Jonas Johansson just played in the AHL All-Star Classic. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

First recall to Sabres special for goalie Jonas Johansson: ‘Just really pumped’

BUFFALO – On Monday, goalie Jonas Johansson represented the Rochester Americans at the AHL All-Star Classic, an honor he received for his breakout season.

After landing Tuesday night in Rochester following a long travel from Ontario, Calif., Amerks coach Chris Taylor called Johansson to relay some special news.

Johansson, 24, had earned his first recall to the Sabres. Having lost Linus Ullmark to a lower-body injury for three to four weeks in Tuesday’s 5-2 home ... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Michael Frolik on Jan. 2. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres GM Jason Botterill would like to add forward before trade deadline

BUFFALO – Even after acquiring Michael Frolik earlier this month, Sabres general manager Jason Botterill would like to add another forward before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

The Sabres’ depth up front, of course, was weak before Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson both suffered season-ending injuries in November.

Right now, Victor Olofsson is week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Evan Rodrigues has been a huge disappointment, scoring just two goals and often sitting out as a ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson (68) was injured Thursday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Replacing rookie Victor Olofsson will be tough for Sabres

BUFFALO – Winger Victor Olofsson’s absence for the next five to six weeks could extinguish the Sabres’ playoff hopes. From the get-go, they’ve relied on the Swedish rookie to score goals.

Now, the lower-body injury he suffered in Thursday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers could sideline him until mid-February, the Sabres announced Friday.

Having scored 16 goals and 35 points in 42 games, including six power-play goals in the first seven contests, Olofsson ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar enjoys playing center. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Curtis Lazar thriving back at center

BUFFALO – Curtis Lazar loves playing center. After thriving back at his natural position a year ago with the Stockton Heat, the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate, he talked to the Sabres during free agency about remaining there.

“All my conversations during the summer said I’d be down the middle, and then I come to camp and played strictly wing,” said Lazar, who signed a one-year, $700,000 contract July 1. “I’m honestly fine with whatever. I ... Read the full article

Dalton Smith played 400 pro games before earning his first trip to the NHL. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

With Lightning up next, Sabres ready to utilize tough guy Dalton Smith

BUFFALO – Long before the Sabres signed him to a two-way contract Monday, Dalton Smith seemed destined to reach the NHL.

In 2010, the Columbus Blue Jackets drafted the 6-foot-2, 210-pound winger 34th overall. Second-round picks, of course, are expected to make the big leagues.

But Smith’s road to the NHL would be long and arduous.

His stint as a bonafide prospect was short. After spending two seasons with Columbus’ AHL affiliate, he started bouncing ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt (37) battles New Jersey's Travis Zajac on Dec. 2. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres believe Casey Mittelstadt has right attitude to thrive with Amerks

TORONTO – On Sunday, a day off for the Buffalo Sabres, general manager Jason Botterill and coach Ralph Krueger summoned center Casey Mittelstadt to KeyBank Center to inform him he was being demoted to the Rochester Americans.

After Mittelstadt, 21, got over the initial shock and disappointment of getting sent to the minors – “It’s always an emotional conversation,” Botterill said Monday – he asked what he must to do return to the NHL.

“He ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has never played in the AHL. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres demoted Casey Mittelstadt to Amerks to play games

BUFFALO – On Sunday, a day off for the Sabres, general manager Jason Botterill and coach Ralph Krueger summoned center Casey Mittelstadt to KeyBank Center to inform him he was being demoted.

After Mittelstadt, 21, got over the initial shock and disappointment of getting sent to the Rochester Americans for the first time, Botterill said the youngster quickly asked what he must to do return to the NHL.

“He is a mature guy, he is ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor joined the Sabres in October. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Interim Sabres assistant Chris Taylor to resume role as Amerks coach

The Buffalo Sabres announced this morning interim assistant coach Chris Taylor will be resuming his regular role as the Rochester Americans’ head coach next week.

Taylor, 47, has been filling in for assistant Don Granato, who returned to the Sabres on Wednesday after taking a leave of absence. Granato, 52, was hospitalized with severe pneumonia before the season.

The Amerks have started the season 11-3-1-2 under interim coach Gord Dineen, one of Taylor’s assistants.... Read the full article

Don Granato was hospitalized before the season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Don Granato returns to Sabres; Jimmy Vesey promoted to top line

BUFFALO – Finally, some good news for the struggling Sabres.

Assistant coach Don Granato, who took a leave of absence Oct. 1 after being hospitalized with severe pneumonia, returned to the Sabres today.

Granato, 52, was on the ice for practice inside KeyBank Center and accompanied the Sabres on their three-game road trip, which begins Thursday in Boston.

“That was a real-life story,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. “It’s amazing that was Sept. 28 when ... Read the full article

John Gilmour made his season debut Friday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: John Gilmour seizes early chance after waiting 11 games

BUFFALO – John Gilmour had never waited so long to play a game. After appearing in the Sabres’ preseason finale Sept. 27, the defenseman sat out 11 contests before making his season debut Friday.

So Gilmour, the Sabres’ spare defender, patiently waited 28 days for his opportunity to materialize as the blue line remained healthy.

Gilmour, of course, acknowledged being a healthy scratch can be difficult. But he still reveled in the Sabres’ early-season success.... Read the full article