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Colorado Avalanche

Ryan O'Reilly might get a new contract soon. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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SUNRISE, Fla. – If the Buffalo Sabres win the Stanley Cup someday, remember Friday as the perhaps one of the most pivotal days in the franchise’s 45-year history.

In addition to drafting center Jack Eichel second overall, the rebuilding team swung two significant trades, including a blockbuster deal with the Colorado Avalanche that brought center Ryan O’Reilly to Buffalo.

After two wretched seasons in which they finished 30th and became the NHL’s laughingstock, the Sabres sent a strong message to the rest …

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Tim Murray isn't afraid to wheel and deal. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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SUNRISE, Fla. – Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray has pulled off another blockbuster trade.

The Sabres tonight acquired center Ryan O’Reilly and winger Jamie McGinn from the Colorado Avalanche for center Mikhail Grigorenko, defenseman Nikita Zadorov, winger J.T. Compher and the 31st pick in this weekend’s NHL Draft.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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Brian Gionta believes Sabres fans cheered for the team Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Brian Gionta wouldn’t go there. The Sabres captain knows his words carry weight.

Gionta played almost 25 minutes in the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime loss Thursday, a game in which many hometown fans rooted for the Arizona Coyotes, creating a bizarre scene inside the First Niagara Center.

Surely, the veteran heard the loud cheering for the opposition.

“No, our fans were cheering for us,” Gionta insisted Friday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s road tilt against the Colorado Avalanche. “We have great …

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Zemgus Girgensons (28) battles Colorado's Erik Johnson on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, the Sabres’ second consecutive ugly defeat, also ended their six-game home winning streak. After winning 10 of 13 contests to creep within four points of a playoff spot early last week, the Sabres have been outscored 10-2 in the last two games.

Uh-oh.

To make matters worse, injuries and illnesses are starting to ravage the Sabres. They lost three more players Saturday, including minute-munching defenseman Tyler Myers, arguably their most valuable skater.

Myers left …

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Daniel Briere once starred for the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Former Sabres star Daniel Briere knows the end is coming soon. At 37 years old, he’s now a graying forward with the Colorado Avalanche. His new club scratched him seven straight games earlier this season. He skates less than 10 minutes some nights.

But the likable Briere won’t speculate about how long his once-dynamic career will last. Instead, he’s trying to treasure his remaining days in the NHL.

“I’m trying to enjoy what’s going on now,” Briere said Saturday inside …

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Mikhail Grigorenko played his second NHL game this season Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Mikhail Grigorenko knew the Sabres were short one forward and had the Colorado Avalanche, a team led by Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy, his former junior coach, coming up on the schedule.

Grigorenko, who played in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss in Winnipeg before going back to Rochester, wanted to get recalled again badly. To his relief, the Sabres summoned the Russian again Saturday morning.

“I was hoping I would get called up, especially that game against Colorado against Patrick,” Grigorenko …

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Daniel Briere likes Sabres coach Ted Nolan. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Colorado Avalanche forward Daniel Briere still pays attention to the Sabres, the team he once co-captained, from afar.

Gone, of course, are the rollicking days Briere enjoyed here. The Sabres haven’t sniffed the success they had with the diminutive scorer since they let him leave in 2007.

But the rebuilding club impresses the 37-year-old, who likes coach Ted Nolan and the stockpile of young talent.

“I think this is a team that’s going to be dangerous in a few years,” Briere …

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Mikhail Grigorenko has played one NHL game this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Mikhail Grigorenko knew the Sabres were short one forward and had the Colorado Avalanche, a team led by legendary goalie Patrick Roy, his former junior coach, coming up on the schedule.

Grigorenko, who played in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss in Winnipeg before getting returned to Rochester, wanted to get recalled again badly.

“I was hoping I would get called up, especially that game against Colorado against Patrick,” Grigorenko said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “I saw him … at …

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Jhonas Enroth has become the Sabres' No. 1 goalie. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Following a one-game rest, Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth will likely start tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, his 11th nod in the last 13 contests and 22nd appearance overall this season.

At his current pace, the 26-year-old would play 52 times. But given the frequency of his recent action, it’s not crazy to think the diminutive Swede, one of the NHL’s smallest netminders at 5-foot-10 and 166 pounds, could hit the prestigious 60-game mark.

Enroth has never played more than 28 …

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Mikhail Griogorenko has played one NHL game this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres recalled center Mikhail Grigorenko from Rochester this morning.

Grigorenko has played one game in the NHL this season, Tuesday’s 5-1 loss in Winnipeg. The Sabres practiced with only 11 forwards after returning the 20-year-old to the Americans.

The Russian has seven goals and 19 points in 29 games with the AHL club.

The Sabres host the Colorado Avalanche tonight.

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