Derek Grant has been strong in the faceoff circle. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Derek Grant finding ways to contribute

BUFFALO – Derek Grant’s rather unimpressive stat line – zero goals and just one assist through 14 games – doesn’t tell the whole story. At first glance, it appears the Sabres’ fourth-line center has endured a rough month.

After all, Grant, 26, was the Sabres’ best player throughout training camp, helping him vault from a depth player likely ticketed for the AHL into regular NHL duty.

“He adds more to our team than scoring ... Read the full article

Zenon Konopka smiles Wednesday outside the Northtown Center. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Zenon Konopka motivated to finish career on own terms following PED suspension

AMHERST – In January, when the NHL lifted Zenon Konopka’s shocking 20-game performance-enhancing drug suspension, the former Buffalo Sabres center briefly went to Poland, where his father was born, to see if he could still play.

For months, Konopka, a free agent, had shut hockey out of his life. The 34-year-old instead buried himself in his ZK28 wine line and other businesses. But by the winter, he began to understand how much he missed the ... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers was a defenseman until last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers trying to build on breakout season

BUFFALO – The whole season, Sabres winger Nick Deslauriers said, “was pretty crazy.”

Barely a year ago, Deslauriers was a defenseman in Los Angeles’ organization. Three years into his career, he hadn’t played an NHL game. Then a forward shortage forced the Kings to make him a winger.

Suddenly, Deslauriers became a goal scorer up front, compiling 16 in 60 games for AHL Manchester.

That scoring prowess, coupled with his usual nasty edge, caught the ... Read the full article

Zenon Konopka played 23 games with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres veteran Zenon Konopka suspended 20 games for violating PED program

BUFFALO – Sabres center Zenon Konopka has been suspended 20 games for violating the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program, becoming just the second player in NHL history suspended for PEDs.

Konopka, an unrestricted free agent this summer, will serve his ban at the beginning of any new contract. Under terms of the CBA, mandatory referral to the NHL/NHLPA Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health for evaluation and possible treatment accompanies the suspension.

The substance ... Read the full article

Connor Knapp made 22 saves Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Connor Knapp on first NHL start: ‘Quite a moment in my life’

BUFFALO – On March 15, more than 4,000 miles from Buffalo, Sabres goalie Connor Knapp stopped 24 shots in the Alaska Aces’ 4-2 win against the Colorado Eagles in Anchorage.

Twenty-nine days later, Knapp, the sixth goalie on the organization’s depth chart, made his first NHL start in the Sabres’ 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders.

Knapp grew up in York, a small town about 30 miles from Rochester.

“It’s crazy,” the 23-year-old ... Read the full article

Connor Knapp played in relief on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Connor Knapp to make first NHL start

BUFFALO – Connor Knapp, the sixth goalie on the Sabres’ depth chart, will make his first NHL start this afternoon against the New York Islanders.

The Sabres recalled goalie Andrey Makarov from Rochester today on an emergency basis. But the 20-year-old Russian played for the Americans the last two days.

“Makarov, this will be his third game in three nights,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “They play ... Read the full article

John Scott has played a career-high 54 games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Tough guy John Scott happy with larger role, wants to return to Sabres

BUFFALO – John Scott understands you can’t always change your reputation in a few months. The Sabres tough guy believes anti-fighting fans might always consider him a goon.

“I guess the people who have that in their mind they don’t really look at me as a hockey player ever,” Scott said Wednesday inside the First Niagara Center. “So it doesn’t really matter what I do. But I like to think I changed peoples’ minds out ... Read the full article

Henrik Tallinder will be a game-time decision tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Healthy bodies mean Sabres can send youngsters back to Amerks for playoff race

BUFFALO – Slowly, the injury-plagued Sabres are starting to get some healthy bodies back.

Three injured players returned in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Detroit. Now, they might have two more back for tonight’s road tilt against the New York Rangers.

Winger Drew Stafford (undisclosed) pronounced himself ready during Wednesday’s practice, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. Meanwhile, defenseman Henrik Tallinder (undisclosed) said he’s a game-time decision tonight.

“Hank, he gave me the old 95-percent sure look,” ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford will play Thursday in New York. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Drew Stafford ready to play; Nick Deslauriers and Johan Larsson back with Amerks

BUFFALO – Slowly, the Sabres are starting to get some healthy bodies back.

Three injured players returned in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Detroit. Now, they might have two more back Thursday in New York.

Winger Drew Stafford (undisclosed) pronounced himself ready during this morning’s practice, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. Meanwhile, defenseman Henrik Tallinder (undisclosed) said following practice he’s a game-time decision for the Rangers.

“Hank, he gave me the old 95-percent sure look,” Nolan ... Read the full article

Tim Murray has been talking with NHL officials. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to be vocal with NHL about problems, upset about length of Zac Rinaldo’s suspension

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Tim Murray recently asked coach Ted Nolan to tell him everything that was happening.

Why?

“Because we’re going to complain about it,” Murray told Nolan.

The Sabres are angry the NHL only suspended Flyers agitator Zac Rinaldo four games for elbowing defenseman Chad Ruhwedel in the head late in Sunday’s 5-2 loss in Philadelphia.

Ruhwedel is home recovering from a concussion and out indefinitely. Rinaldo, meanwhile, can play again next ... Read the full article