The Sabres picked Rasmus Ristolainen eighth overall in June. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Last four Sabres No. 1 picks to play tonight; Rasmus Ristolainen set for debut

BUFFALO – Four No. 1 picks from the last two years, including both 2013 selections, defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov, will skate for the Sabres in tonight’s preseason opener in Montreal.

Expect to see the rebuilding Sabres showcase plenty of youth throughout the seven-game exhibition schedule, coach Ron Rolston said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

“There’s going to be a lot of opportunity for those players, and they’re going to get a ... Read the full article

Ron Rolston took over as coach on Feb. 20. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres facing plenty of questions as first training camp under Ron Rolston begins

BUFFALO – The Sabres convene for training camp physicals today inside the First Niagara Center, for better or worse, almost the same team that ended a disappointing, 11th-place season 137 days ago.

Other than a busy draft day and reacquiring 34-year-old defenseman Henrik Tallinder, the rebuilding club remained quiet throughout the summer.

Starting goalie Ryan Miller and leading scorer Thomas Vanek, two veteran stars rumored to be on the trading block, ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko played 25 NHL games last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres youngster Mikhail Grigorenko ineligible for NHL Prospect Tournament

BUFFALO – Prospect Mikhail Grigorenko is ineligible for the 2013 NHL Prospect Tournament “because of the number of NHL games he was on the Sabres’ roster” last season, the team announced this afternoon, a day before play begins in Traverse City, Mich.

Grigorenko, who made 25 NHL appearances as a rookie in 2012-13, was arguably the biggest name on the 24-man roster the Sabres released for the eight-team tournament last month.

Two other youngsters on ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek and the Sabres will have 70 games aired on MSG next season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to appear on NBC 12 times in 2013-14; Traverse City roster announced

BUFFALO – MSG will televise 70 Sabres games in 2013-14, while NBC or NBC Sports Network will broadcast the other 12, the team announced today.

Ten games will air on NBC Sports Network. The other two will air on NBC or NBC Sports Network as part of the flex schedule.

The scheduled NBC games:

  • Oct. 2 at Detroit, 8:00 (NBCSN)
  • Oct. 8 vs. Tampa Bay, 7:30 (NBCSN)
  • Oct. 14 vs. Minnesota, 7:30 (NBCSN)
  • Oct.
... Read the full article
Darcy Regier talks about the Sabres' offseason news Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres could still have Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek in fold when training camp opens

BUFFALO – With each passing day, general manager Darcy Regier acknowledged, it becomes more likely starting goalie Ryan Miller and slick winger Thomas Vanek will still be with the Sabres when training camp starts in September.

Regier has said both stars, whose contracts expire after next season, could be dealt from the rebuilding Sabres. He said he’s had some “discussions regarding both those players” with other teams.

“The nature of this business as you move ... Read the full article

A knee injury ended Brayden McNabb's season March 23. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Brayden McNabb ready to grab spot on crowded blue line

BUFFALO – The most experienced defense prospect participating in the Sabres’ summer development camp might also have the most to prove.

As a rookie in 2011-12, Brayden McNabb impressed from the get-go, earning his first NHL promotion in late November and playing 25 total games with the Sabres.

Less than two years later, the 22-year-old has almost become an afterthought.

When the NHL season started in January, McNabb, who struggled a bit with Rochester last ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen skates this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rasmus Ristolainen takes first steps toward making Sabres

BUFFALO – Even among a group of teenage prospects, Rasmus Ristolainen was one of the youngest players on the ice this morning for the first session of the Sabres’ summer development camp.

Of course, having spent the last two seasons in the SM-liiga, a Finnish men’s league, the 18-year-old’s used to facing older competition.

“That’s not a new thing for me,” Ristolainen, the No. 8 pick at last month’s NHL Entry Draft, said this afternoon. ... Read the full article

Henrik Tallinder left the Sabres in 2010. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres bring back Henrik Tallinder from Devils

BUFFALO – Three years ago, Henrik Tallinder sensed his Sabres career was ending. Despite a strong season helping then-rookie Tyler Myers develop into of the NHL’s top defensemen, the Swede knew the team had little interest in awarding him a long-term contract.

So when free agency opened, Tallinder signed a four-year, $13.5 million deal with the New Jersey Devils.

Had the Sabres offered even three years to Tallinder, he said he might’ve considered staying with ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier talks Sunday at the NHL Entry Draft. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Darcy Regier still unsure what Sabres will do with Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek

BUFFALO – For now at least, starting goalie Ryan Miller and slick winger Thomas Vanek, two veteran stars entering the final seasons of their contracts, are still members of the Sabres.

Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said Tuesday he has spoken to the players’ agents and both sides plan to continue chatting.

“As I’ve stated before, it’s incumbent upon me to have a sense of what the marketplace is or re-sign them versus allowing them ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov couldn't stop smiling after the Sabres selected him Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres grab defensemen early to start busy draft day, only pull off minor trade

NEWARK, N.J. – It was “pretty close,” general manager Darcy Regier said. The rebuilding Buffalo Sabres could’ve moved up to the No. 5 slot during the NHL Entry Draft, perhaps picked a familiar name the team’s fans had been drooling over.

Ultimately, however, the Sabres decided trading with Carolina wasn’t worth the steep cost. Instead, they kept the eighth overall pick, grabbing big defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen to start their busy day.

“We just thought we’d ... Read the full article