The Sabres could ask Jeff Skinner to waive his no-movement clause. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres must make difficult decisions before NHL Expansion Draft

Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams knows all about the expansion draft, having been picked in it 20 years ago this month by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In 2000, Adams was a 25-year-old forward fresh off playing 52 regular-season games and another 12 playoff contests for the Toronto Maple Leafs. After spending most of the previous three seasons in the minors, he had finally arrived in the big leagues.

Adams remembers Toronto GM Pat Quinn ... Read the full article

Don Granato has coached in college, junior and pro hockey. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

If Sabres pass on Don Granato, hiring an ex-NHL head coach could be wise move

Right now, Don Granato must wait as Kevyn Adams conducts what could be an exhaustive search for the Buffalo Sabres’ next head coach.

The general manager reiterated last week he plans to talk to a lot of people, so it might take several weeks before he makes the most critical decision of his short tenure.

If Adams gets it wrong, it will likely set the franchise back years.

Granato’s work transforming the Sabres as interim ... Read the full article

Injuries limited Kyle Okposo to 35 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo found game under Don Granato after career-worst start

Given his scary history battling concussions, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo thought the worst after teammate Matt Irwin’s shoot-in hit him in the head April 15 in Washington.

Okposo, 33, suffered four concussions over his first four years in Buffalo, including one late in the 2016-17 season that left him hospitalized in intensive care.

“That was obviously a worry when I got hit in the face, you know, like, ‘Oh jeez, I got another concussion,’” Okposo ... Read the full article

Injuries limited Linus Ullmark to only 20 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ support helped goalie Linus Ullmark get through emotional season

Linus Ullmark needed to talk. For the goalie, sharing his feelings was therapeutic. So coaches, teammates and anyone in the Buffalo Sabres’ bubble became his support system during an emotional season.

Ullmark’s wife, Moa, and their two children, stayed home in Sweden this year. When his father, Jan-Olof, passed away in January, he had to mourn his loss without the comfort of his family.

But at the rink, Ullmark found an outlet for his grief.... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo played 35 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Kyle Okposo undergoes season-ending surgery; Sabres make recalls

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo has undergone season-ending surgery to repair a broken bone in his cheek, the team announced this afternoon.

Okposo, 33, left the ice bleeding 9:27 into Thursday’s 5-2 win against the Washington Capitals after teammate Matt Irwin’s shoot-in struck him around the left ear.

His loss could be significant for the Sabres, who have 13 games left this season. The alternate captain has been one of their prominent leaders for ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski has played seven games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski dedicates first NHL win since 2015 to late father

When the final horn sounded and Dustin Tokarski earned his first NHL victory since 2015, the Buffalo Sabres goalie stayed in his crease and pointed his glove to rafters.

Moments later, Tokarski’s excited teammates assembled in front of him, and one by one they each congratulated him, giving him some kind words and a tap on the mask.

“It was pretty incredible, to be honest,” an emotional Tokarski said following Thursday’s 5-2 win over the ... 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

Arttu Ruotsalainen scored in only his second NHL game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Arttu Ruotsalaien utilizes lethal shot to score first NHL goal

Buffalo Sabres rookie Arttu Ruotsalainen said when linemate Dylan Cozens delivered a short, soft pass to him in the right circle Sunday afternoon, he simply closed his eyes and shot the puck.

A second later, Ruotsalainen’s lethal one-timer blew by Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart 4:42 into the second period. The Finnish winger’s first NHL goal tied the game at 2.

“It’s awesome. It’s a dream,” a smiling Ruotsalainen said following his second NHL game, ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has become Buffalo’s top offensive threat. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt, Sabres’ other young players growing under Don Granato

BUFFALO – In his first 12 games as interim coach, Don Granato’s most telling accomplishment has been his ability to unlock potential from several of the Sabres’ young players who struggled to stay in the lineup earlier this season.

Consider that in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals, center Casey Mittelstadt, defenseman Henri Jokiharju and winger Tage Thompson scored for the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.

All three players are 23 or under and spent ... Read the full article

New Jersey’s Miles Wood and Buffalo’s Brandon Montour battle in front of goalie Linus Ullmark on Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres battle back against Devils, still lose: ‘We just didn’t have it’

BUFFALO – A few weeks ago, an early two-goal deficit like the Sabres experienced Thursday against the New Jersey Devils would’ve been insurmountable.

They would’ve folded and gone down meekly.

But over the past week or so, the Sabres have morphed into, well, a somewhat normal team. Yes, they’re still one of the NHL’s lightweights, but they’re much more competitive.

While Thursday’s 6-3 loss inside KeyBank Center ended their two-game winning streak and five-game point ... Read the full article