T.J. Brennan played 21 games with the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres deal Brennan to Panthers for draft pick

BUFFALO – The Sabres traded defenseman T.J. Brennan to the Florida Panthers tonight for a fifth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

The 23-year-old had appeared sparingly this season, playing only 10 of the Sabres’ 27 games, scoring one goal.

Brennan, the 31st overall pick in 2007, enjoyed a monster AHL season with Rochester before the NHL campaign began, compiling 14 goals and 35 points in 36 games.

The New Jersey native’s AHL ... Read the full article

The Sabres used the first year of Mikhail Grigorenko's entry-level contract. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Regier says sending Grigorenko from Sabres back to junior best move for rookie’s career

BUFFALO – Sending rookie Mikhail Grigorenko back to junior wasn’t a snap decision the Sabres made to reach the 23-man roster limit, general manager Darcy Regier said this afternoon. The team had been talking about the move for a while.

If the 18-year-old center wasn’t getting scratched, he had been playing sparingly during most of his 22 appearances.

“This isn’t driven by a roster move,” Regier said inside the First Niagara Center. “This is driven ... Read the full article

Kevin Porter has played 10 games with the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres facing tough roster decisions

BUFFALO – Right now, the Sabres’ roster is at the 23-man limit. Center Tyler Ennis and winger Ville Leino are set to return from injuries, so moves will have to be made before the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon.

“We’re actually meeting this afternoon on it to figure it out,” interim Sabres coach Ron Rolston said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “But it will be solved by tomorrow.”... Read the full article

Brian Flynn already has two goals. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Foligno, Porter and Flynn forming strong trio for Sabres

BUFFALO – It appeared their time together could be brief. When interim Sabres coach Ron Rolston put Marcus Foligno, Kevin Porter and Brian Flynn together on a line March 5, he united two recent recalls with Foligno, a struggling rookie fresh off his first NHL benching.

All three had never played together during nearly four months with the Rochester Americans.

But Rolston, the Amerks’ coach until his Feb. 20 promotion, knew their talents. With the ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis left Sunday's game early. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ennis ‘dinged up’ from Simmonds hit, not concussed

BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis, whose face was crunched into the boards by Wayne Simmonds 15:48 into the Sabres’ 3-2 loss Sunday in Philadelphia, missed practice Monday and is day-to-day, interim coach Ron Rolston said.

“He’s a little dinged up,” Rolston said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s contest against the New York Rangers inside the First Niagara Center.

Ennis, who left the game, didn’t suffer a concussion, Rolston said. The slick center received some stitches ... Read the full article

Adam Pardy played four times during his recall. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres send Pardy back to Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres sent defenseman Adam Pardy back to the Rochester Americans on Sunday to make room for Jordan Leopold on the 23-man roster.

Leopold was a late scratch for the Sabres’ 3-2 loss in Philadelphia, the 10th straight game he’s missed.

Pardy played four games during his recall, recording zero points and eight penalty minutes. He had been scratched two straight games.... Read the full article

Jochen Hecht was a favorite of former coach Lindy Ruff. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Hecht’s benching related to Sabres’ personnel, not play

BUFFALO – Hours before scratching Jochen Hecht on Thursday, Ron Rolston praised the veteran’s play. Following practice a day later, the Sabres’ interim coach complimented the 35-year-old forward again.

So why did Rolston make Hecht, the Sabres’ longest-tenured player, a healthy scratch for the first time in his 10 seasons here?

“We had a lot of scenarios going on with players,” Rolston explained Friday after the Sabres practiced inside Cazenovia Ice Rink. “We have ... Read the full article

T.J. Brennan has been a healthy scratch frequently this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Brennan gets another chance to shine

In seven NHL games this season, Buffalo Sabres defenseman T.J. Brennan has zero points and 14 shots on goal (how many have missed the net?) while averaging 14:11 on the ice each appearance.

After scoring 14 goals and 35 points in 36 games with Rochester this season, Brennan has underwhelmed mightily.

If the 23-year-old didn’t have to clear waivers, he likely would’ve been returned to the AHL. Instead, rather than risk losing him, the Sabres ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno hasn't scored since Jan. 27. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Foligno struggling to regain slick form

BUFFALO – It was more of a learning tool than a true benching. When Ron Rolston scratched Marcus Foligno on Thursday, the interim Sabres coach took his surprised rookie aside.

Instead of simply telling Foligno, “You’re not playing tonight,” Rolston analyzed the winger’s play with him.

“He showed me a lot, what I could bring, where my good things I do on the ice and things that I got to start doing,” Foligno said ... Read the full article

Brian Flynn skated 8:50 on Saturday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Flynn makes NHL debut as injured Vanek sits

BUFFALO – In Brian Flynn’s mind, he “had no business getting drafted.” Getting bypassed during two consecutive NHL Entry Drafts was no slight.

“I wasn’t very good,” the 24-year-old Flynn acknowledged Saturday afternoon prior to making his NHL debut in the Sabres’ 4-3 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils inside the First Niagara Center. “I was undersized. But I think that helped me a lot. Ever since then I’ve gotten better every year.”

Flynn ... Read the full article