Mike Weber (center) tried to keep James van Riemsdyk out of Ryan Miller's crease Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Weber still battling for regular spot on blue line

BUFFALO – The cycle repeats each year. Inevitably, Mike Weber begins the season as the Sabres’ seventh or eighth defenseman, a spare part.

Weber sat the first eight games and 20 of the opening 22 contests as a healthy scratch in 2010-11. The 25-year-old watched the first 10 games last season.

The Pittsburgh native couldn’t break the trend this year, sitting five times before Sabres coach Lindy Ruff dressed him for Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss ... Read the full article

Patrick Kaleta has battled injuries throughout his career. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kaleta out of hospital, won’t play against Bruins

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta was released from the hospital today after injuring his neck in Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Toronto, the team announced.

Kaleta didn’t accompany the Sabres to Boston and won’t play Thursday against the Bruins.

The 26-year-old left 17:34 into the first period and went to the hospital as a precaution after turning as Mike Brown hit him into the boards.

Brown’s hit won’t be reviewed by the NHL, according ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko celebrates his first NHL goal Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Leafs stun Sabres late in overtime, spoil Grigorenko’s first goal

BUFFALO – Fifteen minutes after allowing the overtime winner in the Sabres’ shocking 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ryan Miller sat stewing in his stall inside the dressing room, staring straight ahead. The goalie still had his pads on. He barely moved.

Down the hallway, winning Leafs goalie James Reimer was riding an exercise bike sporting a wide grin.

His 29 saves had just bested the former Vezina Trophy winner Tuesday before 18,801 ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko won't be returning to the Quebec Remparts. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Lockout helped Grigorenko develop into NHL talent

BUFFALO – If the Sabres had to decide Mikhail Grigorenko’s NHL fate back in September, then the team would’ve returned the 18-year-old rookie to junior, general manager Darcy Regier said.

But the lockout gave Grigorenko a unique opportunity to keep developing before the 48-game NHL season started.

The center dominated the QMJHL. His strong play with Team Russia during the recent world junior championship elevated his confidence to another level, Regier said.

The top prospect ... Read the full article

The NHL lockout gave Mikhail Grigorenko more time to develop. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL lockout helped Grigorenko stick with Sabres

BUFFALO – If the Sabres had to decide Mikhail Grigorenko’s NHL fate back in September, then the team would’ve returned the 18-year-old rookie to junior, general manager Darcy Regier said.

But the lockout gave Grigorenko a unique opportunity to keep developing before the 48-game NHL season started.

The center dominated the QMJHL. His strong play with Team Russia during the recent world junior championship elevated his confidence to another level, Regier said.

The top prospect ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko will play his sixth NHL game tonight. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Grigorenko excited to be staying with Sabres

BUFFALO – When the Sabres’ skate ended this morning, coach Lindy Ruff called his team together at the bench and told his players what general manager Darcy Regier had just said to the media minutes earlier: 18-year-old rookie Mikhail Grigorenko would be staying in the NHL.

Teammates then tapped their sticks in appreciation. A few even gave Grigorenko, who’ll play his sixth NHL game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a face wash.

“It felt ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko (left) and Tyler Myers entered the NHL as teenagers. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres waiting to make decision on Grigorenko’s future

BUFFALO – The fun part, slick Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko said, comes when he touches the puck and makes a play on NHL ice.

“You realize you’re in (the) NHL and you did something good,” the 18-year-old said Monday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs inside the First Niagara Center.

Grigorenko set his sights on the NHL as a child growing up in Khabarovsk, Russia, a city just 19 ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko's next appearance will be his sixth. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres still undecided on Grigorenko’s future

BUFFALO – For the time being at least, top prospect Mikhail Grigorenko is still with the Sabres.

The 18-year-old practiced this morning inside the First Niagara Center. It’s unclear whether he’ll play Tuesday against Toronto, the sixth appearance that would activate the first year of his entry-level contract.

“We don’t have to,” coach Lindy Ruff said today when asked if the Sabres had decided whether to keep the Russian or send him back to the ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko played his fifth NHL game Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Grigorenko still with Sabres

BUFFALO – Top prospect Mikhail Grigorenko, whose entry-level contract kicks in with his next NHL appearance, is practicing with the Sabres this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

The 18-year-old center played his fifth game Sunday, skating a career-high 17:10 in the Sabres’ 3-2 loss in Washington.

The Sabres will use up the first year of the Russian’s three-year contract if he plays Tuesday against Toronto.

Check back later for more!... Read the full article

Drew Stafford's still looking for his first goal this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Struggling Sabres trying to ‘get rid of the pond hockey’ mentality

AMHERST – In about 27 hours, the Buffalo Sabres morphed from a tight five-man unit into a disjointed, ugly mess, performing brutally during consecutive losses to the once-hapless Carolina Hurricanes.

So much for all that optimism the Sabres’ hot 2-0 start had generated just several days ago.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff broke up his lines Saturday and ripped into his team­ on the Northtown Center ice, at one point barking, “Every freakin’ puck is ... Read the full article