By Mike Harrington
The big news Saturday at Sabreland was the contract extension signed by Darcy Regier. On the ice on the eve of the opener, the Sabres may start the season Sunday without Ville Leino.
Leino missed practice Saturday with what coach Lindy Ruff called a "nagging issue" that cropped up Friday, believed to be involving his leg. Ruff said Leino will skate Sunday morning to determine if he can play
Jochen Hecht moved to Leino's spot on the wing Saturday with Mikhail Grigorenko and Steve Ott. Ruff said Patrick Kaleta could also be an option. Matt Ellis would thus go from likely healthy scratch to fourth line.
Grigorenko was surrounded by reporters after practice in the wake of Friday's announcement the 18-year-old had made the team and said he doesn't expect to be too nervous in his NHL debut.
"Hopefully after warmup, I'll be good," Grigorenko said. "I don't think nerves will last more than 1-2 shifts. ... I don't care about other teams. I just want to prove to the Sabres they made the right choice in drafting me."
Here's Grigorenko's meeting with the media today.