As the Buffalo Sabres’ interim coach, Don Granato worked with a staff he inherited.
When general manager Kevyn Adams fired coach Ralph Krueger and assistant coach Steve Smith on March 17, he moved Matt Ellis, his director of player development, and Dan Girardi, a development coach, behind the bench.
Ellis replaced Granato, who ran the power play as an assistant under Krueger. Girardi, meanwhile, took over Smith’s role in charge of the defense.... Read the full article
Goalie Michael Houser, who started four games for the Buffalo Sabres last week, was among five players the team sent to the Rochester Americans this morning.
The Sabres also assigned defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and forwards Steven Fogarty, Brett Murray and C.J. Smith to their AHL affiliate.
The Amerks have four games left this season, starting with Wednesday’s road contest against the Utica Comets.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres this afternoon signed Rochester Americans goalie Stefanos Lekkas to a professional tryout contract and he will back up Michael Houser tonight against the New York Islanders.
Sabres assistant coach Mike Bales, a former NHL goalie, will serve as the emergency backup, according to the team.
Goalie Dustin Tokarski, who was expected to start tonight, did not skate this morning. Tokarski relieved goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen when he was injured in Saturday ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – A month ago, recalling defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and giving one of their top prospects a taste of the NHL wasn’t an option for the Sabres.
They were in the midst of their marathon 18-game winless skid, and the defense corps, like every aspect of the team, was struggling. They couldn’t expose a rookie to that environment.
But the defense has been thriving under interim coach Don Granato and interim assistant Dan Girardi, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres this afternoon recalled defenseman Mattias Samuelsson, one of their top prospects, from the Rochester Americans.
Samuelsson, 21, will make his NHL debut this afternoon against the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center.
General manager Kevyn Adams and interim coach Don Granato have said they plan to give some of the organizations prospects a taste of the NHL over the final few weeks this season.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Barely a year after Henri Jokiharju established himself as one of the Sabres’ top defensemen, he started struggling so badly he was demoted to the taxi squad.
Jokiharju, 21, sat out 10 games earlier this season. At times, he looked nothing like the steady defender from 2019-20.
But Jokiharju has settled down under interim Sabres coach Don Granato, showcasing more confidence beside Rasmus Dahlin, his partner over the last eight games.
Jokiharju ... Read the full article
In what are almost certainly his final days in Buffalo, winger Taylor Hall is still involved in all Sabres-related activities other than playing, interim coach Don Granato said.
So while Hall, 29, is still around the team, he will be scratched again for tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center. The Sabres, of course, want to protect an asset as Monday’s trade deadline approaches.
They first scratched Hall, who is expected to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres this afternoon recalled forward prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen to the taxi squad and assigned forward Jean-Sebastien Dea from the taxi squad to the Rochester Americans.
Ruotsalainen, 23, has enjoyed a terrific rookie season with the Amerks, scoring five goals and 13 points in 13 games. He just compiled two goals and five points in two weekend outings against the Syracuse Crunch.
Before the North American seasons started, Ruotsalainen starred for Ilves, a ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In the last week, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin has finally settled down and started showcasing a sturdier game under interim coach Don Granato.
Dahlin, whose ghastly minus-34 rating ranks last in the NHL, hasn’t suddenly recaptured his old form. Still, he has looked much more comfortable playing for Granato than he did under Ralph Krueger, who was fired March 17.
Simply playing a calmer, more composed style – Dahlin, 20, has ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – In his first season with the Sabres, Brandon Davidson has mostly served as an extra defenseman, moving back to the taxi squad after playing the odd game.
So when an opportunity materialized for Davidson, 29, to skate for the Americans on Friday, he jumped at it.
Having played just six times with Buffalo this season, he needs to experience game action.
“That’s all it is is repetition,” Davidson said on a Zoom call ... Read the full article