Ville Leino (left) will be replaced by Johan Larsson. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ville Leino’s cracked rib opens up opportunity for Sabres rookie Johan Larsson

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Ville Leino just can’t stay healthy.

Leino, who played only eight games last season while battling a hip and lung injury, cracked a rib early in Wednesday’s season-opening 2-1 loss in Detroit and is out indefinitely.

The Finn should only miss a couple of weeks, Sabres coach Ron Rolston said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center.

Leino stayed in the game, skating 12:38. But Rolston said the rib “seized up” overnight.... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno could practice today. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres reach 23-man roster limit by placing Marcus Foligno on injured reserve

BUFFALO – With a muscle strain sidelining winger Marcus Foligno, the 23 players on the ice Monday – 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies – could comprise the Sabres’ opening-night roster, coach Ron Rolston said.

Foligno, who was injured last Sunday in Toronto, was placed on injured reserve Monday. The Sabres had to hit the 23-man roster limit by 5 p.m.

Rolston said Foligno could practice today. Still, he’s likely out for Wednesday’s ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno was hurt last Sunday in Toronto. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres set 23-man roster; No new captain named yet

BUFFALO – With a muscle strain sidelining winger Marcus Foligno, the 23 players on the ice this morning – 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies – could be on the Sabres’ opening-night roster Wednesday in Detroit, coach Ron Rolston said.

“I don’t see it Wednesday,” Rolston said about Foligno inside the First Niagara Center. “I think he’ll be in a position tomorrow where he’ll practice. But I don’t think one day is going to ... Read the full article

Mike Weber has played 174 NHL games. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Mike Weber endured long road to opening-night duty

BUFFALO – Ron Rolston noticed Mike Weber’s patience and resolve long before he began coaching the Sabres, back when the gritty defenseman was often sitting as a healthy scratch, sometimes for weeks at a time.

Rolston watched Weber quietly channeling his energy toward becoming an NHL regular.

“Everything was about the team and he’d get his opportunity,” Rolston said Saturday inside the First Niagara Center. “Just his overall attitude is exceptional.”

That attitude’s finally ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov could go back to junior. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Nikita Zadorov’s cut finger won’t force Sabres to keep rookie; Rasmus Ristolainen earns roster spot

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov cut his finger blocking a shot in Friday’s exhibition finale and is out about two weeks, coach Ron Rolston said.

“It just kind of smashed it on the tip,” Rolston said Saturday inside the First Niagara Center.

The 18-year-old rookie had the injury stitched up, Rolston said.

Zadorov signed a three-year, entry-level contract Wednesday, although general manager Darcy Regier hinted then the Sabres would likely send the youngster ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov hurt his finger Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Cut finger to sideline Sabres rookie Nikita Zadorov 2 weeks; Top pick Rasmus Ristolainen secures roster spot

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov cut his finger blocking a shot in Friday’s exhibition finale and is out about two weeks, coach Ron Rolston said this afternoon.

“It just kind of smashed it on the tip,” Rolston said inside the First Niagara Center.

The 18-year-old rookie had the injury stitched up, Rolston said.

Zadorov signed a three-year, entry-level contract Wednesday, although general manager Darcy Regier hinted then the Sabres would likely send the youngster ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford scored only six goals last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Drew Stafford optimistic and refreshed after ‘nightmare’ season

BUFFALO – When the worst season of Drew Stafford’s career mercifully ended five months ago – he describes the six-goal, 18-point campaign as hitting “rock bottom” – the Sabres winger stopped dwelling on it.

“You got to get over it,” Stafford said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason finale in Carolina. “It was an absolute nightmare. It’s one of those things where you can’t change the past, what’s ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis played the wing Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres turn to Tyler Ennis for center help; goalie Jhonas Enroth to start against Leafs

BUFFALO – On Friday, coach Ron Rolston said the Sabres “would look at all options” to find another center, even if it meant moving someone over from the wing.

Sure enough, Tyler Ennis was centering Marcus Foligno and Drew Stafford this morning as the Sabres prepared for tonight’s preseason contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the First Niagara Center.

Where does Rolston see Ennis winding up eventually, center or wing? The 23-year-old has ... Read the full article

Joel Armia skates this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Joel Armia set for home debut tonight

BUFFALO – The hype has been building since slick Finnish winger Joel Armia was selected 16th overall in 2011. In the 20-year-old, the Sabres possess a prospect so talented many believe he could crack the NHL right away.

Yet few have seen Armia, who spent the last three seasons playing at home in SM-liiga, up close.

Who exactly is this guy?

Fans will find out tonight, when Armia makes his Buffalo debut in the ... Read the full article

Jamie McBain had only one goal and eight points last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jamie McBain looking for fresh start after Hurricanes career fizzled

BUFFALO – Jamie McBain disputes his former general manager’s belief he reported to training camp out of shape last season.

The new Sabres defenseman acknowledged Tuesday that workouts “kind of slipped away from me a little bit” during the lockout. But McBain had played briefly in Finland and felt ready for an abbreviated season with the Carolina Hurricanes following the work stoppage.

“My on-ice conditioning was just fine,” said McBain, who could face the Hurricanes ... Read the full article