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 on Sunday, 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 ... 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 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

Jacob Bryson has quickly established himself as a trusted defenseman. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jacob Bryson becoming trusted defenseman beside Rasmus Ristolainen

BUFFALO – On the left side of the Sabres’ top defense tandem, there’s the diminutive Jacob Bryson, a speedy rookie who has quickly entrenched himself in the lineup.

On the right, there’s 6-foot-4, 221-pound Rasmus Ristolainen, a hulking, physical veteran who’s six inches taller and 32 pounds heavier than his partner.

In Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, Bryson and Ristolainen enjoyed their best night together, each recording two assists and a plus-4 ... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson missed Monday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jacob Bryson set to return; Dylan Cozens’ status uncertain

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Jacob Bryson practiced today and will likely play in Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, interim coach Don Granato said.

Bryson, 23, missed Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers recovering from an undisclosed injury. The rookie stumbled and fell into Bruins star David Pastrnak’s lower body late in Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to Boston.

“He’s looking toward a go,” Granato said on a Zoom call following this afternoon’s practice inside ... 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

Eric Staal can become an unrestricted free agent following the season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

After trading Eric Staal, Sabres know more moves coming: ‘Nobody’s naive’

Winger Kyle Okposo knows center Eric Staal was likely only the first of several veteran teammates who will be leaving the hapless Buffalo Sabres over the next few weeks.

The Sabres, having lost 16 straight entering this afternoon’s road game against the Boston Bruins, are broken and on pace to be historically bad. The NHL’s laughingstock needs a massive overhaul, so anyone could be in play before the April 12 trade deadline.

“I mean, nobody’s ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has played eight games with Rochester this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen excited for first taste of NHL

If injured Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark keeps progressing, he could play this week, perhaps as soon as tonight. So Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s first taste of the NHL might be brief.

Still, spending just a day or two with the Sabres, even on the taxi squad as their third goalie, should be a significant step for Luukkonen’s development.

“The more time a prospect can get around (the NHL), the easier it becomes for them to associate, ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has missed 12 games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Linus Ullmark to join Sabres on road trip, start practicing

BUFFALO – The Sabres plan for injured goalie Linus Ullmark to join them on their four-game road trip later this week, interim coach Don Granato said.

The Sabres have imploded without Ullmark, their No. 1 goalie. Their 13-game losing streak began Feb. 25, the game he suffered a lower-body injury.

“We need to integrate him into practice,” interim Sabres coach Don Granato said on a Zoom call this afternoon. “At some point, that’s the next ... Read the full article

Don Granato coached his first game Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato faces challenges before first game as interim Sabres coach

BUFFALO – Instead of having a day or two of practice and preparation prior to his first game as interim Sabres coach, Don Granato had one meeting just two hours before the opening faceoff.

On Thursday, a day after the Sabres fired coach Ralph Krueger and named Granato, 53, his interim replacement, a member of their hockey staff entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. The Sabres, who had Wednesday off, canceled their morning skate and stayed ... Read the full article