BUFFALO – When captain Kyle Okposo was contemplating returning for another season, he thought about what it would be like trying to lead the Sabres without Zemgus Girgensons, a popular heart-and-soul veteran.
“I didn’t even want to consider that,” Okposo said following Monday’s practice in KeyBank Center. “That’s how important he is.”
Girgensons’ influence has been a huge factor in the Sabres’ recent transformation into a legitimate playoff contender. The winger’s actions and professionalism ... Read the full article
NASHVILLE – Given their success last season and the talent they boast, you wonder if the Buffalo Sabres might take a big swing during the NHL Draft.
General manager Kevyn Adams has methodically rebuilt his team, refusing to take shortcuts that might jeopardize sustained long-term success. But they’re finally knocking on the door, having come within one win of earning that elusive playoff berth.
Adams possesses a stable of assets, including the 13th pick tonight ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As the clock ticked down and the Sabres enjoyed a two-goal lead, their three-game losing streak felt like history.
The Sabres’ first home game following their four-game western road trip started ominously, with the Detroit Red Wings scoring 16 seconds into Saturday’s contest.
But they settled down, roared back and held a 3-1 advantage after center Arttu Ruotsalainen scored 6:08 into the third period.
The Red Wings had trouble generating offense. Sabres goalie ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – You had to go back five years and 34 picks to find the last time the Sabres drafted a Russian.
Before they selected winger Prokhor Poltapov 33rd overall Saturday, they hadn’t drafted a Russian since winger Vasily Glotov in the seventh round in 2016.
Poltapov’s selection was harbinger. The Sabres used three straight picks on Russians and took four overall Saturday.
Later in the second round, the Sabres drafted winger Aleksandr Kisakov with ... Read the full article
Former Buffalo Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko has landed with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Following three seasons in the KHL starring for CSKA Moscow, Grigorenko today signed a one-year contract worth $1.2 million, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
The 25-year-old Russian last played in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche in 2016-17.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Nine years ago, the Sabres, whose knack for unearthing mid- and late-round draft gems helped them morph into a Stanley Cup contender earlier in the decade, found another undervalued youngster.
When the Sabres selected Marcus Foligno in the fourth round, 104th overall, he was simply a talented kid with a familiar name.
But the son of former Sabres captain Mike Foligno would quickly develop into one of junior hockey’s top forward prospects.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The ineptitude of some of the worst NHL teams this century – the 1999-00 Atlanta Thrashers and the 2013-14 and 2014-15 Sabres, for example – can easily be explained.
Yes, the Thrashers were terrible even by low expansion standards, earning only 39 points. But it was their first year. What can you expect?
The Sabres mustered 52 and 54 points because they fielded weak teams and sold off their best assets to secure ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – To thrive in the modern NHL, teams must build through the draft. It’s that simple. The days of loading up with veteran players through free agency or trades are long gone. The league belongs to the 20-somethings now, and if teams draft poorly, they’re doomed.
How good are the Sabres at drafting? Judge for yourself below. Since drafts usually don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at their selections ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Many days, long after most of their Sabres teammates have finished practicing, center Ryan O’Reilly and winger Sam Reinhart stay on the ice and work on tip drills.
O’Reilly, an adroit passer, has probably fed Reinhart thousands of pucks this season, helping the rookie quickly morph into a supreme net-front presence.
The chemistry they’ve quickly developed was on display 17:14 into the Sabres’ 4-1 win Sunday afternoon against the Colorado Avalanche, when Reinhart ... Read the full article
In Ryan O’Reilly’s first comments after the Sabres acquired him, the center discussed his desire to assume a leadership role in Buffalo.
Those words – “With the Sabres I have to be a more vocal guy, be that more off-ice leader and on-ice as well,” he said June 29 – are already haunting the 24-year-old.
Ten days after speaking and just six days after signing a seven-year, $52.5 million contract, O’Reilly was arrested and ... Read the full article