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

Goalie Devon Levi has enjoyed a stellar season at Northeastern. ©2022, Jim Pearce, Northeastern

Sabres prospects Owen Power, Devon Levi have special chance with Canada

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

Devon Levi has become one of the NCAA’s elite goalies. ©2022, Jim Pearce, Northeastern

Sabres prospects Owen Power, Devon Levi named to Canada’s Olympic team

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

Casey Mittelstadt has become one of the most recognizable faces on the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

‘Deep dive’ into game helped Casey Mittelstadt become Sabres’ top center

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

Rasmus Ristolainen has experienced a lot of losing in his eight seasons in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen open to being traded or staying in Buffalo

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

Sam Reinhart has scored six goals in the last three games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart morphing into star as center

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

Anders Bjork spent his entire career in Boston’s organization before Monday’s trade. ©2021, Providence Bruins

Anders Bjork excited for opportunity with Sabres: ‘A fresh start for me’

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

Drake Caggiula attended Buffalo’s development camp in 2014. ©2021, Dan Hickling

Sabres add new player, claim Drake Caggiula off waivers from Coyotes

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

Rasmus Asplund has scored four goals in only 10 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Rasmus Asplund promoted to Sabres’ first line, close to earning regular duty

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

Curtis Lazar is Buffalo’s latest center to get injured. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Curtis Lazar’s lower-body injury makes Sabres woefully thin at center

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