BUFFALO – The last time the Sabres were above .500, their captain, center Jack Eichel, was a junior in high school. Phil Housley hadn’t entered the pro coaching ranks yet. Their top draft pick, defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, was 12.
You get the idea.
Only one player, winger Jason Pominville, is around from the last time the Sabres sported a winning record. Of course, Pominville spent more than four seasons with the Minnesota Wild before ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres coach Phil Housley kept talking, growing more agitated as the seconds ticked by following Thursday’s ugly 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.
How often does a team get booed off the ice on opening night? How often does it happen after 40 minutes?
The Sabres looked dreadful against a Bruins team that had been annihilated 7-0 the previous night. So much for all that optimism.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The first glimpse of the new-look Sabres comes tonight, 180 days after they ended perhaps the worst season in franchise history.
Seven new faces will dress against the Boston Bruins, including first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin and winger Jeff Skinner, a two-time 30-goal scorer. The optimism surrounding the Sabres is well-deserved.
They’re a much different team than the dreadful one that finished in 31st place six months ago.
“They’re excited,” Sabres coach ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Long before the Sabres drafted Rasmus Dahlin first overall in June, he possessed more skill than most NHL players.
The Swede, 18, has been called the best defense prospect in decades. If rules allowed it, he probably could’ve thrived in the NHL even a year ago.
So Dahlin, who will make his long-awaited NHL debut tonight against the Boston Bruins in the season opener at KeyBank Center, will likely immediately contribute to the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Jason Botterill overhauled the Sabres for the 2018-19 season, adding eight new faces and improving their depth. Still, after Scott Wilson suffered a broken right ankle Sunday, the general manager felt they needed another winger for the fourth line.
So on Tuesday, the Sabres claimed Remi Elie on waivers from the Dallas Stars.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Elie, 23, has played 90 NHL games, compiling seven goals, 21 points and 26 penalty minutes. Last ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Thirteen forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies comprise the Sabres’ first 23-man roster for the 2018-19 season.
NHL rosters needed to be finalized by 5 p.m. The Sabres open the season Thursday against the Boston Bruins at KeyBank Center.
The Sabres reached the 23-man limit by placing four players – forwards Johan Larsson, Sean Malone and Scott Wilson and defenseman Matt Hunwick – on injured reserve.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – One training camp earlier in his career, Sabres defenseman Matt Tennyson said he knew he was locked into the sixth spot on the San Jose Sharks’ blue line.
“Other than that, I’ve just been grinding away, just trying to make it,” Tennyson said Thursday inside KeyBank Center after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason finale.
Tennyson, 28, is the typical journeymen defensemen. He usually ranks anywhere from sixth to 10th on the depth ... Read the full article
CLINTON – This village of about 1,900 has some hockey history, you know.
In the late 1950s and 1960s, long before Tuesday’s Kraft Hockeyville NHL preseason tilt between the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets, the 2,000-seat Clinton Arena housed a pro team in the Eastern Hockey League called the Clinton Comets.
Eddie Giacomin, a Hall of Fame goalie, played for the Comets prior to his days starring for the New York Rangers.... Read the full article
CLINTON – When center Casey Mittelstadt told some of his teammates skating this morning inside tiny Clinton Arena this felt like high school, he said they starting making fun of him.
But Mittelstadt, 19, is less than two years removed from playing high school hockey. Memories of skating in old rinks like the 65-year-old barn where the Sabres will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in tonight are fresh.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Twenty years ago, diminutive players like Brian Gionta – the ones teams list at, say, 5-foot-9 but are clearly much smaller – rarely received a chance in the NHL.
Sure, once in a while an undersized talent would break through. But for the most part, the league coveted size.
Then in the early 2000s, a few small forwards – Gionta, Daniel Briere and Martin St. Louis – started seizing their chances and morphing ... Read the full article