Nathan Lieuwen has a scary history of concussions. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Report: Amerks goalie Nathan Lieuwen will ‘take significant time off’ to recover from concussion

Some sad news out of Rochester, where Americans goalie Nathan Lieuwen will “take significant time off” to recover from the concussion he suffered late last season with the Buffalo Sabres, according to the Democrat and Chronicle’s Kevin Oklobzija.

Lieuwen, who has scary history of concussions, recently told the Amerks he has experienced vision issues all season, according to the paper. A neurologist said his brain hasn’t healed from the April 6 concussion ... Read the full article

Tim Schaller was recalled Tuesday afternoon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With Cody McCormick still sidelined, Sabres recall Tim Schaller

BUFFALO – Tim Schaller had just eaten lunch and gotten comfortable on the couch Tuesday afternoon in Rochester when Americans coach Chadd Cassidy phoned the center.

“Get yourself to Buffalo tonight,” Cassidy told Schaller, who had been sent down following his NHL debut Saturday.

Schaller hopped in his car and arrived at the First Niagara Center around 4 p.m.

The Sabres summoned Schaller for their 2-1 shootout win against the Tampa Bay Lightning because forward ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov has cemented a roster spot. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Maturity has helped Sabres’ Nikita Zadorov become NHL regular

BUFFALO – Nine weeks ago, Nikita Zadorov wasn’t even ready to play in a prospects tournament. The 19-year-old Sabres defenseman, one of the few players with NHL experience, got benched.

“That benching was not because I’m a bad player, because I was not ready for that game,” Zadorov said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center. “Coach (Chadd Cassidy) said I didn’t have enough effort. It’s kind of my bad, and it was in my head.... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko has four goals this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko seizing AHL opportunity with Amerks

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko needed some time to adjust. Getting demoted to the AHL wasn’t easy. The 20-year-center impressed during the NHL training camp, igniting speculation he could earn a roster spot.

But the rebuilding Sabres wanted the slick Russian to develop in Rochester, where he could receive loads of ice time, so they assigned him to the Americans on Oct. 6.

“It was probably tough a few days,” Grigorenko said Wednesday about ... Read the full article

Ted Nolan coached the first game in the First Niagara Center almost 18 years ago. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Opening night in Buffalo will be extra special for Sabres’ Ted Nolan

BUFFALO – Whether you’ve been in the NHL for 50 years or this is your first season, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said, “opening night’s always exciting.”

“Butterflies floating around like crazy,” Nolan said Wednesday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets. “If it doesn’t happen, something’s going to be wrong.”

Tonight will be extra special for Nolan, who’s beginning his first full season as Sabres coach since 1996-97. He ... Read the full article

J.T. Compher has played one college season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect J.T. Compher earning notice by agitating opponents

BUFFALO – Early during Sabres development camp, J.T. Compher, proud University of Michigan student-athlete, noticed Hudson Fasching, his roommate from the University of Minnesota, brought a Big Ten shirt.

“I threw it on the ground,” a smiling Compher said. “I didn’t want to see that out of his suitcase again.”

Their rivalry started last season, when Compher’s Wolverines lost three of their four conference meetings to Fasching’s Golden Gophers, who captured the first-ever ... Read the full article

Maxwell Willman played high school hockey in Cape Cod. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Unknown Sabres prospect Maxwell Willman impressing at development camp

BUFFALO – Before development camp started this week, Chadd Cassidy knew nothing about Maxwell Willman. Heck, very few had heard of the winger until the Sabres drafted him 121st overall last month.

Willman mostly went unnoticed playing at Barnstable High School in Hyannis, Mass., a popular tourist town in Cape Cod. He nearly left the game to attend Quinnipiac University as a regular student. But Willman transformed himself into a prospect last year ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (right) battles Brendan Lemieux during Tuesday's scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Rasmus Ristolainen looking leaner, impressing during development camp

BUFFALO – While other Sabres prospects have packed on weight this summer, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has “lost a couple pounds.”

“Fat, not any muscles,” the 19-year-old Finn said following Tuesday’s development camp scrimmage inside the First Niagara Center.

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Ristolainen showcased some muscle early in the contest, hitting top prospect Sam Reinhart.

“I don’t watch who I’m hitting,” Ristolainen said. “If I get a chance, I hit. That’s all.”

Later on, Ristolainen ... Read the full article

Justin Kea and Anthony Florentino fight Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Photo: Sabres prospects Justin Kea and Anthony Florentino fight

BUFFALO – Early in Tuesday’s Blue-White Sabres scrimmage, defenseman Anthony Florentino, who has a penchant for hitting, leveled forward Justin Kea inside the First Niagara Center.

In the second period, the prospects fought.

“Everybody’s got their niche in the game,” Rochester coach Chadd Cassidy, who’s running the camp, said about the fight. “They got to find a way to kind of get noticed. I think if there’s one thing we’ve preached to the guys, ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko keeps the puck away from Jake McCabe during Tuesday's scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko takes responsibility for past struggles: ‘It was probably no one’s fault but mine’

BUFFALO – The comments are significant, Mikhail Grigorenko’s most telling since joining the Sabres months after they selected him 12th overall in 2012.

In a hallway outside the First Niagara Center dressing room hours before a development camp scrimmage Tuesday, the 20-year-old Russian spoke candidly about his short career, blaming himself for his NHL struggles.

“From past experiences, I kind of realized it was probably no one’s fault but mine I didn’t stay in ... Read the full article