Mark Pysyk has played five games. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Which Sabres player should Rolston sit against Panthers?

While interim Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston wouldn’t confirm it, defenseman Andrej Sekera, out the last five games, essentially told reporters in Florida he planned to play tonight against the Panthers following a five-game absence.

Slick winger Thomas Vanek (muscle strain) is out and struggling winger Drew Stafford, a healthy scratch the last two games, will return, Rolston told reporters.

Assuming Sekera returns, what should the Sabres do? Should Rolston simply sit ... Read the full article

T.J. Brennan played 21 games with the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres trade T.J. 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

Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings will now be visiting Buffalo regularly. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

NHLPA consents to realignment; Sabres in new division with Red Wings

BUFFALO – The NHL Players’ Association consented to the NHL’s realignment plan this afternoon, meaning the league will use a four-division format next season.

The Sabres will play in a new Eastern Conference division featuring four Northeast Division holdovers – the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs – and three newcomers – the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Western Conference transfer Detroit Red Wings – pending the approval of the ... Read the full article

Nathan Gerbe has had a tough time scoring the past two seasons. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Why can’t Sabres’ Gerbe score regularly?

In about 10 minutes during the first period Thursday, diminutive Buffalo Sabres winger Nathan Gerbe scored as many goals as he had in the previous 38 games, a stretch dating back to Feb. 11, 2012.

First, Gerbe opened the scoring 6:30 into the tilt, utilizing an “NHL 94 move” to perfection by stopping in the right circle and cutting sharply before roofing a shot by Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen.

Fresh off his first ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno has one goal this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Foligno lucky he wasn’t scratched earlier

If the Buffalo Sabres had some better options, Marcus Foligno could’ve been benched weeks ago.

Instead, the 21-year-old power forward, a healthy scratch tonight against the Florida Panthers, kept struggling right beside the rest of the Sabres’ anemic offense.

It’s often cliché to talk about the “sophomore jinx,” but Foligno’s certainly experiencing an epic slump during his first full NHL season.

Twenty contests into the 48-game campaign, Foligno has just one goal and eight points. ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller stops Tomas Kopecky in front moments before Brian Campbell’s game-winning goal Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blow lead to Panthers, waste Vanek’s 3-point effort

BUFFALO – Sabres star Thomas Vanek dazzled again Sunday, scoring another goal and three more points. That’s a whopping eight goals and 19 points through two weeks for the slick Austrian.

But arguably the greatest individual start in the franchise’s 42-year history is being wasted.

The Sabres have dropped six of seven games (1-5-1) after blowing a 3-1 second-period lead and falling to the hapless Florida Panthers 4-3 on Sunday afternoon before 18,831 fans inside ... Read the full article

John Scott (right) fights George Parros during the second period Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

T.J. Brennan replaces Andrej Sekera on Sabres’ banged-up blue line

BUFFALO – A bruised foot sidelined Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera for Sunday afternoon’s 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers. Rookie T.J. Brennan replaced him, making his second appearance this season.

Sekera blocked Alexei Emelin’s shot shortly into his first shift Saturday, went to the dressing room and returned for several shifts before leaving the Sabres’ 6-1 loss in Montreal again after the first period.

Ruff hopes it’s a short-term injury.

“He took a pretty hard ... Read the full article

T.J. Brennan will replace Andrej Sekera. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Injured Andrej Sekera out, T.J. Brennan in for Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera will miss this afternoon’s tilt against the Florida Panthers after bruising his foot Saturday, coach Lindy Ruff said. Rookie T.J. Brennan will replace him.

Sekera blocked Alexei Emelin’s shot shortly into his first shift, went to the dressing room and returned for several shifts before leaving the Sabres’ 6-1 loss in Montreal again after the first period.

Ruff hopes it’s a short-term injury.

“He took a pretty hard shot,” ... Read the full article