Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres came into existence during the 1970 season, along with the Vancouver Canucks, bringing league membership to 14 teams. The Sabres currently play at the KeyBank Arena in downtown Buffalo, New York. They previously played at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium when the franchise began in the year of 1970.

Buffalo has been to the Stanley Cup Finals twice in franchise history, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1975 and the Dallas Stars in 1999. The Canucks and the Sabres have the longest droughts in the NHL, with both franchises having never won a cup. Buffalo also has the longest current playoff drought at nine seasons. The last time the Sabres made it to the postseason was in 2011, when they lost as the seventh seed to the Flyers.

Buffalo has only won one Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history, during the 2006-2007 season, which they started 10-0. The Sabres defeated the New York Islanders and the New York Rangers in the first two rounds, but then lost to the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Finals.

In 2008, the first ever Winter Classic was played in Buffalo. It was hosted at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, home of the Bills, in snowy conditions. Buffalo lost 2-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins, in a shootout on a goal by a young Sidney Crosby. The Winter Classic has since become an ongoing tradition in the NHL, usually played on New Year’s Day.

The Sabres were also in the Winter Classic a decade later in 2018 against the New York Rangers at Citi Field in Flushing, New York. The Rangers won that game 3-2 on a goal scored by J.T. Miller. Buffalo is in the midst of a rebuild, but they hope to break their nine-year playoff drought soon.

Ownership/Management/Coaches/Roster:

The current owner of the Buffalo Sabres is Terry Pegula. He bought the team from Tom Golisano. Kevyn Adams was named the new general manager of the Buffalo Sabres on June 16, 2020 after Jason Botterill was fired. Botterill served as the team’s general manager for three seasons. He was named the general manager on May 11, 2017, and has held the position since. Ralph Kruger is currently the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres.

Some of the forwards on the Buffalo Sabres are: Jack Eichel, Michael Frolik, Zemgus Girgensons, Eric Staal, Dominik Kahun, Johan Larsson, Curtis Lazar, Kyle Okposo, Victor Olofsson, Wayne Simmonds, Jeff Skinner, and Jimmy Vesey.

Some of the defenseman are: Rasmus Dahlin, Matt Hunwick, Jake McCabe, Colin Miller, Brandon Montour, and Rasmus Ristolainen.

The goalies on this roster are Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark.

Stats:

Jack Eichel scored 36 goals and recorded 42 assists in 68 games played this past season. Eichel was the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft behind Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, and some still consider him to be one of the most underrated players in the NHL. He can score with the best of them, but could probably use a change of scenery to really live up to his potential.

Sam Reinhart scored 22 goals and recorded 28 assists this season. He is an all-around solid young player and one of the Sabres’ building blocks, and may be a bit more of a playmaker than Eichel. Victor Olofsson was their third leading scorer this past year, with 20 goals and 22 assists. Olofsson has a great shot and quick release, and should be at least a good power play scorer for the foreseeable future.

On the back end, Rasmus Dahlin scored four goals and recorded 36 assists, in 59 games played. Dahlin was the number one overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, and still projects as a future Norris Trophy winner one day. Rasmus Ristolainen is another young D with good upside. He recorded 33 points in 60 games this year, and is a physical presence who still chips in offensively.

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