Buffalo drafted Brett Murray in 2016. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Brett Murray thrilled to make NHL debut: ‘At a loss for words’

Buffalo Sabres rookie Brett Murray experienced an unconventional path to the NHL, moving backwards before taking small steps forward.

Three years ago, Murray, who made his NHL debut in Thursday’s 8-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, left Penn State and returned to junior. Before last season, after making a stronger commitment to his conditioning, he received an AHL contract.

Murray, a fourth-round pick in 2016, 99th overall, parlayed a solid rookie campaign with the ... Read the full article

Stefanos Lekkas has played seven games with Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres sign Amerks goalie Stefanos Lekkas to PTO, make other moves

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

Steven Fogarty is Rochester’s captain. ©2021, Micheline Velvuvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres make roster move, send Steven Fogarty to Amerks

The Buffalo Sabres this morning recalled forward Jean-Sebastien Dea from the AHL to the taxi squad and sent winger Steven Fogarty from the taxi squad back to the Rochester Americans.

Dea, 27, went pointless in one game for the Sabres earlier this season. He has scored four goals and 13 points in 11 outings with the Amerks this year.

Meanwhile, Fogarty, 27, has played seven games for the Sabres this season, recording one goal and ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen signed as a free agent with Buffalo in 2019. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres want to give prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen look before season ends

BUFFALO – Arttu Ruotsalainen’s pro experience belies his prospect status. The Sabres rookie played six seasons in Liiga, Finland’s top pro circuit. When he left Ilves earlier this season, he had scored a league-leading 16 goals in only 19 games.

Ruotsalainen, 23, arrived here for training camp barely three months ago close to a finished product. So it wasn’t surprising the center earned his first NHL recall after playing just 13 games with the Rochester ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen has compiled 13 points in 13 games with Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres make roster moves, recall Arttu Ruotsalainen from Amerks

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

Casey Mittelstadt has moved up the depth chart this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt’s development earns him gig as Sabres’ top center

BUFFALO – Shifting Casey Mittelstadt to center wasn’t simply a result of the hapless Sabres trading Eric Staal or Jack Eichel suffering a lower-body injury.

Yes, injuries and Staal’s departure have decimated the Sabres at center. The four who practiced Tuesday inside KeyBank Center – Mittelstadt, Cody Eakin, Curtis Lazar and Riley Sheahan – have combined to score 10 goals and 25 points this season.

Interim coach Don Granato, whose Sabres host the Philadelphia ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has often been a healthy scratch this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson could thrive under interim coach Don Granato

BUFFALO – After morphing from a first-liner into a healthy scratch earlier this season, Tage Thompson could enjoy regular duty under interim coach Don Granato.

Thompson needs consistent action to buoy his development. The 6-foot-7, 219-pound winger has played only 17 NHL games in a more than two-year stretch.

Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center was the Sabres’ 18th straight defeat. They have nothing to lose by playing him.

“It’s ... Read the full article

Eric Staal spent less than one season in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Eric Staal doesn’t want to revisit past with Sabres: ‘Put that behind me’

Eric Staal was hardly interested in revisiting his rough 32-game tenure in Buffalo and explaining the hapless Sabres’ struggles.

Staal, 36, left the NHL’s laughingstock on Friday in the midst of a stunning 17-game winless skid and a personal 23-game goal drought.

So can you blame the veteran center, one of the league’s most decorated players, for wanting to forget about a tumultuous two months and concentrate on his new opportunity with the Montreal Canadiens?... Read the full article

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

False COVID-19 positives caused Sabres’ Don Granato, Matt Ellis to miss game

When interim Buffalo Sabres Don Granato learned on Thursday his COVID-19 test had returned positive, he said he was in disbelief.

“Quite honestly, I didn’t believe it in the sense of, I said, ‘It’s not right, it didn’t feel right,’” Granato, who received his second vaccination last week, said on a Zoom call this morning. “And I say that because I believe the protocols that have been in place have given me a level ... Read the full article

Don Granato has coached the Sabres three games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Everything has gone wrong for Sabres in chaotic season

Ninety minutes before his NHL head coaching debut, Kevyn Adams was more focused on stepping behind the bench than trying to process the chaos that has transpired in his first season as Buffalo Sabres general manager.

“I can’t even really get into all that,” Adams said on a Zoom call prior to the Sabres’ 16th consecutive loss, a 4-0 setback to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Can you blame Adams? The season from hell refuses to let ... Read the full article