Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has looked sharp this preseason. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen happy with Sabres’ plan: ‘It’s about the starts’

BUFFALO – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s terrific 32-save outing in Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 preseason win likely won’t sway the Sabres. They decided months ago that the Finn, a prospect labeled as their goalie of the future, should start the season in the minors.

So as they trim their training camp roster in the coming days, they’ll almost certainly assign the him to Rochester, where he will carry the load for the Americans.

Buffalo’s net, at least early ... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut has played 46 games with Buffalo. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

After two years in KHL, Lawrence Pilut returns to Sabres mature defenseman

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Lawrence Pilut chose his words carefully, refusing to dwell on the past.

In 2020, Pilut bolted overseas, leaving the Sabres to join Chelyabinsk Traktor, a Kontinental Hockey League team in Russia. His decision stunned the Sabres’ old regime, which believed the Swede was on the cusp of securing regular NHL duty.

“I don’t want to talk about that too much,” Pilut, who reportedly wanted a one-way contract as a restricted ... Read the full article

Matt Savoie has played two preseason games. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Matt Savoie earning long look in Buffalo

BUFFALO – In the end, chances are the Sabres will assign center prospect Matt Savoie to his junior team before their season opener on Oct. 13.

Savoie, having established himself as one of the Western Hockey League’s elite talents, will join the Winnipeg Ice and almost certainly enjoy a dynamic season.

In the meantime, Savoie, the ninth overall pick this year, has an opportunity to keep impressing the Sabres.

Savoie, 18, is the only ... Read the full article

Craig Anderson began his NHL career in 2002-03. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

At 41, Sabres goalie Craig Anderson still motivated to prove doubters wrong

BUFFALO – Craig Anderson left town five months ago knowing he could return to the Sabres and play his 20th NHL season if he desired.

In his first year here, besides often giving the Sabres terrific goaltending, the veteran’s professionalism and work ethic set a high standard for the rebuilding team. He quickly became a leader and a mentor during what he has called an “amazing” year.

Even though he was about to turn 41, ... Read the full article

Brandon Biro (center) celebrates one of his goals Tuesday with Henri Jokiharju and Alex Tuch. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospects Brandon Biro, Lukas Rousek shine in preseason win

BUFFALO – In the first week of training camp, the Sabres have often been placing forward prospects with established talent, offering Brandon Biro, Lukas Rousek, Linus Weissbach and others special development opportunities.

The reasoning is simple: coach Don Granato believes his veterans will send consistent messages about what the Sabres want collectively as a team.

In Tuesday’s 2-1 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center, some of those prospects ranked among the best ... Read the full article

Matt Savoie also played in Sunday afternoon’s preseason opener. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Matt Savoie impressing Sabres; Buffalo to utilize strong lineup against Flyers

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Matt Savoie has integrated so quickly that coach Don Granato feels comfortable playing the rookie between veterans.

So tonight, less than a week into his first NHL training camp, Savoie, 18, will center Casey Mittelstadt and Kyle Okposo against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Savoie, the ninth overall pick this year, also played in Sunday afternoon’s preseason opener, a 4-3 overtime road win against the Washington Capitals.... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt played just 40 games last season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Confident and healthy, Sabres’ Casey Mittelstadt ready for breakout season

BUFFALO – Early in his career, Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt never thought he would someday go golfing with his general manager. But there he was recently, sharing the course with Kevyn Adams.

On the final hole, Mittelstadt and defenseman Rasmus Dahlin each birdied, giving their team a victory over Adams’ trio.

Besides some healthy competition, the outing offered Adams and the players an opportunity to bond outside of the rink.

Mittelstadt, 23, enjoyed getting to ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson scored a career-high 38 goals last season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

After signing big contract, Sabres’ Tage Thompson motivated to keep growing

BUFFALO – Since center Tage Thompson signed a surprising seven-year, $50 million extension, general manager Kevyn Adams has often been asked why the Sabres gave such a huge contract to someone who has enjoyed just one standout season.

Heck, even Thompson, 24, seems a little surprised he earned the deal, which he signed Aug. 30 and begins next season.

“It’s a huge leap of faith from the organization and management,” Thompson said Thursday following ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin was an NHL All-Star last season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin stopped trying to please others, morphed into a star

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin can’t remember when it finally clicked for him, but at some point early last season, he stopped trying to impress others. He no longer cared what they thought about him.

Dahlin, 22, became comfortable in his own skin and quickly developed confidence. His play took off, and by February, he had earned his first spot in the NHL All-Star Game.

“I realized early last season that if I’m myself ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo might be Buffalo’s leading candidate to be named captain. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

After season of growth, Sabres have intriguing candidates to be captain

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