The post-Pominville era begins Friday.

Archive
Turgeon
The NHL lockout gave Mikhail Grigorenko more time to develop. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
9

BUFFALO – If the Sabres had to decide Mikhail Grigorenko’s NHL fate back in September, then the team would’ve returned the 18-year-old rookie to junior, general manager Darcy Regier said.

But the lockout gave Grigorenko a unique opportunity to keep developing before the 48-game NHL season started.

The center dominated the QMJHL. His strong play with Team Russia during the recent world junior championship elevated his confidence to another level, Regier said.

The top prospect arrived at training camp two weeks ago NHL …

Read More --->
Mikhail Grigorenko will play his sixth NHL game tonight. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – When the Sabres’ skate ended this morning, coach Lindy Ruff called his team together at the bench and told his players what general manager Darcy Regier had just said to the media minutes earlier: 18-year-old rookie Mikhail Grigorenko would be staying in the NHL.

Teammates then tapped their sticks in appreciation. A few even gave Grigorenko, who’ll play his sixth NHL game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a face wash.

“It felt really good,” an excited Grigorenko said minutes …

Read More --->
Mikhail Grigorenko skated 15 shifts during his NHL debut Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Ten minutes after the Sabres’ 5-2 opening-day win over the Philadelphia Flyers had ended, Steve Ott was still thinking about that nifty chance beside the net slick rookie center Mikhail Grigorenko had created for him.

Sure, Ott was excited about his power-play goal that opened the scoring just 11:07 into his Sabres debut. But the opportunity that had gotten away was still playing inside his head at bit.

“I kind of feel bad. He set the table,” Ott said Sunday …

Read More --->
Mikhail Grigorenko could make his NHL debut Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres first planted the seeds almost seven months ago inside the Consol Energy Center. Mikhail Grigorenko, the slick center that had just fallen to them 12th overall at the NHL Entry Draft, would be given every chance to play in the big leagues immediately, they said.

The strong words from the team’s brass that June night in Pittsburgh resonated. The Sabres hadn’t had an 18-year-old play regularly for them since center Pierre Turgeon, the No. 1 overall pick …

Read More --->
Mikhail Grigorenko's skills have been wowing teammates. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
7

BUFFALO – Coach Lindy Ruff likely won’t reveal the Sabres’ plans for first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko until Friday, when teams must have their rosters set by 3 p.m.

Still, questions about Grigorenko’s status will be asked all week.

So, Lindy, will he receive the five-game trial available for junior players?

“It’s too early to say,” Ruff said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “He had a good scrimmage (Monday). He had a good practice. Obviously, you like his hands. So …

Read More --->
The Sabres said in June prospect Mikhail Grigorenko would have a chance at an NHL roster spot. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Thanks to the agonizingly long NHL lockout, 281 days have passed since the Sabres last played a game. Thankfully, the team will finally start an abbreviated training camp today. The season opens in just a week.

So what’s changed in the last nine months? How’s this group different from the high-priced, ninth-place team that was built to win the Stanley Cup in 2011-12?

The Sabres got tougher, acquiring Steve Ott to be the talented sandpaper presence they’ve sorely lacked for …

Read More --->
The Sabres will give Mikhail Grigorenko a look during training camp. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Slick prospect Mikhail Grigorenko, the 12th overall pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft, will attend the Sabres’ upcoming training camp, the team confirmed today.

Le Soleil, a newspaper in Quebec City, where Grigorenko plays for the QMJHL’s Remparts, first reported the story.

Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said during the summer the 18-year-old center would be given “every opportunity” to make the NHL. But reports surfaced last month the Sabres planned to keep Grigorenko with the Remparts all season.

Clearly, the …

Read More --->
Mikhail Grigorenko already has 29 goals and 50 points in 30 games. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Some interesting news out of Quebec, where some media outlets have reported slick Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko will stay with the QMJHL’s Remparts for the entire season.

Sabres general manager Darcy Regier had said the Russian center, the 12th overall pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft, would be given “every opportunity” to make the big leagues.

Of course, back then another lockout seemed unimaginable. Training camp will be abbreviated if it ever begins. Who knows if the Sabres would even …

Read More --->
Mikhail Grigorenko will compete for an NHL spot during training camp. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – On Wednesday, the day the Sabres signed slick Russian center Mikhail Grigorenko to a three-year, entry-level contract, general manager Darcy Regier encountered a slew of prospects while visiting the players’ lounge inside the First Niagara Center.

Luke Adam, Marcus Foligno and Brayden McNabb, who all impressed during NHL stints last season, are in town working out. So is Grigorenko, the 12th overall pick last month, and 14th pick Zemgus Girgensons, who inked his entry-level deal last week.

“It’s a good …

Read More --->
©2012
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – If all goes well, then come October, Mikhail Grigorenko, the prized center selected 12th overall Friday at the NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, will be the first 18-year-old playing regularly for the Sabres since Pierre Turgeon in 1987.

The Sabres, who introduced Grigorenko on Monday inside the First Niagara Center, plan to give the Russian every chance to make the big club instead of going back to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

General manager Darcy Regier hopes to start working on …

Read More --->