BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Connor Clifton heard his new teammate, Rasmus Dahlin, feared him during his days with the Boston Bruins, and couldn’t believe it.
“He said that?” Clifton asked a reporter following Thursday’s opening session of training camp in KeyBank Center.
Dahlin sure did. He detested playing against Clifton, who relishes showcasing an aggressive, physical style that riles opponents.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Erik Johnson knows his time here could be short. The defenseman joined the Sabres on a one-year contract. At 35, he has entered perhaps the final phase of his terrific career.
Right now, the 17-year veteran might be more coveted for his experience and leadership than his skill.
Johnson’s still an asset on the ice, mind you. He averaged more than 17 minutes on it each game last season. In the first two ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – It took nearly 12 years for the Sabres to reach this point. They endured failed rebuilds, regime changes and what felt like constant turmoil.
On Thursday, for the first time since 2011, the Sabres opened training camp feeling like they’re a legitimate contender for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“Now it’s time,” Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said prior to the first session of camp in KeyBank Center. “Look, I think ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After defenseman Erik Johnson learned the Colorado Avalanche wouldn’t be re-signing him, he said five or six teams emerged as suitors in free agency.
The Sabres, a team he said reminds him of the Avalanche not long ago, quickly moved to the top of his list.
Johnson, 35, called some old teammates and bounced the interested clubs off them.
“All of them really said Buffalo’s a team on the rise,” said Johnson, who ... Read the full article
Forward Zemgus Girgensons, the Buffalo Sabres’ longest-tenured player, will be returning for an 11th season.
The Sabres on Tuesday signed Girgensons to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. He could’ve become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
Girgensons, 29, is the last remaining player from the Sabres’ “tank” teams of 2013-14 and 2014-15.
The Latvian has endured some rough seasons in Buffalo. The Sabres have finished dead last four times during his tenure and never ... Read the full article
Buffalo Sabres captain Kyle Okposo was about to put his son, Odin, to bed when he received a call that his new one-year, $2.5 million contract had been completed.
Moments later, when Odin walked out to brush his teeth, Okposo told him that he would be playing another season.
“His reaction was worth it,” an emotional Okposo said on a Zoom call Thursday. “Sometimes I forget how much it means to them, especially my older ... Read the full article
During his end-of-season media availability last month, Buffalo Sabres captain Kyle Okposo raised some eyebrows by saying little about his future.
With his contract set to expire following what he called an “emotional” season, Okposo, 35, said he wanted to talk to his family before he made a decision. He noted, however, that if he played a 17th NHL season, it would only be in Buffalo.
On Wednesday, Okposo signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – At times in his first full NHL season, the pressure to perform overwhelmed Sabres center Peyton Krebs and he struggled to reach his own expectations.
In late November, Krebs sat out four contests as a healthy scratch. He scored his first goal in his 20th outing and had a 26-game goal drought before receiving credit for a fluky one in the season finale.
“I had my ups and downs, for sure,” Krebs said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – General manager Kevyn Adams wants to give captain Kyle Okposo and alternate captain Zemgus Girgensons, the Sabres’ longest-tenured player, time to decompress following a long season.
When the time is right, Adams plans to talk to the veterans, both of whom can become unrestricted free agents this summer, about returning to the Sabres.
“I want them back,” he said during Wednesday’s end-of-season news conference in KeyBank Center.
Okposo, 35, and Girgensons, 29, helped ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Almost seven years ago, captain Kyle Okposo stood at a podium in KeyBank Center and explained he chose the Sabres as a free agent because he believed they possessed all the ingredients to win the Stanley Cup.
Today, with his $42 million contract about to expire, Okposo hasn’t played a single playoff series with the Sabres.
“But if I were to walk away and be done, I think I left here better than ... Read the full article