BUFFALO – For just the second time in their history last season, the Sabres did not name a captain.
Instead, having undertaken another rebuild, they named Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo, their two longest-tenured players, as alternates. The move worked, and the veterans helped the team establish a fresh culture after Jack Eichel was stripped of the captaincy.
This year, however, with the roster stabilized, general manager Kevyn Adams said the Sabres plan to name ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – What makes this training camp so unique for the Sabres, besides the fact they’re, you know, relevant again, is the lack of roster competition.
Right now, with the Sabres set to hold their first on-ice sessions today at KeyBank Center, their lineup looks set.
Sure, some guys will be moved around. There will inevitably be injuries. And they could feel compelled to keep one of their talented youngsters if he wows them.
... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Nearly seven months later, the novelty of playing for the Sabres, the team he passionately rooted for growing up, hasn’t worn off for winger Alex Tuch.
In the back of his mind, Tuch had hoped an opportunity to join the Sabres would materialize someday, perhaps at the end of his career. Then on Nov. 4, the Vegas Golden Knights sent him to Buffalo as part of the blockbuster Jack Eichel trade.
Tuch, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres’ decision to forego naming a captain this season and use veterans Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons as alternates paid dividends.
The rebuilding team quickly came together, and players have expressed the dynamic in the dressing room allows everyone to be themselves.
“When you look at this season, we wanted to be careful to put too much on one guy, especially as we were building and transitioning into this phase,” Adams said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Before center Zemgus Girgensons reported to the rink Saturday morning, his wife, Katie, asked him what he would tell the Sabres’ brass during his end-of-season meetings.
Girgensons, the Sabres’ longest-tenured player, experienced a lot of losing and turmoil over his eight NHL seasons, so in previous years, he had plenty of gripes to share before he left town for the summer.
“Usually in the morning, you’re trying to gather thoughts of all the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – On Wednesday, the Sabres, a team two days away from finishing its season, had a group of players on the KeyBank Center ice 25 minutes before their final practice started.
To veteran winger Kyle Okposo, 34, the Sabres’ oldest and most experienced player, that speaks volumes about the group’s passion. The Sabres will miss the playoffs for a record-setting 11th straight year, yet no one seems to want the season to end.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In a few weeks, after his dizzying year ends, Sabres rookie Owen Power might finally have a chance to sit back and enjoy a little time to himself.
Power, 19, had endured a grueling season prior to signing his entry-level NHL contract, leaving college to represent Team Canada at the Olympics more than 6,500 miles away in Beijing and at the World Junior Championship in Edmonton.
Even in the NHL, Power still has ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In Friday’s practice, Sabres coach Don Granato changed every forward line, tinkering with trios that have recently developed chemistry and enjoyed success.
Granato often explains how he wants his lineup to become interchangeable. While he showcases more patience than most coaches – lines and defense pairs sometimes stay intact for weeks – he’s not afraid to experiment within games or try new things.
So for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank ... Read the full article
TORONTO – Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews has ascended to a new level of superstardom this season, scoring an NHL-high 58 goals in 68 outings.
Matthews, who was held pointless in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, recently became the first player since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 to score 50 goals over a 50-game stretch. Matthews is on pace to score 66 times this season, a number that hasn’t been reached since Lemieux scored ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo’s ability to remain an impactful NHL player in his mid-30s can be traced to his willingness to keep reinventing himself and evolving.
Two seasons ago, after battling a string of scary concussions, he revived his career by embracing a new checking role and thriving in it. That comeback turned out to be a harbinger for this year.
Following an injury-riddled 2020-21 campaign, Okposo might be enjoying his most impressive ... Read the full article