Chris Taylor spent three years as Rochester's coach. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres fire Amerks coach Chris Taylor and assistants

In his three years as Rochester Americans coach, Chris Taylor helped re-energize the Buffalo Sabres’ moribund AHL affiliate.

For the first time in years, the Amerks morphed into a consistent winner. Players, meanwhile, regularly raved about the affable Taylor and his staff.

When the Sabres needed an assistant to fill in behind the bench early this season, they elevated Taylor, who is often talked about as a future NHL coach.

But on Tuesday, hours after ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill spent three seasons as general manager. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres fire GM Jason Botterill, name Kevyn Adams replacement

In a stunning move this morning, the Buffalo Sabres fired general manager Jason Botterill after three seasons and replaced him with Kevyn Adams, who had been serving as the team’s senior vice president of business administration.

“This morning, we informed Jason Botterill he will no longer be the general manager of the Sabres,” Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula said in a statement. “This decision was made after many candid discussions with Jason during ... Read the full article

Missing out on the NHL's qualifying tournament ticks Rasmus Dahlin off. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin using offseason to develop into elite talent

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced much of the world into quarantine, Sweden remained open, offering Rasmus Dahlin an opportunity to hone his skills on the ice as most NHL players stayed in their homes.

“I’m working on my shot almost every day,” the Buffalo Sabres defenseman said on a Zoom call May 27. “That’s my main thing right now, my shot.”

Dahlin, of course, already possesses a terrific shot. Still, he believes it can improve, ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson scored 20 goals as a rookie. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Victor Olofsson possesses talents to develop into elite NHL scorer

Shortly after Ralph Krueger awarded rookie Victor Olofsson the coveted spot beside captain Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart out of training camp, the coach broke up the Buffalo Sabres’ top line.

“We did not play too well together,” Reinhart acknowledged on a Zoom call last week. “Maybe the first couple we played well, and then (Olofsson) actually moved away from us for a game or two.”

When Krueger moved Olofsson back to the top left-wing ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger has established a strong relationship with Jack Eichel. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Ralph Krueger says it’s ‘healthy’ for Jack Eichel to vent about losing

The pain and anger, as Ralph Krueger called it, is a good sign. The Buffalo Sabres coach believes it’s healthy for captain Jack Eichel to vent his frustrations over losing.

Of course, Eichel, who said on a Zoom call Thursday he was “fed up,” is not alone in his disappointment. He’s just the most visible member of the team.

The Sabres’ biggest star and the team’s young core haven’t come close to cracking the playoffs.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel scored a career-high 36 goals in his fifth NHL season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres captain Jack Eichel frustrated by losing: ‘I’m fed up’

In their first five seasons with Jack Eichel, the Buffalo Sabres have been a perennial loser, winning just 39 percent of their games. Despite earning his place among the game’s elite talents, the captain still hasn’t sniffed the playoffs.

This year, the Sabres missed the NHL’s 24-team postseason qualifying round by one win.

When Eichel was drafted second overall in 2015, the thought of the Sabres missing the playoffs for the next five ... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut has spent the past two seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Report: Lawrence Pilut leaving Sabres, joining Russian team

Defenseman Lawrence Pilut has left the Buffalo Sabres to join a Russian team in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Pilut, 24, has signed with Traktor Chelyabins, according to The Buffalo News. Hockeynews.se also reported Pilut was set to leave for Russia.

His new contract includes an NHL out clause, according to The News, although it’s unclear if he could depart the team during the season.

The Swede will become a restricted free agent when the ... Read the full article

Goalie Linus Ullmark stops Washington's Nicklas Backstrom in the Sabres' final game of the season March 9. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Another win could’ve earned Sabres path to playoffs in bizarre season

Throughout their nine-year playoff drought, the Buffalo Sabres have consistently ranked among the NHL’s bottom-feeders. Only once in that ugly stretch – in 2011-12, the season their run of futility began – have they contended for a postseason spot.

Eight years ago, the Sabres roared back from last place, briefly grabbing a spot before falling apart in the waning days of the season.

There haven’t been many what-ifs during the sorriest stretch in franchise history. ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (9) and Sam Reinhart (23) finished first and second, respectively, in scoring for the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

NHL’s return to play plan officially ends Sabres’ season

Seventy-five days after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NHL to suspend its schedule, the Buffalo Sabres’ season is officially over.

Rather than finishing the regular season, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman this afternoon announced a return to play plan in which 24 teams – the top 12 from each conference ranked by points percentage – will play a qualifying round before the Stanley Cup playoffs if the league can resume this summer.

The Sabres finished ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has enjoyed a bounce-back season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres succeeded in helping Rasmus Ristolainen transform game this season

“We’re continuing to try to set this team up where we’re putting (Rasmus Ristolainen) in positions to have success.”

– Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, Aug. 17, 2019

As their nine-year run of futility indicates, the Sabres rarely accomplish what they set out to do. The once-proud franchise has become a laughingstock.

Still, in the case of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, the Sabres deserve credit for helping him develop a smarter, sturdier style as ... Read the full article