Dec 4, 2013, 10:42 PM EDT
While Sportsnet’s John Shannon notes that the Buffalo Sabres are being coy about it, Mikhail Grabovski made it pretty clear on his Facebook page that he’s playing for Russia in the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championship tournament alongside his Buffalo teammate Nikita Zadorov:
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Sabres brass is privately pleased with this move, which wasn’t a certainty as Grigorenko wasn’t officially named to Russia’s pre-tournament camp.
They tried to demote him to the AHL on Nov. 20, but the NHL rejected their bid to give the 19-year-old a “conditioning assignment.” So maybe go overseas to Sweden to play in this tournament could be a useful “conditioning assignment”?
Sure, it’s probably a level or three below the competition he’d see as a temporary member of the Rochester Americans, yet it opens up a spot for the Sabres to work with. The Buffalo News reports that Cody McCormick would be the likely guy to take Grigorenko’s spot.
Update Dec. 5, 11:53 a.m.
The Sabres have made an official announcement that Grigorenko will be joining Team Russia.
- Ducks win crazy Game 5, push ‘Hawks to edge of elimination 20
- WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Ducks, Game 5 of Western Conference Final 2
- In the playoffs, sometimes it comes down to the ‘bounces’ 3
- Now feels like a good time to debate Stamkos’ next contract 26
- Here’s the latest on coaching searches in Buffalo, San Jose and New Jersey 3
- Bishop bounced back in Game 5, but did the Rangers test him enough? 9
- Surging Stamkos: Lightning put Rangers on the brink 19
- Report: Blues will stick with Hitchcock ‘barring anything dramatic’ 17
- WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Rangers, Game 5 of Eastern Conference Final 0
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ 75
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (174)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Report: Sabres negotiating with Babcock (82)
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)