Zemgus Girgensons scored three times in three playoff games. ©2013, Dan Hickling Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Girgensons dynamic during Amerks’ short playoff run

ROCHESTER – Interim Americans coach Chadd Cassidy called the AHL a “man’s league,” and, well, Zemgus Girgensons is still a kid, just 19 years old.

As a teenage rookie, Girgensons was supposed to play a supporting role during the Amerks’ first-round playoff series against the powerhouse Toronto Marlies. The Latvian winger scored only six goals in 61 regular-season games this year.

But Girgensons, a hard-hitting prospect the Buffalo Sabres moved up to select 14th... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Cody Hodgson at last season's trade deadline. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ recent trade-deadline activity has yielded mixed results

PITTSBURGH – With the NHL trade deadline hitting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, here’s the Buffalo Sabres’ Eastern Conference standing and their activity since 2006:

2006, third place, 83 points

General manager Darcy Regier made no additions, only trading No. 3 goalie Mika Noronen to Vancouver for a second-round pick (current backup goalie Jhonas Enroth). Some argued the inactivity bit the surprising Sabres, who lost four defensemen to injury during their run to the Eastern Conference ... Read the full article

Patrick Rissmiller spent two full seasons in the NHL. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks sign veteran Rissmiller to tryout

BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans signed forward Patrick Rissmiller, a veteran of 192 NHL games, to a professional tryout contract today.

The 34-year-old has 18 goals, 46 points and 60 penalty minutes in NHL stints with San Jose, the New York Rangers, Atlanta and Florida. He spent two full seasons with the Sharks from 2006-08.

With T.J. Brennan, Cody Hodgson and Marcus Foligno all playing with the Sabres and first-round pick Zemgus Girgensons... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk blocks a shot in his professional debut Friday. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With Sabres’ ‘amazing’ opening night gone, attention has turned to Rochester

ROCHESTER – The 42nd opening night in Buffalo Sabres history would’ve been “huge,” winger Drew Stafford said, even “amazing.” New seasons breed hope and optimism, and if the NHL lockout wasn’t in its 28th day, both would be sweeping through Buffalo right now.

The club was scheduled to host Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight inside a capacity First Niagara Center.

The Sabres, healthy and stocked with offseason reinforcements, might’ve been considered ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson will return to the Sabres after the lockout ends. ©2012, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald

Sabres loan 20 players to Rochester

BUFFALO – With an NHL lockout likely hitting at midnight tonight, the Sabres loaned 20 AHL-eligible players, including forwards Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson, to the Rochester Americans on Friday.

Also assigned were: forwards Luke Adam, Riley Boychuk, Brian Flynn, Zemgus Girgensons, Jacob Lagace, Jonathan Parker, Kevin Sundher, Shawn Szydlowski, Corey Tropp, Phil Varone; defensemen Alex Biega, Nick Crawford, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Matt MacKenzie, Brayden McNabb, Mark Pysyk; goalies Connor Knapp and Nathan Lieuwen. The Sabres ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko will compete for an NHL spot during training camp. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Grigorenko latest prized prospect in Sabres’ stable

BUFFALO – On Wednesday, the day the Sabres signed slick Russian center Mikhail Grigorenko to a three-year, entry-level contract, general manager Darcy Regier encountered a slew of prospects while visiting the players’ lounge inside the First Niagara Center.

Luke Adam, Marcus Foligno and Brayden McNabb, who all impressed during NHL stints last season, are in town working out. So is Grigorenko, the 12th overall pick last month, and 14th pick Zemgus Girgensons, who inked his ... Read the full article

Development camp showed Zemgus Girgensons he belonged in professional hockey. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Zemgus Girgensons foregoes Vermont, signs with Sabres

BUFFALO – Three weeks earlier, minutes after the Sabres moved up and selected center Zemgus Girgensons 14th overall at the NHL Entry Draft, the Latvian expressed his commitment to playing for the University of Vermont next season.

But Girgensons’ stance quickly changed. On Monday, the first day of summer development camp, he seemed to be seriously considering signing with the Sabres.

The 18-year-old impressed during the camp, and following a strong scrimmage performance Thursday ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier said Derek Roy elected to undergo shoulder surgery. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Darcy Regier insists Sabres traded healthy Derek Roy to Stars

BUFFALO – The Dallas Stars’ decision to have Derek Roy undergo shoulder surgery and miss four months doesn’t mean the Sabres traded damaged goods, general manager Darcy Regier cautioned.

If the Sabres hadn’t dealt Roy for winger Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy last week, the center, who was originally hurt last preseason, wouldn’t have underwent the procedure.

“We’re very confident in the decision by our medical staff,” Regier said Thursday inside the First Niagara ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons' junior teammates unanimously voted him captain. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Leadership qualities make Sabres prospect Girgensons stand out

BUFFALO – Jim Montgomery put it up for a vote, so after his Dubuque Fighting Saints won the United States Hockey League championship in 2011, he asked his returning players to pick a new captain.

In addition to three 20-year-olds, the coach had a 19-year-old who played prominent minutes back for another season of junior hockey.

Incredibly, Montgomery’s players passed on the veterans, instead picking a 17-year-old Latvian to captain them.

His name was Zemgus ... Read the full article

©2012

Navy Seals put Sabres prospects through grueling workout

BUFFALO – The wake-up call came at 4:30 a.m., 15 minutes before sunrise Monday. Right away, United States Navy Seals instructors told 39 Sabres prospects to make their beds.

“That was the first time I’ve done that in a while,” winger Marcus Foligno joked.

The youngsters then got in a “proper line format,” going from tallest to shortest. By 5 a.m., they had reached a local beach, where they spent the next two hours swimming ... Read the full article