Mikhail Grigorenko skates this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko must keep impressing to earn roster spot

BUFFALO – Two weeks into training camp, center Mikhail Grigorenko remains the Sabres’ biggest surprise. Two more impressive outings could earn the Russian prospect a roster spot.

“He’s been looking really good,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “He’s strong on the puck. He’s been making some really good plays. So the biggest thing right now is keep seeing him do it.”

Grigorenko has two more preseason opportunities, tonight ... Read the full article

Andrey Makarov hasn’t played this preseason. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Andrey Makarov to start against Leafs, part of young Sabres lineup

BUFFALO – The Sabres aren’t bringing their ‘A’ squad to Toronto for tonight’s preseason contest against the Maple Leafs, but the lineup features a lot of youngsters and bubble players “that deserve to play,” coach Ted Nolan said.

“Camp’s far from over,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

First, here are forward lines: Cody Hodgson, Mikhail Grigorenko, Chris Stewart; Zac Dalpe, Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn; Joel Armia, Johan Larsson, Nick Deslauriers; ... Read the full article

Phil Varone played nine NHL games last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Phil Varone believes he can stick with Sabres

BUFFALO – Phil Varone’s nine-game run last season grabbed coach Ted Nolan’s attention. The 5-foot-10 forward played well during his first NHL recall, compiling one goal and two points while taking a regular shift.

But Varone, who will play in today’s preseason opener in Washington, couldn’t convert a slew of scoring opportunities he generated.

“The difference between him and (Martin) St. Louis and players of that caliber who’s a smaller structure, when they have an ... Read the full article

Andre Benoit played his first full NHL season in 2013-14. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign defenseman Andre Benoit to 1-year contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres added more defense depth today, signing Andre Benoit to a one-year contract.

The deal’s worth $800,000, according to TSN’s Aaron Ward.

Benoit just completed his first full NHL season, compiling seven goals, 28 points and 26 penalty minutes in 79 games with the Colorado Avalanche. He averaged 21:17 of ice time.

The 30-year-old has 10 goals, 39 points and 40 penalty minutes 120 career NHL contests.

Sabres general manager Tim Murray ... Read the full article

Tyson Strachan has played 138 NHL games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign defenseman Tyson Strachan for Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres added depth today, signing defenseman Tyson Strachan to a one-year, two-way contract. The 29-year-old’s likely ticketed for the AHL Rochester Americans next season.

Strachan, the 137th pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2003, has played 138 NHL games, compiling one goal, 15 points and 155 penalty minutes. He split last season between the Hershey Bears and Washington Capitals, making 18 NHL appearances. He played a career-high 38 games with the ... 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