Michael Houser player four games for the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres make moves, send five players to Amerks

Goalie Michael Houser, who started four games for the Buffalo Sabres last week, was among five players the team sent to the Rochester Americans this morning.

The Sabres also assigned defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and forwards Steven Fogarty, Brett Murray and C.J. Smith to their AHL affiliate.

The Amerks have four games left this season, starting with Wednesday’s road contest against the Utica Comets.... Read the full article

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 recently joined Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Ex-Vermont goalie Stefanos Lekkas grateful for time with Sabres

BUFFALO – On April 10 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, goalie Stefanos Lekkas played his last game for the Komets, an ECHL team, allowing five goals in a loss to the Indy Fuel.

Twenty-three days later, Lekkas was in the NHL, serving as Sabres rookie Michael Houser’s backup for Monday’s 4-2 win over the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center.

The memories of the night will forever be seared in Lekkas’ head.

“Just to go through ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour tries to escape Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl in Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Don Granato overworks players; Buffalo plans to add prospects

BUFFALO – Instead of letting the Sabres rest and recover in the midst of their grueling schedule, interim coach Don Granato said he has “overworked” his players.

“We’re trying to push them harder to develop harder,” Granato said on a Zoom call prior to Wednesday’s 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. “We know we have to get better. The focus has to be on that. And we have to trust that wins ... 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 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

Jack Quinn was a difference-maker Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Jack Quinn wows in pro debut with Amerks

ROCHESTER – Seth Appert’s gut told him rookie Jack Quinn deserved an opportunity to follow C.J. Smith in the shootout.

After starting his pro debut slowly, Quinn, 19, grew comfortable as Thursday’s game progressed. Late in the third period, the Sabres prospect created Steven Fogarty’s tying power-play goal for the Americans.

So when Appert needed a second shooter after Smith scored, he wanted to utilize Quinn, an ultra-talented winger Buffalo drafted eighth overall last year.... Read the full article

Patrick Polino played college hockey at RPI. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

North Buffalo native Patrick Polino happy to begin pro career with Amerks

Four days before Rochester’s season opener, the Sabres recalled Jean-Sebastien Dea and C.J. Smith, taking two of the Americans’ top forwards for their taxi squad.

Later in the week, Jack Quinn, a winger Buffalo sent down, had to begin quarantining because he was with the Sabres when their COVID-19 problems began. Meanwhile, another forward the Amerks recently added, Remi Elie, was completing a mandatory quarantine following his arrival in Rochester.

Before the ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen made his AHL debut Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks’ Arttu Ruotsalainen scores, looks like special prospect for Sabres

ROCHESTER – Having played 19 times earlier this season, Buffalo Sabres prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen has a strong advantage over most AHL players, many of whom haven’t experienced any game action for nearly a year.

Ruotsalainen, 23, enjoyed regular duty in his native Finland, morphing into perhaps Liiga’s biggest star. He left his team, Ilves, in December having scored a league-high 16 goals.

Not surprisingly, Ruotsalainen stood out in his North American debut Friday, scoring a ... Read the full article