Ville Leino played his first game since April 7 on Saturday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Leino impresses in return from hip injury

BUFFALO – Ron Rolston wasted no time, throwing Ville Leino right into the fire Saturday afternoon, the winger’s first game since April 7.

The Sabres’ interim coach put Leino, sidelined by a hip injury the first 27 games this season, out for the opening faceoff inside the First Niagara Center.

“It was good for me,” Leino said about starting the game after the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators. “It made me ... Read the full article

T.J. Brennan played sparingly this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rolston believes Brennan’s offense will materialize with Panthers

BUFFALO – Under coach Ron Rolston in Rochester, T.J. Brennan thrived, developing into an AHL star and arguably the league’s most dynamic offensive defenseman.

But that scoring prowess hasn’t translated to the NHL. Brennan played sparingly in the big leagues this season, sitting 17 of the Sabres’ 27 games as a healthy scratch.

Even when Rolston took over on an interim basis Feb. 20, the 23-year-old kept sitting, playing only four games under his old ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko dominated junior hockey earlier this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres believe sending Grigorenko back to junior will help prospect’s development

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. The team had been talking about the move for a while prior to making it Friday.

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

“This isn’t driven by a roster move,” Regier said during a late-afternoon news ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier wants to focus on the current season and build for the future. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Regier on struggling Sabres: ‘I’m not in a blowing-up mindset’

BUFFALO – With the trade deadline hitting April 3 and the Sabres mired in 14th place, general manager Darcy Regier said he has no plans to blow the team up and start fresh.

“I’m not in a blowing-up mindset,” Regier said late Friday afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “Blowing up to me means blowing up. I mean, nothing left.”

It appears goalie Ryan Miller and wingers Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek, the team’s ... Read the full article

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

Mikhail Grigorenko hasn't played much recently. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres send Grigorenko back to junior

BUFFALO – The Sabres sent 18-year-old rookie center Mikhail Grigorenko back to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts this afternoon.

The Russian has one goal, five points and minus-2 rating in 22 games this season. He has recently played sparingly or been a healthy scratch.

The Sabres had to make a roster move with winger Ville Leino (hip) returning Saturday.

Update: Here are some comments from general manager Darcy Regier on the decision.

“We’ve been talking about ... Read the full article

Tyler Myers has struggled much of this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Myers embracing defense-first philosophy

BUFFALO – The coaching staff recently conveyed a straightforward message to Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers.

“They don’t care if I only get one more point the whole year,” Myers said following practice today inside the First Niagara Center. “As long as my defensive game is good and where it needs to be, then they’ll be happy. Obviously, I know I can bring more to the table. It’s just a matter of doing the right things ... 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