Ralph Krueger is in his first season coaching the Sabres. ©2019, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ralph Krueger, Canadiens’ Claude Julien share mutual respect

BUFFALO – Six years ago, Ralph Krueger’s job as a consultant for Team Canada’s Olympic entry at the Sochi Games offered the Sabres coach a chance to discuss hockey with some the game’s greatest minds.

Mike Babcock, Ken Hitchcock, Claude Julien and former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff all served on Canada’s coaching staff.

“It was the best hockey coaching symposium you could go through with that group because of the way everybody exchanged everything,” Krueger ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor knows the Sabres well. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres expect Chris Taylor to fit in well as interim assistant coach

BUFFALO – Having just spent most of training camp with the Sabres, coach Ralph Krueger expects Chris Taylor to transition to the NHL smoothly.

The Sabres promoted Taylor, the Rochester Americans’ head coach, on an interim basis today to replace assistant coach Don Granato, who’s hospitalized with pneumonia.

Granato, 52, will be taking a medical leave from the Sabres.

“The curve is in the right direction,” Krueger said of Granato’s health following today’s practice ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor has led Rochester to two playoff appearances. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Don Granato hospitalized; Chris Taylor promoted on interim basis

BUFFALO – Assistant coach Don Granato has been hospitalized with severe pneumonia and will be taking a medical leave from the Sabres, the team announced this morning.

To replace him, the Sabres have promoted Rochester Americans head coach Chris Taylor on an interim basis.

Amerks assistant Gord Dineen, 57, will take over Taylor’s coaching duties. Sabres development coach Adam Mair will also assist Rochester early in the season.... Read the full article

C.J. Smith played 11 NHL games last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

AHL star C.J. Smith intent on sticking with Sabres this season

BUFFALO – Only about 10 Sabres forwards have roster spots locked up, meaning in a training camp filled with competition, the best battles might be taking place up front.

Among the players fighting for the four or so remaining slots are journeymen (Jean-Sebastien Dea, for example), NHL veterans (Vladimir Sobotka) and prized prospects (Victor Olofsson).

Then there’s C.J. Smith, an older (he turns 25 on Dec. 1) and often overlooked ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju won two gold medals last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Henri Jokiharju impressed Sabres GM Jason Botterill before up-close look

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill knew of Henri Jokiharju’s talents before he watched the defenseman up close during Team Finland’s run to a gold medal at the World Championship in the spring.

So even if Botterill hadn’t run Team Canada’s entry in Slovakia, the Sabres still might’ve dished winger Alexander Nylander to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Jokiharju on July 9.

“It certainly helps things out to see a player play on ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor plans to soak up knowledge from the Sabres' new coaching staff. ©2019, Hickling Images

Chris Taylor happy with Amerks, likes Sabres’ hire of Ralph Krueger

BUFFALO – To many observers, Rochester Americans coach Chris Taylor possesses the talent to run an NHL bench someday.

Not only have the Amerks enjoyed two successful seasons under the affable Taylor, players seem to love playing for him.

Not surprisingly, Taylor’s name came up during the Sabres’ search for Phil Housley’s replacement. Taylor, of course, has close ties to general manager Jason Botterill, his friend and former teammate.... Read the full article

Don Granato has an extensive coaching resume. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres hire Don Granato, Mike Bales as assistant coaches

BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Don Granato and Mike Bales as assistant coaches on new head coach Ralph Krueger’s staff, the team announced this morning.

The Sabres also officially announced Krueger will retain assistant Steve Smith, a former NHL defenseman he had on his staff with the Edmonton Oilers.

Granato, 51, has coached at all levels – junior, college, pro and NHL – over his 26-year career. He spent the last two seasons ... Read the full article