of ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has compiled 14 points in his last 15 games. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin showcasing evolving game, playing better defense

BUFFALO – When Rasmus Dahlin suffered a concussion in November, the injury created an opportunity for the Sabres defenseman.

Coach Ralph Krueger often says the Sabres utilize an injured player’s extra time by having “great coaching moments.”

So during his eight-game absence, Krueger said Dahlin, 19, studied film beside assistant coach Steve Smith, who runs the defense, multiple times.

“You can really calmly go through video and reflect and discuss,” Krueger said following Monday’s practice ... Read the full article