Jacob Markstrom received a six-year contract from Calgary. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres sign three depth players during odd day of free agency

The COVID-19 pandemic promised to make this offseason unusual.

NHL teams have generated little or no revenue over the past seven months. The league has frozen the salary cap at $81.5 million for 2020-21, a season it would like to start in January. That, of course, could be difficult.

The uncertainty surrounding the season created an odd opening day of free agency Friday. Many teams are operating on internal budgets far below the cap.

Instead ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson has played seven seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Johan Larsson’s long career with Sabres could be over

Johan Larsson looked looser early last season. The Sabres center, affectionately nicknamed “Angry Larry,” even occasionally smiled, a rarity throughout his turbulent seven-year career in Buffalo.

Naturally, as the season progressed, the Sabres’ annual implosion sapped some of his happiness.

Still, Larsson, 28, enjoyed perhaps his best NHL campaign. The tenacious Swede entrenched himself between Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo early in 2019-20, helping the trio morph into one of the league’s best checking ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill spent three seasons as general manager. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres fire GM Jason Botterill, name Kevyn Adams replacement

In a stunning move this morning, the Buffalo Sabres fired general manager Jason Botterill after three seasons and replaced him with Kevyn Adams, who had been serving as the team’s senior vice president of business administration.

“This morning, we informed Jason Botterill he will no longer be the general manager of the Sabres,” Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula said in a statement. “This decision was made after many candid discussions with Jason during ... Read the full article

Wayne Simmonds skates away from his new teammate, Rasmus Ristolainen, earlier this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Wayne Simmonds thrilled to join Sabres: ‘A perfect opportunity for me’

BUFFALO – Sabres newcomer Wayne Simmonds has a reached a critical point in his career. The 12-year veteran needs to play meaningful games. Staying another six weeks with the hapless New Jersey Devils wouldn’t have helped him much.

Simmonds, 31, has endured the worst season of his NHL career. Given his age and declining production – just eight goals in 61 games this season – he needs to demonstrate he still possesses the skills that ... Read the full article

Jimmy Vesey has started scoring after a slow start. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Jimmy Vesey, Sabres’ other UFAs should draw interest at trade deadline

BUFFALO – Forget about Jimmy Vesey’s slow start. Since the Sabres winger registered his first goal Nov. 25, he has scored nine times in 37 games.

Over a full season, that’s a 20-goal pace. Vesey, 26, has saved his best hockey for the past few weeks, performing more like the player the Sabres likely envisioned when they traded the New York Rangers a third-round pick for him.

The Harvard product has also evolved into ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin missed Monday's practice. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres dealing with sickness, recall could be coming from Amerks

BUFFALO – In addition to what coach Ralph Krueger has termed some “light injuries,” the Sabres are dealing with some sickness going around the locker room.

So tonight’s lineup against the Colorado Avalanche isn’t set yet.

“I would love to be able to tell you the roster, but I have to be honest, we’re still assessing,” Krueger said this morning inside KeyBank Center.

Krueger said two defensemen are being assessed. Rasmus Dahlin, who had ... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Michael Frolik on Jan. 2. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres GM Jason Botterill would like to add forward before trade deadline

BUFFALO – Even after acquiring Michael Frolik earlier this month, Sabres general manager Jason Botterill would like to add another forward before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

The Sabres’ depth up front, of course, was weak before Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson both suffered season-ending injuries in November.

Right now, Victor Olofsson is week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Evan Rodrigues has been a huge disappointment, scoring just two goals and often sitting out as a ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe (19) and Marcus Johansson (90) were dejected Tuesday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Stunner: Sabres blow three-goal lead, fall to Lightning

BUFFALO – Halfway through Tuesday’s shocking 6-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Sabres captain Jack Eichel showcased why he might be underutilized as a penalty killer.

With the Sabres up 3-1, Eichel pounced on a loose puck in his own zone and zoomed down the ice. When the slick center hit the right circle, he undressed defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk before skating through the slot and backhanding a shot by goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy for his ... Read the full article

Dalton Smith played 400 pro games before earning his first trip to the NHL. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

With Lightning up next, Sabres ready to utilize tough guy Dalton Smith

BUFFALO – Long before the Sabres signed him to a two-way contract Monday, Dalton Smith seemed destined to reach the NHL.

In 2010, the Columbus Blue Jackets drafted the 6-foot-2, 210-pound winger 34th overall. Second-round picks, of course, are expected to make the big leagues.

But Smith’s road to the NHL would be long and arduous.

His stint as a bonafide prospect was short. After spending two seasons with Columbus’ AHL affiliate, he started bouncing ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin was injured Monday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres notes: Team focused on winning following hit on Rasmus Dahlin

BUFFALO – The two-game suspension the NHL laid on Erik Cernak for elbowing Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin in the face and concussing him seems light.

Cernak, who wasn’t penalized for the hit, can return to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s lineup Saturday. Dahlin, meanwhile, is out indefinitely, the Sabres announced prior to Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames.

“We’re just going to accept the result as it is,” coach Ralph Krueger said inside KeyBank ... Read the full article