Brandon Hickey received limited action last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Brandon Hickey learned from tough rookie season with Amerks

BUFFALO – Brandon Hickey attended his first development camp way back in 2014, so he knows what to expect this week at the Sabres’ annual summer prospect gathering.

This is the defenseman’s sixth camp with his third team.

“Two conferences, three time zones,” Hickey, 23, said of his travels from Calgary to Arizona to Buffalo.

While six players are older than him, Hickey’s long hair and beard make him look like the camp’s grizzled veteran.... Read the full article

Chris Taylor plans to soak up knowledge from the Sabres' new coaching staff. ©2019, Hickling Images

Chris Taylor happy with Amerks, likes Sabres’ hire of Ralph Krueger

BUFFALO – To many observers, Rochester Americans coach Chris Taylor possesses the talent to run an NHL bench someday.

Not only have the Amerks enjoyed two successful seasons under the affable Taylor, players seem to love playing for him.

Not surprisingly, Taylor’s name came up during the Sabres’ search for Phil Housley’s replacement. Taylor, course, has close ties to general manager Jason Botterill, his friend and former teammate.... Read the full article

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

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

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

Kurt Gosselin has earned regular duty since arriving. ©2019, Hickling Images

College free agent Kurt Gosselin impressing Amerks

ROCHESTER – Since the Americans’ defense corps goes 11 deep, coach Chris Taylor has plenty of options at his disposal.

So among his five defense scratches for Sunday afternoon’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Toronto Marlies were NHL veteran Nathan Paetsch, a two-time Calder Cup champion; prospect Jack Dougherty, who compiled a plus-15 rating this season; and prospect Brandon Hickey, who earned a coveted spot on Team Canada’s 2016 World Junior Championship squad.

Meanwhile, rookie ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson unleashes a shot Friday. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Tage Thompson thriving with Amerks

ROCHESTER – The numbers jump out at you. Through nine AHL appearances, Buffalo Sabres prospect Tage Thompson has already compiled seven goals and 10 points.

Sure, it’s a small sample size. But Thompson, 21, has often been a dynamic presence for the Americans since the Sabres sent him down March 28.

“We’re looking for him to be a big-time player for us,” Amerks coach Chris Taylor said following Saturday’s practice at Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex ... Read the full article

Toronto's Chris Mueller, a West Seneca native, tries to convert a chance in front of Rochester goalie Scott Wedgewood on Friday. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks can’t convert early chances, fall to Marlies in playoff opener

ROCHESTER – For the opening 25 minutes of Friday’s first-round playoff opener, the Americans blitzed the Toronto Marlies, beating goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo four times.

Of course, the puck never actually went in the net. The Amerks rattled it off the post or crossbar four times. They missed empty nets, a breakaway and pumped 15 shots on goal in the first period.

So instead of seizing a commanding lead, the Amerks let the Marlies hang around ... Read the full article

Los Angeles could hire Todd McLellan. ©2019, Hickling Images

Report: Todd McLellan won’t be Sabres’ next coach

Todd McLellan won’t be the Buffalo Sabres’ next coach, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The Sabres identified McLellan as a candidate and talked to him this week but never made an offer, McKenzie tweeted this afternoon. McLellan was in Buffalo to watch his son, Tyson, a junior defenseman with Denver, compete in the Frozen Four.

The Los Angeles Kings could be close to hiring McLellan, according to McKenzie.... Read the full article

Jason Botterill will head overseas next month. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Botterill reluctant to talk about coaching search

BUFFALO – Out of respect for Phil Housley, the coach he fired hours earlier Sunday, Jason Botterill wouldn’t reveal what he’s looking for in a replacement. The Sabres general manager did, however, say a search has already started.

“Those are things I’m not going to talk about too much right now, and the simple fact is I just had a conversation with Phil Housley a couple of hours ago,” Botterill said Sunday afternoon inside KeyBank ... Read the full article