Ristolainen has brought ‘youthful maturity’ to franchise

‘There were moments and natural growing pains this season when other young teammates needed reminders on how to behave like a pro on a daily basis. No one had to look far to point out someone like Rasmus who was keeping it youthful, yet when it was time to work, he was all business. I’m sure the coaching staff and veterans noticed.’

Babcock considers next move

‘Buffalo is in position to land the future Hockey Hall of Famer, but his family still has the final say. A league source said Monday the Sabres had the best chance of making him leave Detroit, but Babcock has said since Day One that his family is in charge. They’re comfortable in Michigan, so the final hours of his coaching countdown could be determined by in-house chats.’

Pegulas taking steps to deal with TV and digital media issues involving Bills and Sabres

‘There has been speculation that owners Kim and Terry Pegula are considering starting up a regional sports network akin to the Empire Sports Network to televise their games and that they may move the radio rights of the teams.’

Babcock to decide his coaching future by Wednesday

‘“I’ve said this before: There’s not a better job. There’s a different job,” Babcock said. “So you’ve got to be careful.”’

Mike Babcock wants to decide coaching future by Wednesday

‘“This process has been interesting,” he said. “I’ll tell you, my head’s spinning.”’

Who are the options for the next Sabres goalie?

‘But there is no science to getting that franchise goalie. Lundqvist was drafted in the seventh round, Price fifth overall. Columbus’s Sergei Bobrovsky, Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov and Philadelphia’s Steve Mason all become solid goalies after being traded.’

Sabres stocked with goaltenders who need more seasoning

‘Chad Johnson. The 28-year-old claims the top spot in the organization despite watching all his games on TV or in the press box. Acquired from the New York Islanders at the trade deadline, Johnson suffered a sprained ankle on the morning of his scheduled debut. He’s already with his sixth organization. He excelled with talent-heavy Boston and has been mediocre everywhere else. Johnson hopes to become the next Anders Lindback and prove that all he needs is a chance.’

Montador’s sad tale is too familiar

‘There were reports that he abused alcohol and drugs. Did substance abuse contribute to his premature death or provide relief from lingering concussions and actually extend his life? Either is possible. It could be both. More important is that he suffered brain damage from repeated trauma.’

Young Sabre defensemen will grow together

‘Zach Bogosian. The 24-year-old should be a cornerstone on the blue line for at least four more seasons. With the ability to move the puck and dish out punishment, Bogosian skated nearly 24 minutes per night. His style of play makes him susceptible to injury, but the third overall pick in 2008 is just entering his prime. Arrival in Buffalo:’

Wednesday’s Rochester Coverage

AHL moves Amerks east to reunite with old foes (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

Sabres’ future looks bright on the right

‘Until Jack Eichel arrives and further solidifies the center ranks, Buffalo’s future is brightest at right wing. Three players have the tools to reach the NHL: Hudson Fasching, Nick Baptiste and Williamsville native Justin Bailey. Determining who has the most potential isn’t easy.’

Sabres hot to grab Babcock

‘Babcock wants to get Paid – with a capital ‘P’ – and several teams can take care of that, not just the Sabres. But it’s also widely known in hockey circles that Babcock wants to use his high profile and pending free agency as a way to boost salaries for not just himself but for his coaching contemporaries as well.’

Sabres’ Bailey is ready to make the jump from junior

‘Bailey is part of a group that has seen seven first round picks and nine second round picks in four seasons. It will make it harder to play in the NHL for the Sabres, but Bailey likes the talent he sees coming, “Its exciting stuff. I can recall days where the Sabres were in the playoffs and there was just so much buzz around the team and how passionate Buffalo fans are for any sport, so it’s all exciting stuff with the moves that are being made. It’s going to be a great time in Buffalo in the near future and for me to be a part of that would be really special.”’

Babcock meets with Sabres’ GM, owner

‘Red Wings general manager Ken Holland announced Friday that he would allow NHL teams to talk to Babcock about their head coaching jobs. Babcock has said the permission doesn’t necessarily mean an end of his 10-year tenure with the Red Wings.’

Kane tops Sabres’ left wingers

‘The 23-year-old’s inability to play because of shoulder surgery helped the Sabres secure center Jack Eichel in the draft. Kane could benefit most. The right-handed Eichel could find it easy to set up Kane for one-timers or rushes.’