The Sabres Observer
With apologies to Jhonas Enroth, I don't think there's a man with more of an opportunity in tonight's Sabres - Senators game than defenseman Adam Pardy.
After being waived at the start of the season, injuries and overall poor defensive play by Buffalo necessitated recalling the guy who has been hovering around ninth on the depth chart. But there's a little more to this story.
Thanks to Kevin Rogers and Florida Panthers play-by-play announcer (and Buffalo Sabres alumnus) Randy Moller for having me on the Panthers Insider Show on Miami's WQAM 560 earlier this morning to preview Sunday's Sabres-Panthers matchup.
“Yeah, [Lindy Ruff] wants to be a big shot, and that’s not the best play to do. That’s pretty disrespectful. If he wants to be like that, that’s fine. We just have to move on.” - Brad Marchand, after Ruff called a timeout with 14 seconds left in last night's 7-4 Buffalo win over Boston.
I don't know about you, but I'm certainly relieved. It's good for the game of hockey that we were blessed with comments on this outrage from the man who knows more about respect than anyone.
In this week's edition of Sabres Observer Radio, Joe and I discuss Buffalo's four-game losing skid, the value of defensemen pinching in, an unsettling thought I have after watching two games against the Leafs, the Grigorenko decision, and preparing for a Thursday game that's been circled on the calendar for quite awhile.
From The Buffalo News Sabres Edge blog,
Darcy Regier has just announced Mikhail Grigorenko is staying the rest of the season. Regier said Grigorenko will be in the lineup tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
continued, including audio from Regier, Grigorenko and Lindy Ruff.
There've been some reports coming from mainstream media outlets today stating that Mikhail Grigorenko has to stay with the Sabres for the remainder of the season if he plays another NHL game. This is simply not true. It's just a question of whether or not the club is willing to count this as Year One of his entry level contract.
Granted, it's not common for a team to keep a youngster in this situation for longer than the trial period and then send him back, but there are different circumstances here. For one, GM's love to see their A-level prospects get the experience of playing in the World Juniors. Due to the late start of the NHL season, Grigorenko has already been afforded this benefit.
French-language newspaper La Presse in Montreal had some quotes from Quebec Remparts coach Patrick Roy yesterday concerning Mikhail Grigorenko, who has three games remaining with the Sabres before Darcy Regier and his crew have to make a decision on keeping him or sending him back to the QMJHL:
"I begin to think that there is a strong possibility that Mikhail does not return with us. Yesterday (Monday), he played 13 minutes in his second game in two nights. He is doing well with the Sabres. And he behaves well defensively. I begin to think that the team I have right now, and that will add Kurt Etchegary when he is ready to return, is the one (with which) I'm going to finish the season."
Interpreted using Google Translate
In this week's edition of Sabres Observer Radio, we discuss the newer and tougher Buffalo Sabres. Joe isn't so sure that adding pests like Steve Ott and John Scott will equate to a higher finish in the standings. Also, three games remain in Grigorenko's probationary period, GM Darcy Regier gets a contract extension, and Tyler Myers is still looking to find the form that made him a Calder Trophy winner.
A top prospect from Russia, a highly touted Sabres draft pick, puts on an impressive display as his team medals at the World Juniors. Seemingly no time later, it’s opening day in the NHL - and he’s in the lineup to start his first season of facing the fiercest opposition the world has to offer.
This seemingly prodigal talent, brought in to help a Buffalo team in need of scoring while struggling just to master the English language, is suddenly carrying the weight of lofty expectations.
As I’m sure you’ve deduced, I’m referring to Alexander Mogilny and his ballyhooed arrival in Buffalo in 1989.
GM Gerry Meehan and Head of Player Development Don Luce had snuck the defector out of Sweden in the dead of night, right under legendary Russian coach Viktor Tikhonov’s nose. What followed was a surreal press conference in Buffalo to announce Mogilny's escape, and then the highly anticipated Sabres opener on October 5, 1989.
After placing Adam Pardy on waivers, and barring any moves before today's 5:00 p.m. deadline, the Sabres have their roster set at 23 for the season opener Sunday afternoon against the Flyers.
Assuming that neither Nathan Gerbe nor Cody McCormick will be ready to play due to injuries, the forward lines will likely look like this:
Vanek - Hodgson - Pominville
Foligno - Ennis - Stafford
Leino - Grigorenko - Ott
Scott - Hecht - Kaleta extra: Ellis
The Sabres will carry 8 defensemen on the roster: Myers, Regehr, Ehrhoff, Leopold, Sekera, Sulzer, Weber, Brennan.
Jhonas Enroth will back up Ryan Miller in net.
The big storyline in Buffalo is that all eyes will be on 2012 first-round draft pick Mikhail Grigorenko, who was arguably Russia's best player in the World Juniors. Players, coaches, media and fans have been raving about what they've seen from him in training camp.
About The Sabres Observer
Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003. He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene. Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.
Email: email@example.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]