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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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