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Ellis

The Sabres recalled Matt Ellis last month. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Matt Ellis considers himself a realist. At 33 years old, the center understands the Sabres have younger and more talented players they need to examine.

That’s why the veteran of 330 NHL games spent four months this season mentoring the organization’s AHL prospects in Rochester.

“To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed the role that I played in Rochester,” Ellis said Monday inside the First Niagara Center.

The role was fulfilling. Ellis felt proud when several Sabres prospects realized their dreams. Joel …

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Johan Larsson's comments last month upset Sabres coach Ted Nolan. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As the Sabres trickled out on the ice Sunday morning, coach Ted Nolan and winger Johan Larsson skated around and talked about the prospect’s latest recall.

Upon getting demoted to Rochester in early January, Larsson voiced his displeasure with having to skate on the fourth line in the NHL, a complaint that irked Nolan.

“Yeah, I was upset,” Nolan said. “Players play. The tail can’t wag the dog.”

So Nolan gave Larsson a direct message during their brief chat prior to …

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Johan Larsson didn't like his linemates his last trip up. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The lower-body injury Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges has been nursing could sideline the veteran for a while.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan wouldn’t say Gorges’ season is over, however.

“I’m not too sure about that,” Nolan said this morning after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers inside the First Niagara Center. “We’ll see. He’s going to get a second opinion.”

Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta, meanwhile, had played 21 consecutive games, a long streak for the oft-injured agitator. But …

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Patrick Kaleta tore his ACL in Rochester last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Finally, 33 games into his season, Patrick Kaleta is buzzing around the ice regularly looking to thump opponents, a sign the aggressive Sabres winger has recovered from a torn ACL.

“It looks like he got his legs underneath him,” coach Ted Nolan said Tuesday prior to the Sabres’ 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators inside the First Niagara Center. “He’s searching for those big hits. You can just tell … his timing’s getting a lot better.”

Hits can be a …

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Nikita Zadorov (51) will join the Sabres in Calgary. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
4

BUFFALO – When the Sabres began their first post-NHL All-Star break practice Monday afternoon, Nikita Zadorov was absent.

Where was the 19-year-old defenseman? Apparently, stuck in the Dominican Republic.

The Sabres announced at 2:41 p.m. Monday they had suspended Zadorov after he failed to report back to the team on time following the break.

“What can you do?” coach Ted Nolan said after the Sabres practiced without Zadorov inside HarborCenter. “The travel conditions sometimes get in the way. That’s how it is.”

In a …

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Nikita Zadorov sat much of October. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres suspended Nikita Zadorov today after the 19-year-old defenseman failed to report back to the team on time following the NHL All-Star break.

“What can you do?” coach Ted Nolan said this afternoon after the Sabres practiced without Zadorov inside HarborCenter. “The travel conditions sometimes get in the way. That’s how it is.”

In a statement, general manager Tim Murray said Zadorov would join the team on its trip out west. Nolan wasn’t sure about the length of the …

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Nikita Zadorov was late reporting back to the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres suspended Nikita Zadorov today after the 19-year-old defenseman failed to report back to the team on time following the NHL All-Star break.

Zadorov isn’t on the ice this afternoon practicing at HarborCenter.

“We anticipate Nikita joining the team at some point during this week’s western road trip,” Sabres general manager Tim Murray said in a statement.

In other news, the Sabres have recalled goalie Matt Hackett from Rochester because Michal Neuvirth suffered a lower-body injury working out during the …

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Matt Ellis played four games during his recall. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres sent centers Matt Ellis and Phil Varone back to Rochester this morning.

Ellis was pointless in his first four NHL games this season. Varone, meanwhile, had two goals and two points in seven games.

Both are alternate captains for the AHL Americans.

In other news, Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko has been named AHL Player of the Week after scoring three goals and seven points in three games, helping the Amerks rally for two wins.

The 20-year-old center has 10 goals …

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Phil Varone only played sparingly Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – In a deep rebuild, with losses and injuries piling up, plenty of jobs on the Sabres are still available.

Heck, the Sabres have had openings throughout the lineup for two years. Sooner or later, someone – a top prospect, an unknown youngster, a waiver acquisition or a depth veteran – has to step up and grab one, right?

Sabres coach Ted Nolan wants the newcomers do something different, stand out and make a case to stay. So far, no one …

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Mike Weber had knee surgery last month. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – How bad are the Sabres early in games? Really bad.

Opponents have outscored the struggling Sabres 40-15 in the first period and outshot them 493-336 entering tonight’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers inside the First Niagara Center. In Thursday’s 7-0 loss to Minnesota, the Wild scored twice and outshot the Sabres 15-3 in the opening period.

“We talk about that all the time going into games, we have to have good starts, let’s throw some pucks at the net,” said …

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