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

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

Jhonas Enroth hasn’t won a game since Nov. 26, 2011. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth has lots riding on second start

Fifteen months ago today, Jhonas Enroth, who will make his second start of the season tonight in Ottawa, was stealing the Buffalo Sabres’ starting goalie job from Ryan Miller.

On that night at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, the young backup received a surprise nod, keeping the former Vezina Trophy on the bench a second straight game.

Enroth sparkled again, making 25 saves in a 3-2 shootout win over the Senators.

The rookie’s dynamic play had ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek scored his eighth goal Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres star Thomas Vanek content with ice time he’s given

BUFFALO – It’s a fair question that won’t stop being asked until Sabres coach Lindy Ruff ups his minutes.

Why the heck is slick winger Thomas Vanek, the NHL’s most dynamic presence through two weeks with eight goals and a league-high 19 points, only playing 19:13 a game?

That time ranks 56th among NHL forwards. It’s second among Sabres forwards to linemate Jason Pominville’s 20:51 and sixth on the team.

“I’m happy with whatever ... Read the full article

Sabres’ Vanek questionable for tonight’s tilt

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Thomas Vanek, who left Thursday’s 3-1 loss in Boston after the Bruins’ Johnny Boychuk leveled him, is questionable (upper body) for tonight’s game in Ottawa against the Senators.

“Thomas is doing OK,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff told reporters Friday in Ottawa. “I can’t answer that question (if Vanek will play). I think it all just depends on how he’s feeling tomorrow.”

Vanek didn’t practice Friday. Neither did winger Patrick Kaleta, who ... Read the full article