BUFFALO – Three weeks ago, as the Sabres began rotating defensemen, coach Don Granato told general manager Kevyn Adams he believed watching a game would help Jacob Bryson.
Getting scratched wasn’t a punishment for poor play. Granato simply wanted to utilize his entire blue line, so for a seven-game stretch, four defensemen – Bryson, Robert Hagg, Mark Pysyk and Mattias Samuelsson – moved in an out.
When Bryson, 24, sat out Feb. 10, he ... Read the full article
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 – Don Granato first sensed it during the Sabres’ marathon offseason in 2020. Having been humbled by his demotion to the minors, Casey Mittelstadt grasped he had reached a critical juncture of his career.
When Granato, then an assistant coach, spoke to Mittelstadt, he could feel the center was evolving and maturing.
“He was putting all these pieces (together) of what people had presented to him,” Granato said following Wednesday’s practice.
Granato said Mittelstadt ... Read the full article
Buffalo Sabres coach Ralph Krueger figured defenseman Will Borgen couldn’t have broken his arm.
After the rookie blocked a shot late in the first period of Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 win against the New Jersey Devils, he stayed in the game, taking a regular shift over the final 40 minutes.
So when Krueger learned another evaluation had revealed Borgen, 24, fractured his right forearm, he said he felt “absolute shock.”
Borgen underwent surgery Tuesday and will ... Read the full article
Seth Appert remembers feeling scared walking up the stairs that day almost 26 years ago inside Ferris State’s hotel.
A night earlier, as Miami was annihilating his school in a CCHA playoff game in Oxford, Ohio, Appert had approached his coach, Bob Daniels, during the second intermission.
Appert, a junior backup goalie, suggested to Daniels that Jeff Blashill, who had been pulled early from the blowout, should replace him. If Blashill re-entered the game, Appert ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In Sunday afternoon’s pregame warm-up, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger showcased the same lines he had utilized the previous day against the New Jersey Devils, with one exception.
Casey Mittelstadt, who was replacing Tage Thompson, skated at left wing beside top center Jack Eichel and Victor Olofsson.
Then when Sunday’s contest started, Krueger changed three of four Sabres’ lines. Only one trio from warm-ups – center Cody Eakin, left wing ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As a defenseman, Rasmus Ristolainen understands how a big body in front of the net can be a weapon during a power play.
“If some other teams, they have some good net-front presence, I know how hard it is to play when there’s guys standing in front of the net screening (the) goalie all the time,” the Sabres veteran said after scoring a power-play goal in Sunday afternoon’s 5-3 loss to the New ... 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
The New Jersey Devils have hired former Rochester Americans head coach Chris Taylor as an assistant on Lindy Ruff’s staff, the team announced today.
Taylor played for Ruff over parts of four seasons with the Buffalo Sabres. Ruff, who was hired by New Jersey on July 9, also added Dave Rogalski as goalie coach to complete his staff.
Ruff named Mark Recchi and Alain Nasreddine his first assistants in September.
New Buffalo general manager Kevyn ... Read the full article
When the Buffalo Sabres named ex-Americans coach Chris Taylor an interim NHL assistant a year ago, Adam Mair moved from his role as a development coach to Rochester’s bench.
Mair, 41, said he had always aspired to become a bench coach, and the seven weeks he spent assisting interim coach Gord Dineen “confirmed the passion that I sought out to achieve right when I stopped playing.”
“Being on the bench was the best way for ... Read the full article