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

Sabres’ Pat LaFontaine believes Mikhail Grigorenko can thrive in junior

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 ... Read the full article

Matt Moulson will be an unrestricted free agent following the season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Matt Moulson open to staying with Sabres, not worried about getting traded again

BUFFALO – Thirty games into what could be a very short Sabres career, Matt Moulson said he’s given a lot of thought to a future he can’t control yet.

The winger, quietly one of the NHL’s top goal scorers for years, would be coveted as an unrestricted free agent this summer. But before that, if the Sabres want to deal the 30-year-old, he’d be in high demand as a rental prior to the March 5 ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko initially balked at leaving the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko will accept assignment to junior

BUFFALO – Prospect Mikhail Grigorenko has informed the Sabres he will be reporting to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

The 19-year-old center initially refused the assignment to junior Saturday.

“He and I had talked about it quite a bit,” Jay Grossman, Grigorenko’s agent, told the Times Herald by phone late Sunday. “I think that it was fair to say there were some real serious concerns about the development process of this player. Going down to Quebec, ... Read the full article

Ted Nolan has a junior background. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ted Nolan had ‘no indication’ Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko would refuse junior assigment

Interim Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan said he had no inkling 19-year-old prospect Mikhail Grigorenko would refuse his assignment to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

“Players will be disappointed when things like that happen,” Nolan said Sunday in Washington prior to the Sabres’ 2-1 shootout win against the Capitals. “But no indication that he wouldn’t report.”

The Sabres sent the Russian center, a frequent healthy scratch, back to junior Saturday.

Nolan said general manager Tim Murray ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko feels he belongs in the NHL. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Prospect Mikhail Grigorenko won’t report to junior, future with Sabres unclear

BUFFALO – Interim coach Ted Nolan said Mikhail Grigorenko “was a little bit upset” when the Sabres told the 19-year-old prospect he was going back to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

“But this is non-negotiable,” Nolan said Saturday inside the Riverside Ice Rink. “It’s one of those things that has to be done.”

The Sabres didn’t understand just how much the demotion irked the Russian center.

Grigorenko won’t be reporting to the junior club, his agent, ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller is getting ready to play for Team USA at the Sochi Games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Ryan Miller still waiting to discuss future with Sabres’ new regime

BUFFALO – Ryan Miller appreciates Pat LaFontaine’s kind words. The hockey icon lauded his franchise goalie last week, telling reporters the Sabres would do their best to accommodate the former Vezina Trophy winner if he wants to stay here.

“It’s nice of him,” Miller, an unrestricted free agent following the season, said Saturday inside the Riverside Ice Rink. “I still need to kind of see what’s going on in the bigger picture.”

Miller said ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko was also sent back to junior last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres send prospect Mikhail Grigorenko back to junior

BUFFALO – Interim coach Ted Nolan said Mikhail Grigorenko “was a little bit upset” when the Sabres told the 19-year-old prospect he was going back to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

“But this is non-negotiable,” Nolan said this morning inside the Riverside Ice Rink. “It’s one of those things that has to be done.”

Update: Grigorenko’s agent, Jay Grossman, confirmed to the Times Herald that Grigorenko won’t be reporting to the Remparts, something Le Soleil’s Kathleen ... Read the full article

Ted Nolan took over the Sabres in November. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

GM Tim Murray tells Sportsnet Sabres will remove interim tag from coach Ted Nolan

BUFFALO – It appears the interim tag will be coming off Sabres coach Ted Nolan soon.

General manager Tim Murray told Sportsnet’s Hockey Central today he “can see where we probably will do something for him there that it won’t be on for long.”

Murray said, “Ted is my guy right now” during his introductory news conference Thursday.

He later added: “I was never told if I took this job I had to keep Ted ... Read the full article

Tim Murray speaks to the media Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Tim Murray ready to tackle Sabres’ ‘extremely attractive’ GM job

BUFFALO – Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray recently approached his nephew, Tim Murray, and told him the rebuilding Sabres, the NHL’s worst team, wanted permission to interview him for the vacant GM position.

Murray would be leaving what he called “comfortable situation” as the Senators’ assistant GM. The 50-year-old’s from the Ottawa area. His wife and children live there. Many speculated he would replace his uncle someday. At the very least, he acknowledged, he would’ve ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko sat again Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres will make decision on Mikhail Grigorenko’s future soon

BUFFALO – In past world junior championship appearances, Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko said he would’ve been concentrating solely on his offensive game.

“I didn’t really think about defense or penalty kills or faceoffs or winning battles,” the 19-year-old prospect said Thursday prior to sitting out the Sabres’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers as a healthy scratch.

But Grigorenko feels he’s evolving. This year, while scoring five goals and eight points in seven games ... Read the full article