Mikhail Grigorenko could make his NHL debut Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Top prospect Grigorenko makes 23-man roster; Sabres mum on status for opener

BUFFALO – The Sabres first planted the seeds almost seven months ago inside the Consol Energy Center. Mikhail Grigorenko, the slick center that had just fallen to them 12th overall at the NHL Entry Draft, would be given every chance to play in the big leagues immediately, they said.

The strong words from the team’s brass that June night in Pittsburgh resonated. The Sabres hadn’t had an 18-year-old play regularly for them since center ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko chats with Kevyn Adams today. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Grigorenko makes Sabres’ 23-man opening-day roster

BUFFALO – Not surprisingly, first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko made the 23-man regular-season roster the Sabres announced this afternoon.

But will the 18-year-old center be in Sunday afternoon’s opening-day lineup?

“I could’ve stepped up here and asked that question,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff joked as he began fielding questions this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “Mikhail’s had a good week. Obviously, I’m not going to give you that decision right now. We got another practice ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko has impressed the Sabres so far. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Grigorenko still with Sabres

BUFFALO – No surprise here, but 18-year-old Mikhail Grigorenko’s still practicing with the Sabres this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

They must have their opening-day roster set by 5 p.m. Stay tuned.

Grigorenko’s skating with Ville Leino and Steve Ott, a sign he could be in the lineup Sunday afternoon against Philadelphia.

The center can play five games before the first year of his entry-level contract kicks in.... Read the full article

Brayden McNabb played 25 NHL games last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks’ McNabb, Porter earn AHL All-Star nods

BUFFALO – Rochester Americans defenseman Brayden McNabb and captain Kevin Porter were named to the 2013 AHL Western Conference All-Star team on Thursday.

McNabb, a recent healthy scratch, wasn’t invited to NHL training camp despite playing 25 games with the Sabres last season. The 21-year-old prospect has three goals, 19 points and a minus-1 rating in 36 AHL contests.

Meanwhile, Porter, who’s currently on waivers, has 11 goals, 30 points and a plus-4 rating in ... Read the full article

The Sabres placed Adam Pardy on waivers today. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Report: Sabres place Pardy on waivers

BUFFALO – The Sabres waived three players today, most notably defenseman Adam Pardy, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The team also placed Rochester forwards Kevin Porter and Nick Tarnasky on waivers, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s Kevin Oklobjiza reported.

Pardy, a possible addition to Rochester despite his $2 million salary, leaves the Sabres with eight defensemen, a number they could carry on their regular-season roster.

The 28-year-old Pardy spoke Sunday about the excitement he experienced... Read the full article

Alexander Sulzer was scratched 51 times last season in Vancouver. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Sulzer hoping to parlay late-season play into regular duty

BUFFALO – When was the last time Alexander Sulzer started an NHL season confident he could be a regular?

“Never, first time,” the Sabres defenseman said Wednesday inside the First Niagara Center.

Having a roster spot isn’t new for Sulzer. He’s spent parts of the past four seasons in the NHL, including the last two from beginning to end. It’s just that he rarely played prior to his Feb. 27 arrival from Vancouver.

From the ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko must impress the Sabres during practices and scrimmages. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ evaluation of Grigorenko trickier without preseason games

BUFFALO – While practicing and scrimmaging against his Sabres teammates, yeah, top prospect Mikhail Grigorenko looks like he belongs among NHL players.

But how will Grigorenko fare against other competition? The NHL isn’t playing preseason games during this abbreviated training camp, so the 18-year-old’s first appearance could potentially be a regular-season tilt.

It makes the Sabres’ evaluation of Grigorenko a bit tougher.

“You’d love to see him in preseason games,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said ... Read the full article

Cody McCormick needs to test his injured finger's strength. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Injured Sabres progressing well

BUFFALO – Some quick Sabres injury updates following another training camp session today inside the First Niagara Center:

– Nathan Gerbe (spine) had his second full practice with contact today. At one point late, the 5-foot-5, 173-pound winger clipped 6-foot-8, 280-pound tough guy John Scott in the mouth with his stick as the two battled one-on-one.

“That was great. I love it,” Gerbe said about bumping with Scott. “He’s a big guy. I think he’s ... Read the full article

John Scott's presence isn't always intimidating. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

New Sabres tough guy Scott ready to protect teammates: ‘I’ll take care of it’

BUFFALO – John Scott, the stay-at-home Michigan Tech University defenseman, had no future playing big league hockey. Ten years ago, the NHL “really wasn’t on my radar at all,” the Sabres’ new enforcer said.

Scott was merely an average NCAA player. His hockey life would expire with his eligibility.

But Scott hadn’t yet grasped his 6-foot-8 stature could transform him into an NHL prospect. He possessed size, a precious commodity.

“My coach at Tech,” Scott ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko's skills have been wowing teammates. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ruff waiting to determine Grigorenko’s roster status

BUFFALO – Coach Lindy Ruff likely won’t reveal the Sabres’ plans for first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko until Friday, when teams must have their rosters set by 3 p.m.

Still, questions about Grigorenko’s status will be asked all week.

So, Lindy, will he receive the five-game trial available for junior players?

“It’s too early to say,” Ruff said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “He had a good scrimmage (Monday). He had a ... Read the full article