Zemgus Girgensons is beginning his ninth season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres coach Don Granato excited to name new alternate captains

BUFFALO – In naming wingers Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo alternate captains, coach Don Granato did more than choose the Sabres’ longest-tenured players.

Granato wanted two veterans who possess the ability to make everyone around them better.

“They’re confident within their role in the NHL,” Granato said following Tuesday’s practice inside KeyBank Center. “I mean, what’s coming at them, they have a great sense of objective, and because of that, their confidence. And they have ... Read the full article

JJ Peterka scored three goals in five preseason games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect JJ Peterka makes strong case to stick in NHL

BUFFALO – If the Sabres assign rookie JJ Peterka to the minors this week, his stint with the Rochester Americans could be short. The German arrived here last month nearly an NHL-ready prospect, having spent two seasons playing pro hockey against men.

Sabres coach Don Granato has watched Peterka, who scored in Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 preseason win over the Detroit Red Wings, acclimate quickly to North American hockey.

“He absorbs what’s in front of him, ... Read the full article

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

Kyle Okposo vows youthful Sabres will be enthusiastic, full of belief

BUFFALO – During Thursday’s 90-minute practice, some Sabres raised their voices and told coach Don Granato to put away his whistle. They wanted to keep the drill going.

“You’re about to blow the whistle, and they want one more rep, one more rep,” Granato said inside KeyBank Center.

To Granato, his players’ enthusiasm two weeks into training camp reassures him he and his staff are giving them what they need and want.

This camp, the ... Read the full article

Buffalo rookie J-J Peterka scored in his preseason debut. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ J-J Peterka, Linus Weissbach earn chance in veteran lineup

BUFFALO – Tonight’s lineup resembles one the Sabres could use during the regular season. At least 16 of the 20 players will likely be on the opening night roster.

But among all the established talent the Sabres will dress, three rookies – goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and wingers J-J Peterka and Linus Weissbach – earned a spot.

Sabres coach Don Granato said Luukkonen, 22, will start tonight and play the entire preseason game against the Columbus ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson might be a first-liner for Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to dress lineup with established talent against Penguins

BUFFALO – Ten Sabres – much of their established talent – will be making their preseason debut tonight at KeyBank Center.

So some of the line combinations and defense pairings the Sabres will be showcasing against the Pittsburgh Penguins could be utilized in the regular season.

Top center Casey Mittelstadt pivoted Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson this morning. On defense, Rasmus Dahlin skated beside Henri Jokiharju, his partner late last season.

Coach Don Granato said ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin feels good about Buffalo’s future. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Rasmus Dahlin believes in Sabres’ new core: ‘We can … change the culture’

BUFFALO – Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin sees something special in the Sabres’ latest rebuild. The roster upheaval created an opportunity for their young core players to transform the team.

Jake McCabe, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen and Linus Ullmark – four pieces of the old nucleus – are gone. Jack Eichel will likely be the next to leave.

So Dahlin, Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt and some other Sabres in their early 20s now form the ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons is the longest-tenured Sabre. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Zemgus Girgensons excited to be back, believes Sabres’ rebuild can work

BUFFALO – Over the years, Zemgus Girgensons grew close to Rasmus Ristolainen and Sam Reinhart, two of his many ex-Sabres teammates.

Girgensons and Ristolainen joined the NHL together as teenage rookies in 2013. Reinhart arrived two years later.

Before the Sabres traded them in July, they became a part of Girgensons’ everyday life. In his first days back at the rink this season, he still expects to see them.

“I walk around and I think ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel’s status for the season is uncertain. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

In addition to Jack Eichel, Sabres have plenty of intriguing storylines

When Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams addresses the media this morning, questions about injured captain Jack Eichel’s uncertain status will dominate the season-opening news conference.

Did Eichel pass his training camp physical Wednesday? Will the ultra-talented center have surgery to repair his herniated disc? Does he have a future in Buffalo?

Throughout the offseason, the Sabres remained tight-lipped about Eichel’s neck injury and any plans they have to grant his wish and trade him. But ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel wants Buffalo to trade him. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Reports: Sabres captain Jack Eichel fires longtime agent, hires Pat Brisson

Injured Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel has fired his longtime agent, Peter Fish, and hired Pat Brisson to represent him, according to reports.

The news, first reported by Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman, comes less than a month before NHL training camps are scheduled to open. Right now, the Sabres and Eichel, who wants to be traded, are at a standstill over how to treat the herniated disc in his neck.

Eichel wants to undergo artificial disc ... Read the full article

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