Corey Tropp only played six games last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Tonight’s game more than meaningless exhibition for Sabres’ Corey Tropp

BUFFALO – Seventeen months after Corey Tropp played his last NHL game, the 24-year-old Sabres winger will return to the lineup tonight in Columbus.

Yes, it’s just an exhibition contest. But for Tropp, who suffered ligament damage in his right knee playing for Rochester opening night last season, it’s more than a preseason tilt.

Tropp’s back in the NHL.

“I’d be lying to you if I told you when I finished the season two ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons has five goals in his last four games. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Zemgus Girgensons finally adding offense to repertoire

BUFFALO – With 8:12 left in the second period of Sunday’s preseason opener, Sabres prospect Zemgus Girgensons grabbed Kevin Porter’s pass off the boards at the Montreal blue line and zoomed in down the right wing.

A second later, the tenacious 19-year-old whistled a quick wrist shot past goalie Zachary Fucale’s glove from the faceoff dot, the second goal of his NHL preseason debut.

“I was pretty happy with myself,” Girgensons, who scored short-handed earlier ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons scored twice Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Zemgus Girgensons starting to showcase offensive ability

BUFFALO – With 8:12 left in the second period of Sunday’s preseason opener, Sabres prospect Zemgus Girgensons grabbed Kevin Porter’s pass off the boards at the Montreal blue line and zoomed in down the right wing.

A second later, the Latvian whistled a shot by goalie Zachary Fucale’s glove from the faceoff dot, the second goal of his NHL preseason debut.

“I was pretty happy with myself,” Girgensons said this afternoon inside the First Niagara ... Read the full article

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

The Sabres originally drafted Michael Zigomanis in 1999. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Michael Zigomanis back with Sabres organization 12 years after ‘fax issues’ took him away

BUFFALO – Michael Zigomanis still sees familiar faces everywhere around the Sabres. There’s Darcy Regier, the general manager who drafted him 14 years ago. There’s Doug McKenney, the strength coach who began shaping his teenage frame into a man’s body.

Zigomanis credits both men with teaching him how to be a professional.

“It’s an honor to be part of their organization again,” the 32-year-old said Friday after practicing inside the First Niagara Center.

Zigomanis, the ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller practices today. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan Miller moved by induction into Michigan State Hall of Fame

BUFFALO – By Ryan Miller’s count, 20 to 25 members of his family have attended Michigan State University. Ten alone, including Miller, have played hockey for the Spartans.

“It’s been an important part of all of our lives,” the Sabres goalie said about the school this afternoon after practicing inside the First Niagara Center.

That’s why Miller, a legend around his native East Lansing, called his induction into the Spartans’ Hall of Fame on Thursday ... Read the full article

Henrik Tallinder skates Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Henrik Tallinder excited for second stint with Sabres after rocky ending in New Jersey: ‘It’s an easy transition’

BUFFALO – This had been the thinking since July: the cash-strapped New Jersey Devils needed to unload money badly, so they dished Henrik Tallinder to the Sabres, who wanted the veteran back to help ignite struggling defenseman Tyler Myers.

Not quite.

A rocky relationship with some coaches, not money, forced his exit from New Jersey, Tallinder said Wednesday. And the 34-year-old has spent the first two days of training camp skating with Mark ... Read the full article

Alexander Sulzer practices this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Alexander Sulzer happy to be back with Sabres after ACL injury

BUFFALO – Alexander Sulzer rehabbed vigorously for months after suffering a season-ending ACL injury Feb. 23 and undergoing surgery. Occasionally, however, his long recovery became more than a physical process, the Sabres defenseman said.

“It was a mental grind at times. Until today it’s been a six-month recovery,” Sulzer, who’s participating fully in training camp, said this morning after skating inside the First Niagara Center. “It’s a long time to prepare yourself every day to ... Read the full article

Cody Hodgson is the team's top center. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Maturity and talent earned Sabres’ Cody Hodgson long-term contract

BUFFALO – In awarding Cody Hodgson, a youngster with only 77 points in 139 career NHL games, a six-year, $25.5 million contract, the Sabres are betting on more than the center’s abundant talent. The team’s banking that Hodgson will keep dedicating himself to becoming an elite player.

“He wants to be a No. 1 guy from the standpoint he wants to be counted on, and he wants to be recognized in a leadership position,” ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier said every NHL would take back money for the right player. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Darcy Regier mum on if Sabres would keep some of Thomas Vanek’s salary in trade

BUFFALO – On Wednesday, CBC’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted he was hearing the Sabres would be willing to keep some of star winger Thomas Vanek’s $6.4 million salary if they found a trade partner.

A fired-up Regier said today someone recently emailed him – he didn’t say who – asking him if the Sabres would do that.

“My experience is you don’t answer those emails, whether they’re true or not true,” Regier said inside the First ... Read the full article