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
The Buffalo Sabres have extended qualifying offers to five restricted free agents, including defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and center Casey Mittelstadt, the team announced today.
Center Rasmus Asplund and defensemen Casey Fitzgerald and Henri Jokiharju also received qualifying offers before the 5 p.m. deadline.
The Sabres did not qualify forward Dawson DiPietro or goalie Stefanos Lekkas.... Read the full article
Sorry, Ron Francis, you won’t get a chance to snatch Rasmus Ristolainen for your Seattle Kraken defense corps. The Buffalo Sabres protected the Finn for Wednesday’s NHL Expansion Draft.
But if Francis, Seattle’s general manager, wants to grab a defenseman from the Sabres, he can take Will Borgen or Colin Miller, both of whom were left unprotected.
The Sabres’ 11-man protected list the NHL released Sunday morning features zero surprises. There had been speculation the ... Read the full article
Since the Buffalo Sabres drafted Will Borgen 92nd overall in 2015, he has morphed from a relatively unknown prospect into a defenseman on the cusp of regular NHL duty.
The Sabres have guided Borgen’s development from his college career at St. Cloud State through his early pro days with the Rochester Americans to the big leagues.
Prior to breaking his forearm last season, Borgen, 24, appeared to be close to securing a spot on Buffalo’s ... Read the full article
Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner has waived his no-movement clause for the upcoming NHL Expansion Draft, his agent, Don Meehan, confirmed to the Times Herald on Wednesday.
Skinner’s decision is significant. The Sabres can use his spot to protect a young forward – perhaps Rasmus Asplund, Anders Bjork or Tage Thompson – who could’ve been exposed to the Seattle Kraken next Wednesday.
Skinner, 29, has struggled since signing an eight-year, $72 million contract ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Eight teams, nine seasons and 284 games into his pro career, Sabres goalie Michael Houser made his NHL debut, stopping 34 shots in Monday’s 4-2 come-from-behind win over the New York Islanders.
In a dreadful year in which the Sabres could finish dead last again, Houser’s first big league start created a feel-good story that provided some excitement and intrigue to a meaningless late-season game.
Houser, 28, has spent most of his career ... Read the full article
A month ago, the Buffalo Sabres were in the midst of an embarrassing 18-game winless skid, so finishing April with a 6-8-2 record illustrates their rapid improvement in barely four weeks.
Remember, the Sabres had trouble scoring a single goal most games in February and March. Now, they’ve morphed into a team capable of beating any of their heavyweight East Division opponents.
Of course, they’re not exactly a playoff-caliber team yet. But they’re clearly getting ... Read the full article
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
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
BUFFALO – Barely a year after Henri Jokiharju established himself as one of the Sabres’ top defensemen, he started struggling so badly he was demoted to the taxi squad.
Jokiharju, 21, sat out 10 games earlier this season. At times, he looked nothing like the steady defender from 2019-20.
But Jokiharju has settled down under interim Sabres coach Don Granato, showcasing more confidence beside Rasmus Dahlin, his partner over the last eight games.
Jokiharju ... Read the full article