Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen played his first four NHL games last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen developed ‘swagger’ on way up to Sabres

BUFFALO – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen displayed it often last season, especially toward the end. The Sabres goalie prospect would become locked in and perform so well he developed some swagger.

Luukkonen, 22, wasn’t boisterous, mind you. The Finn simply possessed what Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert called an “incredible presence.”

“It’s just like something you feel during the games,” Luukkonen said of his swagger. “But I think it’s more you build up that confidence. And once ... Read the full article

Jack Quinn played 15 games as a rookie with Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres excited to watch prospect Jack Quinn play center: ‘Very good at it’

BUFFALO – Jack Quinn acclimated to center right away as a rookie, recording two assists in his debut. Had the Sabres prospect not undergone season-ending hernia surgery in April, he would’ve closed the AHL campaign pivoting a line.

“He … was very, very good at it,” Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert said of Quinn’s two-game stint at center.

So Quinn, the eighth overall pick last year as a right wing, will be playing center during ... Read the full article

J-J Peterka arrived in Buffalo on Saturday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect J-J Peterka thrilled to finally be in Buffalo: ‘He’s buzzing’

BUFFALO – Finally, after 10 months of waiting, Sabres prospect J-J Peterka was set to leave Germany and travel here to prepare for his first NHL training camp.

In normal times, of course, Peterka, 19, probably would’ve visited Buffalo two or three times over the last year. But the COVID-19 pandemic forced the winger to stay home.

“I was so curious about it, so excited the whole last year,” a smiling Peterka said following Wednesday’s ... Read the full article

Tim Kennedy (middle) began his career with Buffalo. ©2021, Dan Hickling

Sabres hire Tim Kennedy, Nathan Paetsch as development coaches

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

Casey Fitzgerald was drafted in 2016. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres re-sign Casey Fitzgerald to two-year contract

The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed restricted free agent Casey Fitzgerald to a two-year, two-way contract worth $1.5 million in the NHL, the team announced Friday.

Fitzgerald registered two goals, nine points and a minus 10-rating in 22 games with the Rochester Americans last season. The Sabres also recalled the defenseman to their taxi squad.

The 5-foot-11, 178-pound Fitzgerald, 24, has compiled five goals, 22 points and a minus-6 rating in 51 career AHL outings.... Read the full article

New Buffalo goalie Craig Anderson spent 10 seasons in Ottawa. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres offer goalie Craig Anderson unique opportunity at age 40

Fifteen days during the 2005-06 season altered the path of Craig Anderson’s career.

During that uncertain stretch, Anderson pinballed around the NHL, getting plucked off waivers three times. He bounced from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues before returning to Chicago.

The experience taught Anderson, who signed a one-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres on July 28, the fleeting nature of an NHL goalie’s career. He learned he was too ... Read the full article

Michael Houser played his first four NHL games last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Goalie Michael Houser returns to Sabres organization on AHL contract

Goalie Michael Houser, who made his NHL debut late last season and started the Buffalo Sabres’ final four games, will be back in the organization next year.

The Rochester Americans on Thursday announced they’ve agreed to terms with Houser, 28, on a one-year AHL contract.

Houser, who has spent most of his career in the ECHL, became one of the hockey’s feel-good stories last spring, cracking the NHL for the first time in his ... Read the full article

Michael Peca is one of Buffalo’s all-time fan favorites. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Michael Peca relishes opportunity to rejoin Sabres organization as coach

When former Buffalo Sabres captain Michael Peca retired following the 2008-09 season, he said an offer to become an assistant coach quickly materialized.

But having bounced around and played for four teams in five years, Peca knew it was time to step away after 14 seasons and dedicate more time to his family. He couldn’t accept the coaching job.

“The family makes sacrifices and has to do a lot for your career to succeed,” said ... Read the full article

Michael Peca spent five seasons playing in Buffalo ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Amerks name popular ex-Sabres captain Michael Peca assistant coach

The Rochester Americans have named popular ex-Buffalo Sabres captain Michael Peca, a centerpiece during the team’s 1999 run to the Stanley Cup final, an assistant coach, the AHL affiliate announced today.

Peca, 47, joins ex-Sabres defenseman Mike Weber on Amerks coach Seth Appert’s staff. The 14-year NHL veteran replaces Adam Mair, who was named the Sabres’ director of player development last week.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity in Rochester, being a part ... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund enjoyed regular duty late last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres re-sign Rasmus Asplund, ink Ryan MacInnis

The Buffalo Sabres have rewarded Rasmus Asplund’s breakout stretch late last season, re-signing the restricted free agent to a two-year, $1.65 million contract, the team announced Friday.

Asplund, 23, had a career-best run after coach Don Granato took over as coach, scoring six of his seven goals and 10 of his 11 points in 23 games. He tied for fifth in goal scoring on the Sabres with winger Jeff Skinner, who played 25 more contests.... Read the full article