Marcus Foligno poses for a photo with a fan this morning inside the First Niagara Center. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Your Sabres pregame update

BUFFALO – All seems forgiven. The hockey-deprived Sabres fans look amped for this afternoon’s season opener against the Philadelphia Flyers. Thanks to the NHL 113-day lockout, it’s been 288 days since the Sabres last played a game.

Right now, however, it feels like the NHL never left. The First Niagara Center will be packed and jumping today. Fans spent the week gobbling up discounted merchandise and wondering if 18-year-old Mikhail Grigorenko could crack the lineup ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier has owner Terry Pegula’s support. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Regier receives extension; Pegula apologizes for lockout

BUFFALO – To his supporters, Darcy Regier’s a victim. Poor ownership handcuffed the general manager multiple times. Look at the Sabres teams he built, they say. The 1998-99 club came within two games of the Stanley Cup. Two dynamic post-lockout teams also nearly won it all.

If he had been given more tools or just some help re-signing his own talent, who knows how far the Sabres could’ve gone?

Regier’s detractors believe he should’ve been ... Read the full article

Ville Leino’s questionable for this afternoon’s season opener. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Leino questionable for opener; Grigorenko set for debut

BUFFALO – The Sabres have their first injury of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

“A nagging little” problem that flared up kept Ville Leino from practicing Saturday, coach Lindy Ruff said.

The winger’s questionable for this afternoon’s season opener against the Philadelphia Flyers inside the First Niagara Center.

Leino, who left practice early Friday, plans to skate this morning before making a decision. It’s believed he’s nursing a leg injury.

“If he feels like he’s good, ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier has been the Sabres’ general manager since 1997. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres extend GM Regier

BUFFALO – Darcy Regier isn’t going anywhere.

Sabres owner Terry Pegula announced a contract extension for his general manager this afternoon during a news conference on the eve of the season opener. No details were provided.

Regier, the team’s general manager since 1997, last signed an extension in the fall of 2010.

“I am very grateful and honored to be able to continue in this capacity working with this ownership,” Regier said inside the Lexus ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko could make his NHL debut Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Top prospect Grigorenko makes 23-man roster; Sabres mum on status for opener

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 ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko chats with Kevyn Adams today. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Grigorenko makes Sabres’ 23-man opening-day roster

BUFFALO – Not surprisingly, first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko made the 23-man regular-season roster the Sabres announced this afternoon.

But will the 18-year-old center be in Sunday afternoon’s opening-day lineup?

“I could’ve stepped up here and asked that question,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff joked as he began fielding questions this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “Mikhail’s had a good week. Obviously, I’m not going to give you that decision right now. We got another practice ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko has impressed the Sabres so far. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Grigorenko still with Sabres

BUFFALO – No surprise here, but 18-year-old Mikhail Grigorenko’s still practicing with the Sabres this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

They must have their opening-day roster set by 5 p.m. Stay tuned.

Grigorenko’s skating with Ville Leino and Steve Ott, a sign he could be in the lineup Sunday afternoon against Philadelphia.

The center can play five games before the first year of his entry-level contract kicks in.... Read the full article

Brayden McNabb played 25 NHL games last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks’ McNabb, Porter earn AHL All-Star nods

BUFFALO – Rochester Americans defenseman Brayden McNabb and captain Kevin Porter were named to the 2013 AHL Western Conference All-Star team on Thursday.

McNabb, a recent healthy scratch, wasn’t invited to NHL training camp despite playing 25 games with the Sabres last season. The 21-year-old prospect has three goals, 19 points and a minus-1 rating in 36 AHL contests.

Meanwhile, Porter, who’s currently on waivers, has 11 goals, 30 points and a plus-4 rating in ... Read the full article

The Sabres placed Adam Pardy on waivers today. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Report: Sabres place Pardy on waivers

BUFFALO – The Sabres waived three players today, most notably defenseman Adam Pardy, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The team also placed Rochester forwards Kevin Porter and Nick Tarnasky on waivers, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s Kevin Oklobjiza reported.

Pardy, a possible addition to Rochester despite his $2 million salary, leaves the Sabres with eight defensemen, a number they could carry on their regular-season roster.

The 28-year-old Pardy spoke Sunday about the excitement he experienced... Read the full article

Alexander Sulzer was scratched 51 times last season in Vancouver. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Sulzer hoping to parlay late-season play into regular duty

BUFFALO – When was the last time Alexander Sulzer started an NHL season confident he could be a regular?

“Never, first time,” the Sabres defenseman said Wednesday inside the First Niagara Center.

Having a roster spot isn’t new for Sulzer. He’s spent parts of the past four seasons in the NHL, including the last two from beginning to end. It’s just that he rarely played prior to his Feb. 27 arrival from Vancouver.

From the ... Read the full article