Linus Ullmark was Buffalo’s best player this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres GM Kevyn Adams has offseason filled with critical decisions

Kevyn Adams experienced a brutal rookie season as Buffalo Sabres general manager, overseeing a team that suffered through an 18-game winless skid and finished dead last in the NHL.

Trying to fix the Sabres, who have missed the playoffs a record-tying 10 consecutive seasons, could be an arduous task.

Adams’ short list for this offseason includes hiring a coach, trying to re-sign his No. 1 goalie and top scorer and making sure his captain and ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt started thriving under interim coach Don Granato. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Many Sabres thrived with Don Granato: ‘I owe Donnie a huge thank you’

When Don Granato took over the Buffalo Sabres, Casey Mittelstadt had mustered one goal while mostly being utilized as a third- or fourth-line winger in his limited action.

Mittelstadt, 22, ended the season as the Sabres’ No. 2 center. After stints in the minors and on the taxi squad over the last year and a half, he developed into a consistent scoring threat, compiling nine goals and 17 points in the final 22 games.

The ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen left Saturday’s game after the second period. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose ugly game to Bruins, goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to injury

After a solid few weeks, the Buffalo Sabres have started reminding everyone why they’ve occupied the NHL’s basement for months.

Saturday’s afternoon’s ugly 6-2 setback to the Boston Bruins was their fourth consecutive loss and fifth in the last six games.

In an outing reminiscent of the Ralph Krueger era, the Sabres looked disjointed all over the ice, allowing the Bruins to throttled them.

On top of their dismal performance, rookie goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen suffered ... 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

Dylan Cozens has moved back to center, his natural position. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens showcasing offense, emerging as special talent

BUFFALO – Sabres rookie center Dylan Cozens has quickly reached another phase of his development, adding slick playmaking to his repertoire.

Since Cozens, 20, returned from an upper-body injury Sunday, he has recorded four assists, two more than he compiled in his first 25 games.

Thursday’s 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals was arguably Cozens’ best NHL outing. The Yukon native registered two primary assists, creating goals for wingers Sam Reinhart and Anders Bjork.... Read the full article

Don Granato has quickly made an impact on the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Kevyn Adams: Don Granato ‘absolutely … in the mix’ for Sabres’ coaching job

Even before Don Granato started winning games and unlocking talent from struggling players, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said he wanted the interim coach to be in the mix when he began pursuing a regular coach.

“From the beginning, I always thought that Donnie should be part of this conversation regardless of what happens exactly on the wins and losses of our team,” Adams said on a Zoom call Tuesday after the trade deadline.... Read the full article

Taylor Hall played 37 games with Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Deadline deal: Sabres trade Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar to Bruins

Winger Taylor Hall’s decision to sign a one-year, $8 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres six months ago stunned the hockey world.

But Hall, 29, had strong reasons for choosing a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011.

After two down seasons, Hall wanted another chance to play for Ralph Krueger, a coach he had thrived under with the Edmonton Oilers.

The opportunity to skate beside Sabres captain Jack Eichel also enticed Hall. ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner enjoyed perhaps his best game this season Sunday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rally to stun Flyers; Don Granato making strong case to keep job

On Sunday afternoon, Don Granato said the Buffalo Sabres’ belief they could roar back and win was stronger and more collective than in previous games. The interim coach could feel it up and down the bench.

“More confident speak, less emotional speak,” Granato said after the Sabres rallied to stun the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sabres, who ended their 18-game winless skid March 31, possessed little or no confidence just a ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju (pictured) enjoys playing beside Rasmus Dahlin. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Henri Jokiharju shaking off poor stretch, playing confidently

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

Rasmus Dahlin created Tuesday’s winning power-play goal. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Power play in rut; Don Granato ‘doing something special’

BUFFALO – In the early days of the season, the Sabres’ potent power play carried them, accounting for a whopping 50% of their goals over the first 17 games.

But since that scorching start – the Sabres scored 19 times and converted an NHL-best 36.4% of their chances – they’ve been downright awful, mustering just two power-play goals in 38 tries in the last 21 outings.

That’s just 5.3%, the league’s worst number over that ... Read the full article