Tage Thompson’s production dipped this season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

By end of difficult season, Sabres’ Tage Thompson became elite scorer again

BUFFALO – By the end of a trying season, Sabres center Tage Thompson recaptured the slick form that made him one of the NHL’s elite scorers last year.

To wit: in his final 28 games, he recorded 14 goals and 27 points. He often performed dynamically over his last 18 outings, scoring 11 goals and 21 points.

That’s a torrid 50-goal, 95-point pace over 82 games, very close his 47-goal, 94-point campaign in 2022-23.

But ... Read the full article

Don Granato lasted three full seasons as coach. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres fire coach Don Granato after disappointing season

The Buffalo Sabres this morning fired coach Don Granato, less than a day after they completed a disappointing 84-point season in which they missed the playoffs for an NHL-record 13th consecutive year.

No replacement was named.

The Sabres also let go of assistant coach Jason Christie and video coordinator Matt Smith.

General manager Kevyn Adams will address the media at 3 p.m. in KeyBank Center. The Sabres are looking for their seventh coach since 2013-14, ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner joined Buffalo in a trade in 2018. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner set to play 1,000th game without playoff appearance

BUFFALO – By hockey standards, Jeff Skinner is a bit old. In the modern NHL, 31 has become an advanced age. That’s what makes the veteran winger, who’s expected to play his 1,000th game tonight, such a unique presence on the Sabres.

Just one other player on the roster, winger Zemgus Girgensons, is 30. No one else is older than 28. Only Girgensons has played more than 500 games.

Skinner has played for so long ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin joined Buffalo in 2018. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin always wanted long-term contract to stay in Buffalo: ‘This is the city I love’

BUFFALO – Rasmus Dahlin’s phone rang Saturday night and on the other end, Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams informed the budding superstar defenseman his eight-year, $88 million contract had been completed.

Dahlin, 23, remembers feeling a sense of relief – “I was so happy,” he said – and, well, not much else.

“I barely remember what I said,” a smiling Dahlin said following Monday’s practice in KeyBank Center, hours after the Sabres announced the biggest ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner recorded a career-high 82 points this season. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Under coach Don Granato, Sabres’ Jeff Skinner has matured, added offense

BUFFALO – For most of his career, the hockey world labeled Jeff Skinner as a one-dimensional player: the shifty Sabres winger scored goals and that was about it.

Ex-Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, who nearly destroyed Skinner’s career, once famously said the popular veteran “measured his whole career on goals.”

“When I came in, he was known as a 40-goal scorer and now he’s so much more than that to me,” coach Don Granato, who ... Read the full article

Don Granato joined Buffalo as an assistant coach in 2019. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato, Kevyn Adams give Sabres stability: ‘We are going to win’

BUFFALO – The new contract the Sabres awarded coach Don Granato illustrates the much-needed stability they’ve developed under general manager Kevyn Adams.

Over the past six weeks, Adams, Granato, leading scorer Tage Thompson and top-pair defenseman Mattias Samuelsson have all signed extensions.

On Wednesday, the eve of the season opener, the Sabres announced Granato’s “multi-year” contract and Samuelsson’s seven-year, $30 million deal within an hour.... Read the full article

Don Granato is excited about Buffalo’s future. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

One year after hiring, Don Granato has dramatically changed the Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Don Granato kept rattling off names. There was Taylor Hall, Brandon Montour, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen and Eric Staal.

“I’m probably missing a couple more,” Granato said following Wednesday’s practice at LECOM Harborcenter.

Then two more names, Jack Eichel and Jake McCabe, popped into his head.

One year ago today, Granato inherited a veteran-laden team at its nadir. The Sabres were 12 losses into what would become a stunning 18-game winless ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has scored 16 goals this season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

After rough season, rejuvenated Jeff Skinner again one of Sabres’ top threats

BUFFALO – It took time for Jeff Skinner to recapture his scoring prowess after enduring a miserable, career-worst season. The Sabres winger scored just once in the first eight games of what has become a terrific comeback year.

But from the get-go this season, Sabres coach Don Granato saw Skinner, 29, possessed confidence he would resolve his problems and was hellbent on becoming a go-to guy again.

Granato said Skinner began practicing and playing with ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has become perhaps Buffalo’s most consistent presence. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

NHL All-Star Rasmus Dahlin becoming Sabres’ best player: ‘Elite defenseman’

BUFFALO – This is all new, you know. In the past, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin wasn’t awarded more than 25 minutes of ice time and given the difficult task of shutting down the opposition’s best talent.

At times, Dahlin, 21, has struggled in his new role as the No. 1 defenseman. The Swede often puts too much pressure on himself, and when things turn sour, he can respond by pressing and trying to impose his ... Read the full article

Buffalo traded Evan Rodrigues to Pittsburgh in 2020. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Ex-Sabre Evan Rodrigues becomes big contributor to Penguins

PITTSBURGH – Ex-Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues never lacked confidence during his four-year stint in Buffalo. After earning a one-year, $2 million arbitration award in 2019, he said he possessed the talent to play with anyone in the NHL.

Then ex-Sabres coach Ralph Krueger scratched Rodrigues opening night, the beginning of the end of his career in Buffalo. Rodrigues morphed into a spare part before the Sabres traded him to the Penguins almost two years ago.... Read the full article