BUFFALO – What the heck is going on with Sabres forward Ville Leino?
Interim Sabres coach Ted Nolan said the Finn, who left Thursday’s 6-1 loss in Nashville early after experiencing some lightheadedness, was evaluated and came to this morning’s skate.
“He was doing OK and then just before going on the ice he didn’t feel very well again,” Nolan said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning inside the First Niagara Center.
Nolan said Leino will go back to the doctor. He believes Leino never got hit.
“He just felt it before the game,” Nolan said. “He had just one shift. So he just went out, he felt a little woozy.”
With only nine games left, have the Sabres thought about shutting Leino down for the season?
“We have to be very, very cautious on this one,” Nolan said.
While Nolan wouldn’t acknowledge it, Leino, having scored zero goals in 52 games this season, will almost certainly be bought out following the season. He might’ve played his last game here.
In other news, Nolan said a report he has signed a three-year contract extension is false.
“One thing about those insiders, they have a lot of information,” he said. “I’m not too sure where they get it. Like I said last week, Tim (Murray) and I, we’re real close in getting something done. As I’ve mentioned all along, I’m very excited about the possibility of staying here.”
Meanwhile, Nolan said center Mikhail Grigorenko, whose junior season just ended, could go to AHL Rochester, where the 19-year-old’s eligible to play now. Nolan said he’ll discuss that move with Murray, the general manager.
The Americans, like the Sabres, are banged up.
“Rochester needs some players, too,” Nolan said.
The Sabres get one player back tonight, rookie center Zemgus Girgensons.
“He’s a life-changer,” Nolan said. “Even his demeanor on the ice, he just lifts up the whole team. Those are the special people, (what) special players do for your team.”
Defenseman Tyler Myers, who crashed into the net Tuesday, is out tonight and probably Tuesday, Nolan said.
“He could be a little bit longer,” he said.