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

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

Riley Sheahan has quickly found a home in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres sign Riley Sheahan to one-year, $700,000 contract

When the Sabres promoted forward Riley Sheahan earlier this week after Zemgus Girgensons suffered a season-ending hamstring injury, it appeared the veteran would be sticking around Buffalo.

Sure enough, on Friday, the Sabres signed Sheahan, who came to training camp on a professional tryout, to a one-year contract worth $700,000.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said “the specialist that he is” helped Sheahan earn a deal.

“(He’s) strong on faceoffs, (an) excellent penalty killer, ... Read the full article

Riley Sheahan joined Buffalo on a professional tryout contract last week. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Riley Sheahan has ‘soft spot’ for Sabres, sees opportunity in Buffalo

Sabres forward Riley Sheahan grew up about 30 miles from Buffalo in St. Catharines, Ontario, so he has carried what he called a “soft spot” for his new team.

Growing up, Sheahan would make the trip across the border to watch the Sabres or see them when they visited his hometown for training camp.

“I’ll be honest, I was a little bit of a (Toronto Maple) Leafs fan but Sabres tickets were more affordable and ... Read the full article

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

Casey Mittelstadt focused on making Sabres after having ‘blast’ with Amerks

On the surface, Casey Mittelstadt’s 36-game run with the Rochester Americans last season looks a little underwhelming.

In his first stint in the minors, Mittelstadt, 22, never morphed into a dominant AHL presence or forced his way back to the Buffalo Sabres. The center compiled nine goals, 25 points and a poor minus-15 rating – hardly numbers you might expect from an eighth overall pick with 114 games of NHL experience.

But Mittelstadt, who was ... 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

Curtis Lazar has played 38 games with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres reward Curtis Lazar’s breakout season with two-year contract

Shortly before the Buffalo Sabres assigned Curtis Lazar to the minors last year, the center confidently stated he knew he belonged in the big leagues.

Joining the Sabres as a free agent had refreshed Lazar, and he believed he could make an impact. But several days later, Lazar, who had played only one NHL game the previous season, would clear waivers and be assigned to the Rochester Americans to start the campaign.

Lazar, however, only ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor played and coached with Rochester. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ decision to fire Amerks coach Chris Taylor looks foolish

In 2017, former general manager Jason Botterill and his assistant, Randy Sexton, took an unusual first step in rebuilding the Buffalo Sabres’ struggling AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.

Barely a year after the Sabres’ previous regime had let Chris Taylor go as an assistant coach from the Amerks, Botterill and Sexton, who also served as Rochester’s GM, rehired him as head coach.

The move made sense. Taylor, who was fired again Tuesday, spent his ... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut was an offensive force for the Rochester Americans. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Lawrence Pilut officially leaves Sabres, contract with KHL team announced

Defenseman Lawrence Pilut’s two-year contract with Traktor Chelyabins, a Russian team in the Kontinental Hockey League, was officially announced today.

Pilut, who signed a two-year, entry-level NHL contract with the Buffalo Sabres in 2018, is a pending restricted free agent. The Sabres must give him a qualifying offer to retain his rights.

The Buffalo News reported last month Pilut would be leaving the Sabres for the KHL. It’s unclear if he can return to the ... Read the full article

Jimm Vesey was scratched Saturday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Struggling Sabres haven’t quit on rough season

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ season certainly turned quickly. Two weeks ago today, they stood six points out of a playoff spot and acquired forwards Dominik Kahun and Wayne Simmonds before the trade deadline.

Today, having lost six straight games in regulation, they’re 13 points out.

How bad is it getting? The Sabres haven’t dropped seven straight contests in regulation since their marathon 14-game losing streak halfway through the 2014-15 season. That, of course, was the ... Read the full article