Tobias Rieder took his usual spot on the third line Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Tobias Rieder returns to lineup, Buffalo adds new players

BUFFALO – When Sabres winger Tobias Rieder learned earlier this month he had tested positive for COVID-19, the news shocked him.

The German felt fine. He figured the result couldn’t be correct.

“But sure enough, a couple hours after I could feel the symptoms,” Rieder said prior to Monday’s 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center, the Sabres’ first outing since Jan. 31.

Rieder, 28, said he experienced “a rough couple days.” ... Read the full article

Tobias Rieder said he experienced a rough day or two with COVID-19. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Three Sabres return from COVID-19 absences, say they tested positive

BUFFALO – Three Sabres on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list – winger Tobias Rieder and defensemen Jake McCabe and Brandon Montour all acknowledged they tested positive – skated with their teammates again this morning.

Now, will they play tonight against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center?

“They remain day-to-day candidates and we’d like to consume, digest what happened here this morning,” said coach Ralph Krueger, whose Sabres haven’t played since Jan. 31.

Krueger ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith could be utilized against the New York Islanders. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres will likely field lineup with C.J. Smith, other taxi-squad players

BUFFALO – Having seven players on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list means the Sabres must utilize their taxi squad to dress a full lineup tonight.

So defensemen Will Borgen and Brandon Davidson and wingers Steven Fogarty and C.J. Smith could all be thrust into action against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center.

Borgen and Davidson have spent the entire season on the taxi squad. They haven’t played a game at any level since ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall (right) battles New Jersey’s P.K. Subban on Jan. 31. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Taylor Hall returns to practice; Sabres add three players from Amerks

BUFFALO – Winger Taylor Hall, who was added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list on Feb. 2, is practicing with the Sabres this morning inside KeyBank Center.

The Sabres still have eight players in the league’s COVID protocol. They’re scheduled to host the New York Islanders on Monday.

Hall, 29, is practicing at left wing beside center Eric Staal and Sam Reinhart. Jeff Skinner, meanwhile, is at left wing with top center Jack ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has missed the last two games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Storm forces Sabres to change plans; Sam Reinhart will travel with team

The Sabres will be staying at home today and plan to fly to New York on Tuesday morning for their 6 p.m. game against the Islanders.

With Winter Storm Orlena battering parts of the New York City area, most flights in and out the region have been canceled.

The Sabres planned to travel to New York this afternoon. Instead, they practiced inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt ended last season in Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt among five players assigned to Sabres’ taxi squad

BUFFALO – Forward Casey Mittelstadt was among five players the Sabres assigned to their taxi squad this morning.

The Sabres also assigned center Rasmus Asplund, goalie Jonas Johansson and defensemen Will Borgen and Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad, which the NHL implemented this season because of the COVID-19.

Mittelstadt, the eighth overall pick in 2017, has played 114 NHL games. He ended last season with the Rochester Americans.... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens could make his NHL debut later this week. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ roster almost set; Dylan Cozens, Jack Quinn to remain in Buffalo

BUFFALO – The 27 players who participated in Tuesday’s practice will start the season on the Sabres’ roster or taxi squad, coach Ralph Krueger said.

That means 19-year-old forward prospects Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn, Buffalo’s last two first-round picks, will remain in the NHL for now.

Of course, the Sabres must sort some things out before Thursday’s opener against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Krueger said center Curtis Lazar (lower-body injury) and ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner (pictured) practiced with Curtis Lazar and Riley Sheahan on Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres switch up lines, move Tage Thompson up, Jeff Skinner down

After a 10-month layoff, the Buffalo Sabres play 10 games in an 18-day stretch, starting with Thursday’s season opener against the Washington Capitals.

That includes three back-to-back sets. The early stretch will be rigorous and likely test the Sabres’ depth. They’re going to have to roll four lines.

“Right now, we need to be a good four-line team early in the season,” Krueger said on a Zoom call Friday.

So Krueger, who pretty much kept ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen got off to a torrid start in Finland this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres release training camp roster, schedule; 37 players to participate

On Friday, the Buffalo Sabres will touch the KeyBank Center ice for the first time in 296 days and begin preparing for the most unusual of seasons.

The NHL will be attempting to play during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will likely experience problems – positive tests, postponements or even cancellations – as the schedule unfolds.

But those potential roadblocks can be examined another day. The Sabres’ 10-month break is nearly over. Training camp officially ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor has made Rochester his home since 1999. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres fired Amerks coach Chris Taylor with no explanation

The call lasted less than a minute. Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams simply informed Chris Taylor he was being fired as Rochester Americans coach, offering no details into the sudden dismissal.

Taylor was stunned. Following a successful three-year run in which the Amerks reestablished themselves as an AHL heavyweight, the Sabres let him go Tuesday with no explanation.

“It was very short, fast, why they felt that they wanted a clean slate,” Taylor told ... Read the full article