Chris Taylor has coached Rochester two seasons. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Coach Chris Taylor will likely stay put with Amerks

BUFFALO – When the Sabres began their coaching search last month, general manager Jason Botterill and his assistants, Steve Greeley and Randy Sexton, talked a lot about pursuing experienced NHL candidates.

“But we also wanted to make sure we opened it up,” Botterill said Wednesday inside KeyBank Center after the Sabres announced Ralph Krueger as their new coach. “Through this process it wasn’t always out in the media, but we looked at a lot of ... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut played 33 games with the Sabres in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Lawrence Pilut undergoes shoulder surgery, out five to six months

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Lawrence Pilut underwent successful shoulder surgery and will be sidelined five to six months, the team announced this morning.

Just five weeks into the offseason, two Sabres defensemen – Zach Bogosian had his hip repaired last month – have had surgery and will likely miss training camp and the start of the regular season. Like Pilut, Bogosian needs five to six months to recover.

The Sabres’ dwindling depth, of course, will ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen turned pro last month. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen named OHL’s MVP

Top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen said his hip started bothering him at the World Junior Championship in late December and early January.

Playing so many games and practicing so often during the short tournament can be tough on players.

“That’s usually when you notice something isn’t right,” Luukkonen, 20, said on a conference call today after being named the Ontario Hockey League’s MVP.

Still, Luukkonen’s hip hardly affected his play.

The former second-round ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen led Ilves in points in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sign Finnish standout Arttu Ruotsalainen to entry-level contract

For the third straight spring, the Buffalo Sabres have signed a standout European player to fill a need.

This morning, the Sabres officially announced Finnish center Arttu Ruotsalainen has inked a three-year, entry-level contract.

The 5-foot-8, 179-pound Ruotsalainen, 21, spent the last four seasons playing at home in SM-liiga. In 2018-19, he scored 21 goals and a team-high 42 points in 59 games for Ilves. His goal total ranked ninth in the league.

The Sabres, ... Read the full article

Jason Boterrill has been talking to coaching candidates. ©2019, Hickling Images

Report: Sabres interview former NHL coach Dave Tippett

The Buffalo Sabres have interviewed Dave Tippett for their head coaching vacancy, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

In his weekly “31 Thoughts” column, Friedman said the talk with Tippett, who has coached the Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes, “went very well.”

After firing Phil Housley, a first-time head coach, the Sabres reportedly want to hire someone more experienced. Tippett, 57, has spent 14 seasons as an NHL head coach. He finished an eight-year run ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was a star in Sudbury. ©2019, Gino Donato, Sudbury Wolves

Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen named OHL’s top goalie

Buffalo Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been named the Ontario Hockey League’s Goaltender of the Year, the junior league announced today.

The Finn, 20, quickly morphed into a star in his first North American season, compiling a sparkling 38-11-2 record with a 2.50 goals-against average, a .920 save percentage and six shutouts in 53 games.

The Sudbury Wolves, meanwhile, enjoyed their best season since 1994-95.... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen enjoyed a stellar season in Sudbury. ©2019, Sudbury Wolves

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen undergoes hip surgery

Top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has undergone successful hip surgery and is expected to make a full recovery within six months, Rochester Americans general manager Randy Sexton announced this morning.

The could, of course, put the start of Luukkonen’s 2019-20 season in jeopardy. The Finn, 20, will likely be the Amerks’ starting goalie next year.

Luukkonen joined the Amerks earlier this month after a stellar junior season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury ... 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

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen joined Rochester earlier this month. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen learning pro game

TORONTO – On April 14 in Belleville, goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen played his 68th and likely final game this season, stopping 32 shots in the Rochester Americans’ 4-2 win over the Senators.

“It was a big thing for me, builds your confidence up a lot, especially looking to next season when you want to play in the pros,” the Buffalo Sabres’ top goalie prospect said of his pro debut.

Luukkonen, 20, has taken a backseat to ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson (12) stands between Toronto's Kasimir Kaskisuo (30) and Joseph Duszak (21) on Sunday afternoon. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks lose in overtime, fall behind 2-0 to Marlies

ROCHESTER – Chris Taylor was seething following Sunday afternoon’s 3-2 overtime loss. Can you blame the Americans coach? Through 122 minutes of hockey, his team has thoroughly outplayed the Toronto Marlies.

But the Amerks have nothing to show for it. Just like that, they’re on the brink, down 2-0 in the best-of-five series AHL North Division semifinal playoff series.

The Marlies can eliminate them Wednesday in Toronto.

“I’m upset, I’m mad,” Taylor said after the ... Read the full article