Michael Peca is one of Buffalo’s all-time fan favorites. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Michael Peca relishes opportunity to rejoin Sabres organization as coach

When former Buffalo Sabres captain Michael Peca retired following the 2008-09 season, he said an offer to become an assistant coach quickly materialized.

But having bounced around and played for four teams in five years, Peca knew it was time to step away after 14 seasons and dedicate more time to his family. He couldn’t accept the coaching job.

“The family makes sacrifices and has to do a lot for your career to succeed,” said ... Read the full article

Michael Peca spent five seasons playing in Buffalo ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Amerks name popular ex-Sabres captain Michael Peca assistant coach

The Rochester Americans have named popular ex-Buffalo Sabres captain Michael Peca, a centerpiece during the team’s 1999 run to the Stanley Cup final, an assistant coach, the AHL affiliate announced today.

Peca, 47, joins ex-Sabres defenseman Mike Weber on Amerks coach Seth Appert’s staff. The 14-year NHL veteran replaces Adam Mair, who was named the Sabres’ director of player development last week.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity in Rochester, being a part ... Read the full article

Mattias Samuelsson played 12 games with Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Mattias Samuelsson close to cracking NHL for good

When Mattias Samuelsson returned to Rochester last week following a three-week stint with the Buffalo Sabres, the Americans’ coaching staff challenged the rookie defenseman.

The coaches wanted Samuelsson, fresh off first NHL recall, to use the remaining games on the Amerks’ truncated schedule as a springboard back to Buffalo next season.

“OK, you did a good job in those 12 games, you got a taste,” Amerks coach Seth Appert said the coaches told Samuelsson. “Now ... Read the full article

Don Granato missed Thursday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato, Matt Ellis clear COVID-19 protocols, join Sabres in Boston

Interim coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis cleared the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and joined the Buffalo Sabres following Friday’s practice in Boston.

The Sabres announced shortly before Thursday’s 4-0 road loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins that Granato, 53, and Ellis, 39, had entered protocol and were self-isolating.

General manager Kevyn Adams filled in for Granato and the Sabres also promoted Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert to fill in for Ellis.... Read the full article

Mike Weber joined Windsor as an assistant coach shortly after retiring. ©2020, Dan Hickling, Hickling Images

Ex-Sabres Adam Mair, Mike Weber ready for new challenge with Amerks

When the Buffalo Sabres named ex-Americans coach Chris Taylor an interim NHL assistant a year ago, Adam Mair moved from his role as a development coach to Rochester’s bench.

Mair, 41, said he had always aspired to become a bench coach, and the seven weeks he spent assisting interim coach Gord Dineen “confirmed the passion that I sought out to achieve right when I stopped playing.”

“Being on the bench was the best way for ... Read the full article

Adam Mair filled in as an assistant coach in Rochester last season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Amerks hire former Sabres Adam Mair, Mike Weber as assistant coaches

The Rochester Americans have hired former Buffalo Sabres forward Adam Mair and defenseman Mike Weber as assistant coaches on Seth Appert’s staff, the AHL affiliate announced today.

“Adam and Mike are perfect fits to help establish a winning culture and develop our players in the American Hockey League,” Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said in a statement. “They share the same philosophies as Seth in their approach to the game and will be valuable resources ... Read the full article

Mike Weber knows Buffalo will love Rasmus Dahlin. ©2018, Hickling Images

Mike Weber knows Rasmus Dahlin will be special player for Sabres

Prior to Mike Weber’s short stint overseas, the former Buffalo Sabres defenseman watched some highlights of a 17-year-old phenom he would be joining with Frolunda HC, a Swedish Hockey League team.

The whiz kid’s name? Rasmus Dahlin, the ultra-gifted defenseman the Sabres will select first overall after winning Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery.... Read the full article

New Jersey’s Taylor Hall is known for scoring, not hitting. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Kyle Okposo unhappy with Taylor Hall’s hit

BUFFALO – At the 5:31 mark of the third period in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils, Taylor Hall knocked Sabres winger Kyle Okposo into the boards from behind.

While Okposo bounced right back up, the hit, which only earned Hall a two-minute boarding minor, was scary.

“That’s the play you’re trying to eliminate, right?” Okposo said Wednesday after the NHL fined Hall $5,000, the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement. “There’s ... Read the full article

Mike Weber warms up in Pittsburgh, his hometown, in 2015. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres defenseman Mike Weber happy in retirement

Mike Weber delayed the inevitable. The gritty former Buffalo Sabres defenseman opted for injections over surgery, endured more pain and couldn’t walk after games because he was wrapped up in so much ice.

In the end, Weber exhausted 10 more contests out of his wonky left knee before retiring, his second comeback after a serious injury last season.

Weber returned from that injury in five weeks – by then, the knee was almost bone on ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor knows the Amerks and Sabres well. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Friendship with Sabres GM Jason Botterill led Chris Taylor back to Amerks

ROCHESTER – Barely a year ago, after 14 seasons with the Americans as an AHL player and assistant coach, Chris Taylor was let go, the victim of new head coach Dan Lambert’s desire to field his own staff.

On Thursday, the Amerks, the Buffalo Sabres’ top affiliate, introduced Taylor as the 32nd head coach in franchise history.

A fired coach, of course, rarely returns to his old team, let alone in a larger role so ... Read the full article