Linus Ullmark enjoyed a stellar season on a bad team in 2020-21. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Losing top goalie Linus Ullmark in free agency would be huge blow to Sabres

The days of the Sabres trying to lure big-name free agents to Buffalo are over. When the market opens today, they’ll likely be bit players, focusing on filling some of their many holes and adding depth while attempting to re-sign goalie Linus Ullmark.

Ullmark’s departure would be a massive blow to the Sabres. The Swede, their backbone and MVP, earned nine of the team’s 15 wins last season in only 20 outings.

They don’t ... Read the full article

Injuries limited Kyle Okposo to 35 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo found game under Don Granato after career-worst start

Given his scary history battling concussions, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo thought the worst after teammate Matt Irwin’s shoot-in hit him in the head April 15 in Washington.

Okposo, 33, suffered four concussions over his first four years in Buffalo, including one late in the 2016-17 season that left him hospitalized in intensive care.

“That was obviously a worry when I got hit in the face, you know, like, ‘Oh jeez, I got another concussion,’” Okposo ... Read the full article

Buffalo drafted Matej Pekar in the fourth round in 2018. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Matej Pekar uses fight with Amerks to generate confidence

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Matej Pekar wanted to agitate Brett Gallant, so as they awaited a faceoff at center ice, he bumped into the AHL’s premier tough guy.

Gallant, of course, retaliated, cross-checking Pekar near his neck. A second later, Pekar, a rookie forward with the Americans, dropped the gloves for the first time as a pro.

Meanwhile, Gallant, a veteran with the Cleveland Monsters, registered his 107th AHL fight, according to hockeyfights.com.

It ... Read the full article

Mattias Samuelsson was recalled Sunday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Mattias Samuelsson looks impressive in NHL debut

BUFFALO – A month ago, recalling defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and giving one of their top prospects a taste of the NHL wasn’t an option for the Sabres.

They were in the midst of their marathon 18-game winless skid, and the defense corps, like every aspect of the team, was struggling. They couldn’t expose a rookie to that environment.

But the defense has been thriving under interim coach Don Granato and interim assistant Dan Girardi, ... Read the full article

Mattias Samuelsson was a second-round pick in 2018. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres recall Mattias Samuelsson from Amerks, make other moves

BUFFALO – The Sabres this afternoon recalled defenseman Mattias Samuelsson, one of their top prospects, from the Rochester Americans.

Samuelsson, 21, will make his NHL debut this afternoon against the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center.

General manager Kevyn Adams and interim coach Don Granato have said they plan to give some of the organizations prospects a taste of the NHL over the final few weeks this season.... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo played 35 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Kyle Okposo undergoes season-ending surgery; Sabres make recalls

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo has undergone season-ending surgery to repair a broken bone in his cheek, the team announced this afternoon.

Okposo, 33, left the ice bleeding 9:27 into Thursday’s 5-2 win against the Washington Capitals after teammate Matt Irwin’s shoot-in struck him around the left ear.

His loss could be significant for the Sabres, who have 13 games left this season. The alternate captain has been one of their prominent leaders for ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has earned nine of Buffalo’s 11 wins this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ goalie picture for weekend still unclear; Linus Ullmark week to week

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark is week to week with a lower-body injury, interim coach Don Granato said this afternoon.

So, does that mean Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will be recalled? General manager Kevyn Adams said Thursday the top goalie prospect could make his NHL debut this weekend.

Luukkonen, 22, hasn’t been summoned yet. Granato said the Sabres would determine his status later today. The Finn has been recovering from a lower-body injury and missed the ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin loved playing in Tuesday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin responds to challenge of playing heavy Bruins

In his three-year career, Rasmus Dahlin has never experienced the NHL postseason. But in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres defenseman received a taste of what heavy playoff hockey feels like.

“I haven’t been in a playoff game, but it didn’t feel like a regular-season game,” said Dahlin, whose goal 11:53 into the third period tied the game at 2.

Tuesday’s game inside TD Garden was the Sabres’ most physical ... 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 played 112 games with the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Dealing Brandon Montour to Panthers likely only Sabres’ first deadline trade

BUFFALO – Defenseman Brandon Montour, like so many of the Sabres’ other notable acquisitions in recent years, left town having never sniffed the playoffs.

The Sabres on Saturday traded Montour, who turns 27 today, to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.

Barely two years ago, ex-Sabres general manager Jason Botterill paid a steep price for Montour, sending defense prospect Brendan Guhle and a first-round pick to the Anaheim ... Read the full article