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

Mikhail Grigorenko skated sparingly on the fourth line Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ruff regrets playing top prospect Grigorenko so little

AMHERST – Lindy Ruff couldn’t hide his disgust Saturday morning inside the Northtown Center.

The Buffalo Sabres coach sighed before acknowledging the obvious.

“It’s like burning a game,” Ruff said about skating 18-year-old rookie Mikhail Grigorenko a career-low 6:48 in Friday’s 3-1 loss to Carolina.

The Russian center can play five times before the first-year of his entry level contract kicks in. Each appearance is precious in the Sabres’ evaluation.

The Sabres wasted Grigorenko’s ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko skated just two shifts after the first period Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ruff on Grigorenko’s fourth appearance: ‘I burned up a game’

AMHERST – Lindy Ruff couldn’t hide his disgust this morning inside the Northtown Center.

The Buffalo Sabres coach sighed before acknowledging the obvious.

“It’s like burning a game,” Ruff said about skating 18-year-old rookie Mikhail Grigorenko a career-low 6:48 in Friday’s 3-1 loss to Carolina.

The Russian center can play five times before the first-year of his entry level contract kicks in. Each appearance is precious in the Sabres’ evaluation.

The Sabres wasted Grigorenko’s fourth ... Read the full article

Tim Gleason and Steve Ott fight during the first period Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Anemic Sabres showcase little finish in loss to Hurricanes

BUFFALO – Lindy Ruff spent four games patiently waiting for his anemic, one-line offense to jumpstart itself. The Sabres coach mostly left his combinations intact, believing they’d eventually shake out of their funks.

But following Friday’s 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes before 18,824 fans inside the First Niagara Center, Ruff finally had enough.

The top trio of Cody Hodgson, Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek will remain intact. With another goal from Vanek on Friday, ... Read the full article

Ville Leino had a good 20-minute skate Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres say no surgery planned for Leino’s injured hip

BUFFALO – Right now, Sabres winger Ville Leino has no plans to undergo surgery on the injured right hip that sidelined him a fourth straight game Friday.

Leino enjoyed a strong 20-minute skate Friday morning inside the First Niagara Center before he began feeling tired and the hip tightened up, he said. Still, that represents progress.

“It feels better,” Leino said prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. “Today it felt a ... Read the full article

Nathan Gerbe made his season debut Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Gerbe: ‘I just decided to not touch him and keep my mouth shut’

BUFFALO – Can you blame Nathan Gerbe for getting really hot?

Following offseason spine surgery, the Sabres winger endured a long and arduous road back to the ice.

Then, minutes into his season debut Thursday, Carolina’s Drayson Bowman knocked Gerbe into the boards from behind, a scary hit similar to the one that began his troubles.

Gerbe, understandably, was livid during the ensuing scrum. But when he began jawing with Chad LaRose, referee Dan ... Read the full article

Ville Leino hasn't played yet this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Leino says injured hip improving, has no plans for surgery

BUFFALO – Right now, Sabres winger Ville Leino has no plans to undergo surgery on the injured right hip that will sideline him a fourth straight game tonight.

Leino enjoyed a strong 20-minute skate this morning inside the First Niagara Center before he began feeling tired and the hip tightened up, he said. Still, that represents progress.

“It feels better,” Leino said this morning. “Today it felt a lot better.”

Surgery, Leino said, could be ... Read the full article