Nicolas Aube-Kubel spent two seasons in Washington. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Nomadic Nicolas Aube-Kubel excited to give Sabres’ fourth line grit, speed

As free agency approached and winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel began looking for his fifth NHL team in the last three and a half years, he told his agent he wanted to join a younger group.

Having started last season in the AHL – he played 11 games for the Hershey Bears before earning regular duty with the Washington Capitals – Aube-Kubel knew he likely wouldn’t receive a multi-year deal.

But the idea of growing with a ... Read the full article

Ryan McLeod skates against Buffalo on March 9. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Excited Ryan McLeod ready for ‘great opportunity’ after trade to Sabres

Eleven days after his marathon nine-month, 105-game season ended, Ryan McLeod was posing for pictures at his friend’s wedding when he learned the Edmonton Oilers had traded him to the Buffalo Sabres.

Naturally, McLeod, 24, wanted to enjoy some down time following an emotional and grueling campaign, so the timing struck him as “a little funny.”

“A little whirlwind,” the center said on a Zoom call Wednesday of getting traded for the first time. “You ... Read the full article

Buffalo is Sam Lafferty’s fifth NHL team. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres newcomer Sam Lafferty enjoyed career season after trade

BUFFALO – Sabres center Sam Lafferty’s first three NHL teams utilized him in a checking role, deploying him for faceoffs in enemy territory for a whopping 73.7 percent of his zone starts.

Then last year, after the Vancouver Canucks acquired Lafferty, 29, from the Toronto Maple Leafs days before the season, they gave him a dual role.

For the first time in his five-year career, he had more offensive zone starts than defensive starts (51.3 ... Read the full article

Buffalo drafted Matt Savoie ninth overall in 2022. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres receive immediate help in Ryan McLeod by trading Matt Savoie to Oilers

After the Buffalo Sabres recently made a minor deal and signed some free agents, it appeared the significant trade that was expected this summer might never materialize.

Maybe, just maybe, general manager Kevyn Adams felt that adding some grit to augment a talented lineup and having a new coach in Lindy Ruff would be enough to help the Sabres end their NHL-record 13-year playoff drought.

But on Friday, Adams, who has expressed his willingness to ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju led Buffalo in plus-minus last season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

After strong campaign, Sabres re-sign Henri Jokiharju to one-year contract

The Buffalo Sabres on Friday re-signed defenseman Henri Jokiharju to a one-year, $3.1 million contract.

Jokiharju, 25, can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The Sabres now have three unsigned restricted free agents: goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, center Peyton Krebs and winger Beck Malenstyn.

Luukkonen and Malenstyn on Friday filed for salary arbitration. If a player files, a contract can still be worked out. Hearings run from July 20 to Aug. 4.... Read the full article

Buffalo signed Jason Zucker on Monday. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres sorely need grit, leadership and versatility veteran Jason Zucker offers

BUFFALO – During his four-year tenure in Pittsburgh, Sabres newcomer Jason Zucker regularly enjoyed plum assignments skating alongside legendary Penguins centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Zucker, who believes his speed and forechecking ability are his top assets, added to grit to the future Hall of Famers’ lines, retrieving pucks and utilizing his 5-foot-11, 192-pound frame to wreak havoc around the net.

“If pucks end up in the corners, go get them back and let ... Read the full article

Dennis Gilbert talks Wednesday in KeyBank Center. ©2024

Seasons with Flames changed Sabres newcomer Dennis Gilbert’s career

BUFFALO – Almost two years ago, a seven-game stint with the Calgary Flames changed defenseman Dennis Gilbert’s career.

Gilbert played sparingly during that short recall, sometimes skating less than 10 minutes an outing. By the end of that November, he was back in the AHL, where he had spent the entire previous season.

But the lessons the Williamsville native learned from former Flames coach Darryl Sutter and his staff during those three weeks stuck with ... Read the full article

Jason Zucker has played 697 NHL games. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Signings, trade help revamp Sabres’ roster: ‘I like the look of our team’

BUFFALO – In signing Jason Zucker to a one-year, $5 million contract, the Sabres believe they added a versatile veteran winger they can utilize up and down the lineup.

“His ability to play anywhere in our lineup, I think, is critical in style,” Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said Monday in KeyBank Center. “He’s played plenty with top skill guys or he could play more of that hard-checking role.”

Meanwhile, center Sam Lafferty, the Sabres’ ... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson (78) battles Adam Henrique last season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres don’t give Jacob Bryson, two others qualifying offers

LAS VEGAS – The Buffalo Sabres on Sunday did not extend a $1.9 million qualifying offer to defenseman Jacob Bryson, making him a free agent.

The Sabres extended qualifying offers to goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, defenseman Henri Jokiharju and forwards Beck Malenstyn and Peyton Krebs.

Luukkonen, Jokiharju and Malenstyn all have arbitration rights.

Defensemen Riley Stillman and Calle Sjalin, two other pending restricted free agents, also did not receive qualifying offers.... Read the full article

Beck Malenstyn (13) had spent his whole career in Washington’s organization. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres looking to make more moves after trading for Beck Malenstyn

LAS VEGAS – Considering how aggressively general manager Kevyn Adams has spent the offseason pursuing trades to upgrade the Buffalo Sabres, leaving the NHL Draft with one new roster player, winger Beck Malenstyn, seems disappointing.

Still, in trading the 43rd overall pick on Saturday to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Malenstyn, 26, the Sabres addressed a significant need by becoming tougher to play against.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Malenstyn, a pending restricted free agent, gives ... Read the full article