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Sabres send Grigorenko back to juniors… again

Jan 11, 2014, 12:06 PM EDT

Mikhail Grigorenko Getty Images

The writing has been on the wall for a while now, but the Buffalo Sabres are sending Mikhail Grigorenko back to his junior team for the second consecutive season.

Interim coach Ted Nolan announced that Grigorenko was being sent back to the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL following Sabres practice this morning. Grigorenko had said he wanted to stay with the Sabres, but that won’t be happening.

Grigorenko, 19, was a first-round pick in 2012 and has had  three coaches during his two NHL seasons. Last season, Grigorenko played 25 games under Lindy Ruff and Ron Rolston before being sent back to Quebec.

This season, Grigorenko was routinely placed on the fourth line with John Scott and Patrick Kaleta under Rolston and while he’s had a few games with Nolan, he was allowed to play in the World Junior Championships for Russia. Because of his age, he’s ineligible to play in the American Hockey League until his junior team’s season is over.

Now that he’s through two years of his entry-level deal without any real success at the NHL level, there are questions about just how good he is. Lighting up the QMJHL one more time may not prove that.

  1. lowenni - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM


  2. elemeno89 - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    have to do it. long term success is greater than the current short term. im sure murray made this clear to him.

  3. stcrowe - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    “Questions about just how good he is.” Really? Playing on a line with John Scott and Patrick Kaleta? It is hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys.

  4. ibieiniid - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    stCROWe with a great three-bird idiom. rich stuff.

  5. joey4id - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    I thought PHT reported that the Quebec Remparts had already reached their allotted limit with respect to foreign players, which I believe is too.

    • joey4id - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Correction! not too, :-) but three if one of the Europeans on the team has already been drafted in the first round and returned to the juniors.

  6. crazemastercraze - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Messed with this kids head much?

  7. zetaone - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    I thought… he was already in juniors…

    He hasn’t been dressed (or scratched) for games for over 2 months :/ So where else would he have been?

  8. hockey716 - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    While being a linemate of Scott and Kaleta isn’t going to provide many scoring opportunities, it’s not like he didn’t play in other situations this season. Two coaches, with the worst team in the league, couldn’t find a spot for him at his current level of play. Rolston was Darcy’s puppet and wouldn’t play him and he clearly doesn’t possess the intensity that Nolan likes. It’s even more telling with the Sabres current injury woes.

    He may still end up being a good player – if he can light up the AHL with Rochester next year and then play well as a late season call-up, then it will have all worked out.. just later than expected.

  9. lilroot9 - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    He is choosing not to report? Very interesting now, Sabres Fail? Grigorenko Fail? Not good either way….

  10. bullwinkle88 - Jan 11, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    This kid doesn’t deserve to be in the NHL. You don’t get into the NHL just because you’re a top pick, you have to earn it.

    That’s Nolan’s philosophy and I’m sure, Murray’s too. This kid hasn’t earned squat. He’s soft on the puck, lazy on the backcheck, and lacks a real drive to succeed. He plays like an entitled player, not a motivated one.

  11. ray2013 - Jan 12, 2014 at 1:41 AM

    Trade him to the Oilers for Gagner. That would make everyone happy.

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