Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Grigorenko

Sam Reinhart can play nine games before his entry-level contract begins. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – This could just be a brief, low-risk experiment. The Sabres have nine regular-season games to evaluate top prospect Sam Reinhart before the slick center’s entry-level contract kicks in.

Might as well use the trial, right?

Right now, Reinhart, the No. 2 pick in June, has a roster spot. The 18-year-old will make his NHL debut in Thursday’s season opener, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.

The Sabres also have 19-year-old defenseman Nikita Zadorov on the roster. They must make some moves to …

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Mikhail Grigorenko impressed the Sabres during training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Following an impressive training camp, 20-year-old Mikhail Grigorenko’s “real, real close” to making the NHL, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.

“He’s knocking on the door,” Nolan said today after the Sabres sent the center to the AHL. “Right now, he needs just a little bit more seasoning.”

That seasoning will come in Rochester, where the Russian played 14 games late last season.

Grigorenko, who matured rapidly over the summer, made Nolan and general manager Tim Murray’s decision difficult.

“With Grigorenko and his …

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Sam Reinhart has impressed the Sabres enough to stay. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Top Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart, the No. 2 pick in June, will make his NHL debut on Thursday against Columbus, coach Ted Nolan said this afternoon.

The 18-year-old Reinhart was among 23 healthy skaters on the ice today. NHL teams must reach the 23-man roster limit by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

While Nolan said today’s practice group was pretty close to the opening-night roster, the Sabres are still discussing moves.

The Sabres sent 20-year-old center Mikhail Grigorenko and forward Zac Dalpe to …

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Mikhail Grigorenko played in the AHL briefly last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – A strong training camp couldn’t earn 20-year-old center Mikhail Grigorenko an NHL roster spot.

The Sabres have sent Grigorenko to AHL Rochester, according to Jay Grossman, the prospect’s agent.

Many had the Russian ticketed for the Americans before an impressive camp caught Sabres coach Ted Nolan’s attention.

Based on his camp, Grigorenko could be in line for a recall. He should receive big minutes in Rochester, where he played 14 games late last season. He wasn’t eligible to start a season …

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Sam Reinhart (center) celebrates his first preseason goal with Marcus Foligno (82) and Tyson Strachan (24). ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Seven minutes, 10 seconds into the third period Wednesday, with the Sabres up four goals against the Washington Capitals, top prospect Sam Reinhart finally found some open ice.

Reinhart, by his own admission, had been pressing this preseason. The savvy 18-year-old couldn’t score or even create opportunities, and it gnawed at him. The hockey IQ fans have heard about so much rarely materialized.

But as Wednesday’s contest dragged on, the center got open in the right circle, grabbed a perfect …

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Mikhail Grigorenko skates this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Two weeks into training camp, center Mikhail Grigorenko remains the Sabres’ biggest surprise. Two more impressive outings could earn the Russian prospect a roster spot.

“He’s been looking really good,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “He’s strong on the puck. He’s been making some really good plays. So the biggest thing right now is keep seeing him do it.”

Grigorenko has two more preseason opportunities, tonight against the Washington Capitals and Friday in …

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Sam Reinhart possesses plenty of skill. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – A goal or even a little more assertiveness tonight would greatly boost top prospect Sam Reinhart’s chances of making the Sabres right out of junior hockey.

Time could be running out for the 18-year-old, the No. 2 pick in June. Only two exhibition games are left.

Through three appearances, Reinhart has zero points, just two shots on goal and a minus-1 rating while averaging 16 minutes, 16 seconds of ice time. Incredibly, he’s only attempted three shots.

“Obviously, it’s getting a …

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Patrick Kaleta impressed the Sabres this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s facial injury isn’t as bad the Sabres originally feared, and the winger could miss as little as a month, coach Ted Nolan said Tuesday.

“It’s still serious,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “It’s not going to be a three-month thing. It’s could be a less-than-month type of thing. So we’re thankful for that.”

Kaleta and forward Johan Larsson were injured early in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout exhibition loss in Toronto. Larsson, Nolan said, is out about 10 …

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Andrej Meszaros has been playing big minutes. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – Coach Ted Nolan noticed a little smirk on Andrej Meszaros’ face following the defenseman’s recent Buffalo Sabres debut.

Meszaros had just skated a whopping 29 minutes, 39 seconds in Tuesday’s 2-0 win against Carolina. The minutes felt like a warm welcome.

“It felt pretty good,” Meszaros said last week.

Meszaros, 28, hadn’t played that much in a 60-minute game since May 6, 2011. Back then, the Slovak had just been named Philadelphia’s top defenseman.

Then injuries – back, shoulder, torn Achilles – …

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Andrey Makarov hasn't played this preseason. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres aren’t bringing their ‘A’ squad to Toronto for tonight’s preseason contest against the Maple Leafs, but the lineup features a lot of youngsters and bubble players “that deserve to play,” coach Ted Nolan said.

“Camp’s far from over,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

First, here are forward lines: Cody Hodgson, Mikhail Grigorenko, Chris Stewart; Zac Dalpe, Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn; Joel Armia, Johan Larsson, Nick Deslauriers; Matt Ellis, Tim Schaller, Patrick Kaleta.

“You look at …

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