Tag: Buffalo Sabres

Tim Murray, Dan Bylsma

Sabres hire Allen to replace Irbe as goalie coach


The Buffalo Sabres rounded out Dan Bylsma’s coaching staff on Friday, hiring former Chicago Blackhawks goalie development boss Andrew Allen as their new goalie coach.

Allen, 38, replaces the outgoing Arturs Irbe.

A former AHL and ECHL netminder, Allen was with Chicago for the last four seasons, spending the majority of his time tutoring netminders with the club’s AHL affiliate in Rockford. During Allen’s tenure, a number of solid backups rose through the ranks: Carter Hutton (now Pekka Rinne’s No. 2 in Nashville), Antti Raanta (now Henrik Lundqvist’s backup in New York) and Scott Darling (now Corey Crawford’s backup in Chicago).

In Buffalo, Allen will work with newly-acquired starter Robin Lenher and No. 2 Chad Johnson, acquired at last season’s trade deadline.

With this hire, Bylsma’s staff is now complete — Allen will join assistant coaches Terry Murray, Dave Barr and Dan Lambert on the Sabres’ bench.

Matt Ellis signs an AHL contract with Rochester

St Louis Blues v Buffalo Sabres

Matt Ellis will return to the Buffalo Sabres organization for an eighth season.

The 33-year-old has signed a one-year, American Hockey League contract with the Rochester Americans for the 2015-16 season.

The forward appeared in 39 games with the Buffalo Sabres last season scoring one goal and one assist while averaging 8:19 in time on ice.

Ellis also played 38 AHL games with the Americans scoring seven goals and six assists.

He has split the past three seasons between Buffalo and Rochester.

In 356 career NHL games split between the Sabres and Detroit Red Wings, Ellis has scored 21 goals 49 points.

Buffalo acquired Ellis off of waivers from the L.A. Kings during the 2008 preseason.

Hodgson on 14-15: ‘It was a disaster of a season by all accounts’

Nashville Predators v Buffalo Sabres

Cody Hodgson is hoping to have the kind of bounce back season Mike Ribeiro enjoyed in 2014-15.

The 25-year-old is on a similar path that Ribeiro followed last summer.

Ribeiro was bought out by the Arizona Coyotes and given a second opportunity by Preds’ GM David Poile.

Hodgson, who was bought out by the Buffalo Sabres last week, signed a similar one-year, $1.05 million deal with Nashville on July 1.

“Hopefully, I can do what he did. It’s a new opportunity for me like it was for him,” Hodgson told The Tennessean. “Hopefully, I can make the most of it like (Ribeiro) did.”

Hodgson scored a career-low six goals and 13 points in 78 games with the Sabres last season. It was just the second year of his six-year, $25.5 million deal.

“It was a rough year all the way around, on the ice, off the ice, everything could go wrong went wrong,” Hodgson said. “It was a disaster of a season by all accounts.”

In 218 games with the Sabres, over parts of four seasons, Hodgson registered 44 goals, 99 points and a minus-65 rating while averaging 16:13 in ice time.

Bishop Effect: 6-foot-9 goalie ‘trying to make a name for myself’ at Vancouver’s prospect camp


John McLean, the towering NCAA Division III goalie currently participating at Canucks prospect camp, is trending.

For starters, he’s trending on social media. After this picture surfaced on Twitter last week, websites like TSN’s Bar Down and Yahoo’s Puck Daddy took notice of what could be the tallest individual to ever tend goal professionally — after wrapping a four-year collegiate career at tiny Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, the 6-foot-9 McLean played a few games for Pensacola of the Southern Professional Hockey League this spring, which paved the way for his Canucks camp invite.

And with that invite, McLean became part of another trend.

The Canucks are no doubt intrigued by McLean’s size, especially given the recent movement towards bigger goalies in the NHL — like 6-foot-7 Lightning netminder Ben Bishop, who McLean sees as something of a role model.

“I’ve never really been able to play like an NHL goalie until Ben Bishop came along,” he explained, per TSN 1040. “I’ve just kinda played my own way and used my body to my advantage.

“Just in the last couple of years with Ben Bishop and Scott Darling coming into the picture, I was able to relate to some of the goalies.”

According to the NHL.com database, four current goalies stand 6-foot-6 or taller: Bishop, Darling, Anders Lindback and Devan Dubnyk, the latter being one of three finalists for this year’s Vezina trophy.

A handful of others, like Pekka Rinne and Darcy Kuemper, are listed at 6-foot-5 — and there could be plenty more skyscrapers on the horizon, according to Bishop, the tallest goalie in NHL history.

“I don’t know if it’ll be the end of the era [of small goalies], but I think you see taller guys that can be just as athletic as the smaller guys,” Bishop said during the Stanley Cup Final. “It seems to be the way it’s trending here.

“You look at Darling, he’s 6-6, and that guy can move pretty well. You see bigger guys that can move just as well as the smaller guys, and that’s probably why teams have started going in that direction.”

McLean has a long way to go to match the likes of Bishop and Darling, but the fact he’s at an NHL prospects camp at all is telling. Most goalies with resumes boasting Div. 3 hockey and low-tier professional experience aren’t going to get this kind of chance — but then again, most goalies’ waists aren’t at the crossbar while standing, like McLean’s is.

The 25-year-old knows his time in Vancouver is a huge break for his career, and wants to make the most of it.

“I just use my size to my advantage, and try to play big,” he explained. “I’m just trying to make a name for myself right now, and play where someone wants me.”

Related: Does Bishop, the tallest goalie in NHL history, mark ‘wave of the future’ in net?

In pitching free agents, honesty is best policy for Coyotes

Don Maloney

Imagine trying to convince a free agent to sign with the Arizona Coyotes.

Not only did the Coyotes finish with the second-worst record in the NHL last season, their future in Glendale remains murky at best.

So, how does GM Don Maloney make his pitch?

“You’re honest with them,” he said, per azcentral. “You basically say, ‘I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s a great place to play and we have great fans and a great stadium.’ Things seem to have a way of working themselves out, so we try to downplay it as much as we can.”

The Coyotes did recently convince Antoine Vermette, Zbynek Michalek, Steve Downie, Brad Richardson, and Anders Lindback to sign with them. They’re still reportedly looking for a puck-moving defenseman.

Related: Coyotes bring back Vermette with two-year deal