Buffalo drafted Jake McCabe in 2012. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

NHL free agency tracker: Sabres lose Jake McCabe to Blackhawks

Jake McCabe’s seven-year career with the Buffalo Sabres is over.

The defenseman this afternoon agreed to terms with the Chicago Blackhawks on a four-year, $16 million contract in free agency.

McCabe makes his offseason home in suburban Chicago.

General manager Kevyn Adams said on Saturday the Sabres were still interested in re-signing McCabe, 27, but he expected him to hit the open market.

Update: On a virtual news conference, McCabe said joining Chicago is ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark enjoyed a stellar season on a bad team in 2020-21. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Losing top goalie Linus Ullmark in free agency would be huge blow to Sabres

The days of the Sabres trying to lure big-name free agents to Buffalo are over. When the market opens today, they’ll likely be bit players, focusing on filling some of their many holes and adding depth while attempting to re-sign goalie Linus Ullmark.

Ullmark’s departure would be a massive blow to the Sabres. The Swede, their backbone and MVP, earned nine of the team’s 15 wins last season in only 20 outings.

They don’t ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark was Buffalo’s backbone last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Linus Ullmark, Jake McCabe could leave Sabres in free agency

BUFFALO – Throughout the offseason, the Sabres have stayed in regular contact with Linus Ullmark’s agent and stressed they want the Swede to be their No. 1 goalie.

The Sabres sorely need Ullmark, their backbone and team MVP. While prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looked impressive in limited NHL action late last season, he’s ticketed to return to the minors for more seasoning.

They don’t have another netminder in the pipeline ready to assume the starting job.... Read the full article

Ramsus Ristolainen has never played an NHL playoff game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Ex-Sabre Rasmus Ristolainen welcomes fresh start after trade to Flyers

BUFFALO – In defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen’s first eight seasons, the Sabres morphed into the NHL’s laughingstock, finishing dead last four times and winning barely one-third of their games.

The constant losing and turmoil – Ristolainen played for a whopping six coaches and four general mangers, stunning numbers that illustrate the Sabres’ futility – wore on him. The straight-shooting Finn often voiced his frustration.

On Friday afternoon, hours before the Sabres picked Michigan defenseman Owen Power... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen played eight years in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres trade Rasmus Ristolainen, get huge return from Flyers

Rasmus Ristolainen’s eight-year career with the Buffalo Sabres is over.

The Sabres this afternoon traded the Finnish defenseman to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for the 14th overall pick in tonight’s NHL Draft, a 2023 second-round selection and defenseman Robert Hagg.

Ristolainen, 26, has just one year left on his contract. He often voiced his frustration with the constant losing he has endured over his NHL career. Following last season, he said he was open ... Read the full article

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

Eric Staal can become an unrestricted free agent following the season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

After trading Eric Staal, Sabres know more moves coming: ‘Nobody’s naive’

Winger Kyle Okposo knows center Eric Staal was likely only the first of several veteran teammates who will be leaving the hapless Buffalo Sabres over the next few weeks.

The Sabres, having lost 16 straight entering this afternoon’s road game against the Boston Bruins, are broken and on pace to be historically bad. The NHL’s laughingstock needs a massive overhaul, so anyone could be in play before the April 12 trade deadline.

“I mean, nobody’s ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has handled a heavy workload after recovering from COVID-19. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres have no plans to rest Rasmus Ristolainen: ‘He’s such a competitor’

BUFFALO – Rasmus Ristolainen’s harrowing battle with COVID-19 left him so weak he struggled to walk up the stairs in his home. The Sabres defenseman did not play for 27 days and missed seven games.

But since Ristolainen returned to the lineup Feb. 27, he has played all 10 contests, averaging 21 minutes, 28 seconds of ice time in the first nine entering Monday’s 6-0 loss to the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Have the ... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson has quickly become one of Buffalo’s standouts. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Jacob Bryson quickly emerging as special talent

BUFFALO – In the second period of Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout loss, Sabres defenseman Jacob Bryson grabbed the puck along the left wall, skated behind his net and adroitly fed winger Victor Olofsson an outlet pass from the right circle.

A few seconds later, Bryson swooped into the Philadelphia Flyers zone, grabbed center Eric Staal’s pass high in the slot and backhanded the puck to Olofsson as he charged to the net.

While Olofsson did not ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has an NHL-worst minus-21 rating. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Why is Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin playing so poorly this season?

Those brilliant rushes Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin showcased as a teenager – he would grab the puck and start controlling the game, dazzling all over the ice with it – have become a rare occurrence.

These days, Dahlin, 20, never seems to have the puck on his stick. The Swede has struggled most of this season, often looking overwhelmed defensively.

Through 23 games, Dahlin is the NHL’s clubhouse leader, sporting a ghastly, league-worst minus-21 ... Read the full article