Sabres must put up or shut up

‘Pegula is a big fan of Ruff. He signed him to a contract extension. Now he has removed the excuses. Ruff has job security, but it’s time for him to justify the faith of his new boss. It’s great to be relevant in the NHL again, but when April rolls around it will be five full years since the Sabres’ last playoff series victory.’

Sabres prospect goes through field training

‘Brennan could certainly benefit from pushing the same sled a 300-pound defensive tackle would, or running cone drills to help boost his speed and agility. Initially, Brennan’s presence spurred questions of who the Eagles’ mystery man was. “I was telling (the media) the first couple days that I was the new quarterback, throwing the ball around, trying to fool them,” he said. “A bunch of people didn’t know who I was.”’

Tropp scores hat trick in Sabres’ camp-closing scrimmage

‘Fans saw a Tropp-led Grey squad pull off a 5-4 win after a six-round shootout decided things when the camp’s second scrimmage ended tied at four.’

Kassian’s ambition includes earning spot with Sabres

‘"We need a little more polish on the ice," said General Manager Darcy Regier. "I think it’s really about in his case, not unlike others, maturity level, where you develop the professionalism and the consistency on a day-to-day basis, then bring the corresponding play with it as well."’

Sabres deep at the point

‘For development camp veterans like Drew Schiestel and T.J. Brennan, however, the additions may appear to stand in the way of their road to the NHL. Regier said. “I think that doesn’t change their NHL readiness at some point,” said Regier of Schiestel and Brennan, who both took part in their fifth Sabres development camp. “I think in their case, their focus has to be improving, improving to the point where they’re pushing for jobs. Those things tend to take care of themselves.”’

Ice code? Better the devil we know

‘Buffalo needs a Zack Kassian if just for a balance of power.’

Sabres youngsters have traffic in front of their goal

‘Schiestel and Brennan, second-round picks in the 2007 draft, figured their third seasons as professionals would be their first in the NHL. It’ll take eye-popping training camps to avoid a return to the minors.’

NU welcomes Sabres, fans

‘“I am proud of the way Niagara University and the entire community welcomes the Sabres to our campus every summer,” said Niagara hockey coach Dave Burkholder. “And, I am proud of how our facilities provide for the very important week of developing future Sabres.”’

Weinrich takes job in Buffalo

‘”I was hoping there would be a head coaching job open in Rochester but that didn’t happen,” said Weinrich. “Now I get to stay in Portland and to help out on the pro side of the organization.”‘

Saturday’s Rochester Coverage

Amerks pick up new players (Rochester D&C)

Kassian eager to show Sabres he’s ready for NHL

‘Regier called Kassian’s progress — both on and off the ice — steps in the right direction.’

Sabres sign goalie MacIntyre

‘MacIntyre excelled last season with Montreal’s American Hockey League affiliate in Hamilton, Ont. Acquired via trade in midseason, MacIntyre went 12-6-2 with a 1.89 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. He was 11-9 with a 1.95 GAA and .930 save percentage in the postseason, leading the Bulldogs to Game Seven of the Western Conference finals.’

Foligno eager to rise

‘“I’m going to work hard at training camp and just kind of continue to build confidence,” he said. “Hopefully things go smoothly and I stick out at training camp. I’m looking forward to getting to training camp and getting a spot, for sure.”’

Cup quest can’t be fast-tracked

‘So it’s quite presumptuous for fans and media to assume the Sabres have vaulted themselves from a borderline playoff team to Stanley Cup favorite by aggressively allocating all their available cap space. To be sure, the Sabres are now contenders for the long haul. Good ownership almost always guarantees that. But championship teams take time to develop. It’s a step-by-step process, and shortcuts tend to prolong the journey.’

Cullen hits Sabres camp

‘When Buffalo brought a few prospects into town early for workouts last month, including former Spitfire Zack Kassian, the Sabres were looking for someone to play in net for shooting practice. Cullen jumped at the opportunity and it led to an invitation to Buffalo’s rookie prospect camp this week. “I was just someone to shoot at, but Kevyn Adams (who is Buffalo’s player development coach) was running things and must have seen something he liked,” the five-foot-11, 175-pound Cullen said during a break Thursday at Niagara College’s Dwyer Arena.’