Patrick Polino played college hockey at RPI. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

North Buffalo native Patrick Polino happy to begin pro career with Amerks

Four days before Rochester’s season opener, the Sabres recalled Jean-Sebastien Dea and C.J. Smith, taking two of the Americans’ top forwards for their taxi squad.

Later in the week, Jack Quinn, a winger Buffalo sent down, had to begin quarantining because he was with the Sabres when their COVID-19 problems began. Meanwhile, another forward the Amerks recently added, Remi Elie, was completing a mandatory quarantine following his arrival in Rochester.

Before the ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen made his AHL debut Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks’ Arttu Ruotsalainen scores, looks like special prospect for Sabres

ROCHESTER – Having played 19 times earlier this season, Buffalo Sabres prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen has a strong advantage over most AHL players, many of whom haven’t experienced any game action for nearly a year.

Ruotsalainen, 23, enjoyed regular duty in his native Finland, morphing into perhaps Liiga’s biggest star. He left his team, Ilves, in December having scored a league-high 16 goals.

Not surprisingly, Ruotsalainen stood out in his North American debut Friday, scoring a ... Read the full article

Seth Appert instructs the Sabres during training camp. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Making of a coach: How Amerks’ Seth Appert went from college goalie to AHL

Seth Appert remembers feeling scared walking up the stairs that day almost 26 years ago inside Ferris State’s hotel.

A night earlier, as Miami was annihilating his school in a CCHA playoff game in Oxford, Ohio, Appert had approached his coach, Bob Daniels, during the second intermission.

Appert, a junior backup goalie, suggested to Daniels that Jeff Blashill, who had been pulled early from the blowout, should replace him. If Blashill re-entered the game, Appert ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith could be one of Rochester’s top offensive weapons. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres send eight players to Amerks

The Buffalo Sabres sent eight players to the Rochester Americans this afternoon.

Joining the AHL affiliate following the first assignments of training camp are: defensemen Casey Fitzgerald and Ryan Jones; forwards Brandon Biro, Steven Fogarty, Brett Murray and C.J. Smith; and goalies Michael Houser and Dustin Tokarski.

Fogarty, Smith and Tokarski cleared waivers today. Defenseman Brandon Davidson also cleared waivers but is still with the Sabres, who had today off.... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen could spent time in Buffalo on the taxi squad and in Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Implementing new taxi squad will be challenge for Sabres

In the COVID-19 world, the Sabres start each day by having a logistics meeting.

NHL teams can utilize a four- to-six man taxi squad this season, meaning in addition to figuring out the big league and AHL rosters, the Sabres have another group they must prepare to handle.

“This is so much a new world, trying to figure out exactly how we’re going to integrate the taxi squad,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said on a ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons has been one of Buffalo’s few constants during a tumultuous era. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres know replacing popular Zemgus Girgensons will be tough

As winger Zemgus Girgensons spends the next six months rehabbing after undergoing surgery to repair his hamstring, coach Ralph Krueger wants to keep him around the Sabres.

NHL teams often separate their injured players from the regular group. But Girgensons, 27, is such a popular teammate that Krueger feels the Latvian must have a presence during his long recovery.

“We’re going to keep Zemgus close, because (of) how important he is in the organization, what ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons was injured Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons likely out for season after undergoing surgery

Buffalo Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons is likely out for the season after undergoing surgery today to repair a hamstring injury he suffered in Monday’s scrimmage.

In a statement, the Sabres said Girgensons’ recovery time is approximately six months.

In the second period of the scrimmage, Girgensons eyed up Steven Fogarty as he carried the puck and tried to hit him inside the blue line.... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons left Monday’s scrimmage. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons suffers ‘very questionable lower-body injury’

In the second period of Monday’s Buffalo Sabres scrimmage, Zemgus Girgensons eyed up Steven Fogarty as he carried the puck and tried to hit him inside the blue line.

But Fogarty skated around Girgensons, forcing the Latvian to make a last-second adjustment. Girgensons’ legs split awkwardly as he attempted to find Fogarty and he fell to the KeyBank Center ice. Girgensons left the scrimmage and did not return.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said Girgensons, who ... Read the full article

Prospect Jacob Bryson could return for another season in Rochester or stay in Buffalo. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

AHL approves structural framework for season to begin Feb. 5

The American Hockey League offered little information, only saying the structural framework for a season that will begin Feb. 5 has been approved.

Details, the league said in a statement Wednesday, are still being worked out as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps ravaging North America.

The schedule will likely be significantly shorter. The four Canadian teams will almost certainly be grouped into their own division. Some teams could opt out for the year.

Count on it ... 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