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

Casey Mittelstadt and Rasmus Asplund leave the ice after a game in 2019-20. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Cancellation of AHL season means lost opportunities for Amerks

In what would be the final days of the American Hockey League season, coach Chris Taylor drew confidence from the maturity his Rochester Americans began showcasing.

To Taylor, the Amerks’ response to some rare adversity – they endured losing streaks of seven and four games in the winter – illustrated his players had become equipped to handle the highs and lows of a long, grinding season.

“They weren’t getting as frustrated as you think that ... Read the full article

Zach Redmond helped Rochester become a winner again. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Decision to leave Amerks for Germany ‘difficult’ for Zach Redmond

Zach Redmond and his wife, Maggie, wrestled with their decision. Rochester, after all, became their second home.

On the ice, Redmond, 31, thrived for three seasons, morphing into the Americans’ biggest star and perhaps the AHL’s most dynamic defensemen. The Redmonds felt so comfortable they purchased a house a five-minute drive from Blue Cross Arena.

“If I’m not (in the NHL), I really could not have imagined a better setup (than Rochester),” said Redmond, whose ... Read the full article

Zach Redmond piled up points in Rochester. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Zach Redmond leaves Amerks, signs to play in Germany

Zach Redmond, the popular Rochester Americans veteran who was named the AHL’s best defenseman last year, has signed a contract to play next season in Germany.

Redmond, 31, will be joining Red Bull Munich, the same team in Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), Germany’s top pro league, that produced Buffalo Sabres winger Dominik Kahun.

Replacing Redmond could be difficult. The Michigan native was often a dynamic presence over his three seasons with the Amerks, ... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund spent all of last season in Rochester. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres summon Rasmus Asplund; Johan Larsson ‘possibility’ for Saturday

BUFFALO – When the Sabres sent center Rasmus Asplund to the Rochester Americans following an impressive training camp, it felt like he would return to the NHL soon.

Asplund, 21, turned heads during the preseason, earning a long look from the Sabres. The Swedish prospect figured to be in line for his first recall.

Sure enough, with center Johan Larsson nursing an upper-body injury, the Sabres summoned Asplund this morning.

Larsson is day-to-day, according to ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith is an AHL star. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres reassign 15 players, including Arttu Ruotsalainen, C.J. Smith

BUFFALO – The Sabres made their first significant roster cuts of training camp this morning, reassigning 15 players, most notably center Arttu Ruotsalainen and winger C.J. Smith.

The Sabres sent Ruotsalainen, 21, back to Ilves, a Finnish team in Liiga. Meanwhile, Smith, 24, must clear waivers before he can go to the Rochester Americans.

The Sabres also sent the following players to the Amerks, their AHL affiliate: forwards Eric Cornel, Sean Malone, Andrew Oglevie, ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary endured long goal droughts last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Conor Sheary knows consistency must improve to help Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Conor Sheary certainly showcased flashes of his scoring prowess last season.

On Nov. 18, Sheary scored in his third straight game, his sixth goal in just his 16th outing with the Sabres.

Then suddenly, Sheary, 27, went cold.

The speedy UMass product endured a 16-game goal drought. After scoring an empty-netter Dec. 22, he experienced an 11-game dry spell.

On. Jan 29, Sheary finally scored past a goalie again.... Read the full article

John Gilmour signed with the Sabres on July 1. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres newcomer John Gilmour took different path to NHL

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman John Gilmour found a team in – of all places – suburban Cleveland, about a nine-hour drive from his home outside of Montreal.

“Kind of a no-name school,” Gilmour said Friday following a session of training camp inside KeyBank Center.

The prep school willing to give a no-name hockey prospect an opportunity had a fitting name: Gilmour Academy.

“I wasn’t playing at the highest level for a 16-year-old, that’s for sure,” ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson had zero points in the short series. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Promising season over for Amerks after sweep by Marlies

TORONTO – Fresh off a 99-point regular season, the Rochester Americans looked poised to start a long playoff run deep into the spring.

The Buffalo Sabres’ top affiliate possessed a strong mix of prospects and veterans, terrific scoring balance and perhaps the AHL’s best depth.

It was hard to find a weakness on the Amerks, a team constructed to win the Calder Cup.

For an organization that hasn’t won anything on any level in a ... Read the full article

Kevin Dineen led the Sabres' AHL affiliate in Portland before moving up to coach Florida. ©2019, Hickling Images

Offering another chance to ex-head coach could benefit Sabres

BUFFALO – Coaches often evolve or reinvent themselves following their failures. Sometimes they swallow their pride to do it. They might return to junior hockey or the minors and start riding buses again. They might take an assistant or development job.

Remember that as general manager Jason Botterill searches for the Sabres’ sixth coach in barely six years after firing Phil Housley on April 7.

Sometimes the best candidates aren’t the names being bandied about. ... Read the full article