It’s over

Mikhail Grigorenko has played nine AHL games this season. ©2014, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

ROCHESTER – Finally, almost two years after the Buffalo Sabres drafted him 12th overall, center Mikhail Grigorenko has landed in the AHL.

Just weeks before his 20th birthday, the prospect too good for junior but too green for the NHL has settled in nicely with the Americans.

The Amerks closed the regular season 7-1-1 with Grigorenko, who recorded his four assists in his first three appearances.

But numbers aren’t important right now.

“Maybe the thing that I’m most happy about is his consistency,” Amerks …

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Christian Ehrhoff was a minus-27 this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Offensively, Christian Ehrhoff enjoyed his best season with the Sabres in 2013-14, compiling six goals and 33 points in 79 games. But those numbers don’t tell the entire story.

Like most of his teammates, the defenseman struggled much of the miserable campaign, compiling a minus-27 rating.

In January, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said Ehrhoff was pressing. Some observers said the German often looked uninterested.

By March, Ehrhoff’s name was popping up in trade rumors. With a salary cap-friendly $4 million hit …

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Chad Ruhwedel believes Zac Rinaldo's hit was dirty. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

ROCHESTER – Chad Ruhwedel said his first concussion “wasn’t fun.” The defenseman experienced bad headaches for a few days after Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo elbowed him in the head April 6 during a recall to the Buffalo Sabres.

Ruhwedel figured his regular season was over.

But the 23-year-old, who was sent to the AHL earlier this week, felt well enough to return Friday for the Americans’ 5-1 win against the Syracuse Crunch inside the Blue Cross War Memorial.

“A little out of breath at …

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Alexander Sulzer played only 25 games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Despite having played 12 professional seasons, Sabres defenseman Alexander Sulzer avoided his first concussion until March 13, his 505th game.

Jiri Tlusty hit Sulzer a few minutes into the Sabres’ 4-2 loss in Carolina. He bumped his head on the glass.

“Then it went back and forth a couple times,” Sulzer recalled Monday.

Sulzer’s disappointing season – and possibly his 57-game Sabres career – was over.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” the German said about the concussion as the Sabres cleaned …

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Jhonas Enroth was injured March 16. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – After almost four seasons as a backup, Jhonas Enroth’s run at becoming the Sabres’ No. 1 goalie lasted seven games before a sprained MCL ended his trying campaign.

A disappointing finish to an odd year for the 25-year-old, right?

“Kind of,” Enroth said Monday inside the First Niagara Center as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers.

Get this, the Swede said he was “kind of glad” he got hurt.

“If you understand me right,” he said.

Enroth believes stepping back and seeing “everything …

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Jim Corsi joined the Sabres in 1998. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have fired or reassigned all of the assistant coaches Ted Nolan inherited from the previous regime.

Jim Corsi, the team’s popular goalie coach since 1998, is gone, the club announced today. So is Teppo Numminen, whose contract wasn’t renewed after three seasons. Joe Sacco and Jerry Forton have been offered new jobs within the organization’s hockey department after just one season with the team.

Nolan replaced Ron Rolston on an interim basis Nov. 13 before signing a three-year …

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Tim Murray discussed the Sabres' future bluntly Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Tim Murray has thought about how an NHL team could tank a season. The general manager even discussed some scenarios with the media. But he has no intention of keeping the Sabres at the bottom of the league.

With a couple of franchise-altering talents available in the 2015 draft, plenty of teams could purposely field less-than-stellar lineups next year.

The Sabres, whose previous regime played for draft picks, won’t be among them.

“I don’t know how to do it properly, I …

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The Sabres could draft Sam Reinhart this June. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Chalk up one more loss for the Sabres this season.

The rebuilding club couldn’t retain the No. 1 overall pick during Tuesday’s NHL Draft Lottery in Toronto. Instead, the Florida Panthers moved up one spot to the top selection.

The Sabres will pick second in June. Thanks to their 30th ranking this season, the Sabres had a 25 percent chance of keeping the top pick, more than any other team. The Panthers had an 18.8 percent chance.

Earlier Tuesday, Sabres general …

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The Sabres might have an opportunity to select Sam Bennett at No. 2. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Chalk up one more loss for the Sabres this season.

The rebuilding club couldn’t retain the No. 1 overall pick during tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery in Toronto. Instead, the Florida Panthers moved up one spot to the top selection.

The Sabres will pick second in June. Thanks to their 30th ranking this season, the Sabres had a 25 percent chance of keeping the top pick, more than any other team. The Panthers had an 18.8 percent chance.

Earlier today, Sabres general …

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Tim Murray talks to the media this afternoon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – In an end-of-season news conference that will likely become part of local lore, general manager Tim Murray bluntly discussed the Sabres’ future, tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery and took some not-so-veiled shots at the team’s old regime this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

He even mentioned the Sabres getting their “pee-pee slapped” by the league recently.

More on that later.

Here are some highlights from the 28-minute chat from Murray and Sabres coach Ted Nolan:

Murray on the New York Islanders GM …

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