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

Kevyn Adams acquired an old friend in Eric Staal. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres notes: Eric Staal’s acquisition helps Kevyn Adams establish credibility

Barely an hour after Kevyn Adams acquired center Eric Staal last week, he hadn’t given much thought to having completed his first trade as Buffalo Sabres general manager.

“I’ve been so focused on this process and the work that goes into it,” Adams said Sept. 16 after dishing forward Marcus Johansson to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Staal.

Adams, 45, experienced a whirlwind summer as he began tackling the daunting task of trying to ... Read the full article

Mike Weber joined Windsor as an assistant coach shortly after retiring. ©2020, Dan Hickling, Hickling Images

Ex-Sabres Adam Mair, Mike Weber ready for new challenge with Amerks

When the Buffalo Sabres named ex-Americans coach Chris Taylor an interim NHL assistant a year ago, Adam Mair moved from his role as a development coach to Rochester’s bench.

Mair, 41, said he had always aspired to become a bench coach, and the seven weeks he spent assisting interim coach Gord Dineen “confirmed the passion that I sought out to achieve right when I stopped playing.”

“Being on the bench was the best way for ... Read the full article

Adam Mair filled in as an assistant coach in Rochester last season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Amerks hire former Sabres Adam Mair, Mike Weber as assistant coaches

The Rochester Americans have hired former Buffalo Sabres forward Adam Mair and defenseman Mike Weber as assistant coaches on Seth Appert’s staff, the AHL affiliate announced today.

“Adam and Mike are perfect fits to help establish a winning culture and develop our players in the American Hockey League,” Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said in a statement. “They share the same philosophies as Seth in their approach to the game and will be valuable resources ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis instructs Sabres propsects at development camp. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Playing career prepared Matt Ellis for new development role with Sabres

During his playing days, former Buffalo Sabres forward Matt Ellis embraced what he calls the “art of preparation.”

Ellis, the Sabres’ new director of player development, kept a training notebook he still consults. He constantly searched for ways to evolve and maximize his potential.

“I was always a chronic explorer,” Ellis said by phone Wednesday.

In the 2009 offseason, for example, Ellis, then 27, overhauled his shot, changing it so he could create more ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis captained Rochester during his playing days. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres name Matt Ellis director of player development

General manager Kevyn Adams has turned to an old friend, Matt Ellis, to be the Buffalo Sabres’ new director of player development.

The Sabres today named Ellis, 39, to his first NHL front office post.

Ellis played 356 NHL games over nine seasons, including 286 contests with the Sabres, after going undrafted. Following his retirement in 2016, Adams hired Ellis as a development coach at the Academy of Hockey at Harborcenter.... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund split last season between Buffalo and Rochester. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Report: Sabres loan Rasmus Asplund to Swedish team

The Buffalo Sabres have loaned center prospect Rasmus Asplund to Västerås IK, a second-tier team in his native Sweden, according to HockeyNews.se.

The move gives Asplund, 22, an opportunity to play while he waits for the 2020-21 North American season to begin. He can return to the Sabres whenever training camp opens.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the NHL and AHL to target early December as a possible start date instead of October.... Read the full article

Seth Appert joined Rochester from Team USA's National Team Development Program. ©2020, Rena Laverty, USA Hockey NTDP

Coach Seth Appert confident Amerks can develop talent for Sabres and win

After 11 years at RPI, Seth Appert said he started to slip. The coach of a small college is responsible for the entire program, meaning he is essentially a CEO.

“There’s so much you do that isn’t coaching that can grind you down that you don’t even realize,” Appert said on a Zoom call Tuesday, shortly after the Rochester Americans announced him as their new head coach.

Appert recruited more kids than the premier NCAA ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen played 10 games with Rochester last season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres loan prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to Finnish team

The Buffalo Sabres have loaned top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to HC TPS, a Finnish Elite League team.

The move gives Luukkonen, 21, an opportunity to practice and play while he waits for the 2020-21 North American season to begin. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the AHL to target Dec. 5 as a possible start date instead of October.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Luukkonen shuttled between the AHL and ECHL as a rookie in 2019-20, playing ... Read the full article

Seth Appert has never coached in professional hockey. ©2020, Dan Hickling, Hickling Images

Report: Sabres hire Seth Appert to coach Amerks

The Buffalo Sabres have hired Seth Appert, who coached the last three seasons in USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, as the Rochester Americans’ new head coach, according to The Buffalo News.

Appert, 46, spent 11 years as R.P.I.’s coach before joining the NTDP in 2017.

Kevyn Adams fired former Amerks coach Chris Taylor and his staff hours after taking over as Sabres general manager June 16. Taylor, who was hired by former Sabres ... Read the full article