Maine Hockey Journal

Sabres sign Rank to AHL contract

Portland, ME – There has been an exodus of players from the Portland Pirates over the last several weeks since free agency opened and very little has come from the Buffalo Sabres, the Pirates’ AHL affiliate, but at least one free agent will be staying.

Kyle Rank has signed an AHL contract with the Sabres and will be calling Portland, Maine home for at least one more season.

Rank, 26, spent last season with the Pirates and Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. A mid-season replacement, Rank spent two tour of duties with the Pirates, being recalled a second time on December 20, 2008. In 44 games with the Pirates, he scored one goal, seven assists for eight points. During his time in the ECHL, he scored 16 points (4g, 12a) in 23 games with the Cyclones.

Not known as a goal scorer, his solid work ethic impressed the coaching staff in Portland, but also impressed the staff in Buffalo – enough they offered him an AHL contract for this season.

“We were impressed, but more importantly (Pirates’ head coach) Kevin (Dineen) was impressed,” said Sabres GM Darcy Regier. “Working with him on a day-to-day basis, (Dineen) felt very strongly about the type of player that (Rank) was and the character that he brought (to the team).”

Once the season in Portland was over, Rank departed for Cincinnati were he help the Cyclones to a berth in the American Conference Finals against the South Carolina Stingrays, the eventual Kelly Cup Champions.

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