SABRES ACQUIRE DEFENSEMAN BEAULIEU

BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 17, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has acquired defenseman Nathan Beaulieu from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Buffalo’s third-round pick (68th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Beaulieu (6’2”, 205 lbs., 12/5/1992) appeared in his fifth NHL season with the Canadiens in 2016-17, logging career highs in games played (74), goals (4), assists (24) and points (28). In 225 career NHL regular-season games, Beaulieu has totaled 60 points (7+53) and a plus-19 rating, adding four points in 17 career playoff games.

A first-round pick (17th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft, Beaulieu was drafted by the Canadiens after four seasons in the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs that included a Memorial Cup championship in 2011 and QMJHL titles in 2011 and 2012. A native of Strathroy, Ontario he also won a bronze medal while representing Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Following this trade, the Sabres still have seven picks in the 2017 NHL Draft in the following rounds: 1st, 2nd, 2nd (from Minnesota), 3rd (from Washington), 4th, 6th and 7th.

PHIL HOUSLEY NAMED HEAD COACH OF BUFFALO SABRES

BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 15, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has hired Phil Housley as the 18th head coach in franchise history. The Hockey Hall of Famer and former Sabres defenseman becomes the seventh alumnus to serve as the team’s head coach.

**The Sabres will hold an introductory press conference in the KeyBank Center pavilion at 4 p.m. Media should enter the building through the arena’s main entrance on Perry Street.**

Housley joins the Sabres after helping to guide the Nashville Predators to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history. Named an assistant coach on May 22, 2013, Housley was a driving force behind one of the NHL’s best defensive groups throughout his tenure.

“Based on his experience as a player and coach, we think Phil is uniquely qualified to be our head coach and to help us achieve our organizational goals,” said Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill. “His approach to the game aligns with the way we envision our hockey team playing and we’re excited to see where his leadership will take us in the future.”

During his four seasons in Nashville, the Predators ranked in the top two in the league in goals by defensemen every season and finished in the top half in fewest goals allowed in each of the last three seasons. Under his tutelage, Nashville had at least one player finish in the top five in voting for the James Norris Memorial Trophy every season from 2013-14 to 2015-16. The award is given annually to the league’s best defenseman.

A native of South St. Paul, Minnesota, Housley began his coaching career in 2004 as head coach of Stillwater Area High School in Minnesota. During his nine seasons at the helm, Housley turned around the school’s program while also accepting numerous opportunities to coach for Team USA at the international level.

Throughout his time with USA Hockey, Housley has served as an assistant coach at two IIHF World Junior Championships and three IIHF World Championships. Most notably, he served as the head coach when Team USA won the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was also an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Drafted by the Sabres in the first round (6th overall) of the 1982 NHL Draft, Housley went on to play 21 seasons in the NHL. His 1,232 career points (338+894) rank third among American players and fourth among defensemen all-time. He is also the Sabres’ career and individual-season leader in goals, assists and points by a defenseman. Each of his eight seasons in Buffalo rank among the top 10 single-season point totals by a Sabres defensemen.

Internationally, Housley was a part of Team USA’s gold medal team at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, as well as the American squad that took home silver at the 2002 Winter Olympics. He also represented the United States at six IIHF World Championships, one IIHF World Junior Championship and two Canada Cups.

A member of the Buffalo Sabres, USA Hockey and IIHF Halls of Fame, Housley was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015. During his career, he played in seven All-Star Games and was named to the First All-Rookie Team in 1983.

SABRES INK ULLMARK TO TWO-YEAR EXTENSION

BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 13, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed goaltender Linus Ullmark to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value (AAV) of $750,000.
 
Ullmark (6’4”, 221 lbs., 7/31/1993) has appeared in 21 NHL games during the last two seasons, positing an 8-11-2 record with a .913 save percentage and a 2.62 goals-against average.
 
“Linus has worked hard both on and off the ice, and his performance at both the NHL and AHL levels has reflected those efforts,” said Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill. “He made great strides during his second season in North America and we are eager to see him continue his development.”
 
Drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round (163rd overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Ullmark spent most of the 2016-17 season with the Rochester Americans (AHL), where he led the league in saves (1,525) and minutes played (3,201:55). He also eclipsed his 2015-16 totals in every major category, compiling a 26-27-2 record with a .909 save percentage and a 2.87 goals-against average en route to an appearance in the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic.
 
Before coming to North America, Ullmark spent five seasons playing for MODO in Sweden at both the junior and elite levels. During the 2013-14 season, the Lugnvik, Sweden native registered a 2.08 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage.

SABRES SIGN JOHANSSON TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (May 31, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed goaltender Jonas Johansson to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Johansson (6’4”, 205 lbs., 9/19/1995) appeared in seven games for the Rochester Americans (AHL) at the end of the 2016-17 season, compiling a 3-3-1 record with a 2.85 goals-against average.

Buffalo’s third-round pick (61st overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft, Johansson spent three seasons with Almtuna of Sweden’s second professional league prior to joining the Americans last season. In those three seasons, Johansson registered a 47-38 record with a 2.36 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. Dating back to 2013-14, he has also appeared in eight games in Sweden’s top professional league for Brynäs (SHL).

LAMBERT RELIEVED OF DUTIES AS AMERICANS HEAD COACH

BUFFALO, N.Y. (May 26, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced Dan Lambert has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Rochester Americans (AHL).

“I would like to thank Dan for his hard work and contributions to our organization during the last two seasons and I wish him the best in the future,” said Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill said. “I felt this was the right move for both the Sabres and Amerks and we will begin the process of searching for a new head coach immediately.”