Will Butcher was interested in joining Buffalo in 2017. ©2021, Dan Hickling

Sabres acquire Will Butcher, bring back Sean Malone, Brandon Davidson

After losing goalie Linus Ullmark to the Boston Bruins in free agency this afternoon, the Buffalo Sabres made their second addition of the day, acquiring defenseman Will Butcher and a fifth-round pick in 2022 from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for, well, nothing.

The Devils gave Butcher, 26, to the Sabres because they just signed defenseman Dougie Hamilton to an seven-year, $63 million contract, according to reports, and needed to clear salary cap space.... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark enjoyed a stellar season on a bad team in 2020-21. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Losing top goalie Linus Ullmark in free agency would be huge blow to Sabres

The days of the Sabres trying to lure big-name free agents to Buffalo are over. When the market opens today, they’ll likely be bit players, focusing on filling some of their many holes and adding depth while attempting to re-sign goalie Linus Ullmark.

Ullmark’s departure would be a massive blow to the Sabres. The Swede, their backbone and MVP, earned nine of the team’s 15 wins last season in only 20 outings.

They don’t ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall will likely be traded before Monday’s deadline. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Taylor Hall to be scratched again versus Devils as Sabres try to trade winger

In what are almost certainly his final days in Buffalo, winger Taylor Hall is still involved in all Sabres-related activities other than playing, interim coach Don Granato said.

So while Hall, 29, is still around the team, he will be scratched again for tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center. The Sabres, of course, want to protect an asset as Monday’s trade deadline approaches.

They first scratched Hall, who is expected to ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has an ugly, NHL-worst minus-34 rating. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin starting to settle down, put struggles in past

BUFFALO – In the last week, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin has finally settled down and started showcasing a sturdier game under interim coach Don Granato.

Dahlin, whose ghastly minus-34 rating ranks last in the NHL, hasn’t suddenly recaptured his old form. Still, he has looked much more comfortable playing for Granato than he did under Ralph Krueger, who was fired March 17.

Simply playing a calmer, more composed style – Dahlin, 20, has ... Read the full article

Brandon Davidson played his first game with Rochester on Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Brandon Davidson enjoys stint with Amerks, unhappy with officiating

ROCHESTER – In his first season with the Sabres, Brandon Davidson has mostly served as an extra defenseman, moving back to the taxi squad after playing the odd game.

So when an opportunity materialized for Davidson, 29, to skate for the Americans on Friday, he jumped at it.

Having played just six times with Buffalo this season, he needs to experience game action.

“That’s all it is is repetition,” Davidson said on a Zoom call ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith has played five games with Rochester this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres send two players to Amerks

The Buffalo Sabres this morning sent defenseman Brandon Davidson and forward C.J. Smith to the Rochester Americans.

They’re expected to play for the Amerks tonight against the Syracuse Crunch in Rochester.

Davidson, 29, has played six NHL games this season, compiling zero points and a minus-4 rating. He has spent most of the year on Buffalo’s taxi squad.... Read the full article

Don Granato coached his first game Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato faces challenges before first game as interim Sabres coach

BUFFALO – Instead of having a day or two of practice and preparation prior to his first game as interim Sabres coach, Don Granato had one meeting just two hours before the opening faceoff.

On Thursday, a day after the Sabres fired coach Ralph Krueger and named Granato, 53, his interim replacement, a member of their hockey staff entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. The Sabres, who had Wednesday off, canceled their morning skate and stayed ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju has had two stints on the taxi squad this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres recall Henri Jokiharju from taxi squad, make other moves

The Buffalo Sabres recalled defenseman Henri Jokiharju, who had sat out five out the last six games, from the taxi squad prior to Tuesday’s 3-2 road loss to the New Jersey Devils.

The Sabres also summoned defenseman Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad and sent rookie defenseman Jacob Bryson and center Rasmus Asplund back to the practice group.

Jokiharju, 21, established himself as one of the Sabres’ steadiest defensemen last season while playing all ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has handled a heavy workload after recovering from COVID-19. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres have no plans to rest Rasmus Ristolainen: ‘He’s such a competitor’

BUFFALO – Rasmus Ristolainen’s harrowing battle with COVID-19 left him so weak he struggled to walk up the stairs in his home. The Sabres defenseman did not play for 27 days and missed seven games.

But since Ristolainen returned to the lineup Feb. 27, he has played all 10 contests, averaging 21 minutes, 28 seconds of ice time in the first nine entering Monday’s 6-0 loss to the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Have the ... Read the full article

Cody Eakin has scored just one goal this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to make lineup changes, scratch Cody Eakin

BUFFALO – Sabres center Cody Eakin, who has scored just one goal in 26 games this season, an empty-netter, will be a healthy scratch tonight against the Washington Capitals.

Rasmus Asplund, who hasn’t played since Feb. 25, will replace Eakin between Tobias Rieder and Kyle Okposo.

Eakin’s penalty-killing prowess has helped the Sabres improve from 30th last season to fifth this year. His 57.5 faceoff percentage ranks first among Sabres who have taken at ... Read the full article