Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Grigorenko

J.T. Compher has played one college season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

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 Big Ten hockey title.

Before that, the friends played together …

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Sam Reinhart skates during today's three-on-three tournament. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – While no announcement is imminent, Sabres coach Ted Nolan is close to hiring some assistant coaches, general manager Tim Murray said.

“He’s talking to certain individuals, and he’s at a point where he’s talking contract with a couple individuals,” Murray said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “Now, whether the money and term suits them, I don’t know that. We’re not there yet.”

Following the season, the Sabres fired or reassigned the coaches Nolan inherited.

In other news, top prospect …

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Mikhail Grigorenko keeps the puck away from Jake McCabe during Tuesday's scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

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 the NHL,” Grigorenko said. “I want to play …

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Zemgus Girgensons spent all last season with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Some experts are already predicting the Sabres, a team three months removed from the worst NHL season in recent memory, will be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders in a few years.

Why? Their prospect pool might be the deepest in hockey.

Seven first-round picks are participating in the team’s development camp this week. Seven of the 41 prospects played in the NHL last season, including center Zemgus Girgensons, who spent the entire campaign with the Sabres.

Fans can get their first glimpses …

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Mikhail Grigorenko has played nine AHL games this season. ©2014, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

ROCHESTER – Finally, almost two years after the Buffalo Sabres drafted him 12th overall, center Mikhail Grigorenko has landed in the AHL.

Just weeks before his 20th birthday, the prospect too good for junior but too green for the NHL has settled in nicely with the Americans.

The Amerks closed the regular season 7-1-1 with Grigorenko, who recorded his four assists in his first three appearances.

But numbers aren’t important right now.

“Maybe the thing that I’m most happy about is his consistency,” Amerks …

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Mikhail Grigorenko played two AHL games last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In a not-so-surprising move, the Sabres today assigned 19-year-old center Mikhail Grigorenko to the Rochester Americans.

The Russian’s junior season with the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts ended last week, making him eligible to play in the AHL.

Interim coach Ted Nolan hinted Saturday the Sabres would send Grigorenko to the Amerks, where he played two playoff games last season.

Since he had junior eligibility left, the NHL rejected Grigorenko’s AHL conditioning assignment in November. The Sabres eventually sent Grigorenko, the 12th overall …

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Dominik Hasek received a special saber for being inducted into the Hall of Fame. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – One current Sabre, forward Matt Ellis, played with legendary goalie Dominik Hasek, who was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame prior to Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning inside the First Niagara Center.

Ellis played 16 games as a rookie with Detroit in 2006-07, Hasek’s 15th NHL season. Incredibly, Hasek posted a 2.05 goals-against average and .913 save percentage as 42-year-old that year.

“He was a great teammate, someone as a young player coming in watching …

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Ville Leino couldn't skate this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – What the heck is going on with Sabres forward Ville Leino?

Interim Sabres coach Ted Nolan said the Finn, who left Thursday’s 6-1 loss in Nashville early after experiencing some lightheadedness, was evaluated and came to this morning’s skate.

“He was doing OK and then just before going on the ice he didn’t feel very well again,” Nolan said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning inside the First Niagara Center.

Nolan said Leino will go …

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Tyler Myers just served a three-game suspension. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

TORONTO – Defenseman Tyler Myers’ absence was glaring during the waning minutes of Tuesday’s 4-3 home loss to Philadelphia. The Buffalo Sabres sorely needed a sturdy presence to calm the game down as the Flyers scored three times.

Myers, who returned from a three-game suspension in Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs, had been showcasing a steady, aggressive game prior to his ban.

“I think a lot of that is just bringing a confidence that you’re going to control the …

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Pat LaFontaine smiles Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The old school part of hockey, Pat LaFontaine said, is earning your keep. There has to be a standard. Players must perform consistently once they crack the NHL.

LaFontaine, a Hockey Hall of Famer, skated on the fourth line as a teenage NHL phenom. Legendary New York Islanders coach Al Arbour wouldn’t let him take a defensive-zone faceoff for years.

Former general manager Darcy Regier gave 19-year-old Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko a roster spot during the summer. The team’s new …

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