BUFFALO – The statistic has dogged Rasmus Ristolainen throughout his six-year NHL career. It has never improved, even after the Finn morphed into the Sabres’ top workhorse and a 40-point defenseman.
Since Oct. 3, 2013, the start of Ristolainen’s rookie season, he has compiled the league’s worst plus-minus rating, an awful minus-135 over 412 games.
How ugly is that number? Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has accumulated the second-worst rating over that stretch, a minus-93 ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Late in the second period Monday, barely two minutes after Zack Kassian’s goal ignited the Edmonton Oilers, Sabres winger Jason Pominville committed a rare defensive-zone gaffe.
Pominville sensed a battle coming along the left boards, so he zeroed in on the puck. As he followed the play, he lost track of his man, allowing Darnell Nurse to slip past him from the point into the left circle.
A second later, the Oilers defenseman ... 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 – Cody Hodgson’s Sabres career is over.
The team put the struggling winger on unconditional waivers Monday, meaning the final four seasons of his six-year, $25.5 million contract will be bought out for one-third the remaining value since he’s under 26 years old.
The Sabres owe him $6.333 million over the next eight years, money that will count against the salary cap until 2022-23, according to generalfanager.com. They must absorb a $1,041,666 hit ... Read the full article
SUNRISE, Fla. – How good have the Buffalo Sabres drafted in recent years? Judge for yourself below.
Since most drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Sabres’ selections from 2007-12 and some notable hits and misses. Sixteen of Buffalo’s 45 draft choices over that time – 36 percent – have made the NHL.
The Sabres have eight picks at this weekend’s NHL Draft, including the No. 2 selection, ... Read the full article
Since most NHL Entry Drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round picks from 2006-11 and some notable hits and misses. Fourteen of Buffalo’s 43 draft choices over that time have made the NHL.
The Sabres have eight picks this weekend in Philadelphia, including the No. 2 selection.
First-round pick: center Joel Armia, 16th overall
Armia endured a rough season in 2013-14, his ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Twenty months later, there’s no decisive winner in the Cody Hodgson-Zack Kassian deal, the shocker the Sabres and Vancouver Canucks pulled off before the 2012 NHL trade deadline.
Teams rarely swap high first-round picks during their rookie seasons. So the debate might go on for years in the two hockey-mad cities.
“That’s hockey,” Kassian, who will play his first game back in Buffalo tonight at the First Niagara Center, told the Vancouver ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In awarding Cody Hodgson, a youngster with only 77 points in 139 career NHL games, a six-year, $25.5 million contract, the Sabres are betting on more than the center’s abundant talent. The team’s banking that Hodgson will keep dedicating himself to becoming an elite player.
“He wants to be a No. 1 guy from the standpoint he wants to be counted on, and he wants to be recognized in a leadership position,” ... Read the full article
NEWARK, N.J. – Since most NHL Entry Drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round picks from 2005-10 and some notable hits and misses.
First-round pick: defenseman Mark Pysyk, 23rd overall
After some early struggles in Rochester last season, Pysyk began developing rapidly during his rookie campaign, earning a March recall and a regular spot down the stretch. The smooth 21-year-old could someday be ... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – With the NHL trade deadline hitting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, here’s the Buffalo Sabres’ Eastern Conference standing and their activity since 2006:
2006, third place, 83 points
General manager Darcy Regier made no additions, only trading No. 3 goalie Mika Noronen to Vancouver for a second-round pick (current backup goalie Jhonas Enroth). Some argued the inactivity bit the surprising Sabres, who lost four defensemen to injury during their run to the Eastern Conference ... Read the full article