Rasmus Ristolainen skates this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rasmus Ristolainen takes first steps toward making Sabres

BUFFALO – Even among a group of teenage prospects, Rasmus Ristolainen was one of the youngest players on the ice this morning for the first session of the Sabres’ summer development camp.

Of course, having spent the last two seasons in the SM-liiga, a Finnish men’s league, the 18-year-old’s used to facing older competition.

“That’s not a new thing for me,” Ristolainen, the No. 8 pick at last month’s NHL Entry Draft, said this afternoon. ... Read the full article

Henrik Tallinder left the Sabres in 2010. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres bring back Henrik Tallinder from Devils

BUFFALO – Three years ago, Henrik Tallinder sensed his Sabres career was ending. Despite a strong season helping then-rookie Tyler Myers develop into of the NHL’s top defensemen, the Swede knew the team had little interest in awarding him a long-term contract.

So when free agency opened, Tallinder signed a four-year, $13.5 million deal with the New Jersey Devils.

Had the Sabres offered even three years to Tallinder, he said he might’ve considered staying with ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier talks Sunday at the NHL Entry Draft. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Darcy Regier unsure what Sabres will do with Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek

BUFFALO – For now at least, starting goalie Ryan Miller and slick winger Thomas Vanek, two veteran stars entering the final seasons of their contracts, are still members of the Sabres.

Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said Tuesday he has spoken to the players’ agents and both sides plan to continue chatting.

“As I’ve stated before, it’s incumbent upon me to have a sense of what the marketplace is or re-sign them versus allowing them ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov couldn’t stop smiling after the Sabres selected him Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres grab defensemen early to start busy draft day, only pull off minor trade

NEWARK, N.J. – It was “pretty close,” general manager Darcy Regier said. The rebuilding Buffalo Sabres could’ve moved up to the No. 5 slot during the NHL Entry Draft, perhaps picked a familiar name the team’s fans had been drooling over.

Ultimately, however, the Sabres decided trading with Carolina wasn’t worth the steep cost. Instead, they kept the eighth overall pick, grabbing big defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen to start their busy day.

“We just thought we’d ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov talks with the media this afternoon. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Darcy Regier says Sabres were close to grabbing fifth pick; Andrej Sekera traded to Carolina

NEWARK, N.J. – How close were the Buffalo Sabres, who owned the eighth and 16th picks in the NHL Entry Draft, to moving up and grabbing the fifth overall pick?

“Pretty close,” Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said this afternoon inside the Prudential Center.

Carolina chose slick Swedish forward Elias Lindholm at No. 5. The Sabres kept their picks and took defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov.

The Sabres couldn’t have moved up any ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen speaks with reporters this afternoon. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ first pick Rasmus Ristolainen believes he can play in NHL right away

NEWARK, N.J. – Rasmus Ristolainen figured he would be selected somewhere around the 10th and 15th picks during the NHL Entry Draft this afternoon.  So when the Buffalo Sabres called his name with the No. 8 choice, the Finn was a bit stunned.

“I don’t know what I’m thinking when I heard my name,” Ristolainen said inside the Prudential Center. “It’s awesome.”

The 18-year-old, who spent the last two seasons playing with TPS ... Read the full article