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Sabres development staff builds trust, relationships with prospects

The group, led by director of player development Adam Mair, prioritizes off-ice relationship building during in-season visits with players

by Katelyn Kardaman @BuffaloSabres /

Now more than ever before, player development departments are establishing themselves as a crucial part of winning organizations. In recent years, teams have been allocating more time and resources into developing young talent to maximize their potential. 

While player development looks different from team to team, the Buffalo Sabres have prioritized building trusting relationships to support prospects on and off the ice.

"I think that the main way to create a good relationship with someone is just to show them that you care and that you care about them as an individual and their family," Adam Mair said. 

"I think we start there by just getting to know them better because all of us know that we're people and we have a lot of other things going on outside of our sport, our job, our school, and that part is important, too.

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Sabres loan Rousek to Amerks

Rochester hosts Cleveland on Wednesday

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

The Buffalo Sabres have loaned forward Lukas Rousek to the Rochester Americans, the team announced Tuesday.

Rousek, 23, scored a goal on the first shot of his first NHL shift against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. He added an assist in the second period, becoming the first Sabres player to record a goal and an assist in his NHL debut since Maxim Afinogenov in 1999.

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Practice Report | Thompson remains day to day with upper-body injury

Levi participates in first full practice

by Jon Rudder @JonRudder /

Sabres forward Tage Thompson did not practice on Tuesday and remains day to day while he recovers from an upper-body injury. Thompson scored a goal on Friday night against the Devils but collided with New Jersey's Timo Meier and briefly left the ice.

Thompson returned to play Saturday in a 2-0 win over the Islanders but missed Monday night's 4-3 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

The Sabres' next game is Friday against the New York Rangers.

"The hope (is) that this will resolve by Friday, the issue he's dealing with, or to the point where it's much less pain than he's been playing with," Granato told The Jeremy White Show before practice.

Casey Mittelstadt stepped into Thompson's place between Jeff Skinner and Alex Tuch at practice again Tuesday.  

 Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Granato


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Fans can vote now for the 2022-23 Rick Martin Memorial Award

Round 1 polls will close on April 2 at 11:59 p.m.

by Buffalo Sabres @BuffaloSabres /

For the third year in a row, fans have the opportunity to vote for the recipient of the Rick Martin Memorial Award. "The Rico," established in 2021, is presented annually to the player fans believe best embodies what it means to be a Buffalo Sabre, through on-ice excellence, resiliency, and dedication to the community.

Fans can visit to cast their vote now. The initial polls will close on April 2 at 11:59 p.m.

The three players with the most votes will move on to a final round of voting from April 4 through April 8. The winner will be announced on Fan Appreciation Night on April 13.

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'I thank him a lot' | Kulich celebrates as Rousek scores in NHL debut

Rookie forward tallies goal and assist in shootout loss to Canadiens

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Jiri Kulich had not met Lukas Rousek prior to being drafted by the Sabres this past summer. The two Czech forwards got to know each other first at development camp in July, then as teammates this season with the Rochester Americans. 

Kulich initially struggled as he transitioned to Rochester - his first season in a new league and a new country. It was Rousek who helped him settle in, paving the way for the production that now has Kulich among the AHL's goal scoring leaders at just 18 years old. 

"He helped me mentally," Kulich said. 

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Postgame Report | Rousek records 2 points in NHL debut against Montreal

Sabres fall to Canadiens 4-3 in shootout

by Jon Rudder @BuffaloSabres /

Lukas Rousek had a memorable NHL debut Monday night at KeyBank Center, recording a goal and an assist, but the Buffalo Sabres fell to the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in the shootout. 

"He's got a feel for the game. Obviously, he knows us, he knows our systems, he knows what he's doing," Sabres coach Don Granato said. "He's a hockey player. (He had a) very good game."

Rousek, recalled from the Rochester Americans prior to the morning skate, scored his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot and added a helper in the second period to become the first Sabres player to record at least one goal and one assist in his NHL debut since Maxim Afinogenov on November 10, 1999.

"That's so exciting," defenseman Riley Stillman said. "I think it was his first shift, first shot. That's awesome. We were telling him it's an easy league, easy league for him."

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Game Preview | 5 things to know ahead of Sabres vs. Canadiens

Thompson considered a game-time decision as Buffalo seeks 3rd-straight win

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Tage Thompson will be a game-time decision for the Sabres tonight against the Montreal Canadiens, coach Don Granato announced.

Thompson sustained an upper-body injury during the first period of Buffalo's win against New Jersey on Friday. He returned in the second period and finished the game, then skated 17:03 in a victory on Long Island the following night. 

Thompson did not skate with the Sabres this morning. 

"It's going to be a monitor-as-we-go situation for a little bit," Granato said. 

Tickets for tonight are available here

Coverage on MSG begins at 6:30 p.m. The puck drops at 7 on MSG and WGR 550. 

Here are five things to know.

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Sabres statement on Pride Night

Buffalo will host 3rd annual Pride Night during tonight's game against Montreal

by Buffalo Sabres @BuffaloSabres /

The Buffalo Sabres are proud to continue to support the LGBTQIA+ community as allies by hosting host our third annual Pride Night game. It is of the utmost importance to us to continue to use our platform to strengthen our organizational goal of making hockey for everyone.

Consistent with previous years, our team feels strongly that one way to garner support is through wearing Pride jerseys and using Pride tape in warmups. That said, we are aware of general threats to certain players and understand their decision to forego risk. 

We continue to advocate for under-represented groups in hockey and hope that our pride night, like many across the league, sparks meaningful conversation and encourages support for the LGBTQIA+ community within the sport of hockey and our city.

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What to expect on the Sabres' Pride Night tonight

Warmup jerseys will be auctioned off at

by Buffalo Sabres @BuffaloSabres /

The Buffalo Sabres will host the organization's third annual Pride Night on Monday, March 27 when the team hosts the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center.

The night aims to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and reinforce the Sabres' commitment to building an inclusive fanbase, making KeyBank Center a safe and welcome space for LGBTQIA+ fans and their allies.

Players will wear special Pride-themed jerseys in pregame warmups, use custom pucks commemorating the night during the skate, and have option of using Pride Tape during warmups. The jerseys and sticks of the players who used Pride Tape will be auctioned off at to benefit local Pride organizations. 

Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.

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Sharpen Up: March 27, 2023 | Sabres have 10 games remaining

Faceoff against Montreal tonight is at 7 p.m.

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

With 10 games remaining, the Buffalo Sabres remain in the hunt for a Wild Card position. 

They are currently six points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins with a game in hand for the second Wild Card berth and seven points back of the New York Islanders for the top Wild Card seed with two games in hand. 

Tonight, the Sabres host the Montreal Canadiens for the team's annual Pride Night. Tickets are on sale now. 

The Sabres have recalled forward Lukas Rousek from the Rochester Americans, the team announced Monday morning. Rousek made the trip with the team to Long Island on an emergency basis Saturday, but did not play. He then picked up an assist in the Amerks' 5-2 win yesterday. 

Faceoff against the Habs is at 7 p.m. on MSG and WGR 550 with pregame coverage on MSG starting at 6:30.

Here's what you need to know.


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