Rasmus Asplund enjoyed a strong finish last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Confident Rasmus Asplund thriving in bigger role with Sabres

BUFFALO – The genesis of winger Rasmus Asplund’s arrival as an everyday NHL player can be traced to Sabres coach Don Granato’s promotion last season.

For two months, Asplund had shuttled between the active roster and taxi squad, earning sporadic duty – just five of the first 29 games – during the Sabres’ miserable start. He even returned to the minors for three contests.

Then days after Granato took over, he inserted Asplund, who quickly ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis will move behind the bench permanently. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres change up coaching staff, retain Matt Ellis, add two new faces

Don Granato has overhauled the Buffalo Sabres’ coaching staff, retaining Matt Ellis and hiring Jason Christie and Marty Wilford as assistants, the team announced Thursday.

In addition, Justin White has been named video coordinator. Assistant coach Mike Bales, who’s charge of the goalies, and video coach Myles Fee will remain with the Sabres this season, according to the team. Both were hired by ex-coach Ralph Krueger.

Dan Girardi, an interim assistant coach last season, ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis (pictured) moved behind the bench when Don Granato was promoted. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres coach Don Granato to discuss filling out staff

As the Buffalo Sabres’ interim coach, Don Granato worked with a staff he inherited.

When general manager Kevyn Adams fired coach Ralph Krueger and assistant coach Steve Smith on March 17, he moved Matt Ellis, his director of player development, and Dan Girardi, a development coach, behind the bench.

Ellis replaced Granato, who ran the power play as an assistant under Krueger. Girardi, meanwhile, took over Smith’s role in charge of the defense.... Read the full article

J-J Peterka began his second pro season in Austria. ©2021, Gepa, Red Bull

Sabres prospect J-J Peterka possesses maturity, talent to be special player

Sometimes Don Jackson’s excitement got the best of him and he became too focused on helping Buffalo Sabres forward prospect J-J Peterka develop for the NHL.

“It seems like I was thinking about him more as a Buffalo Sabre more than I was him winning a championship in Munich,” said Jackson, Peterka’s coach with Red Bull Munich the past two seasons.

Jackson’s words, of course, were a bit tongue-in-cheek. It’s just that prospects of Peterka’s ... 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 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

Taylor Hall signed a one-year, $8 million contract with Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose with Kevyn Adams as coach; Taylor Hall willing to be traded

Nothing at this point, 32 games into perhaps the most miserable season in the franchise’s 51-year history, would surprise the Buffalo Sabres.

So when they learned interim coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis had entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol just hours before Thursday’s game, it wasn’t a big deal.

“In a season of unfortunate and terrible events, we’re just ready for it,” winger Taylor Hall said on a Zoom call following the Sabres’ 4-0 ... 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

Don Granato took over the Sabres last week. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato, Matt Ellis enter COVID-19 protocol; Kevyn Adams to coach Sabres

Interim Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis have entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and will be unavailable for tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team announced late this afternoon. General manager Kevyn Adams will coach the team.

Granato and Ellis are self-isolating, according to the team. Adams said they’re asymptomatic. Entering COVID-19 protocol doesn’t mean the person has tested positive.

The coaches, of course, were in close contact with the players, ... Read the full article

Kevyn Adams said Ralph Krueger “believed to his core” he could turn the Sabres around. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

After firing Ralph Krueger, Sabres GM Kevyn Adams wants more passion

In explaining why he fired Ralph Krueger, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams appealed to his players’ pride.

Adams wanted to keep Krueger, a coach he said his players believed in and “really, really love.” The rookie GM stood by him for weeks, allowing the Sabres to implode and their losing streak to balloon to 12 games.

But Wednesday morning, hours after the Sabres’ 3-2 road loss to the New Jersey Devils, Adams knew ... Read the full article