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Sabres assign five to Rochester, release Gillies

By John Vogl

Sabres coach Ron Rolston said this morning he planned to trim the roster after this weekend's games. Buffalo got a jump on the transactions this afternoon.

The Sabres have sent Dan Catenacci, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Tim Schaller, Phil Varone and Jamie Tardif to Rochester. Tardif will join the Amerks if he clears waivers.

The Sabres have also released forward Colton Gillies from his tryout contract. The former first-round pick by Minnesota showed little in the Sabres' last preseason game.

Buffalo's roster still features 20 forwards, 12 defensemen and three goaltenders. The team must get down to a maximum of 23 players for opening night.

Sabres putting out big names for crowd in preseason home debut

By John Vogl

The Buffalo Sabres' first preseason lineup at home will look a lot like the regular-season lineup. In other words, many of the big names will be on the ice tonight in First Niagara Center.

Thomas Vanek, Cody Hodgson, Tyler Myers, Ryan Miller and first-round draft picks Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov will be among those facing Carolina in the Sabres' third preseason game and first in Buffalo.

The lineup:

Forwards

Joel Armia-Cody Hodgson-Thomas Vanek

Tyler Ennis-Mikhail Grigorenko-Brian Flynn

Corey Tropp-Johan Larsson-Ville Leino

Luke Adam-Kevin Porter-Colton Gillies

Defense

Nikita Zadorov-Tyler Myers

Brayden McNabb-Mark Pysyk

Henrik Tallinder-Rasmus Ristolainen

Goaltenders

Ryan Miller

Matt Hackett

Sabres send five back to juniors, including Buffalo's Bailey

By John Vogl

The Sabres' training camp numbers are slowly starting to drop.

Buffalo has sent five players back to their junior teams, bringing its roster total down to 56. Justin Bailey, the Williamsville native selected in the second round of the NHL draft, was among those to depart.

Joining Bailey, a Kitchener Rangers forward, were Nicholas Baptiste (Sudbury, OHL), Justin Kea (Saginaw, OHL), Logan Nelson (Victoria, WHL) and defenseman Connor Boland (Peterborough, OHL).

The Sabres also broke their practice sessions into three groups today. Two groups, featuring NHL regulars and hopefuls, were available to the media. The third group practiced early and could easily be considered the Rochester Americans. It consisted of Peter Trainor, Jonathan Parker, Johnny McGuire, Alex Lepkowski, Kevin Sundher, Shawn Szydlowski, Colin Jacobs, Eric Locke, Frederick Roy, Matt MacKenzie, Brady Austin and Nick Crawford.

Girgensons retains playoff pace; Sabres don't take kindly to big hits

By John Vogl

The Sabres opened their preseason schedule with a 5-4 shootout victory in Montreal on Sunday night. Among the notable developments:

*Zemgus Girgensons, who had a stellar playoff series for Rochester, picked right up where he left off with two goals.

*Trade acquisition Jamie McBain and tryout hopeful Colton Gillies also scored.

*The Sabres don't take kindly to big, clean hits. The Canadiens' Jarred Tinordi dropped Gillies early, and Buffalo's Cody McCormick earned an instigator and 10-minute miscoduct for taking exception.

Later, forward Alex Galchenyuk blasted McBain, and Patrick Kaleta jumped in. Hockeyfights.com doesn't list Galchenyuk as having ever fought before. On a faceoff after Kaleta left the box, fighter Brandon Prust cross-checked the agitator, who was called for diving.

French highlights of the game can be found here.

Sabres' training camp already moving from scrimmages to games

By John Vogl

Training camp is moving fast in Sabreland. The team wrapped up its third day of scrimmages this afternoon, and the coaching staff is already moving on to the initial cuts and the first exhibition game Sunday in Montreal.

“We’re already in game time tomorrow,” coach Ron Rolston said in First Niagara Center. “It’ll be good to get to that point. Now you can play some games and kind of start trimming things down. You’ve got obviously game situations, game video for teaching, and you’ve got a smaller group so practices are better at that point. As you trim down, competition is better, practices are better.”

The Sabres will make their first cuts Sunday, mostly young players who will return to their junior teams. Buffalo will have a morning skate at home then fly to Montreal.

Rolston would not disclose his lineup but said goaltenders will split games at the start before easing into full contests. The coach also will keep an eye on the top prospects vying for a starting role in Buffalo.

“You’ll probably see a lot of different combinations throughout the course of exhibition,” he said. “We’re trying to find the right pieces. We had a little bit at the end of last season where I had some experience with guys, but we’re still trying to find those combinations. That along with giving some of these younger guys some real good looks, giving them good opportunities to play with good players and see where they’re at, if they’re going to step up and take those opportunities or not.”

Rolston said he’ll control the forward line changes during games. Teppo Numminen will handle defenders and power play. Joe Sacco will conduct the penalty kill and talk on the headset with fellow assistant Jerry Forton, who will be up in the press box.

The Sabres totaled three goals in the final scrimmage. Steve Ott scored twice, with assists going to Ville Leino, while Shawn Szydlowski also found the net.

The full audio of Rolston’s news conference is below.

Sabres' depth chart on Day One of training camp

By John Vogl

The Sabres will have plenty of competition for roster spots during training camp, with numerous centers, wingers and defensemen vying for a starting job. The depth chart could change on a daily basis once exhibition games start, but here are the top lines and pairings on Day One based on the practice groups put together by coach Ron Rolston.

Forwards

Marcus Foligno-Cody Hodgson-Thomas Vanek

Steve Ott-Mikhail Grigorenko-Ville Leino

Tyler Ennis-Johan Larsson-Drew Stafford

Zemgus Girgensons-Kevin Porter-Brian Flynn

Corey Tropp-Cody McCormick-Patrick Kaleta

Luke Adam-Mike Zigomanis-Joel Armia

Defense

Christian Ehrhoff-Tyler Myers

Henrik Tallinder-Mark Pysyk

Mike Weber-Rasmus Ristolainen

Brayden McNabb-Jamie McBain

Alexander Sulzer-Chad Ruhwedel

Goaltenders

Ryan Miller

Jhonas Enroth

Matt Hackett

Photo

Former first-round pick Gillies is only surprise on Sabres' training camp roster

By John Vogl

Colton Gillies has yet to prove he's a first-round talent. He'll get another chance in Buffalo.

The 24-year-old forward, selected 16th overall by Minnesota in 2007, will attend Sabres training camp on a tryout basis. In 154 NHL games with the Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets, Gillies has produced six goals, 18 points and 72 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4 winger had one goal and two points in 27 games with Columbus last season.

The rest of the 60-player roster features holdovers from Buffalo and Rochester, offseason signees and the organization’s top prospects. The players will have physicals Wednesday and their first on-ice sessions Thursday in First Niagara Center.

Download 2013 Training Camp Roster

Sabres' training camp opens to public Thursday; scrimmages daily

By John Vogl

The Buffalo Sabres are going to try to get their competitive juices flowing immediately. They’ll have scrimmages every day at training camp, including the first on-ice session Thursday as the 2013-14 season gets underway.

The Sabres announced a partial camp schedule this afternoon, and intrasquad games highlight the opening week. The club will be split into three groups, with all three practicing and two facing each other in a scrimmage.

The sessions in First Niagara Center are free and open to the public.

The schedule:

Thursday -- Session One: 8:45-9:45 a.m.; Session Two: 10-10:45 a.m.; Scrimmage: 11:15 a.m. to noon; Session Three: 12:15-1 p.m.

Friday -- Session One: 7:45-8:45 a.m.; Scrimmage: 9:15-10:30 a.m.

Saturday -- Session One: 8:45-9:45 a.m.; Session Two: 10-10:45 a.m.; Scrimmage: 11:15 a.m. to noon; Session Three: 12:15-1 p.m.

Download 2013 Training Camp Roster.

The Sabres' camp roster, available at the link above, comfirms last month's report in The News that Buffalo native, University at Buffalo grad and former Niagara University and Harvard assistant Jerry Forton has been hired as an assistant coach for Ron Rolston. The team had not previously acknowledged the move.

The Sabres list 60 players on the training camp roster, with 36 forwards, 18 defensemen and six goaltenders.

Among the forwards is former Columbus Blue Jackets winger Colton Gillies. The 24-year-old, who was selected 16th overall by Minnesota in 2007, had one goal and two points in 27 games with the Blue Jackets last year.

Cody Hodgson, the Sabres' No. 1 center, is also on the roster, though the restricted free agent has yet to come to terms on a new deal.

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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