BUFFALO – Don Granato first sensed it during the Sabres’ marathon offseason in 2020. Having been humbled by his demotion to the minors, Casey Mittelstadt grasped he had reached a critical juncture of his career.
When Granato, then an assistant coach, spoke to Mittelstadt, he could feel the center was evolving and maturing.
“He was putting all these pieces (together) of what people had presented to him,” Granato said following Wednesday’s practice.
Granato said Mittelstadt ... Read the full article
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
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
The Buffalo Sabres on Thursday locked up two of their three restricted free agents, re-signing center Casey Mittelstadt and defenseman Henri Jokiharju to identical three-year, $7.5 million contracts.
Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is now the Sabres’ only restricted free agent. Training camp is scheduled to begin later this month.
The Mittelstadt and Jokiharju deals, which carry $2.5 million salary cap hits, could look like bargains in the near future.
... Read the full article
Early last season, Casey Mittelstadt toiled on the taxi squad and struggled to crack the Buffalo Sabres’ lineup as a winger. By the end of the year, however, he had morphed into the team’s No. 2 center.
The Sabres on Thursday rewarded Mittelstadt’s breakout stretch under new coach Don Granato, re-signing him to a three-year, $7.5 million contract.
Mittelstadt, 22, is the first key restricted free agent the Sabres have re-signed. Defensemen Rasmus ... Read the full article
Winger Isak Rosen’s selection by the Buffalo Sabres last month turned out to be a blip during a hectic NHL Draft weekend.
Consider that barely an hour before the Sabres drafted Rosen 14th overall July 23, they added a potentially franchise-altering asset by taking defenseman Owen Power with the first pick. Earlier that day, the Sabres traded defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to the Philadelphia Flyers in the deal that netted them the pick they used to ... Read the full article
Mark Pysyk said the move shocked him. He had played defense his entire career, and the Florida Panthers suddenly wanted to utilize him as a forward.
But Pysyk had become a spare part in the 2019-20 season under new coach Joel Quenneville. Shifting to wing beat the alternative of remaining a healthy scratch.
So Pysyk embraced the change, often skating on the fourth line while moving back to defense as a penalty killer.
“It was ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – General manager Kevyn Adams’ strong words sounded like a not-so-subtle message to Jack Eichel’s agents, who recently said they expect the Sabres to trade their captain soon.
Adams won’t give in to Eichel’s demands and simply deal his best player because he wants out. The Sabres have an asset under contract.
“What’s critically important to make sure is clear that we’re in control of this process,” Adams said Thursday inside KeyBank Center. “We ... Read the full article
In the barely a week, the Buffalo Sabres have said goodbye to four of their most talented players: goalie Linus Ullmark, center Sam Reinhart and defensemen Jake McCabe and Rasmus Ristolainen.
And in the coming days or weeks, they will likely trade captain Jack Eichel, their most dynamic player and the face of the franchise.
Remember, the Sabres finished dead last in the 2020-21 season, winning only 15 of their 56 games, with those players... Read the full article
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