Patrick Kaleta has already served two games of his suspension. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL suspends Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta 10 games for hit to head

BUFFALO – The NHL slammed Sabres agitator Patrick Kaleta with a 10-game suspension today for an illegal check to Jack Johnson’s head in Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Columbus.

In banning Kaleta, NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan cited three previous suspensions and three fines, including a five-game ban for cross-checking the New York Rangers’ Brad Richards head-first into the boards just 21 games ago.

Kaleta will forfeit $153,439.00 during the suspension. The 27-year-old has already served ... Read the full article

The Sabres’ Mikhail Grigorenko (blue) fights his ex-teammate, Minnesota’s Jason Pominville, for the puck Monday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Wild’s Jason Pominville burns old teammates, helps keep Sabres winless

BUFFALO – In their seventh consecutive loss to open the season, a 2-1 setback to the Minnesota Wild on Monday, the hapless Sabres showcased some improvement before the 18,111 fans inside the First Niagara Center.

Yes, the defeat tied the franchise mark for worst-ever start. Yes, their feeble offense mustered only one goal again, raising their NHL-low total to seven.

But, hey, the Sabres, who began the night allowing a stunning 37 shots a ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville had never skated in the First Niagara Center as an opponent before Monday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres captain Jason Pominville happy about new chapter with Wild

BUFFALO – Once the initial shock of getting traded to the Minnesota Wild in April started wearing off, former Sabres captain Jason Pominville said he “really took a step back” and began examining his new gig.

Pominville was leaving a team beginning a rebuilding process for the upstart Wild, a club constructed to win the Stanley Cup immediately.

The Wild had just signed stars Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to huge twin contracts. Many believed ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville skates this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ex-Sabres star Jason Pominville excited about first visit to Buffalo with Wild

BUFFALO – Once the initial shock of getting traded to the Minnesota Wild in April started wearing off, former Sabres captain Jason Pominville said he “really took a step back” and began examining his situation.

Joining the Wild, a team built to win the Stanley Cup now, would be a terrific experience.

“For my career, it might be the best thing to go to somewhere where the teams are heading in completely different directions,” Pominville ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville talks with some old friends this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres must make roster move; Jason Pominville returns with Wild

BUFFALO – Defenseman Henrik Tallinder will return tonight against popular former Sabres captain Jason Pominville and the Minnesota Wild following a four-game absence.

With Tallinder (upper body) back from injured reserve, either rookie Rasmus Ristolainen or Alexander Sulzer, the spare defenders this morning, will be sent to Rochester, Sabres coach Ron Rolston said.

Update: Sulzer has been assigned to the AHL.

Meanwhile, backup goalie Jhonas Enroth will make his third start for the winless Sabres ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville played 578 games with the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres captain Jason Pominville set to make Buffalo return with Wild

BUFFALO – They became the rebuilding Sabres around 4 p.m. on April 3.

In trading versatile captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild for draft picks and prospects that day, the Sabres signaled they had given up on the present and started looking to the future.

Six months later, with the former franchise cornerstone returning tonight to the First Niagara Center, the winless Sabres (0-5-1) are a mess, probably the NHL’s worst team.

Another loss ... Read the full article

Mike Weber is going through a rough stretch. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Slumping Mike Weber could sit for winless Sabres

BUFFALO – His coaches and the media have nothing on struggling Sabres defenseman Mike Weber, who calls himself his hardest critic.

Right now, the 25-year-old’s reeling, enduring arguably the roughest stretch of his 179-game career. His wretched minus-8 rating ranks dead last – 599th, to be exact – in the NHL. He was an ugly minus-4 in Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Columbus.

Following the game, a bearded Weber was visibly agitated, ... Read the full article

Patrick Kaleta (middle) battles Columbus’ Jack Johnson (7) and Sergei Bobrovsky (72) for the puck Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta suspended for illegal hit, has in-person hearing scheduled

BUFFALO – Sabres agitator Patrick Kaleta has been suspended pending an in-person hearing Tuesday for an illegal check to Jack Johnson’s head, the NHL announced late Friday.

The Sabres play twice – tonight in Chicago and Monday at home against Minnesota – before Kaleta meets with the NHL Department of Player Safety. In-person hearings carry a minimum five-game suspension.

The 27-year-old Kaleta wasn’t penalized after zooming into the Buffalo zone and hitting Johnson high ... Read the full article

Mike Weber (6) lifts his stick on Columbus’ Cam Atkinson on Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres could scratch struggling Mike Weber

BUFFALO – Not surprisingly, Sabres defenseman Mike Weber, an NHL-worst minus-8, could be benched for Saturday’s game in Chicago against the Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Weber, a minus-4 in Thursday’s listless 4-1 loss to Columbus, skated with 18-year-old rookie Nikita Zadorov during this morning’s practice inside the First Niagara Center. Zadorov working his way back from a finger injury.

Meanwhile, defenseman Alexander Sulzer, a healthy scratch all season, skated beside Tyler Myers ... Read the full article

Patrick Kaleta has a long history of suspensions. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta has in-person hearing for hit, facing long suspension

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta will have an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for hitting Columbus’ Jack Johnson early in Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Blue Jackets.

The in-person hearing means Kaleta’s likely suspension could exceed more than five games.

At 3:10 of the first period, Kaleta hit Johnson just inside the Buffalo blue line, what the NHL may deem an illegal check to the head. Kaleta, who fought Jared ... Read the full article