The Sabres acquired Michael Frolik on Jan. 2. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres GM Jason Botterill would like to add forward before trade deadline

BUFFALO – Even after acquiring Michael Frolik earlier this month, Sabres general manager Jason Botterill would like to add another forward before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

The Sabres’ depth up front, of course, was weak before Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson both suffered season-ending injuries in November.

Right now, Victor Olofsson is week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Evan Rodrigues has been a huge disappointment, scoring just two goals and often sitting out as a ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar enjoys playing center. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Curtis Lazar thriving back at center

BUFFALO – Curtis Lazar loves playing center. After thriving back at his natural position a year ago with the Stockton Heat, the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate, he talked to the Sabres during free agency about remaining there.

“All my conversations during the summer said I’d be down the middle, and then I come to camp and played strictly wing,” said Lazar, who signed a one-year, $700,000 contract July 1. “I’m honestly fine with whatever. I ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt (37) battles New Jersey's Travis Zajac on Dec. 2. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres believe Casey Mittelstadt has right attitude to thrive with Amerks

TORONTO – On Sunday, a day off for the Buffalo Sabres, general manager Jason Botterill and coach Ralph Krueger summoned center Casey Mittelstadt to KeyBank Center to inform him he was being demoted to the Rochester Americans.

After Mittelstadt, 21, got over the initial shock and disappointment of getting sent to the minors – “It’s always an emotional conversation,” Botterill said Monday – he asked what he must to do return to the NHL.

“He ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor joined the Sabres in October. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Interim Sabres assistant Chris Taylor to resume role as Amerks coach

The Buffalo Sabres announced this morning interim assistant coach Chris Taylor will be resuming his regular role as the Rochester Americans’ head coach next week.

Taylor, 47, has been filling in for assistant Don Granato, who returned to the Sabres on Wednesday after taking a leave of absence. Granato, 52, was hospitalized with severe pneumonia before the season.

The Amerks have started the season 11-3-1-2 under interim coach Gord Dineen, one of Taylor’s assistants.... Read the full article

Don Granato was hospitalized before the season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Don Granato returns to Sabres; Jimmy Vesey promoted to top line

BUFFALO – Finally, some good news for the struggling Sabres.

Assistant coach Don Granato, who took a leave of absence Oct. 1 after being hospitalized with severe pneumonia, returned to the Sabres today.

Granato, 52, was on the ice for practice inside KeyBank Center and accompanied the Sabres on their three-game road trip, which begins Thursday in Boston.

“That was a real-life story,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. “It’s amazing that was Sept. 28 when ... Read the full article

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