Casey Mittelstadt started unlocking his potential late last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres reward breakout stretch, re-sign Casey Mittelstadt to three-year contract

Early last season, Casey Mittelstadt toiled on the taxi squad and struggled to crack the Buffalo Sabres’ lineup as a winger. By the end of the year, however, he had morphed into the team’s No. 2 center.

The Sabres on Thursday rewarded Mittelstadt’s breakout stretch under new coach Don Granato, re-signing him to a three-year, $7.5 million contract.

Mittelstadt, 22, is the first key restricted free agent the Sabres have re-signed. Defensemen Rasmus ... Read the full article

Jason Payne played 14 pro seasons before becoming a coach. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Cincinnati’s Jason Payne becomes pro hockey’s only Black head coach

The Cincinnati Cyclones on Tuesday became North America’s only pro hockey team with a Black head coach after promoting Jason Payne to the position.

Payne, 45, has spent two seasons as an assistant with the Cyclones, the Buffalo Sabres’ ECHL affiliate. He replaces Matt Thomas, who recently left to become an assistant with the Providence Bruins, Boston’s AHL affiliate. Payne will also be the Cyclones’ director of hockey operations.

The Sabres started sending prospects to ... Read the full article

Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang faces Buffalo’s Ryan Miller during the first Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2008. ©2021, Janet Schultz

Report: Sabres could play outdoor game in Canada against Maple Leafs

The Buffalo Sabres could be participating in a Heritage Classic outdoor game this season against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Hamilton, Ont., according to the Buffalo News.

The game would take place March 13 at Tim Hortons Field, the home of the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Sabres are scheduled to host Toronto that afternoon at KeyBank Center.

The Sabres did not offer that game in their two half-season ticket packages for the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel wants Buffalo to trade him. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Reports: Sabres captain Jack Eichel fires longtime agent, hires Pat Brisson

Injured Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel has fired his longtime agent, Peter Fish, and hired Pat Brisson to represent him, according to reports.

The news, first reported by Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman, comes less than a month before NHL training camps are scheduled to open. Right now, the Sabres and Eichel, who wants to be traded, are at a standstill over how to treat the herniated disc in his neck.

Eichel wants to undergo artificial disc ... Read the full article

Isak Rosen has competed against men in pro hockey as a teenager. ©2021, Leksands IF

Sabres prospect Isak Rosen possesses array of special talents: ‘Perfect vision’

Winger Isak Rosen’s selection by the Buffalo Sabres last month turned out to be a blip during a hectic NHL Draft weekend.

Consider that barely an hour before the Sabres drafted Rosen 14th overall July 23, they added a potentially franchise-altering asset by taking defenseman Owen Power with the first pick. Earlier that day, the Sabres traded defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to the Philadelphia Flyers in the deal that netted them the pick they used to ... Read the full article

Rick Jeanneret began calling Sabres games in 1971-72. ©2021, Dan Hickling

Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret to retire after upcoming season

Legendary Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret will retire following the upcoming season, his 51st with the team.

Jeanneret, the NHL’s longest-tenured announcer, announced the decision Friday. He will call a limited number of games – 20 of the 82, according to The Buffalo News – during the 2021-22 campaign.

“To my Sabres family, to spend 50 years doing any one job is more than a person can ask for, let alone one as ... Read the full article

Buffalo drafted Owen Power on July 23. ©2021

Report: Sabres prospect Owen Power to return to Michigan for sophomore year

As expected, defenseman Owen Power will return to Michigan for his sophomore season, according to The Buffalo News.

After the Buffalo Sabres drafted Power first overall July 23, he indicated he was leaning toward going back to school.

The 6-foot-6, 213-pound Power compiled three goals, 16 points and a plus-18 rating in 26 games during a freshman year shortened by COVID-19. When the virus spread throughout the team, Michigan was removed from the NCAA Tournament.... Read the full article

Tim Kennedy (middle) began his career with Buffalo. ©2021, Dan Hickling

Sabres hire Tim Kennedy, Nathan Paetsch as development coaches

Having been late-round draft picks, ex-Buffalo Sabres Tim Kennedy and Nathan Paetsch beat long odds to advance and play in the NHL. They possess a unique understanding of a hockey player’s maturation.

Kennedy and Paetsch will now be sharing their knowledge with Sabres prospects. The team on Tuesday hired them as development coaches.

They join Dan Girardi, Seamus Kotyk and Mike Ansell on Adam Mair’s player development staff. Mair was teammates with Kennedy and ... Read the full article

Casey Fitzgerald was drafted in 2016. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres re-sign Casey Fitzgerald to two-year contract

The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed restricted free agent Casey Fitzgerald to a two-year, two-way contract worth $1.5 million in the NHL, the team announced Friday.

Fitzgerald registered two goals, nine points and a minus 10-rating in 22 games with the Rochester Americans last season. The Sabres also recalled the defenseman to their taxi squad.

The 5-foot-11, 178-pound Fitzgerald, 24, has compiled five goals, 22 points and a minus-6 rating in 51 career AHL outings.... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma spent two seasons coaching Buffalo. ©2021, Dan Hickling

Former Sabres coach Dan Bylsma lands new job in minors

Ex-Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma on Tuesday landed a new job as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate the expansion Seattle Kraken will temporarily share with the Florida Panthers.

Bylsma, 50, left the Detroit Red Wings in May to pursue other opportunities after spending three years as an assistant on head coach Jeff Blashill’s staff.

As part of the agreement between Seattle and Florida, the Kraken provided an assistant coach ... Read the full article