In a recent interview with Finnish television outlet MTV Sports, Buffalo Sabres defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen was very candid about his time with the club and touched on trade rumours ahead of the upcoming season.
"I haven't been able to help the team win," he told MTV Sports, translated through Google Translate. "Recent seasons have been tough and I haven't been able to enjoy hockey."
He’s the second player in as many years to offer these types of comments, with Ryan O’Reilly saying he “lost the love of the game” while suiting up for the Sabres. O’Reilly was traded to the St. Louis Blues prior to the 2018-19 campaign, and went on to win the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy.
Ristolainen was selected by the Sabres 8th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, and has since played 424 games with the club, recording 36 goals and 194 points.
Last year, the blueliner produced his second-highest point tally with 43, while simultaneously posting a league-worst rating of minus-41.
Ristolainen is just past the midway point of a 6-year, $32.4-million contract with the Sabres extending through the 2021-2022 season.
The Sabres have added defenceman Colin Miller and Henri Jokiharju in the off-season, adding fuel to the trade rumours surrounding Ristolainen.
When asked about such reports, the 24-year-old was tight-lipped about his discussions with Sabres management.
"I cannot say anything other than the fact that on the 12th of September, I will be at one of the NHL team's training camps," he said.
However, the headline of the MTV Sports article reads, "Ristolainen dissatisfied with situation with Buffalo Sabres – wants to move elsewhere” as noted by Buffalo News.
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