BUFFALO – Of all the coaches the Sabres’ Matt Ellis could’ve faced in his first game filling in for Don Granato, it turned out to be the one he knows best, Lindy Ruff.
These days, Ruff, 61, coaches the New Jersey Devils, the Sabres’ opponent Wednesday at KeyBank Center.
Ellis, 40, played under Ruff for parts of five seasons, growing from a forward the Sabres plucked off waivers into an NHL regular. ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was among six players the Sabres sent to the Rochester Americans this morning.
The Sabres also assigned forwards Matej Pekar, Ryan MacInnis, Sean Malone and Linus Weissbach and defenseman Oskari Laaksonen to their AHL affiliate.
The Amerks open training camp today. The Sabres, meanwhile, play a road preseason game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Ten Sabres – much of their established talent – will be making their preseason debut tonight at KeyBank Center.
So some of the line combinations and defense pairings the Sabres will be showcasing against the Pittsburgh Penguins could be utilized in the regular season.
Top center Casey Mittelstadt pivoted Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson this morning. On defense, Rasmus Dahlin skated beside Henri Jokiharju, his partner late last season.
Coach Don Granato said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Matej Pekar wanted to agitate Brett Gallant, so as they awaited a faceoff at center ice, he bumped into the AHL’s premier tough guy.
Gallant, of course, retaliated, cross-checking Pekar near his neck. A second later, Pekar, a rookie forward with the Americans, dropped the gloves for the first time as a pro.
Meanwhile, Gallant, a veteran with the Cleveland Monsters, registered his 107th AHL fight, according to hockeyfights.com.
It ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Michael Frolik’s whirlwind Tuesday started around 6:30 a.m. in Toronto. After waking up, the Sabres newcomer headed to the U.S. Embassy.
After a trip back to the hotel, Frolik returned around 3 or 4 p.m. and picked up his visa – he said it was approved in just one day – and left for Buffalo. But traffic added nearly an hour to the drive, so the Czech arrived around 7:30 p.m.
Five days ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Seven years ago, Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe had no idea he would be named captain of Team USA’s entry at the World Junior Championship.
The team, after all, had some returning players. McCabe, then 19, was participating in his first tournament.
“It was one I was surprised about because I was a first-year player,” McCabe said prior to Friday’s 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins at KeyBank Center. “But I took it with ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After awarding Matej Pekar an opportunity to play his first NHL exhibition game, the Sabres sent one of their top forward prospects back to the junior Barrie Colts today.
In Tuesday’s 4-1 road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Pekar registered a team-high four hits, three shots on goal, three blocked shots and a minus-1 rating.
Pekar, 19, recently stood out during the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament, showcasing his mix of skill and ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Matej Pekar acknowledged he had been thinking about this opportunity. Sure, it’s just an NHL preseason game. But for the Sabres prospect, tonight’s exhibition represents another small milestone.
“It’s happening,” Pekar said after he prepared for the Sabres’ road contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets, his preseason NHL debut. “I just have to be ready for it.”
While Pekar, 19, is probably a longshot to crack the Sabres, his mix of skill and ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres forward Kyle Olson started turning heads on his first shift, scoring just 30 seconds into Friday’s Prospects Challenge opener.
The quick goal turned out to be a harbinger for the rookie camp invite.
Olson, 20, has looked impressive throughout the Sabres’ two wins, showcasing his speed, tenacity and versatility.
“He’s smart, he’s skilled, he thinks the game very well, so he’s able to play with skilled players,” Sabres assistant general manager Randy ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Not long ago, the Sabres made a deal with Brett Murray, a prospect whose commitment to conditioning wasn’t up to pro standards.
“What we told him was, ‘Look, you have to make the commitment. If you make a commitment and we see it in development camp, we’ll bring you to the rookie tournament,’” Sabres assistant general manager Randy Sexton said prior to Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins inside Harborcenter.
The ... Read the full article