James O'Brien

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Alexander Nylander poses for a portrait after being selected eighth overall by the Buffalo Sabres in round one during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)

Sabres send Alex Nylander down to the AHL


After signing Rasmus Ristolainen to a substantial new deal, it feels like the future is now for the Buffalo Sabres. That doesn’t mean they’re rushing things.

The Sabres announced their 23-man roster in accordance with the league deadline, and two especially noteworthy teams didn’t make the cut: Alexander Nylander and Brendan Guhle.

Nylander, the eighth pick of the 2016 NHL Draft, will ply his trade in the AHL. Guhle (51st overall in 2015) returns to the junior level.

Overall, it’s sensible enough for Buffalo to send Nylander to the AHL at 18. The logic would likely be that he’s far more likely to get needed reps at that level rather than being a depth piece in the NHL.

Buffalo sent three other players to the AHL on Tuesday: Nicholas Baptiste, Daniel Catenacci and Justin Falk. Meanwhile, Hudson Fasching, Derek Grant and Casey Nelson managed to make the cut (for now?).

You can view the full Game 1 roster (14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies) right here.

Sabres lock down Ristolainen for six years, $32.4M

BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 07:  Rasmus Ristolainen #55 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates a goal against the Vancouver Canucks at First Niagara Center on November 7, 2015 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

The Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a six-year, $32.4 million contract on Tuesday.

(In a somewhat unusual bit of transparency, the team actually confirmed his $5.4 million cap hit in the press release. That’s refreshing.)

“Rasmus has already proven to be a pivotal player on our blue line and we are eager to have him back with the team,” GM Tim Murray said. “This deal is a reflection of the hard work and improvement Rasmus has shown since being drafted and we hope to see him continue on this trajectory moving forward.”

Ristolainen is indeed a promising blueliner given the same contract as another promising blueliner: Seth Jones.

This signing makes Ristolainen the Sabres’ most expensive defenseman, edging Zach Bogosian‘s $5.14 million cap hit. He’s Buffalo’s third most-expensive player overall, from an average annual value standpoint.

Considering the Finnish blueliner’s size and scoring output, the Sabres have to hope that he works out better than Tyler Myers, the last big, blue-chip-type blueliner they gave a big contract to.

Petry will miss Habs’ opener, possibly more time

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 23:  Jeff Petry #26 of the Montreal Canadiens waits for a puck drop against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on January 23,2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Canadiens defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in an overtime shoot-out. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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The Montreal Canadiens will be without defenseman Jeff Petry on opening night, if not longer.

Canadiens management didn’t say much about the situation, though they did cancel him out for Game 1 against the Sabres in Buffalo.

The injury might cost Petry more time than that. On the bright side, TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that it isn’t likely to be a long-term issue (though it might keep him out for a week).

Even if it’s a minor setback as hoped, it’s still an annoying hurdle for Petry, who hoped to start 2016-17 strong after last season was derailed by hernia surgery.

Petry might not be a star, yet his strong possession play can make life easier for Carey Price. That will have to wait.

Stars pencil in Seguin for opening night

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 18:  Tyler Seguin #91 of the Dallas Stars during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on February 18, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Stars 6-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Great news for the Dallas Stars: it looks like Tyler Seguin will be able to suit up for their first game of the regular season.

That’s the word from the team’s official Twitter feed, yet it’s not all good news, as Ales Hemsky is unlikely to play in Thursday’s opener against the Anaheim Ducks.

Mark Stepneski provides some extra information regarding Hemsky: it sounds like the oft-injured winger is dealing with a groin issue.

Hemsky is far from the only Stars player dealing with injury issues, as the team brought in Lauri Korpikoski in part because of injuries to Mattias Janmark and Cody Eakin.

Still, considering the scares they faced with Seguin, it’s pretty great to have him back right off the bat.

Check out the Penguins’ 2016 Stanley Cup rings

via Pittsburgh Penguins

With the 2016-17 season rapidly approaching, the Pittsburgh Penguins want to remind you that they’re the defending champions.

(And maybe distract the hockey world from Sidney Crosby‘s very unfortunate concussion?)

What better way to do that than to unveil the 2016 Stanley Cup championship rings? You can read the press release here – Matt Murray is impressed by the heft of the rings – but here’s what they look like:

Want to compare these rings to the three previous ones by the Penguins? What about versus other teams’ jewelry? The Boston Globe provides a nice collection through 2012.

(The missing 2005 ring is a bummer, right?)