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
In defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen’s eight seasons in Buffalo, the Sabres have never sniffed the playoffs. In that ugly stretch, they’ve finished dead last four times, including this year, when they won just 15 of their 56 games.
So not surprisingly, Ristolainen, who has one year left on his contract, told Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams he’s open to being traded this offseason.
“Like I told Kevyn a little while ago, I just said, ‘I’m ... Read the full article
As Sam Reinhart’s career progressed and he stayed put at right wing, the odds of the Buffalo Sabres moving him back to center, his natural position, seemed low.
Reinhart, 25, established himself as a perennial 20-goal scorer as a winger. Even after the Sabres traded No. 2 center Ryan O’Reilly in 2018, creating a huge void in the lineup, they kept Reinhart beside top center Jack Eichel.
But a major injury and trades ... Read the full article
Four seasons into his NHL career, Buffalo Sabres newcomer Anders Bjork said he is still trying to establish an identity.
Two shoulder surgeries and a brutal concussion stymied the 6-foot, 197-pound winger’s development with the Boston Bruins. This year, he fell out of the lineup, becoming a healthy scratch.
So when the Bruins traded Bjork, 24, to the Sabres on Monday in the Taylor Hall deal, he welcomed a change of scenery.
“I was ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In 2014, following forward Drake Caggiula’s sophomore season at North Dakota, he attended the Sabres’ summer development camp, scoring two goals in the annual scrimmage.
Two years later, after Caggiula won a national championship and earned NCAA Tournament MVP honors, the Sabres pursued him as a free agent before he chose the Edmonton Oilers.
This afternoon, Caggiula joined the Sabres after they claimed him on waivers from the Arizona Coyotes.
The 5-foot-10, 176-pound ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Rasmus Asplund said his first taste of the NHL last season exhausted him mentally. The Swede couldn’t let go of what transpired during games. He even had trouble falling asleep.
“I felt last year that I started off my first five games really good but then I got really tired mentally,” Asplund said on a Zoom call following Wednesday’s optional practice.
So in the offseason, Asplund, 23, began developing what he ... Read the full article
Buffalo Sabres center Curtis Lazar suffered a lower-body injury in Wednesday’s 6-1 win over and the Philadelphia Flyers and is week to week, interim coach Don Granato said.
The Sabres, who host the New York Rangers tonight at KeyBank Center, have become woefully thin down the middle. In addition to Lazar, three other centers – Jack Eichel, Dylan Cozens and Eric Staal – have been injured or traded in the last month.
Granato said he ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Shifting Casey Mittelstadt to center wasn’t simply a result of the hapless Sabres trading Eric Staal or Jack Eichel suffering a lower-body injury.
Yes, injuries and Staal’s departure have decimated the Sabres at center. The four who practiced Tuesday inside KeyBank Center – Mittelstadt, Cody Eakin, Curtis Lazar and Riley Sheahan – have combined to score 10 goals and 25 points this season.
Interim coach Don Granato, whose Sabres host the Philadelphia ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Buffalo Sabres rookie center Dylan Cozens suffered what appeared to be a left arm injury and will not return to tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Cozens departed after Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers checked him into the left boards deep in the Philadelphia zone 11:43 into the game.
Riley Sheahan replaced Cozens between Victor Olofsson and Sam Reinhart.... Read the full article
Eric Staal was hardly interested in revisiting his rough 32-game tenure in Buffalo and explaining the hapless Sabres’ struggles.
Staal, 36, left the NHL’s laughingstock on Friday in the midst of a stunning 17-game winless skid and a personal 23-game goal drought.
So can you blame the veteran center, one of the league’s most decorated players, for wanting to forget about a tumultuous two months and concentrate on his new opportunity with the Montreal Canadiens?... Read the full article