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.
- Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format 10
- Fanspeak: Clarke voted greatest Flyer in franchise history 18
- Different tune: Moore hasn’t settled with Bertuzzi, says brother 21
- Rangers win Kevin Hayes sweepstakes 16
- It’s Philadelphia Flyers Day at PHT 53
- Kovalev compares Subban to Leetch, says he isn’t worth the money 49
- Under pressure: Rick Nash 9
- Wang sells Isles to ex-Caps owner Ledecky 41
- Report: MLSE CEO Leiweke to step down (Update: Leiweke denies move) 6
- Report: Bertuzzi-Moore case settled out of court (Update: Bertuzzi’s lawyer confirms) 35