Matt Ellis instructs Sabres propsects at development camp. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Playing career prepared Matt Ellis for new development role with Sabres

During his playing days, former Buffalo Sabres forward Matt Ellis embraced what he calls the “art of preparation.”

Ellis, the Sabres’ new director of player development, kept a training notebook he still consults. He constantly searched for ways to evolve and maximize his potential.

“I was always a chronic explorer,” Ellis said by phone Wednesday.

In the 2009 offseason, for example, Ellis, then 27, overhauled his shot, changing it so he could create more ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis captained Rochester during his playing days. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres name Matt Ellis director of player development

General manager Kevyn Adams has turned to an old friend, Matt Ellis, to be the Buffalo Sabres’ new director of player development.

The Sabres today named Ellis, 39, to his first NHL front office post.

Ellis played 356 NHL games over nine seasons, including 286 contests with the Sabres, after going undrafted. Following his retirement in 2016, Adams hired Ellis as a development coach at the Academy of Hockey at Harborcenter.... Read the full article

The Sabres hired Kevyn Adams on June 16. ©2020, Dan Hickling, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Kevyn Adams reached out to Jack Eichel shortly after hiring

Since the Buffalo Sabres drafted Jack Eichel in 2015, they’ve employed three general managers and three coaches. The startling numbers illustrate the franchise’s dysfunction.

After the Sabres fired GM Jason Botterill on June 16, Kevyn Adams, his replacement, called Eichel later that day. Adams and owners Terry and Kim Pegula also had a conversation with their captain and biggest star.

“From there, (we) exchanged some notes back and forth,” Adams said on a Zoom call ... Read the full article

Kevyn Adams served as an assistant coach with the Sabres before moving into different roles. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

GM Kevyn Adams has long to-do list as he begins trying to transform Sabres

Right now, Kevyn Adams has a precious commodity as he begins his unlikely tenure as Buffalo Sabres general manager: time.

Being a rookie GM is difficult enough for front office veterans. Adams, 45, was hired to replace Jason Botterill last week having never worked in an NHL hockey department.

Adams, of course, knows the hockey world and his bosses, Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula, well. The Clarence native played 10 seasons in the NHL ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor has made Rochester his home since 1999. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres fired Amerks coach Chris Taylor with no explanation

The call lasted less than a minute. Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams simply informed Chris Taylor he was being fired as Rochester Americans coach, offering no details into the sudden dismissal.

Taylor was stunned. Following a successful three-year run in which the Amerks reestablished themselves as an AHL heavyweight, the Sabres let him go Tuesday with no explanation.

“It was very short, fast, why they felt that they wanted a clean slate,” Taylor told ... Read the full article

Randy Sexton (left) and Jason Botterill spent three years with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Disconnect with Pegulas costs Jason Botterill job as Sabres GM

If the NHL could’ve held its draft as scheduled next week, Jason Botterill would likely still be employed as the Buffalo Sabres’ general manager. But the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to postpone the annual event until the fall.

The extra time gave Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula an opportunity to discuss and plan the team’s future – “Really start digging in,” Kim Pegula said on a Zoom call Tuesday to discuss Botterill’s firing ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor spent three years as Rochester's coach. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres fire Amerks coach Chris Taylor and assistants

In his three years as Rochester Americans coach, Chris Taylor helped re-energize the Buffalo Sabres’ moribund AHL affiliate.

For the first time in years, the Amerks morphed into a consistent winner. Players, meanwhile, regularly raved about the affable Taylor and his staff.

When the Sabres needed an assistant to fill in behind the bench early this season, they elevated Taylor, who is often talked about as a future NHL coach.

But on Tuesday, hours after ... Read the full article

Sabres owner Terry Pegula (left) and Kevyn Adams, his new general, have known each other a long time. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

After firing Jason Botterill, Sabres will go forward as ‘leaner’ operation

If the NHL could’ve held its draft as scheduled next week, Jason Botterill would likely still be employed as the Buffalo Sabres’ general manager. But the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to postpone the annual event until the fall.

The extra time gave Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula an opportunity to discuss and plan the team’s future – “Really start digging in,” Kim Pegula said on a Zoom call Tuesday to discuss Botterill’s firing ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill spent three seasons as general manager. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres fire GM Jason Botterill, name Kevyn Adams replacement

In a stunning move this morning, the Buffalo Sabres fired general manager Jason Botterill after three seasons and replaced him with Kevyn Adams, who had been serving as the team’s senior vice president of business administration.

“This morning, we informed Jason Botterill he will no longer be the general manager of the Sabres,” Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula said in a statement. “This decision was made after many candid discussions with Jason during ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen enjoyed a breakout season in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen battling to stick in NHL

BUFFALO – The Sabres started calling Arttu Ruotsalainen late last year.

Sometimes assistant general manager Steve Greeley would phone the undrafted center. Other times European scout Teemu Numminen would check in.

“What we liked is were on a player probably before he totally popped,” Greeley said Saturday between sessions of training camp inside KeyBank Center. “I think we might’ve been a little bit ahead of the game, hopefully, in getting him in our organization.”

Over ... Read the full article