Brendan Lemieux’s father, Claude, enjoyed a long NHL career. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Brendan Lemieux ready for preseason debut

BUFFALO – Rookie Brendan Lemieux figures he has a chance. Sure, the Sabres have more experienced players fighting for the two or three open wing spots this training camp. But the 18-year-old believes a place in tonight’s preseason lineup means they want to evaluate him.

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have a chance,” Lemieux, the 31st pick in June, said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “I don’t think they would’ve ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (right) battles Brendan Lemieux during Tuesday’s scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Rasmus Ristolainen looking leaner, impressing during development camp

BUFFALO – While other Sabres prospects have packed on weight this summer, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has “lost a couple pounds.”

“Fat, not any muscles,” the 19-year-old Finn said following Tuesday’s development camp scrimmage inside the First Niagara Center.

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Ristolainen showcased some muscle early in the contest, hitting top prospect Sam Reinhart.

“I don’t watch who I’m hitting,” Ristolainen said. “If I get a chance, I hit. That’s all.”

Later on, Ristolainen ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko keeps the puck away from Jake McCabe during Tuesday’s scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko takes responsibility for past struggles

BUFFALO – The comments are significant, Mikhail Grigorenko’s most telling since joining the Sabres months after they selected him 12th overall in 2012.

In a hallway outside the First Niagara Center dressing room hours before a development camp scrimmage Tuesday, the 20-year-old Russian spoke candidly about his short career, blaming himself for his NHL struggles.

“From past experiences, I kind of realized it was probably no one’s fault but mine I didn’t stay in ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart believes he can play in the NHL soon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sam Reinhart and deep prospect pool show Sabres could have bright future

BUFFALO – Up and down they went side-by-side, each stride drawing eyes inside the First Niagara Center. For a few moments during development camp Monday, Sam Reinhart and Brendan Lemieux, the jewels of the Sabres’ 2014 draft class, skated together, a brief-but-memorable glimpse into the future.

If the Sabres become contenders again someday, this week’s camp could be remembered as one of the building blocks.

Seven first-round picks are participating, including Reinhart, the slick ... Read the full article

Brendan Lemieux has strong hockey genes. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Prospect Brendan Lemieux impressed Sabres in difficult draft interview

PHILADELPHIA – Brendan Lemieux thought he flunked his recent interview with the Buffalo Sabres badly. The team pushed the 18-year-old, grilling him about his relationship with his Barrie Colts teammates and other difficult subjects.

“We made it uncomfortable for him a little bit,” Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Saturday after selecting Lemieux 31st overall at the NHL Entry Draft.

But the way Lemieux, the son of legendary NHL agitator and playoff hero ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Brycen Martin 74th overall. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Tim Murray leaves draft happy: ‘I think we went after potential’

PHILADELPHIA – The rebuilding Buffalo Sabres added nine new prospects, seven of them forwards, including No. 2 pick Sam Reinhart, at the NHL Entry Draft this weekend. Of course, hold any judgments on their performance for three or four years.

On Saturday afternoon, however, in the afterglow of his first draft, general manager Tim Murray called it “outstanding,” saying, “Our guys are happy.”

“We have a potential top-two center that can play for us ... Read the full article

Brendan Lemieux thought he would be a first-round pick. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

‘Crushed’ Brendan Lemieux figured Sabres had no interest

PHILADELPHIA – Brendan Lemieux left the NHL Entry Draft on Friday night “crushed,” the agitating winger said. The 18-year-old figured he was a surefire first-round selection.

Then everyone passed on Lemieux, the son Claude Lemieux, one of the most notorious pests and clutch players in NHL history.

“They gave one of the more fiery guys in the draft, I’d say, a lot more fire,” Lemieux said this morning after the Buffalo Sabres started the second ... Read the full article