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

Former Sabres prospect T.J. Brennan feeling comfortable with Panthers

BUFFALO – Ron Rolston’s Feb. 20 promotion to the Sabres as interim coach meant more comfort for T.J. Brennan, who was playing sparingly under Lindy Ruff. The 23-year-old had just spent almost two seasons thriving under Rolston in Rochester, developing into one of the AHL’s slickest defenseman.

“(Rolston) knew my style and knew my type of play,” Brennan said by phone Wednesday. “I think that was a good change for me. But, I guess, at ... Read the full article

Patrcik Rissmiller had been playing on a tryout contract. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks ink veteran Rissmiller to AHL contract

BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans signed forward Patrick Rissmiller, a veteran of 192 NHL games, to an AHL contract today.

The 34-year-old had been playing on a professional tryout contract he inked Feb. 2.

Rissmiller has two goals, 11 points and six penalty minutes in 16 games with the Amerks.

He has 18 goals, 46 points and 60 penalty minutes in NHL stints with San Jose, the New York Rangers, Atlanta and Florida. He ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk (53) battled Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk on Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Mark Pysyk quickly earning keep on blue line

MONTREAL – Earlier this season, rookie Mark Pysyk, the same defense prospect now playing almost 16 minutes a game for the Buffalo Sabres, sat as a healthy scratch in the AHL three times.

“I just needed a little wake-up call,” Pysyk said Saturday inside the Bell Centre prior to the Sabres’ 2-1 win, his fourth NHL game.

When interim Sabres coach Ron Rolston benched Pysyk with the Rochester Americans in December, the odds of ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek has missed three games this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Vanek questionable for Leafs; Sekera likely out

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Thomas Vanek, who took a lethal Christian Ehrhoff point shot off the hip early in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime win in Montreal, missed practice Wednesday and is questionable for tonight’s tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“He’s a little bit better but still going to be day-to-day, what he can tolerate,” interim Sabres coach Ron Rolston said Wednesday inside the First Niagara Center. “He’s certainly a possibility.”

Meanwhile, defenseman Andrej Sekera practiced ... Read the full article

Colin Jacobs just completed his junior season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks sign Sabres pick Jacobs to tryout

BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans have signed forward Colin Jacobs, the 107th overall pick in 2011, to an amateur tryout contract.

The 20-year-old compiled 25 goals, 53 points, 98 penalty minutes and a minus-27 rating in 66 games with the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars this season.

The Texan played with the Seattle Thunderbirds for parts of four years prior to joining the Cougars in 2011-12, registering 44 goals, 89 points and ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk has played 57 AHL games this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Pysyk from Amerks to replace Sekera

With Andrej Sekera (upper body) out tonight, the Buffalo Sabres have recalled defenseman Mark Pysyk from Rochester. The 21-year-old will make his NHL debut tonight against the Washington Capitals.

Pysyk, the 23rd overall pick in 2010, has four goals, 18 points, 20 penalty minutes and plus-8 rating in 57 games with the AHL Americans.

The rookie played four years with the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings before turning professional this season.

In summoning ... Read the full article

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

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