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
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
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
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
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
BUFFALO – Given his rookie status last season, Djurgardens’ former general manager figured Sabres prospect Filip Cederqvist would play a supporting role for the Swedish Hockey League team, perhaps on the third or fourth line.
But coach Barry Smith found wherever he put the 6-foot-3 Cederqvist in the lineup during the preseason, the youngster “was empowering” his teammates.
“He plays a power forward game, and because he plays a power forward game, he can really ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When center Casey Mittelstadt returned home in the spring following the Sabres’ last-place finish, he forced himself to tune into the Stanley Cup playoffs every night.
Mittelstadt, of course, enjoys watching hockey. But some nights, he acknowledged, it “can be painful,” especially in the early rounds when lower seeds upset heavy favorites.
The Montreal Canadiens earned just 59 points last season, the lowest of any playoff team. So as Mittelstadt watched them stun ... Read the full article
Having been late-round draft picks, ex-Buffalo Sabres Tim Kennedy and Nathan Paetsch beat long odds to advance and play in the NHL. They possess a unique understanding of a hockey player’s maturation.
Kennedy and Paetsch will now be sharing their knowledge with Sabres prospects. The team on Tuesday hired them as development coaches.
They join Dan Girardi, Seamus Kotyk and Mike Ansell on Adam Mair’s player development staff. Mair was teammates with Kennedy and ... Read the full article
In April, when MSG replayed the Buffalo Sabres’ gut-wrenching Game 7 loss from 2006, Nathan Paetsch decided it was time to relive the craziest night of his NHL career.
For almost 14 years, the defeat stung so badly that Paetsch, who retired Friday, avoided watching the final game of the classic Eastern Conference final series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“I never looked back on it,” Paetsch said of the memorable 4-2 loss during a Zoom ... Read the full article
Former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nathan Paetsch, who also spent parts of seven seasons with the Rochester Americans over three stints, has retired, the AHL club announced today.
The popular Paetsch, 37, played 870 games over 17 pro seasons, including 157 contests with the Sabres. He compiled 23 goals and 100 points in 258 career games with the Amerks.
Paetsch, who would sometimes moonlight as a forward, embraced a new role when he returned to ... Read the full article