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

Ramsus Ristolainen has played seven seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Rasmus Ristolainen knows he could be traded

Rasmus Ristolainen understands that if the Buffalo Sabres make significant moves this offseason, he could be dealt.

“If changes will happen, I know I’m one of the first ones probably who is going to get traded,” the defenseman said on a Zoom call Thursday, two days after the Sabres’ season officially ended. “It’s part of the business and I’m ready, whatever happens. I have really enjoyed my time in Buffalo. It’s home for me.”

Buffalo ... 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

Jesper Olofsson has spent his entire career overseas. ©2020, Rochester Americans

Amerks sign Jesper Olofsson, Victor’s brother, to one-year AHL contract

The Rochester Americans have signed Jesper Olofsson, the older brother of Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson, to a one-year AHL contract, the team announced today.

Jesper Olofsson, 28, has spent most of his career in the Swedish Hockey League, compiling 69 goals and 125 points in 254 games over parts of seven seasons. He spent the last two years with Färjestad BK, scoring 17 goals in each of those seasons and a career-high 33 ... Read the full article

The Sabres sent Casey Mittelstadt to Rochester in December. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres should’ve sent Casey Mittelstadt to Amerks earlier: ‘He got rushed’

In the not-so-distant past, Buffalo Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt would’ve likely played two or three years of college hockey before turning pro. After leaving school, instead of being rushed to the NHL, he would’ve started an apprenticeship with the Rochester Americans.

But the NHL has changed dramatically in the last 10 years or so, morphing into a game dominated by young men. At the same time, the salary cap has whittled down teams’ depth.

Prized ... 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

Rochester's Rasmus Asplund faces off against Belleville's Jordan Szwarz last season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

AHL cancels rest of 2019-20 season; Amerks finish in second place

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the American Hockey League to cancel the remainder of its 2019-20 season.

“After a lengthy review process, the American Hockey League has determined that the resumption and completion of the 2019-20 season is not feasible in light of current conditions,” AHL president Dave Andrews said in a statement released this morning. “The League’s operational focus has turned toward actively preparing for the 2020-21 season. We are very grateful to the ... 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

Dominic Franco (11) enjoyed a stellar college career. ©2020, Vegas Golden Knights

Amerks agree to terms with Army leading scorer Dominic Franco

The Rochester Americans have agreed to terms with forward Dominic Franco, Army’s leading scorer in each of the last three seasons, to a one-year AHL contract, the team announced today.

The 6-foot-5, 218-pound Franco scored 10 goals and 23 points in 33 games as a senior in 2019-20.

A memo Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed in November allows athletes like Franco at military academies to immediately play professional sports following their graduation if they receive ... 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