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Sabres' Sulzer heading back to Germany on five-year deal

By John Vogl

Alexander Sulzer is heading home.

Sulzer, who played in Buffalo during the last three seasons, has signed a five-year contract with the Cologne Sharks in Germany, the club announced on its website. The German-born defenseman was set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer after finishing a one-year, $725,000 deal.

Sulzer played just 25 games for the Sabres this season as the arrival of prospects and a concussion limited his playing time. The 29-year-old had two assists and a minus-3 rating.

Sulzer arrived in Buffalo in February 2012 as part of the trade that brought Cody Hodgson from Vancouver. Sulzer totaled 57 games in Buffalo and recorded six goals and eight assists.

Thankful for clean slate, Sulzer ready to show Sabres' new bosses he can play

By John Vogl

Alexander Sulzer fell victim to the Sabres' youth movement at the start of the year. He's now part of the veteran renaissance.

Sulzer is up from Rochester and will play Sunday when the Sabres host Detroit. The 29-year-old had two goals and seven points in 10 games for the Amerks. He got the call Friday night after coach Ted Nolan and President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine attended the Amerks' 3-2 loss to Utica.

"One of the reasons we went down was we wanted to see him play," Nolan said today after practice in Bud Bakewell Arena at Riverside Park. "He’s a veteran guy. Like I’ve said, we’ve got a lot of young talent here, and we’ve got to make sure they mature at the right pace. This guy’s a veteran guy that’s been around for a while, and he could have some stability back there for us.

"That’s what we’re looking for. We’re running around in our defensive zone too much. We just need guys to stay back. We’ve got one of the better goaltenders in the world, so we just have to make sure we protect back there and get the puck up to our forwards."

Sulzer is in his third season in the organization and has played 33 games for the Sabres with six goals and six assists. He practiced alongside Christian Ehrhoff.

"I’m just excited to be back and get the chance again, just trying to play my game and prove that the decision early in the year was wrong to send me down," Sulzer said. "It’s a complete new start. Like he’s mentioned many times, it’s a clean slate for everybody. Everybody deserves that. Things didn’t really work the way they were before, so they’re just trying to look at their options and evaluate after that. I really appreciate the chance."

Forward Cody McCormick was absent from practice and will miss at least a week.

"Cody’s banged up a little bit," Nolan said. "In the modern day you’ve got to say upper body or lower body. Pick your choice. He’s got one of them."

Sabres recall Sulzer; LaFontaine updates GM search

By John Vogl

Alexander Sulzer is back with the Sabres, who are back on the ice after a day off.

The Sabres recalled the defenseman following Friday night's game in Rochester, a 3-2 loss to Utica that was watched by President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine and Sabres coach Ted Nolan.

Sulzer is back for the second time this season. He was called up Oct. 5 but did not play in Pittsburgh. In 10 games with the Amerks, the veteran defenseman has two goals and seven points.

The Sabres are using eight defensemen during this morning's practice at Riverside Ice Rink: Sulzer, Mark Pysyk, Brayden McNabb, Henrik Tallinder, Tyler Myers, Jamie McBain, Mike Weber and John Scott.

The forward line trios are: Matt Moulson-Cody Hodgson-Drew Stafford, Ville Leino-Steve Ott-Tyler Ennis, Zemgus Girgensons-Mikhail Grigorenko-Luke Adam, and Corey Tropp-Marcus Foligno-Brian Flynn. Cody McCormick is not practicing.

Continue reading "Sabres recall Sulzer; LaFontaine updates GM search" »

Sabres send Sulzer back to Amerks

By John Vogl

The Sabres have sent Alexander Sulzer back to Rochester.

The defenseman went down this afternoon so the team could activate fellow blue-liner Henrik Tallinder from injured reserve. Tallinder will play alongside Tyler Myers tonight against Minnesota in First Niagara Center.

Sulzer was sent to Rochester prior to the season opener and recalled when Tallinder suffered a shoulder injury Oct. 4. Sulzer played one game, logging 19:20 against Chicago on Saturday and didn't record a stat.

Sabres place Sulzer on waivers, hope to send D-man to Amerks; Adam clears

By John Vogl

The Sabres have waived defenseman Alexander Sulzer, a move necessary for the team to send him to Rochester.

Sulzer played 17 games for the Sabres last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Buffalo re-signed the 29-year-old to a one-year, $725,000 contract. If he clears waivers, Sulzer and his complete salary will patrol the blue line in Rochester.

The move leaves the Sabres with eight defensemen, including injured Nikita Zadorov, who is expected to be sent to his junior team when healthy. The seven blue-liners who will start the season in Buffalo are Christian Ehrhoff, Tyler Myers, Mike Weber, Henrik Tallinder, Mark Pysyk, Rasmus Ristolainen and newcomer Jamie McBain.

Sulzer was the only waiver move made today by the Sabres, who needed to waive any veterans today in order to have them off the roster by the Monday afternoon deadline.

Luke Adam, who was waived Saturday, was not claimed and will report to the Amerks.

The Sabres have 27 players on the roster, including forwards Corey Tropp (jaw) and Joel Armia (hand), who will be placed on injured reserve along with Zadorov. That makes 24, so they need to send at least one more player to the Amerks to get to the roster limit of 23 by 3 p.m. Monday.

Forwards Brian Flynn, Zemgus Girgensons and Johan Larsson do not need waivers to be sent to Rochester.

Blue line updates: Sulzer signs again, Pardy heads to Peg

By Mike Harrington

The Sabres have brought back a familiar face to their defense corps today, re-signing Alexander Sulzer to a one-year contract with an identical $725,000 salary as last seaason. The team has also confirmed the two-year, two-way deal with Drew Bagnall that we reported late Friday night.

Sulzer, 29, was acquired from Vancouver at the trade deadline in 2012 for Marc-Andre Gragnani and acquitted himself as a solid third-pair blueliner. Expected to contribute last year when the lockout finally ended, he played just 17 games before suffering a knee injury on a hit against the boards in the Feb. 23 loss to the New York Islanders -- Ron Rolston's first game as coach in First Niagara Center -- and did not play the rest of the season. He eventually had surgery on the knee.

Sulzer had three goals for the Sabres each of the last two years. He had one goal in 74 combined games with Florida, Nashville and Vancouver earlier in his career. 

GM Darcy Regier said at this week's free agency preview press conference that he would not offer a contract to Sulzer or fellow UFA Adam Pardy prior to Friday. But any team, like the Sabres learned the hard way in 2006, needs depth at defense and in the minor leagues. 

(Afternoon update: Pardy has signed a one-year, $600,000 deal with the Winnipeg Jets)

So the Sabres now have nine defensemen with NHL experience -- Christian Erhoff, Tyler Myers, Mike Weber, Mark Pysyk, Jamie McBain, Chad Ruhwedel, Brayden McNabb, Sulzer and Bagnall. Of course, the experience of Ruhwedel (seven games with the Sabres) and Bagnall (two games with Minnesota) is limited. And No. 1 draft pick Rasmus Ristolainen is expected to be given an opportunity to make the NHL roster in training camp as well.

Sabres' Sulzer out for rest of season after knee surgery; Leino, Ennis, Miller set to return against Senators

By John Vogl

Alexander Sulzer will miss the rest of the season for the Buffalo Sabres after undergoing successful surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The normal recovery time is a year.

The defenseman was injured Feb. 23 against the Islanders after a collision in the corner.

"He had successful knee surgery and he will be out for the rest of the year," interim coach Ron Rolston said today. "What happens in those injuries – I’m not really a doctor, but I play one on TV – what happens is there’s so much swelling early on that it’s hard to diagnose early how damaged it is until that goes away and until they can actually go in there.

Continue reading "Sabres' Sulzer out for rest of season after knee surgery; Leino, Ennis, Miller set to return against Senators" »

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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