Buffalo Sabres Defenseman To Have Season-Ending Surgery

The Buffalo Sabres season has just gone from bad to worse, as they've learned that one of their core long-term pieces, standout defenseman Mattias Samuelsson will be undergoing season-ending surgery for an upper-body injury.

The issue had kept him out of several games before the All-Star break, but the team was hoping that surgery could be avoided. That will obviously now not be the case. 

The stay-at-home defenseman was having another strong season in this, the first year of his 7-year, $30 million extension ($4.285 cap hit). 

He was once again averaging over 20 minutes of ice time a night, with one goal and six assists for seven points, with a plus/minus rating of +4  in 41 games. He's also blocked 86 shots, the second-most on the team.

Samuelsson, the Sabres' second-round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft (32nd overall) will be severely missed on the Buffalo blueline and on the penalty-kill.

This isn't the first time, however, that they'll have to do without the sizeable D-man. The 23-year-old Samuelsson has missed quite a number of games in the previous two seasons due to a variety of injury problems. Last year, five different issues caused him to miss 27 games, and he also was limited to just 42 games in 2021-22 with the big club due to a leg injury before the season began, and then over 20 games of conditioning in the AHL. 

The Sabres can now certainly put any faint dreams of challening for a playoff spot to bed once and for all this season. They currently sit at 22-23-4, tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference Wild Card chase, but a full 10 points back of either one of those final playoff spots. 

Expect Buffalo to sell off some pieces before next month's trade deadline. 

 Photo: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports