18 games left

The Sabres are Chad Johnson's fifth NHL team. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Just days ago, fans were calling for Sabres coach Ted Nolan to sit hot starting goalie Michal Neuvirth and give wonky backup Anders Lindback some work.

“Everyone wanted Lindback, Lindback,” Nolan said Thursday inside HarborCenter after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s road game against the Ottawa Senators.

Nolan refused to sit Neuvirth, starting him eight straight games before the Sabres traded him Monday.

“How can you justify, wake up in the morning and go to sleep at nighttime, knowing that you’re …

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Mikhail Grigorenko has spent most of this season in Rochester. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – For once, center Mikhail Grigorenko can relax a little bit. Eighteen games are left in the Sabres’ trying season. The NHL’s weakest lineup needs reinforcements.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan wouldn’t commit to Grigorenko staying for the rest of the year. But the Russian should get a long look after getting recalled from Rochester again Thursday.

This could be Grigorenko’s best opportunity since his rookie season two years ago.

Grigorenko, the 12th pick in 2012, was excited when he spotted a white …

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Mikhail Grigorenko recently returned from a knee injury. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – For once, center Mikhail Grigorenko can relax a little bit. Eighteen games are left in the Sabres’ trying season. The NHL’s weakest lineup needs reinforcements.

Grigorenko, the 12th pick in 2012, should get a long look after getting recalled from Rochester again this morning.

The Russian was excited when he saw a white practice jersey hanging in his locker today. That meant he would be centering the second line beside Marcus Foligno and captain Brian Gionta.

“I think it’s a really …

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Phil Varone skates Wednesday inside HarborCenter. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Prior to Phil Varone’s 19th NHL game Tuesday, the Sabres center couldn’t find his No. 84 written on the board with the team’s new line combinations.

The 24-year-old looked again and found it an unexpected spot.

“I didn’t see it at the top,” Varone said Wednesday following practice inside HarborCenter. “It was pretty surreal, obviously. I was in the AHL three weeks ago. It’s just pretty special.”

Yes, Varone, who has three goals and four points in his short career, is …

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The Sabres acquired Chad Johnson on Monday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Goalie Anders Lindback’s first start with the Sabres, a 32-save effort in Tuesday’s 3-0 loss in Tampa Bay, impressed coach Ted Nolan.

Still, newcomer Chad Johnson will start Friday in Ottawa, his first nod since coming over from the New York Islanders on Monday.

If the 28-year-old plays well, he could start again Saturday in Washington.

“We’ll see how Chad does and go from there,” Nolan said this afternoon following practice inside HarborCenter.

Johnson left one of the NHL’s best teams for …

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Tim Schaller has played six NHL games this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres recalled forwards Jerry D’Amigo, Mikhail Grigorenko and Tim Schaller from the Rochester Americans this morning to fill out a roster decimated by trades.

The Sabres only need two forwards for tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, so one could sit.

D’Amigo, 24, could make his Sabres debut. The Binghamton native played 22 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, compiling one goal and three points. He has six goals and 19 points in 31 games with …

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Chris Stewart joined Minnesota on Monday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ deals before Monday’s trade deadline stripped the NHL’s worst team of four assets. Gone are starting goalie Michal Neuvirth, first-line winger Chris Stewart and centers Brian Flynn and Torrey Mitchell, two checkers thrust into bigger roles thanks to the rebuilding team’s shortage of talent.

In return, the Sabres received, well, nothing very notable or of immediate help. Only one NHL player, backup goalie Chad Johnson, came back. They also added four draft picks – a second, third, …

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Brian Flynn (65) battles for the puck witn Philadelphia's Ryan White earlier this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Less than three years ago, Brian Flynn was an undrafted and mostly unknown youngster at the University of Maine. The versatile forward’s signing with the Sabres barely registered with the fan base.

But Flynn quickly and quietly worked himself into a strong NHL prospect.

After less than a season in Rochester, Flynn debuted with the Sabres in 2012-13. The 26-year-old played regularly until they dealt him to the Montreal Canadiens on Monday for a fifth-round pick in 2016 hours before …

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Tim Murray talks to the media this afternoon. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Here are some highlights from Sabres general manager Tim Murray’s chat with the media after making four deals before the 3 p.m. trade deadline.

The deals netted the Sabres one NHL player, backup goalie Chad Johnson. Centers Brian Flynn and Torrey Mitchell, goalie Michal Neuvirth and winger Chris Stewart were traded.

On what type of day it was:

“Was it a good day? It’s never a good day to give good people away. I talked to them all. They all understand …

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Chris Stewart has 11 goals this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have traded winger Chris Stewart to the Minnesota Wild for a 2017 second-round pick.

The 27-year-old, a free agent following the season, has 11 goals and 25 points in 61 games this season.

According to Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Mike Russo, the Sabres are picking up half of Stewart’s salary.

The trade deadline has passed. Stay tuned for more details.

The Sabres have become regular deadline partners with Minnesota, sending the Wild Jason Pominville in 2013 and Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick …

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