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McCabe

Nikita Zadorov (51) has been scratched all six games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The complicated situation involving Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov, a healthy scratch all six games this season, could be resolved in the next 48 hours, the Russian’s agent said Sunday night.

The Sabres have essentially been stashing the 19-year-old prospect on their roster.

Here’s the issue: Zadorov, as a European, can’t be sent back to the London Knights, his junior team, because he doesn’t have a release from the Russian club that owns his rights. The Sabres don’t believe Zadorov’s ready …

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Patrick Kaleta practiced Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s face was mangled.

“Broke a bunch of things in there,” the oft-injured Sabres winger said Thursday following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Kaleta said doctors inserted three plates and 14 screws after a shot hit him in the face during a Sept. 28 preseason game in Toronto. The 28-year-old has experienced blurred vision and migraines.

Still, less than three weeks after the scary incident, the Angola native is on the road back to game action. He skated with …

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Patrick Kaleta was injured Sept. 28. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s face was mangled.

“Broke a bunch of things in there,” the oft-injured Sabres winger said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Kaleta said doctors inserted three plates and 14 screws after a shot hit him in the face during a Sept. 28 preseason game in Toronto. The 28-year-old has experienced blurred vision and migraines.

Still, less than three weeks after the scary incident, the Angola native is on the road back to game action. He skated …

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Ted Nolan coached the first game in the First Niagara Center almost 18 years ago. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Whether you’ve been in the NHL for 50 years or this is your first season, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said, “opening night’s always exciting.”

“Butterflies floating around like crazy,” Nolan said Wednesday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets. “If it doesn’t happen, something’s going to be wrong.”

Tonight will be extra special for Nolan, who’s beginning his first full season as Sabres coach since 1996-97. He hasn’t coached an NHL team on opening …

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Terry Pegula's purchase of the Buffalo Bills was finalized today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Understandably, Sabres coach Ted Nolan hasn’t heard much owner Terry Pegula recently. But Pegula and his wife, Kim, plan to attend Thursday’s season opener after the NFL finalized their purchase of the Buffalo Bills today.

Imagine the rousing ovation the Pegulas will receive if the First Niagara Center video boards show them.

“It’s been pretty busy for Terry and Kim, for sure, to do what they’ve done acquiring the Bills,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “I’m …

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Matt Moulson (26), Brian Gionta (12) and Josh Gorges (4) posed with their new letters this afternoon. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For the first time in years, the Sabres have stability in their leadership group.

Captains Brian Gionta and alternates Josh Gorges and Matt Moulson have a combined 12 years left on their contracts. Each veteran chose to join the rebuilding Sabres this offseason.

Ted Nolan, who’s beginning his first full season as Sabres coach since 1996-97, believes the trio will fill the leadership void he noticed late last season.

“Coming in, going in a new direction, I just thought new leadership, …

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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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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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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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