Kevin Porter has played 163 NHL games. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks’ Porter making best of new AHL stint

ROCHESTER – Kevin Porter, the former NCAA superstar, had finally established himself as an NHL regular after shuttling between the big leagues and minors for two years. In 2010-11, the 26-year-old played 74 games with the Colorado Avalanche, scoring 14 goals.

By last October, however, the Rochester Americans’ new captain had already become a spare part.

Incredibly, the Avs scratched Porter 43 times last season.

The forward played poorly defensively, never showcased enough physicality and ... Read the full article

Corey Tropp was injured late in Friday's season-opening win. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Tropp likely done for season

BUFFALO – Corey Tropp, a ferocious third-year winger who became a Sabres regular late last season, will likely miss the rest of the 2012-13 campaign after suffering ligament damage in his right knee.

Tropp told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle he damaged the medial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament Friday late in the Rochester Americans’ 6-5 season-opening AHL win over the Syracuse Crunch.

The MCL can heal through rehabilitation. He’ll eventually need ACL surgery, ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk blocks a shot in his professional debut Friday. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With Sabres’ ‘amazing’ opening night gone, attention has turned to Rochester

ROCHESTER – The 42nd opening night in Buffalo Sabres history would’ve been “huge,” winger Drew Stafford said, even “amazing.” New seasons breed hope and optimism, and if the NHL lockout wasn’t in its 28th day, both would be sweeping through Buffalo right now.

The club was scheduled to host Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight inside a capacity First Niagara Center.

The Sabres, healthy and stocked with offseason reinforcements, might’ve been considered ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno established himself as a top NHL talent late last season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres stuck in Rochester trying to embrace unique opportunity

BUFFALO – They’re back for another unexpected AHL run, kicked to the minors again by the NHL lockout.

Marcus Foligno dominated at times during his late-season recall, compiling six goals and 13 points in a rollicking 12-game stretch. By mid-March, the winger had become a star and a Sabres fan favorite.

Center Cody Hodgson, meanwhile, established himself as a regular last year, scoring 19 goals while setting a league record for road appearances.

Both would ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville plans to play an exhibition game tonight in Quebec. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Locked-out Sabres pursuing new jobs

AMHERST – Following another informal skate Wednesday, Jason Pominville packed up his hockey equipment, hopped in the car and drove home seven hours to Montreal.

It’s that hard for the locked out NHL players to find a game these days.

The Sabres captain said he’ll play tonight in the Quebec Caravan League, a charity exhibition series pitting players from Montreal against others from around the province. The contests should resemble intense shinny, he said.

His ... Read the full article

Mark Mancari's new AHL contract will allow him to bypass waivers. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres ink 5 to AHL deals

BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans have signed five players under two-way contracts to AHL deals.

The separate contracts allowed the players – goalie Dave Leggio, defensemen T.J. Brennan, Joe Finley and Drew Schiestel and winger Mark Mancari – to bypass waivers from the Sabres to the minors during a special period the NHL created earlier this month prior to the lockout.

The Amerks begin training camp later this week.... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis can't wait to begin playing in Switzerland. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ennis heading to Switzerland for lockout

BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis couldn’t pass up what he called a “perfect opportunity.”

Instead of skating daily at a local rink waiting for the NHL lockout to end, the slick Sabres center is heading to Switzerland to play for the SCL Tigers, a team in the country’s top hockey division, National League A. Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon, Ennis’ best friend, will be joining him.

“I have a good opportunity to stay in game shape,” Ennis ... Read the full article

Robyn Regehr left a recent meeting with NHL executives disappointed. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres saw ominous lockout signs long ago

AMHERST – Ryan Miller first noticed the ominous signs of another NHL lockout last year when the NBA and NFL negotiated new labor deals favorable to ownership. Right away, the Buffalo Sabres goalie knew “hockey would take a crack at” getting money back from the players.

For Robyn Regehr, the cold reality of a work stoppage hit him last week in New York during a meeting at the league offices with Players’ Association executive director ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson will return to the Sabres after the lockout ends. ©2012, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald

Sabres loan 20 players to Rochester

BUFFALO – With an NHL lockout likely hitting at midnight tonight, the Sabres loaned 20 AHL-eligible players, including forwards Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson, to the Rochester Americans on Friday.

Also assigned were: forwards Luke Adam, Riley Boychuk, Brian Flynn, Zemgus Girgensons, Jacob Lagace, Jonathan Parker, Kevin Sundher, Shawn Szydlowski, Corey Tropp, Phil Varone; defensemen Alex Biega, Nick Crawford, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Matt MacKenzie, Brayden McNabb, Mark Pysyk; goalies Connor Knapp and Nathan Lieuwen. The Sabres ... Read the full article

©2012

Rochester releases 2012-13 schedule

BUFFALO – Now you can start planning those trips to Rochester in the event of an NHL lockout, Sabres fans.

The Rochester Americans begin their 31st season as the Sabres’ AHL affiliate on Oct. 12 at the Blue Cross War Memorial against the Syracuse Crunch, a day before their parent club is scheduled to open its campaign at the First Niagara Center versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But with collective bargaining agreement talks stalling, who ... Read the full article