Craig Anderson is in his first season in Buffalo. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

If Sabres trade Craig Anderson, Mark Pysyk, could they return next season?

BUFFALO – When the Sabres signed a slew of cheap free agents to one-year contracts last summer, it appeared their tenures here would be short.

After a season or less, they might become expendable. Some of organization’s prospects would mature and the rebuilding Sabres might also acquire better talent.

Well, so far, some prospects – defenseman Casey Fitzgerald and Mattias Samuelsson, for example – have graduated from the minors and earned regular duty. Others like ... Read the full article

Mattias Samuelsson enjoyed Sunday afternoon’s Heritage Classic. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Mattias Samuelsson earning trust, big minutes from Sabres: ‘An athletic giant’

BUFFALO – The poise Mattias Samuelsson possesses belies his experience. Barely 30 games into his NHL career, the Sabres consistently utilize the rookie against the opposition’s top talent.

On Thursday, Samuelsson faced Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid. In Sunday afternoon’s 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the defenseman was often tasked with shutting down Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, one of the NHL’s elite duos.

At one point Sunday, with Marner roaring toward him, ... Read the full article

Don Granato is excited about Buffalo’s future. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

One year after hiring, Don Granato has dramatically changed the Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Don Granato kept rattling off names. There was Taylor Hall, Brandon Montour, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen and Eric Staal.

“I’m probably missing a couple more,” Granato said following Wednesday’s practice at LECOM Harborcenter.

Then two more names, Jack Eichel and Jake McCabe, popped into his head.

One year ago today, Granato inherited a veteran-laden team at its nadir. The Sabres were 12 losses into what would become a stunning 18-game winless ... Read the full article

Casey Fitzgerald has played 21 NHL games. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Casey Fitzgerald, young defensemen taking over blue line

BUFFALO – In Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights, five of the six defensemen the Sabres utilized were 25 or younger.

The graybeard of the group, Robert Hagg, 27, has played all of 282 NHL games.

The rest of the blue line consisted of neophytes. Only one other defenseman, Rasmus Dahlin, 21, has played more than 200 big league contests.

The Sabres dressed two rookies – Casey Fitzgerald, 25, and Mattias Samuelsson, who turns ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk sat out one game last month. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to make lineup change as Henri Jokiharju returns from injury

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju will return tonight from a lower-body injury that has sidelined him the last six games, coach Don Granato said.

To make room, Granato said the Sabres will scratch defenseman Mark Pysyk against the Vegas Golden Knights.

When the Sabres had a surfeit of defensemen last month, they began rotating one in and out each game. Right now, however, Granato wants the team’s young defenders keep playing.

... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson just moved up to the top defense pair. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jacob Bryson elevating game to new level

BUFFALO – Three weeks ago, as the Sabres began rotating defensemen, coach Don Granato told general manager Kevyn Adams he believed watching a game would help Jacob Bryson.

Getting scratched wasn’t a punishment for poor play. Granato simply wanted to utilize his entire blue line, so for a seven-game stretch, four defensemen – Bryson, Robert Hagg, Mark Pysyk and Mattias Samuelsson – moved in an out.

When Bryson, 24, sat out Feb. 10, he ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju was injured Wednesday. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Injured Henri Jokiharju out against Blues; Sabres make roster move

Barely a month ago, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Casey Fitzgerald was in the minors. The rookie has played just 14 NHL games.

Still, Sabres coach Don Granato possesses so much confidence in Fitzgerald he will replace the injured Henri Jokiharju on the top pair tonight beside Rasmus Dahlin.

Granato said Fitzgerald and Dahlin are “comfortable” with the Sabres’ style and “compatible” with each other.

... Read the full article

Tage Thompson celebrates one of his three goals Saturday afternoon. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson scores hat trick in dominant performance against Avs

BUFFALO – Sabres center Tage Thompson’s penchant for trying to score the so-called perfect goal has added more intrigue to his breakout season.

What might happen, say, if Thompson starts utilizing his quick release more frequently?

“When he realizes not to worry about scoring the perfect goal one inch under the bar, he’ll score double his goals,” Granato said after Thompson recorded his first NHL hat trick in Saturday afternoon’s 5-3 loss. “Just score, just ... Read the full article

Drake Caggiula hasn’t played since Nov. 22. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Drake Caggiula to undergo season-ending neck surgery

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Drake Caggiula will undergo season-ending fusion surgery today in Los Angeles to repair a herniated disc in his neck, general manager Kevyn Adams said this morning.

Caggiula, 27, has a six to eight month recovery, according to Adams.

“He’s been seeing some different specialists and gathered all the information and then made the decision a few days ago that he was moving forward with the surgery,” Adams said inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk made his NHL debut almost nine years ago. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Mark Pysyk making teammates laugh as he hits 500-game milestone

BUFFALO – At first, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo wasn’t sure if Mark Pysyk, his new teammate, might be serious. The defenseman always delivers his quips with a straight face.

“If you just met him, you’d probably think he’s not a very nice person,” Okposo said prior to Tuesday’s game at KeyBank Center. “But he is. He’s just goofing around.”

Okposo has learned the quick-witted Pysyk, who played his 500th NHL game Tuesday, a 6-3 win ... Read the full article