Taylor Hall played 37 games with Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Deadline deal: Sabres trade Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar to Bruins

Winger Taylor Hall’s decision to sign a one-year, $8 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres six months ago stunned the hockey world.

But Hall, 29, had strong reasons for choosing a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011.

After two down seasons, Hall wanted another chance to play for Ralph Krueger, a coach he had thrived under with the Edmonton Oilers.

The opportunity to skate beside Sabres captain Jack Eichel also enticed Hall. ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen scored in only his second NHL game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Arttu Ruotsalaien utilizes lethal shot to score first NHL goal

Buffalo Sabres rookie Arttu Ruotsalainen said when linemate Dylan Cozens delivered a short, soft pass to him in the right circle Sunday afternoon, he simply closed his eyes and shot the puck.

A second later, Ruotsalainen’s lethal one-timer blew by Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart 4:42 into the second period. The Finnish winger’s first NHL goal tied the game at 2.

“It’s awesome. It’s a dream,” a smiling Ruotsalainen said following his second NHL game, ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour joined Buffalo before the 2018-19 trade deadline. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres start dealing, trade defenseman Brandon Montour to Panthers

BUFFALO – The Sabres this afternoon made their first trade before Monday’s deadline, dealing defenseman Brandon Montour to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.

At the end of this afternoon’s practice inside KeyBank Center, Montour, who did not skate, said goodbye to his teammates from the bench.

Montour, who turns 27 on Sunday, has registered five goals, 14 points and a minus-13 rating in 38 games this season. He signed ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has become Buffalo’s top offensive threat. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt, Sabres’ other young players growing under Don Granato

BUFFALO – In his first 12 games as interim coach, Don Granato’s most telling accomplishment has been his ability to unlock potential from several of the Sabres’ young players who struggled to stay in the lineup earlier this season.

Consider that in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals, center Casey Mittelstadt, defenseman Henri Jokiharju and winger Tage Thompson scored for the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.

All three players are 23 or under and spent ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall will likely be traded before Monday’s deadline. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Taylor Hall to be scratched again versus Devils as Sabres try to trade winger

In what are almost certainly his final days in Buffalo, winger Taylor Hall is still involved in all Sabres-related activities other than playing, interim coach Don Granato said.

So while Hall, 29, is still around the team, he will be scratched again for tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center. The Sabres, of course, want to protect an asset as Monday’s trade deadline approaches.

They first scratched Hall, who is expected to ... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund has scored four goals in only 10 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Rasmus Asplund promoted to Sabres’ first line, close to earning regular duty

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Rasmus Asplund said his first taste of the NHL last season exhausted him mentally. The Swede couldn’t let go of what transpired during games. He even had trouble falling asleep.

“I felt last year that I started off my first five games really good but then I got really tired mentally,” Asplund said on a Zoom call following Wednesday’s optional practice.

So in the offseason, Asplund, 23, began developing what he ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall could be traded soon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to hold Taylor Hall out against Devils as trade deadline nears

Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall, who will likely be traded before Monday’s deadline, will be held out of tonight’s road game against the New Jersey Devils, interim coach Don Granato said.

The move makes sense. Why risk an asset to injury?

Hall, 29, can become an unrestricted free agent following the season. He has a no-movement clause in the one-year, $8 million contract he signed with the Sabres.... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has moved up the depth chart this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt’s development earns him gig as Sabres’ top center

BUFFALO – Shifting Casey Mittelstadt to center wasn’t simply a result of the hapless Sabres trading Eric Staal or Jack Eichel suffering a lower-body injury.

Yes, injuries and Staal’s departure have decimated the Sabres at center. The four who practiced Tuesday inside KeyBank Center – Mittelstadt, Cody Eakin, Curtis Lazar and Riley Sheahan – have combined to score 10 goals and 25 points this season.

Interim coach Don Granato, whose Sabres host the Philadelphia ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has often been a healthy scratch this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson could thrive under interim coach Don Granato

BUFFALO – After morphing from a first-liner into a healthy scratch earlier this season, Tage Thompson could enjoy regular duty under interim coach Don Granato.

Thompson needs consistent action to buoy his development. The 6-foot-7, 219-pound winger has played only 17 NHL games in a more than two-year stretch.

Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center was the Sabres’ 18th straight defeat. They have nothing to lose by playing him.

“It’s ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has missed the last 10 games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jack Eichel could play again this season; Jacob Bryson day to day

BUFFALO – Sabres captain Jack Eichel, who has missed the last 10 games recovering from an upper-body injury, could play again this season, interim coach Don Granato said.

Granato said he spoke to Eichel late last week.

“He said he felt good, he was feeling better,” Granato said on a Zoom call this morning. “I don’t think it would be season-ending. So I know we’re all working to get him back. (I) do not ... Read the full article