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Boucher

Callum Booth could be drafted high this weekend. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Until he was 9 years old, NHL Draft prospect Callum Booth was just a regular skater on his youth team. He idolized Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavlier and loved the No. 4 his hero wore.

Then one day, tired of getting lit up, his team’s goalie “just gave up,” Booth recalled earlier this month at the NHL Scouting Combine. The coaches scrambled to find a replacement right before the playoffs. Booth was one of three or four kids …

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Former Sabres defenseman Philippe Boucher watched most of Pittsburgh's 2009 run to the Stanley Cup. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

The two friends met again under unusual circumstances.

It was February 2009, and Dan Bylsma, a 38-year-old rookie coach, was beginning the arduous task of replacing Michel Therrien and saving the sinking Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup hopes. His oldest defenseman, 36-year-old Philippe Boucher, was injured and months away from retirement.

A decade earlier, as Los Angeles Kings teammates, the two had grown close. Boucher greatly respected Bylsma, who carved out a solid career as a journeyman checker after starting out in the …

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Mikhail Grigorenko feels he belongs in the NHL. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Interim coach Ted Nolan said Mikhail Grigorenko “was a little bit upset” when the Sabres told the 19-year-old prospect he was going back to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

“But this is non-negotiable,” Nolan said Saturday inside the Riverside Ice Rink. “It’s one of those things that has to be done.”

The Sabres didn’t understand just how much the demotion irked the Russian center.

Grigorenko won’t be reporting to the junior club, his agent, Jay Grossman, told the Times Herald hours later. …

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Mikhail Grigorenko was also sent back to junior last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
4

BUFFALO – Interim coach Ted Nolan said Mikhail Grigorenko “was a little bit upset” when the Sabres told the 19-year-old prospect he was going back to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

“But this is non-negotiable,” Nolan said this morning inside the Riverside Ice Rink. “It’s one of those things that has to be done.”

Update: Grigorenko’s agent, Jay Grossman, confirmed to the Times Herald that Grigorenko won’t be reporting to the Remparts, something Le Soleil’s Kathleen Lavoie first reported. Grossman declined further comment …

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Jerome Gauthier-Leduc piled up goals during his junior career. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Jerome Gauthier-Leduc was scoring goals from everywhere. The slick Rimouski Oceanic defenseman utilized his deadly accurate shots from the point. He used his teammates as screens perfectly. He pinched in as the extra man on the rush.

By October, the Sabres prospect had a goal in eight straight games, a new QMJHL record for defensemen.

“He’s a flashy guy,” said former Sabres defenseman Philippe Boucher, Rimouski’s general manager. “He likes to carry the puck. He likes to make a lot …

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