Injuries limited Jack Eichel to only 21 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres captain Jack Eichel’s strong words will increase trade speculation

Jack Eichel sounded like he needed to vent. Right now, the captain’s frustrations extend beyond the Buffalo Sabres’ embarrassing last-place finish and missing the playoffs in each of his first six NHL seasons.

In Eichel’s first comments since he herniated a disc in his neck March 7, he acknowledged a “disconnect” between himself and the Sabres over how his season-ending injury has been handled.

“I would say I’ve been a bit upset about the way ... 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

Jack Eichel has never played an NHL playoff game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Jack Eichel acknowledges disconnect with Sabres over neck injury

In Jack Eichel’s first comments since he herniated a disc in his neck March 7, the captain acknowledged a “disconnect” between himself and the Buffalo Sabres over how his season-ending injury has been handled.

“I would say I’ve been a bit upset about the way things have been handled since I’ve been hurt,” Eichel said on a 25-minute Zoom call this afternoon as the Sabres held end-of-season meetings inside KeyBank Center following their last-place finish. ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark was Buffalo’s best player this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres GM Kevyn Adams has offseason filled with critical decisions

Kevyn Adams experienced a brutal rookie season as Buffalo Sabres general manager, overseeing a team that suffered through an 18-game winless skid and finished dead last in the NHL.

Trying to fix the Sabres, who have missed the playoffs a record-tying 10 consecutive seasons, could be an arduous task.

Adams’ short list for this offseason includes hiring a coach, trying to re-sign his No. 1 goalie and top scorer and making sure his captain and ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt started thriving under interim coach Don Granato. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Many Sabres thrived with Don Granato: ‘I owe Donnie a huge thank you’

When Don Granato took over the Buffalo Sabres, Casey Mittelstadt had mustered one goal while mostly being utilized as a third- or fourth-line winger in his limited action.

Mittelstadt, 22, ended the season as the Sabres’ No. 2 center. After stints in the minors and on the taxi squad over the last year and a half, he developed into a consistent scoring threat, compiling nine goals and 17 points in the final 22 games.

The ... Read the full article

Don Granato parlayed one season in Peoria into an AHL job. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Championship season in Peoria set Sabres’ Don Granato on path to NHL

When Trevor Baker learned the Buffalo Sabres had promoted Don Granato to interim head coach, the enduring memories of the championship season they spent together flooded into his mind.

Twenty-one years earlier, Baker was a raw rookie forward for the Peoria Rivermen, an ECHL team led by Granato, a 32-year-old head coach and general manager.

Baker would enjoy a successful eight-year pro career, but in 1999-00 he was learning the rigors of pro hockey. Granato ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark was injured April 13. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Linus Ullmark won’t play in finale; Sam Reinhart wins Martin Award

Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark will miss Saturday afternoon’s season finale against the Pittsburgh Penguins, interim coach Don Granato said.

Granato said earlier this week that Ullmark, 27, likely wouldn’t be ready to return from his lower-body injury before the season ends. The Swede was injured April 13 and resumed skating with his teammates Monday.

So goalie Michael Houser, fresh off Thursday’s 8-4 loss to the Penguins, will start his fourth straight game. Houser, ... Read the full article

Michael Houser won his first two NHL games before Thursday’s blowout loss. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres don’t help Michael Houser, get throttled by Penguins: ‘We owe him’

Almost eight minutes into Thursday’s second period, after the Penguins scored twice in a minute and grabbed a two-goal lead, it became apparent Sabres goalie Michael Houser wouldn’t enjoy a warm homecoming in Pittsburgh.

After winning his first two NHL games in Buffalo, Houser, 28, became the league’s feel-good story. A victory before about 20 family members and friends watching inside PPG Paints Arena would’ve made the most incredible week of his career even more ... Read the full article

Buffalo drafted Brett Murray in 2016. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Brett Murray thrilled to make NHL debut: ‘At a loss for words’

Buffalo Sabres rookie Brett Murray experienced an unconventional path to the NHL, moving backwards before taking small steps forward.

Three years ago, Murray, who made his NHL debut in Thursday’s 8-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, left Penn State and returned to junior. Before last season, after making a stronger commitment to his conditioning, he received an AHL contract.

Murray, a fourth-round pick in 2016, 99th overall, parlayed a solid rookie campaign with the ... Read the full article

Anders Bjork has played 13 games with Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Anders Bjork feeling comfortable with Sabres, earns promotion to top line

BUFFALO – In a 14-minute stretch Tuesday, Sabres newcomer Anders Bjork erased the New York Islanders’ lead, scoring two goals.

First, Bjork redirected defenseman Colin Miller’s point shot past Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin late in the second period. Then Bjork scored from the right circle 10:56 into the third period, tying a game the Sabres would win 4-3 in a shootout.

What do both goals have in common? Bjork, 24, created them by tenaciously ... Read the full article