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Grigorenko ‘really’ wants to stay with the Sabres

Jan 10, 2014, 11:08 AM EDT

grigorenkogetty Getty Images

Mikhail Grigorenko doesn’t want to go back to junior again. He wants to stay in Buffalo, playing in the NHL.

“I really want to stay here,” the 19-year-old Sabres forward said Thursday, per the Buffalo News. “I did everything they wanted me to do. I didn’t really complain much. I just knew it was the best thing in the moment but hopefully I’m done with traveling. I just want to stay here.”

But with Grigorenko having scored just two goals and an assist in 18 games this season, one of the big questions for new general manager Tim Murray is whether the 12th overall pick in the 2012 draft is better off playing limited minutes with the Sabres, or if his long-term development would be aided with another stint in the QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts.

“There are two scenarios and we’ll decide one of those two here very quickly,” Murray said yesterday.

Of note, a story published this morning in the French-language newspaper Le Soleil had the headline (translated), “Grigorenko near a return with the Remparts.”

Related: Grigorenko in limbo

  1. pmonte3122 - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    He needs to play on a better line that’s it

  2. 950003cups - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    What he REALLY wants, are checks from his NHL $925,000 salary and he REALLY doesn’t want checks from his $70,000 AHL salary.

    • meldboy - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      He’s getting paid NHL $$ either way. He’s not eligible to play in the AHL because Darcy and Lindy burned his first year of eligibility. Now they don’t know what to do with him. They tried stuffing him in the AHL a couple months ago for a “conditioning stint” and they weren’t allowed to. The real question is what are they going to do with him when he has no Junior eligibility left and he’s still not NHL ready?

      • Faenz - Jan 11, 2014 at 8:28 PM

        You are completely wrong. Yes, he is not eligible to play in the AHL, but not for the reasons you stated. The NHL has an agreement that junior players cannot play in the AHL until the age of 20. Grigorenko was drafted at the age of 18. He got an entry level deal which is 3 years of length. A player can then be held up for 9 games in the NHL, and then the hockey club must decide to either send him to the minors or keep him on the roster and begin burning that 3 year deal. The problem with Grigorenko is that he cannot play in the AHL until he is 20. So they kept him with the Sabres instead of playing in the juniors which he was clearly too good for. So they burned the first year of his deal, and now his second year of his deal. When he turns 20 years old he is eligible to go to the minors. He is just stuck in limbo right now. He is too good for juniors, but not NHL ready. He needs more development but there is nowhere to get that for him. They can send him down to the AHL next year, but they already burned 2 years of his deal, so he can go to Russia after one more year if he is sick of this frustration.

  3. bigolbig - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Omark, Larsson, Ellis, Konopka, D’Agostini, Scott and Flynn were all in the line up for the Sabres last night – but there’s no space for Grigorenko. Wtf lol

  4. djshnooks - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Larsson is a solid prospect.

    Grigorenko cannot go to Quebec because they already have 2 imports and their trade deadline has passed.

    He also does not get an AHL contract, as he is ineligible to go to the AHL.

  5. jacketsfan7 - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    Until he puts his heart into his game , I agree with the lineup Ted Nolan provides , grigorenkos work ethic has been awful

    • bullwinkle88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:41 PM

      Agreed. Until he develops an internal fire, he belongs in the junior leagues.

    • Faenz - Jan 11, 2014 at 8:30 PM

      I am not saying his work ethic has been great, but he just is not NHL ready. The speed of the game looks too much for him right now. I think confusion and inexperience sometimes makes him look lazy.

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