BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill learned 15 years ago Chris Taylor possessed the qualities to coach someday.
Back then, with Taylor feeding Botterill, the two formed one of the AHL’s most lethal scoring duos. But Taylor adjusted his game when he occasionally earned promotions from the Rochester Americans to the Sabres.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – By last season, when Chad Ruhwedel earned just a one-game recall, it was obvious the Sabres would move on from the talented AHL defenseman.
Of course, a lack of injuries – Buffalo’s blue line stayed remarkably healthy in 2015-16 – limited his action. But even the year before, as a 10-goal, 36-point campaign helped Ruhwedel receive Rochester Americans MVP honors, he managed only four NHL appearances.
“It was kind of a rough season ... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – For more than two weeks, as Buffalo Sabres defenseman Justin Falk sat out seven straight games as a healthy scratch, the 28-year-old still felt some rare comfort.
Falk, of course, wanted to play badly. But the one-year contract extension the journeyman signed Feb. 6 softened the blow of leaving the lineup following more than three months of near-regular duty.
“It does definitely makes things a little bit easier when your out of the ... Read the full article
How remarkably healthy did the Buffalo blue line stay in 2015-16? The Sabres recalled a defenseman as an injury replacement just once.
Think about that. Over the course of the grueling six-month, 82-game season, the Sabres only dipped into the AHL on March 18, when they summoned Chad Ruhwedel to sub for Carlo Colaiacovo prior to their 72nd contest. Ruhwedel played that night and was quickly returned to the Rochester Americans.
The Sabres almost ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The conversation lasted maybe 15 minutes. General manager Tim Murray wanted to gauge Kyle Okposo’s interest, and the free agent wanted to hear what the Sabres could offer him.
When Murray began telling him how underrated the city is, Okposo stopped him and said he knows all about Buffalo and likes it. The nine-year veteran wanted to learn more about the organization.
So after Murray talked about the Sabres and the bright future ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Winger Kyle Okposo, arguably the best free agent available, signed a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Sabres shortly after the market opened this afternoon, according to multiple reports.
The signing is significant. Just 15 months removed from their second consecutive 30th-place finish, the Sabres, who improved 27 points last season, secured a strong talent to play beside centers Jack Eichel or Ryan O’Reilly.
Okposo is coming off a 22-goal, 64-point ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Tyler Myers’ first game back here will have to wait until another season. The Winnipeg Jets defenseman underwent knee surgery Thursday and will miss the rest of the year.
The Jets make their yearly visit to the First Niagara Center on Saturday afternoon.
After Myers’ knee is stabilized and the season ends, he will undergo major hip surgery that requires 16 to 20 weeks of recovery, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.
“He ... Read the full article
TORONTO – As a third- or fourth-liner known more for his fists than his soft hands, gritty Buffalo Sabres winger Nick Deslauriers has endured some long goal droughts.
While the likable Deslauriers scored his career-high sixth goal in Friday’s 3-1 home win against the Ottawa Senators, he has only 12 in his 160-game career. After scoring three times in the first 11 games this season, the former defenseman went 41 appearances before finally scoring again ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the span of six months, Sabres goalie Chad Johnson has been a backup, a starter, part of a platoon with rookie Linus Ullmark and a backup again.
For this weekend at least, with Robin Lehner sidelined, Johnson is the Sabres’ top netminder again.
Johnson started Friday’s 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators inside the First Niagara Center, his fifth straight victory, and will get another nod tonight in Toronto against the Maple ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Robin Lehner could play again this season. The Sabres will allow their starting goalie to rest and rehab the ankle injury he just aggravated twice in a week, coach Dan Bylsma said.
Lehner suffered a high right ankle sprain opening night and has been dealing with it since returning in January.
Right now, shutting the Swede down isn’t in the team’s thought process, Bylsma said.
“(A) high ankle sprain is just one you ... Read the full article