Mark Pysyk spent his first four NHL seasons in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Mark Pysyk enjoying return to Sabres: ‘Going to be a fun team to watch’

BUFFALO – Sometimes, Mark Pysyk said, it seems like he only left the Sabres a week ago. Other times, however, he acknowledged it feels like it has been a long time.

The Sabres, who signed a one-year, $900,000 contract to return, left in 2016. Only one teammate from the affable defenseman’s first run here, center Zemgus Girgensons, is still with the team.

“I see him walking around, the way he plays, his body takes a ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis will move behind the bench permanently. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres change up coaching staff, retain Matt Ellis, add two new faces

Don Granato has overhauled the Buffalo Sabres’ coaching staff, retaining Matt Ellis and hiring Jason Christie and Marty Wilford as assistants, the team announced Thursday.

In addition, Justin White has been named video coordinator. Assistant coach Mike Bales, who’s charge of the goalies, and video coach Myles Fee will remain with the Sabres this season, according to the team. Both were hired by ex-coach Ralph Krueger.

Dan Girardi, an interim assistant coach last season, ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis (pictured) moved behind the bench when Don Granato was promoted. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres coach Don Granato to discuss filling out staff

As the Buffalo Sabres’ interim coach, Don Granato worked with a staff he inherited.

When general manager Kevyn Adams fired coach Ralph Krueger and assistant coach Steve Smith on March 17, he moved Matt Ellis, his director of player development, and Dan Girardi, a development coach, behind the bench.

Ellis replaced Granato, who ran the power play as an assistant under Krueger. Girardi, meanwhile, took over Smith’s role in charge of the defense.... 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

Buffalo goalie Michael Houser is embraced after Monday’s win by teammates Will Borgen (left) and Rasmus Ristolainen. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Michael Houser shines in NHL debut: ‘A very special night’

BUFFALO – Eight teams, nine seasons and 284 games into his pro career, Sabres goalie Michael Houser made his NHL debut, stopping 34 shots in Monday’s 4-2 come-from-behind win over the New York Islanders.

In a dreadful year in which the Sabres could finish dead last again, Houser’s first big league start created a feel-good story that provided some excitement and intrigue to a meaningless late-season game.

Houser, 28, has spent most of his career ... Read the full article

Stefanos Lekkas has played seven games with Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres sign Amerks goalie Stefanos Lekkas to PTO, make other moves

BUFFALO – The Sabres this afternoon signed Rochester Americans goalie Stefanos Lekkas to a professional tryout contract and he will back up Michael Houser tonight against the New York Islanders.

Sabres assistant coach Mike Bales, a former NHL goalie, will serve as the emergency backup, according to the team.

Goalie Dustin Tokarski, who was expected to start tonight, did not skate this morning. Tokarski relieved goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen when he was injured in Saturday ... Read the full article

Michael Houser has spent nine seasons in the minors. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Michael Houser to realize dream with first NHL start

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Michael Houser toiled nine years in the minors, playing 283 games, most of them in the ECHL, for seven teams before an opportunity to start an NHL game materialized.

Tonight against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center, Houser, 28, will make his NHL debut, interim coach Don Granato said. Houser will be the sixth Sabres goalie to start a game this season.

Houser has spent most of the past seven ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton (front) screens Jonas Johansson during training camp this year. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres want to find out what they have in goalie Jonas Johansson

BUFFALO – Instead of relying on veteran goalie Carter Hutton last week, the Sabres turned to Jonas Johansson, starting the rookie three straight games.

Johansson even played against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a heavyweight team Hutton has dominated over his eight-year career.

With starting goalie Linus Ullmark injured, the Sabres wanted Johansson, a third-round pick in 2014, to experience a heavy NHL workload.

“It was good for him to see a few games in a ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger feels well enough to coach the Sabres from behind the bench tonight. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Ralph Krueger plans to coach behind bench; Sabres move Don Granato

BUFFALO – Coach Ralph Krueger, who recently recovered from COVID-19 and returned to the Sabres on Sunday, plans to be behind the bench tonight against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center.

“I feel good to go,” Krueger said on a Zoom call this morning. “Obviously, with the strong support around me it makes it easier where they’ve done an excellent job. But I felt really good in the skate today and meetings this ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo believes the Sabres must “grow organically.” ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres thrilled to be back, believe they can grow from COVID adversity

BUFFALO – The COVID-19 protocols the NHL implemented this season have stymied off-ice activities.

Wanna grab a bite to eat or check out a museum on the road? Wanna stop over after practice and play Xbox? Forget about it. Socializing is kept to the bare minimum.

The Sabres added eight new faces this season, so enjoying a team dinner or group outing would’ve helped the players become familiar with each other.

“You can’t go get ... Read the full article