While facing Amerks in playoffs, Utica’s Brian Flynn bears no ill will to Sabres for tank season trade

Mike Harrington

UTICA – Brian Flynn’s job these days is to help confound the Buffalo Sabres’ prospects. But ask the 33-year-old to reflect on his final hours wearing the Blue and Gold more than seven years ago and he breaks into a pained smile.

“It was a full yard sale that day,” the Utica Devils winger joked this week in Adirondack Bank Center when pondering his part of a notable moment of the Sabres’ infamous tank season.

Back in the AHL after three years in Switzerland, Flynn had 13 goals and 13 assists in 61 games this season as Utica won the AHL’s North Division. He was part of the group that hounded Rochester standout Jack Quinn in Utica’s 6-3 victory against the Amerks in Game 1 of the division semifinals Tuesday. Game 2 is Saturday night in Utica before the series moves west on the Thruway to Rochester for Game 3 Sunday at 5:05.

In a disappointing 6-3 loss to the Utica Comets in Tuesday’s opener of the best-of-five North Division semifinals, Arttu Ruotsalainen scored two slick goals and was easily Rochester’s most dangerous offensive player. 

On March 2, 2015, in the height of the Sabres’ tank for Connor McDavid, then-General Manager Tim Murray engineered four deals in advance of the NHL trade deadline. It started in the morning, about an hour before practice was to begin in Tampa’s Amalie Arena. Flynn never even got on his equipment before being…

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