Patrick Rissmiller spent two full seasons in the NHL. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks sign veteran Rissmiller to tryout

BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans signed forward Patrick Rissmiller, a veteran of 192 NHL games, to a professional tryout contract today.

The 34-year-old has 18 goals, 46 points and 60 penalty minutes in NHL stints with San Jose, the New York Rangers, Atlanta and Florida. He spent two full seasons with the Sharks from 2006-08.

With T.J. Brennan, Cody Hodgson and Marcus Foligno all playing with the Sabres and first-round pick Zemgus Girgensons... Read the full article

Cody McCormick hurt his finger last year. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ McCormick returns from finger injury

Buffalo Sabres winger Cody McCormick, sidelined by a finger injury the first seven games, is making his season debut this afternoon in Montreal against the Canadiens.

The 29-year-old’s skating on the right wing beside Matt Ellis and John Scott.

McCormick kept playing after getting injured last winter. But the finger never healed properly.

He was concerned about rushing back and how the finger would hold up in a fight.

“It would react not too favorably ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek has a point in every game so far. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Vanek named NHL’s third star for January

BUFFALO – Thomas Vanek’s scorching start to the lockout-shortened season – six goals and a league-high 15 points through only six games – has earned the slick Sabres winger the NHL’s third star for January.

Vanek’s coming off a dazzling three-goal, five point performance Thursday in the Sabres’ 7-4 win in Boston, his second five-point game this season. The Austrian had two goals and three assists opening day.

Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, who’s 5-0-1 ... Read the full article

Shawn Thornton left early Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Thornton out 7-10 days with concussion after fighting Sabres’ Scott

BUFFALO – Boston tough guy Shawn Thornton will be out seven to 10 days after suffering a concussion during his fight with new Sabres enforcer John Scott, the Bruins announced today.

The two heavyweights scrapped 2:53 into the Sabres’ 7-4 win Thursday. Scott quickly dropped Thornton with a few punches.

Thornton immediately left the game and never returned. Scott, meanwhile, skated 3:34.

The bout could already be one of the most popular in the ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek began his point bonanza on opening day. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Crazy early pace by Sabres’ Vanek could help shatter short-season records

The scoring benchmarks set during the only other lockout-shortened season – the 48-game 1994-95 campaign – are steep. The NHL hadn’t fully devolved into a clutch-and-grab league then.

Top scorers still racked up some pretty gaudy numbers.

Peter Bondra’s 34 goals, two more than Jaromir Jagr, topped the league. Jagr and Eric Lindros both scored 70 points. Ron Francis had 48 assists.

With an utterly dominant three-goal, five-point performance in the Buffalo Sabres’ dizzying ... Read the full article

Mike Weber (center) tried to keep James van Riemsdyk out of Ryan Miller's crease Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Weber still battling for regular spot on blue line

BUFFALO – The cycle repeats each year. Inevitably, Mike Weber begins the season as the Sabres’ seventh or eighth defenseman, a spare part.

Weber sat the first eight games and 20 of the opening 22 contests as a healthy scratch in 2010-11. The 25-year-old watched the first 10 games last season.

The Pittsburgh native couldn’t break the trend this year, sitting five times before Sabres coach Lindy Ruff dressed him for Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss ... Read the full article

Patrick Kaleta has battled injuries throughout his career. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kaleta out of hospital, won’t play against Bruins

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta was released from the hospital today after injuring his neck in Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Toronto, the team announced.

Kaleta didn’t accompany the Sabres to Boston and won’t play Thursday against the Bruins.

The 26-year-old left 17:34 into the first period and went to the hospital as a precaution after turning as Mike Brown hit him into the boards.

Brown’s hit won’t be reviewed by the NHL, according ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko celebrates his first NHL goal Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Leafs stun Sabres late in overtime, spoil Grigorenko’s first goal

BUFFALO – Fifteen minutes after allowing the overtime winner in the Sabres’ shocking 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ryan Miller sat stewing in his stall inside the dressing room, staring straight ahead. The goalie still had his pads on. He barely moved.

Down the hallway, winning Leafs goalie James Reimer was riding an exercise bike sporting a wide grin.

His 29 saves had just bested the former Vezina Trophy winner Tuesday before 18,801 ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko won't be returning to the Quebec Remparts. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Lockout helped Grigorenko develop into NHL talent

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 ... Read the full article

The NHL lockout gave Mikhail Grigorenko more time to develop. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHL lockout helped Grigorenko stick with Sabres

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 ... Read the full article