BUFFALO – After defenseman Erik Johnson learned the Colorado Avalanche wouldn’t be re-signing him, he said five or six teams emerged as suitors in free agency.
The Sabres, a team he said reminds him of the Avalanche not long ago, quickly moved to the top of his list.
Johnson, 35, called some old teammates and bounced the interested clubs off them.
“All of them really said Buffalo’s a team on the rise,” said Johnson, who ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Out of concern for his safety, Russian-born defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin did not participate in the pregame warm-up Monday when the Sabres wore Pride-themed jerseys to celebrate the LGBTQ community.
Lyubushkin, 28, did play in the Sabres’4-3 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens. He did not speak to the media following the team’s morning skate.
In December, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that makes it illegal to spread “LGBTQ propaganda.” ... Read the full article
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
In defenseman Owen Power and goalie Devon Levi, the Buffalo Sabres possess two elite college prospects who have earned spots on Team Canada’s Olympic squad for the upcoming Beijing Games.
Power, 19, has established himself as one of the NCAA’s most dynamic players, showcasing a mature game for Michigan that belies his limited experience as a sophomore. Meanwhile, Levi, 20, has quickly developed into arguably college hockey’s best goalie in his first season for ... Read the full article
Team Canada this morning named Buffalo Sabres prospects Owen Power and Devon Levi to its Olympic roster for the upcoming Beijing Games.
Both youngsters have enjoyed standout seasons, establishing themselves as two of the NCAA top talents.
The Sabres drafted Power, 19, first overall in 2020. The 6-foot-5, 214-pound defenseman has compiled three goals, 26 points and a plus-21 rating in 24 games for Michigan this season.
... Read the full article
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