Mattias Samuelsson played 12 games with Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Mattias Samuelsson close to cracking NHL for good

When Mattias Samuelsson returned to Rochester last week following a three-week stint with the Buffalo Sabres, the Americans’ coaching staff challenged the rookie defenseman.

The coaches wanted Samuelsson, fresh off first NHL recall, to use the remaining games on the Amerks’ truncated schedule as a springboard back to Buffalo next season.

“OK, you did a good job in those 12 games, you got a taste,” Amerks coach Seth Appert said the coaches told Samuelsson. “Now ... Read the full article

Injuries limited Kyle Okposo to 35 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo found game under Don Granato after career-worst start

Given his scary history battling concussions, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo thought the worst after teammate Matt Irwin’s shoot-in hit him in the head April 15 in Washington.

Okposo, 33, suffered four concussions over his first four years in Buffalo, including one late in the 2016-17 season that left him hospitalized in intensive care.

“That was obviously a worry when I got hit in the face, you know, like, ‘Oh jeez, I got another concussion,’” Okposo ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen earned his first taste of the NHL this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres will have more representation at World Championship

Buffalo Sabres winger Arttu Ruotsalainen and J-J Peterka, one of the organization’s top forward prospects, will participate in World Championship later this month in Riga, Latvia.

Ruotsalainen, 23, will represent Team Finland after compiling five goals and six points in his first 17 NHL games this season. He started his first North American campaign with the Rochester Americans, scoring five goals and 13 points in 13 outings.

Before NHL and AHL seasons started, Ruotsalainen ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe was injured Feb. 20. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Jake McCabe recovering from knee injury, optimistic about Sabres’ future

After Jake McCabe tore up his right knee Feb. 20, ending his season, the Sabres defenseman said he had some difficult conversations with his family that night.

Then McCabe, who had just returned after battling COVID-19, refused to feel sorry for himself. The American decided “being sad and mad” wouldn’t help him rehab from ACL, MCL and meniscus injuries.

“I’ve just had a really good attitude about it the whole time,” McCabe said on an ... Read the full article

Injuries limited Linus Ullmark to only 20 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ support helped goalie Linus Ullmark get through emotional season

Linus Ullmark needed to talk. For the goalie, sharing his feelings was therapeutic. So coaches, teammates and anyone in the Buffalo Sabres’ bubble became his support system during an emotional season.

Ullmark’s wife, Moa, and their two children, stayed home in Sweden this year. When his father, Jan-Olof, passed away in January, he had to mourn his loss without the comfort of his family.

But at the rink, Ullmark found an outlet for his grief.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel said he feels a disconnect with the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Strong message: Sabres’ Kevyn Adams wants ‘people that want to be here’

Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said it five times during his 43-minute virtual news conference, first when he was talking about disgruntled captain Jack Eichel and later when center Sam Reinhart and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen’s frustrations came up.

Adams stated it a few different ways, but the last four words and the strong message remained the same.

“We are going to get this right with the people that want to be here,” Adams said ... Read the full article

Don Granato took over Buffalo on March 17. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Kevyn Adams praises Don Granato, will talk to other candidates

Despite having interim status, Don Granato took a broad approach as Buffalo Sabres coach, opting for building and development over simply trying to win some games.

“I hate being a desperate team,” Granato said on an end-of-season Zoom call Wednesday. “Everybody can look and say, ‘My God, you’re in a desperate situation.’ Well, that’s fine if that’s your perception. But we’re not going to be a desperate team. We’re going to get better every day, ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (9) was injured March 7. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Kevyn Adams says Sabres don’t have disconnect with Jack Eichel

Kevyn Adams cut right to the chase, addressing the topic on everyone’s mind before he could be asked about it. The general manager doesn’t feel there has been a disconnect between the Buffalo Sabres and their captain, Jack Eichel, over how they’ve handled his season-ending neck injury.

“There has been constant communication,” Adams said on an end-of-season Zoom call this morning. “Constant communication, from myself to Jack, our organization to Jack’s agents, doctors to Jack, ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt could be Buffalo’s top center next season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ top young players excited for future: ‘Got a real good group here’

The contrast was stark. A day after Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen all essentially said they’d welcome a change of scenery after enduring years of losing and turmoil, several of the Sabres’ top young players spoke optimistically about their futures in Buffalo.

“Nothing but excitement,” winger Tage Thompson, 23, said on a Zoom call Tuesday as the Sabres held end-of-season meetings inside KeyBank Center after finishing dead last. “Obviously, we have ... Read the full article

Michael Houser player four games for the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres make moves, send five players to Amerks

Goalie Michael Houser, who started four games for the Buffalo Sabres last week, was among five players the team sent to the Rochester Americans this morning.

The Sabres also assigned defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and forwards Steven Fogarty, Brett Murray and C.J. Smith to their AHL affiliate.

The Amerks have four games left this season, starting with Wednesday’s road contest against the Utica Comets.... Read the full article