Casey Fitzgerald could earn a recall this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres trim roster by three players, get closer to regular-season lineup

The Buffalo Sabres trimmed their roster again today, waiving winger Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and sending defenseman Casey Fitzgerald and forward Brandon Biro to the Rochester Americans.

They now have 24 healthy players – 15 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies – on the roster. They must finalize their 23-man roster for Thursday’s season opener by 5 p.m. Monday.

To reach that number, the Sabres will likely reassign another forward.

Jonsson-Fjallby, 23, skated in the pregame warm-up ... Read the full article

John Hayden played for three teams before joining Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

John Hayden hoping ‘Swiss Army Knife’ style helps him crack Sabres’ lineup

BUFFALO – Over the past three seasons, winger John Hayden bounced around the NHL, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils and Arizona Coyotes before signing a one-year, two-way contract with the Sabres.

Hayden, 26, has usually served as a fourth-liner or an extra forward, never playing more than 54 games in a season. Still, he has stayed put in the NHL. Other than a 37-game stint in 2017-18, his first full pro season, ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson might be a first-liner for Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to dress lineup with established talent against Penguins

BUFFALO – Ten Sabres – much of their established talent – will be making their preseason debut tonight at KeyBank Center.

So some of the line combinations and defense pairings the Sabres will be showcasing against the Pittsburgh Penguins could be utilized in the regular season.

Top center Casey Mittelstadt pivoted Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson this morning. On defense, Rasmus Dahlin skated beside Henri Jokiharju, his partner late last season.

Coach Don Granato said ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk spent his first four NHL seasons in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Mark Pysyk enjoying return to Sabres: ‘Going to be a fun team to watch’

BUFFALO – Sometimes, Mark Pysyk said, it seems like he only left the Sabres a week ago. Other times, however, he acknowledged it feels like it has been a long time.

The Sabres, who signed a one-year, $900,000 contract to return, left in 2016. Only one teammate from the affable defenseman’s first run here, center Zemgus Girgensons, is still with the team.

“I see him walking around, the way he plays, his body takes a ... Read the full article

Jack Quinn will play right wing tonight. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to utilize line of Dylan Cozens, J-J Peterka and Jack Quinn

BUFFALO – In a year or two, after  wingers J-J Peterka and Jack Quinn acclimate to pro hockey, they could flank center Dylan Cozens on the Sabres’ No. 1 trio.

But right now, the intriguing line is simply an experiment for tonight’s preseason opener in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. Instead of putting the talented youngsters beside veterans, Sabres coach Don Granato wants them to learn on their own.

While Cozens, 20, played 41 NHL ... Read the full article

Casey Fitzgerald was drafted in 2016. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres re-sign Casey Fitzgerald to two-year contract

The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed restricted free agent Casey Fitzgerald to a two-year, two-way contract worth $1.5 million in the NHL, the team announced Friday.

Fitzgerald registered two goals, nine points and a minus 10-rating in 22 games with the Rochester Americans last season. The Sabres also recalled the defenseman to their taxi squad.

The 5-foot-11, 178-pound Fitzgerald, 24, has compiled five goals, 22 points and a minus-6 rating in 51 career AHL outings.... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has played three NHL seasons. ©2021, Micheline Veluvlu

Sabres extend qualifying offers to five players

The Buffalo Sabres have extended qualifying offers to five restricted free agents, including defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and center Casey Mittelstadt, the team announced today.

Center Rasmus Asplund and defensemen Casey Fitzgerald and Henri Jokiharju also received qualifying offers before the 5 p.m. deadline.

The Sabres did not qualify forward Dawson DiPietro or goalie Stefanos Lekkas.... Read the full article

Brandon Montour played 112 games with the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Dealing Brandon Montour to Panthers likely only Sabres’ first deadline trade

BUFFALO – Defenseman Brandon Montour, like so many of the Sabres’ other notable acquisitions in recent years, left town having never sniffed the playoffs.

The Sabres on Saturday traded Montour, who turns 27 today, to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.

Barely two years ago, ex-Sabres general manager Jason Botterill paid a steep price for Montour, sending defense prospect Brendan Guhle and a first-round pick to the Anaheim ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour tries to escape Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl in Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Don Granato overworks players; Buffalo plans to add prospects

BUFFALO – Instead of letting the Sabres rest and recover in the midst of their grueling schedule, interim coach Don Granato said he has “overworked” his players.

“We’re trying to push them harder to develop harder,” Granato said on a Zoom call prior to Wednesday’s 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. “We know we have to get better. The focus has to be on that. And we have to trust that wins ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson made 35 saves Sunday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres have intriguing goalie option; Jonas Johansson receives first start

BUFFALO – If the Sabres want to add an established goalie they can utilize as Linus Ullmark recovers from his lower-body injury, Alex Stalock is available.

The Minnesota Wild waived Stalock, who has been recovering from an upper-body injury all season, on Sunday.

Stalock, 33, has played 151 NHL games, including a career-high 38 last season. The veteran could be an intriguing option for the Sabres.

Ullmark will be sidelined at least one month, coach ... Read the full article