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Youth gone down: Grigorenko, Ristolainen, Larsson, Zadorov no longer with Sabres

Nov 19, 2013, 11:12 AM EDT

Mikhail Grigorenko Getty Images

Sabres head coach Ted Nolan hinted yesterday that some roster changes could be on the horizon. Today, the changes started taking place.

From the Buffalo News:

Buffalo has started its mornings skate, and 19-year-old Mikhail Grigorenko is gone along with rookies Rasmus Ristolainen, Johan Larsson, Nikita Zadorov. Though no official word has come from the Sabres, sources say Ristolainen and Larsson have been sent to Rochester.

Zadorov is on his way to London of the Ontario Hockey League. Because he didn’t play 10 games — the NHL’s teenage tryout limit — the first year of his entry-level contract did not kick in.

Grigorenko’s situation is a bit trickier. While he can still be sent back to junior, his QMJHL team, the Quebec Remparts, already has two imports, and it’s not allowed any more. That means a trade will need to occur, either sending Grigorenko, or another import, to a different club.

No word yet who’s coming up from the AHL. Forward Luke Adam and d-man Brayden McNabb are two candidates. A third candidate is…

Update 11:39 a.m. ET

Grigorenko has been assigned to AHL Rochester on a conditioning stint, the Sabres announced.

  1. mehetmet - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    4 sent down, 1 coming back from injury leaves room for 3 call-ups. Most likely Adam, McNabb and Kaleta, though it is possible that a trade may occurr

  2. pizzaman77 - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Color me excited. These kids definitely need more seasoning before being full time NHLers

  3. ibieiniid - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    “While he can still be sent back to junior, his QMJHL team, the Quebec Remparts, already has two imports, and it’s not allowed any more.”

    strange rule. if it’s me, I’d rather my young guys get time together in juniors. but maybe it just complicates things if every team is trying to have all their juniors on one team. also, might it be that it keeps the junior leagues more competitive and even?

    • Jason Brough - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      The rule is there to protect spots for Canadian and American players.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        oh I was thinking imports as in imports from NHL rosters, not imports as in from another country. thx for clearing that up. i clearly don’t know how Juniors work lol.

  4. elemeno89 - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Long term future greater than short term struggles. I love it.

  5. tlunge12 - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    I’m thinking Pat Kaleta will be coming back?!?!

  6. tarotsujimoto74 - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Ideally, Grigorenko won’t be back until a full season or two in the AHL once he’s eligible. Hopefully, he can get back on track. Plus, Luke Adam really deserves a shot considering how well he’s done so far this season.

  7. stcrowe - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    It really is the right thing to do. Young players like that do not benefit from being thrown into a mediocre lineup and given inadequate playing time. They may not have much more to learn at the junior level, but they will benefit from the ice time and team success. Once the Buffalo lineup has been revamped, they can be slotted in properly.

  8. kingcobraman - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    it takes a captain (Nolan) to guide a ship….

  9. smgraff4 - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    There is a really simple answer. Why not loan Grigorenko to a KHL team? For those that don’t know what loans are–a player moves temporarily–either for an entire season or shorter–to another club, whether in another league or within the same league. The team, for instance a KHL team, could buy the contract to the player if a fee is agreed to (and personal terms, like salary, length of contract, etc. are met). Affiliation w/ minor league teams means that there’s usually an obvious place for players not in the immediate plans of teams or who need time to develop. But those players who are too good for major juniors and are not ready for the NHL (and aren’t AHL-eligible yet) don’t have a good spot. So why not send them on loan to a KHL side (for developmental purposes). The team can recall said KHL (or SEL or NLA or SM-Liga) player at any time? The trick is–these players have to be exempt from KHL roster rules governing foreign players (in any country) and the NHL club would be paying the salary of the players on loan (and the KHL or European club would still need an incentive to develop the player, rather than sign a veteran from another league).

    • storminator16 - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      Probably still not doable because of his CHL junior eligibility. I don’t know. I find it all the restrictions on junior eligible players stupid either way.

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