BUFFALO – The Sabres have likely known for months which seven defensemen will comprise their opening night roster.
Jacob Bryson, Rasmus Dahlin, Henri Jokiharju, Casey Fitzgerald, Owen Power and Mattias Samuelsson entrenched themselves on the blue line last season. In signing Ilya Lyubushkin in free agency, the Sabres added a gritty veteran presence they lacked.
But what about the rest of the defense corps? Given the rugged nature of the position, defensemen are always at ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres coach Don Granato said winger Kyle Okposo, who suffered an upper-body injury in Tuesday’s 4-2 exhibition win, could be ready for next Thursday’s season opener.
“It’s going to take a few days for him,” Granato said following Wednesday’s session of training camp at KeyBank Center. “The issue he’s dealing with will resolve. … You’ll probably see him on the ice in a couple of days.”
Okposo left the game against the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres center Tage Thompson pounced on Jalen Chatfield, making the defenseman pay for his open-ice hit on winger Vinnie Hinostroza early in Tuesday’s 4-2 preseason win over the Carolina Hurricanes’ junior varsity squad.
In fighting Chatfield 15:41 into the game, Thompson quickly completed a Gordie Howe hat trick – he scored a goal and recorded an assist earlier in the period – and further illustrated the tight-knit group the Sabres have become.
Thompson, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Coach Don Granato said it’s only natural that Sabres rookie JJ Peterka might be pressing as he battles to earn a roster spot out of training camp.
So far, Peterka, 20, has had an underwhelming preseason, registering just one assist in three outings.
“I would love to score a little bit more right now,” Peterka said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “But for me, it’s just trying to find my game and getting ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – At times last season, center Sean Malone said coach Seth Appert would pull him aside and tell him, “You’re right there.”
In his return to the Sabres organization, the West Seneca native quickly seized a leading role in Rochester, developing into arguably the Americans’ most versatile presence.
Malone had become what he called a “bubble guy,” offering valuable depth. Sooner or later, a recall to the Sabres seemed inevitable.
“And then I ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the first week of training camp, the Sabres have often been placing forward prospects with established talent, offering Brandon Biro, Lukas Rousek, Linus Weissbach and others special development opportunities.
The reasoning is simple: coach Don Granato believes his veterans will send consistent messages about what the Sabres want collectively as a team.
In Tuesday’s 2-1 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center, some of those prospects ranked among the best ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For just the second time in their history last season, the Sabres did not name a captain.
Instead, having undertaken another rebuild, they named Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo, their two longest-tenured players, as alternates. The move worked, and the veterans helped the team establish a fresh culture after Jack Eichel was stripped of the captaincy.
This year, however, with the roster stabilized, general manager Kevyn Adams said the Sabres plan to name ... Read the full article
The Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday rewarded Sean Malone for his breakout year with the Rochester Americans, re-signing the center to a one-year, $750,000 contract.
Malone, 27, seized an opportunity to play an offensive role, setting new career highs last season by registering 20 goals, eight power-play tallies and 37 points in just 39 games for the Sabres’ AHL affiliate. He added two goals and seven points during the Amerks’ 10-game playoff run.
Early in ... Read the full article
For the first time since 2004, the Rochester Americans have won two series in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Forwards Arttu Ruotsalainen, Sean Malone and Mark Jankowski scored third-period goals Thursday as the Amerks rallied to defeat the top-seeded Utica Comets 4-2 and win the best-of-five AHL North Division semifinal 3-2.
After Ruotsalainen’s power-play goal tied it at the 3:21 mark, Malone put the Amerks up at 6:45, beating Utica goalie Nico Daws from above the ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – JJ Peterka could be one-and-done in the AHL. The Buffalo Sabres prospect just enjoyed the greatest offensive campaign in a teenage season since 1976. Over the weekend, the German winger was the most dynamic player in the Calder Cup Playoffs, recording five points, including a hat trick, in two Americans wins.
After a 28-goal, 68-point regular season, the excitement and pressure that accompanies postseason hockey has helped Peterka transform into a dominant presence.... Read the full article