Buffalo Sabres captain Kyle Okposo was about to put his son, Odin, to bed when he received a call that his new one-year, $2.5 million contract had been completed.
Moments later, when Odin walked out to brush his teeth, Okposo told him that he would be playing another season.
“His reaction was worth it,” an emotional Okposo said on a Zoom call Thursday. “Sometimes I forget how much it means to them, especially my older ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – There was a time it felt like Casey Mittelstadt wouldn’t be around to experience a revival here. As the talented forward struggled to reach his potential and earn a spot in the lineup, the Sabres seemed to keep hitting rock bottom.
Another team might’ve jettisoned Mittelstadt, the eighth overall pick in 2017, years ago for a shiny new asset.
But the Sabres refused to give up on him and he rewarded them by ... Read the full article
Buffalo Sabres prospect Noah Ostlund, the 16th overall pick last year, has joined the Rochester Americans to practice and get a feel for the organization.
The Amerks play the fifth and decisive game of their AHL North Division semifinal series tonight on the road against the Syracuse Crunch. Ostlund, however, likely won’t be participating in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Ostlund, 19, has been battling a foot injury that forced him to miss playoff games ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres center Dylan Cozens scored 31 goals despite missing about three or four opportunities a game to generate more chances, coach Don Granato said.
So consider the potential that Cozens, 22, still possesses coming off a breakout season. Granato told him last month there’s a whole lot more he can do.
“He told me that he doesn’t think I’m anywhere close to the player I can be,” Cozens said April 16 as the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Tyson Jost had no idea what to expect here. The center joined the Sabres at their nadir in mid-November, an eight-game losing streak. Having spent his entire career in the Western Conference, he wasn’t familiar with the organization.
Right away, Jost, a waiver claim from the Minnesota Wild, felt at home. The tight-knit group warmly welcomed him. The Sabres ended their skid in his first game and he quickly earned regular duty.
Following ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – At times in his first full NHL season, the pressure to perform overwhelmed Sabres center Peyton Krebs and he struggled to reach his own expectations.
In late November, Krebs sat out four contests as a healthy scratch. He scored his first goal in his 20th outing and had a 26-game goal drought before receiving credit for a fluky one in the season finale.
“I had my ups and downs, for sure,” Krebs said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For most of his career, the hockey world labeled Jeff Skinner as a one-dimensional player: the shifty Sabres winger scored goals and that was about it.
Ex-Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, who nearly destroyed Skinner’s career, once famously said the popular veteran “measured his whole career on goals.”
“When I came in, he was known as a 40-goal scorer and now he’s so much more than that to me,” coach Don Granato, who ... Read the full article
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 his first days in the NHL, Sabres goalie Devon Levi looked so impressive that coach Don Granato kept riding the neophyte.
Levi, 21, turned heads in his debut March 31, so after starting Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen the next night, Granato utilized the newcomer for five consecutive do-or-die games before the Sabres were eliminated from playoff contention.
The Sabres’ reliance on Levi for a stretch of critical late-season contests raised some eyebrows. The ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – General manager Kevyn Adams wants to give captain Kyle Okposo and alternate captain Zemgus Girgensons, the Sabres’ longest-tenured player, time to decompress following a long season.
When the time is right, Adams plans to talk to the veterans, both of whom can become unrestricted free agents this summer, about returning to the Sabres.
“I want them back,” he said during Wednesday’s end-of-season news conference in KeyBank Center.
Okposo, 35, and Girgensons, 29, helped ... Read the full article