BUFFALO – In his four-year pro career, Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has never played a postseason game.
The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs two straight years. Last year, Luukkonen suffered an injury late in the regular season and missed the Rochester Americans’ 10-game playoff run.
This year, the Sabres did not make Luukkonen, who started the season in Rochester, available to the Amerks, who open the playoffs Friday.
... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In moving gritty newcomer Jordan Greenway up to right wing beside center Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner, coach Don Granato has given the Sabres’ No. 1 line an intriguing new physical element.
The 6-foot-6, 231-pound Greenway, 26, can wear down opposing defensemen. The Dallas Stars, Thursday’s opponent, know him well, having faced him regularly for years when he played for the Minnesota Wild.
“They’re well aware of who Jordan Greenway is, finishing hits ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Brandon Hickey attended his first development camp way back in 2014, so he knows what to expect this week at the Sabres’ annual summer prospect gathering.
This is the defenseman’s sixth camp with his third team.
“Two conferences, three time zones,” Hickey, 23, said of his travels from Calgary to Arizona to Buffalo.
While six players are older than him, Hickey’s long hair and beard make him look like the camp’s grizzled veteran.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When Sabres defenseman Brandon Hickey received word he would be playing in tonight’s preseason opener, he said a “whole bunch of anxious energy” started running through his body.
“It’s my first taste of pro hockey,” Hickey said this morning. “I’ve been looking forward to this my whole life. I’m pretty excited to get things going tonight.”
Hickey, 22, is a bit old for a rookie. Despite being picked by the Calgary Flames in ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Right away, Brandon Hickey’s former Boston University teammates reached out to him. Jack Eichel, Danny O’Regan and Evan Rodrigues all welcomed the defenseman to the Sabres with text messages.
Hickey, 22, already looks comfortable with the Sabres, who traded winger Hudson Fasching to the Arizona Coyotes for the former third-round pick and forward Mike Sislo on June 14.
“There’s some familiar faces within the locker room there,” Hickey said Thursday. “When I ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Before the 2014 trade deadline, former Sabres general manager Tim Murray made a significant trade just weeks into his tenure, sending two second-round picks and defenseman Brayden McNabb to the Los Angeles Kings.
The prize return was a youngster named Hudson Fasching, a 2013 fourth-round pick rapidly developing as a freshman at the University of Minnesota.... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Barely two years ago, Hudson Fasching stood out as one of the Buffalo Sabres’ top prospects. Just days after leaving college, the power forward scored minutes into his NHL debut. Months later, he cracked the big club out of training camp.
Fast forward to today, and Fasching, having just sat out two AHL playoff games as a healthy scratch, might have an iffy future with the Sabres.... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – With the Americans about to suffer a devastating loss that would drop them into fourth place, coach Chris Taylor tabbed center Colin Blackwell for a crucial offensive zone faceoff.
Blackwell, 25, has been the Amerks’ unsung hero for more than a month, quietly piling up points and morphing into the AHL club’s late-season MVP.
In critical times, Taylor enjoys utilizing Blackwell, a Harvard graduate who had trouble finding work this season.... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – After years of battling hip injuries, Buffalo Sabres prospect Sean Malone enjoyed a healthy senior season a year ago, helping Harvard roar to the semifinal of the NCAA Tournament.
On April 8, two days after Malone’s college career ended, he debuted with the Sabres just hours after signing his entry-level contract. In July, the West Seneca native participated in his first Sabres development camp since 2013.
Then when rookie camp began in September, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – To Chad Johnson, his weak numbers are deceiving. Other than a poor 20-minute outing, the Sabres goalie believes he has played well this season.
Naturally, Johnson is frustrated. In 12 games, he is 1-5-3 with a ghastly 3.76 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage, his lone win coming Oct. 15.
Among goalies with 10 or more appearances this season, only Vegas Golden Knights rookie Maxime Lagace has a higher goals-against average and ... Read the full article