Seth Appert filled in as an assistant coach for Buffalo in 2020-21. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Don Granato to miss game because of illness; Seth Appert to fill in

Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato is ill and won’t be available for this afternoon’s home game, the team announced this morning. Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert will assume his duties behind the bench for the day.

Granato, 56, conducted Friday’s practice and addressed the media after the Sabres prepared for their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at KeyBank Center.

When Granato went into COVID-19 protocol in 2020-21, general manager Kevyn Adams subbed behind the ... Read the full article

Nikita Novikov signed his entry-level contract in May. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Nikita Novikov turns heads in first games in Buffalo

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ leading scorer in the Prospects Challenge wasn’t Zach Benson, Jiri Kulich, Isak Rosen, Matt Savoie or another talented young forward.

No, try defenseman Nikita Novikov, who registered five assists, including three in Friday’s 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens in LECOM Harborcenter.

The Russian, 20, compiled three assists and five points in 62 games with the Kontinental Hockey League’s Moscow Dynamo all of last season.

The 6-foot-4, ... Read the full article

Zach Redmond (right) skates near Utica’s Ashton Sautner as a member of Rochester in 2017-18. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres hire former Rochester star Zach Redmond as development coach

The Buffalo Sabres have hired former NHL defenseman Zach Redmond, who starred for the Rochester Americans for three seasons, as a player development coach and Brad Dexter as a scout, the team announced Wednesday.

Redmond, 35, recently retired as a player following three seasons with Red Bull Munich, a team in Deutsche Eishockey Liga.

The Sabres needed to find a new development coach after former NHL defenseman Nathan Paetsch moved behind the bench to become ... Read the full article

Vaclav “Vinny” Prospal played for seven NHL teams, including the New York Rangers. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

New Amerks assistant coaches Vinny Prospal, Nathan Paetsch offer Sabres prospects notable experience

About six years ago, a mutual friend put Seth Appert and Vaclav “Vinny” Prospal in contact with each other.

Appert, now the Rochester Americans’ coach, was working at the U.S. National Team Development Program. Prospal, a veteran of 1,108 NHL games as a player, was coaching in the Tampa Scorpions youth organization.

As they chatted about hockey and player development, Appert realized how Prospal, who on Monday was named one of Rochester’s assistant coaches, embraced ... Read the full article

Nathan Paetsch smiles last week during development camp. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres name Nathan Paetsch, Vinny Prospal assistant coaches with Amerks

The Buffalo Sabres today named former NHL players Nathan Paetsch and Vinny Prospal as assistant coaches on Seth Appert’s staff with the Rochester Americans.

They replace Mike Weber and Michael Peca, both of whom recently left the AHL team to take assistant coaching jobs in the NHL.

The Sabres also announced the coaching staffs in Buffalo and Rochester have received contract extensions. Sabres coach Don Granato earned an extension prior to last season.

Paetsch, 40, ... Read the full article

Rochester coach Seth Appert, shown here standing behind center Mason Jobst, knows his players will benefit from a long playoff run. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Success Sabres prospects enjoying with Rochester Amerks could help in Buffalo

ROCHESTER – Before the Americans staved off elimination by defeating the Hershey Bears on Wednesday, coach Seth Appert asked his assistants and some veterans how many times they had competed in a conference finals or championship.

Michael Peca, who played 13 seasons and captained the Buffalo Sabres to the Stanley Cup final in 1999, told him three. Mike Weber, who played 10 years, said he never advanced that far. Defenseman Matt Bartkowski, a ... Read the full article

Ryan Johnson recently finished college. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres and city helped Ryan Johnson choose Buffalo: ‘Right in my heart’

ROCHESTER – Ryan Johnson acknowledged that, yes, free agency was tempting. As the defense prospect agonized over whether to sign with the Buffalo Sabres and sought the advice of others, he heard where he might fit well elsewhere.

“It’s like, ‘Oh, wow, you get to choose where you want to go?’” Johnson said Monday after skating with the Americans for the first time.

While the open market intrigued Johnson, he knew rejecting the Sabres would ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville scored 19 goals in just 18 games for Rochester in 2005-06. ©2023, Rochester Americans

Amerks Hall of Fame: Before starring role in Buffalo, Sabres could’ve lost Jason Pominville on waivers

ROCHESTER – No one, it seems, except for perhaps Jason Pominville himself, could believe the Buffalo Sabres did it.

Sure, the team was stacked up front in 2005 as the NHL emerged from the lockout. But why would they waive Pominville, one of their top prospects? He was out of options, and if they wanted to assign him to the Americans again, he would have to clear.

Every other team would have a chance to ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller had to learn how to limit his workload in practice. ©2023, Dan Hickling

Practice habits helped make former Sabres goalie Ryan Miller legend

BUFFALO – Having played with Dominik Hasek in Detroit, Matt Ellis learned firsthand how his legendary work ethic helped make him perhaps the greatest goalie in history.

When Ellis arrived here in 2008, he quickly noticed that goalie Ryan Miller, whose No. 30 was retired by the Sabres prior to Thursday’s 3-2 overtime win against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center, possessed a similar drive to be the best.

“The thing that jumped ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller played 48 games as a rookie in 2005-06. ©2023, Janet Schultz

Ryan Miller, Martin Biron and Sabres’ goalie ‘battle’ of 2005-06

BUFFALO – Martin Biron remembers worrying about himself, not the arrival of Ryan Miller or any looming goalie battle, when the NHL lockout ended in 2005.

In 1999, the Sabres had used a fifth-round pick on a lanky American – “Took a flier on him,” former goalie coach Jim Corsi told the Times Herald – who would develop into a dynamic prospect.

“We drafted this young man, he was so skinny he had to run ... Read the full article