Tyler Myers struggled much of the season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rolston confident Myers will regain old form for Sabres

BUFFALO – In nearly three months as Sabres coach, Ron Rolston has dealt with Tyler Myers delicately, always offering encouraging words for the struggling franchise defenseman.

“He’s on a really good path right now,” Rolston said last week inside the First Niagara Center, reiterating comments he made throughout the season.

Of course, if Rolston, who shed his interim tag last week, wants to succeed as the franchise’s 16th coach, he needs Myers performing ... Read the full article

Clarke MacArthur scored two goals in two games following two healthy scratches. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres regular MacArthur making most of first NHL playoff experience with Leafs

TORONTO – This is one of those special stories hockey fans love hearing about and watching this time of year, some of the moments that make the NHL playoffs so fun and memorable.

Consider Clarke MacArthur’s recent exploits.

Following his postseason debut in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal, the Maple Leafs scratched MacArthur twice, no doubt an embarrassing experience for the assistant captain, who played a whopping 403 regular-season games before finally skating ... Read the full article

James Patrick had coached with the Sabres since 2006-07. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres fire assistant coaches Patrick and Adams as Rolston begins assembling staff

BUFFALO – The Sabres have fired assistant coaches James Patrick and Kevyn Adams, according to multiple reports.

It was believed new Sabres coach Ron Rolston, whose interim tag was removed Tuesday, would make some changes to his staff.

The reports state assistant Teppo Numminen will stay on. The status of goalie coach Jim Corsi is unclear.

Other than one year playing in Europe, Patrick has been a Sabres player or coach since 1998-99. The ... Read the full article

Kevyn Adams (left) was a regular assistant coach for Tyler Ennis and the Sabres since 2011-12 ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reports: Sabres fire assistant coaches Patrick and Adams

BUFFALO – The Sabres have fired assistant coaches James Patrick and Kevyn Adams, according to multiple reports.

It was believed new Sabres coach Ron Rolston, whose interim tag was removed Tuesday, would make some changes to his staff.

The reports state assistant Teppo Numminen will stay on.

Other than one year playing in Europe, Patrick has been a Sabres player or coach since 1998-99. The 49-year-old former defenseman, a top aid of former coach Lindy ... Read the full article

Ron Rolston had never coached in the NHL prior to his Feb. 20 promotion. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

New coach Rolston quickly convinced Sabres he was their man

BUFFALO – Hours after Ron Rolston replaced Lindy Ruff on an interim basis Feb. 20, the new Sabres coach walked into a Toronto hotel and addressed a room full of shocked players.

Most veterans knew nothing about Rolston, a college, junior-age and AHL coach for 23 years. The 46-year-old had never spent one day in the NHL.

“You’re always wondering what’s going to happen when he first comes in,” Sabres winger Steve Ott said ... Read the full article

Ron Rolston is the 16th coach in franchise history. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres keep Rolston to coach rebuilding club

BUFFALO – When Darcy Regier promoted Ron Rolston to interim coach Feb. 20, the Sabres general manager originally planned to interview other candidates following the season.

But as the campaign progressed, Regier noticed Rolston’s motivating and teaching talents. That the Sabres finished 12th in the Eastern Conference and missed the playoffs didn’t matter.

Regier wanted Rolston, a noted talent developer, to take over the young, rebuilding club.

He never spoke to anyone else.... Read the full article

Ron Rolston took over on an interim basis Feb. 20. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres name Rolston 16th coach in franchise history

BUFFALO – The Sabres today named Ron Rolston, the team’s interim coach since Feb. 20, the 16th coach in franchise history.

The 46-year-old went 15-11-5 after taking over for Lindy Ruff. The Sabres summoned him from Rochester, where he had led the AHL Americans since 2011-12.

Rolston and Sabres general manager Darcy Regier, who said last week he would decide Rolston’s future quickly, plan to address the media at 11 a.m. inside the ... Read the full article

Toronto star Joffrey Lupul skates Monday morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Upstart Leafs used Sabres’ abandoned philosophies as blueprint to success

TORONTO – Think about it, Buffalo Sabres fans, a couple of years ago, your team switched identities with the hated, mega-market Maple Leafs.

As the small-market Sabres morphed into a free-spending, win-at-all-costs club under new owner Terry Pegula, the Leafs began embracing development and patience, the Sabres’ old and successful philosophies.

The Leafs’ major volte-face has quickly paid off. They finished fifth this season, their highest spot since 2003-04.

Inside a noisy Air Canada Centre ... Read the full article

Cody McCormick just finished his first AHL stint since 2009-10. ©2013, Rochester Americans

McCormick hopeful of return to Sabres following strong Amerks stint

ROCHESTER – In an instant, Cody McCormick vanished from the NHL.

On Feb. 20, the struggling Buffalo Sabres waived the gritty forward mid-practice, then immediately yanked him from the ice, a demeaning exit for a popular veteran who fought 26 times during his 139-game tenure.

McCormick then showered, left the First Niagara Center and went home. He reported to the Americans after clearing waivers the next day, his first AHL stint since 2009-10.... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons scored three times in three playoff games. ©2013, Dan Hickling Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Girgensons dynamic during Amerks’ short playoff run

ROCHESTER – Interim Americans coach Chadd Cassidy called the AHL a “man’s league,” and, well, Zemgus Girgensons is still a kid, just 19 years old.

As a teenage rookie, Girgensons was supposed to play a supporting role during the Amerks’ first-round playoff series against the powerhouse Toronto Marlies. The Latvian winger scored only six goals in 61 regular-season games this year.

But Girgensons, a hard-hitting prospect the Buffalo Sabres moved up to select 14th... Read the full article