Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Mikhail Grigorenko Getting Rough Ride From Buffalo Sabres

There was a lot of talk amongst the faithful in Sabres Nation that Mikhail Grigorenko would be a flight risk if drafted by the Buffalo Sabres, preferring to play in his native Russia by signing a deal with the KHL.

He assured the team that his place was in North America – and wearing a blue and gold sweater.

After a brief five game tryout, the organization decided that the kid would do better to develop in the National Hockey League, as opposed to continue to tear about the QMJHL as apart of the favored Quebec Ramparts .

We didn’t see much out of the young center in those five games, but he wasn’t a liability and was no where near many of the problems troubling the Buffalo Sabres in one of their worst starts in history.

It seemed as though once the tryout was over, the eighteen year old pivot man has become the subject of much ire amongst managers and coaches, and has spent more time watching the NHL game as opposed to playing the NHL game.

You burned the first year of Grigorenko’s entry level deal by keeping in the compressed shortened season, why are we waisting the kids talents by him either not playing or tethering him to third or fourth line duties?

Saturday they had him playing with Patrick Kaleta – that is not going to help the kids offensive development, Kaleta and Grigorenko play totally different games.

New head coach Ron Rolston wants the kid to earn his ice time and the right to a regular shift.  If your not going to use him, if he is not NHL ready – why wouldn’t you send him back to Patrick Roy and the Quebec Ramparts?  Oh yeah, that whole waiver thing.  Grigorenko would be snatched up in a heart beat and utilized on a team that needs his offensive skills.  (Correction – as it was pointed out by a reader, Grigorenko doesn’t have to clear waivers, he has not played the required number of games on his entry level deal.)

What about this team has you questioning the kids ability to play?  Everyone else on the roster is making mistakes that an 18 year old is expected to make while we lose games let and right – whats the harm in moving him to the second line, or even the first line for the ice time.  He can’t learn the game from watching other players fail.  Give him the chance to prove it.

Nothing like messing with the kids head, your in, your out, your a first round draft pick, earn it – play don’t play.

How would you use Mikhail Grigorenko going forward?


Tags: Buffalo Sabres Mikhail Grigorenko

  • BH

    What an ignorant article. He wouldn’t be “snatched up” because he doesn’t have to go through waivers. He’s not old enough, and he hasn’t played in nearly enough games to be even close to being eligable. They could send him back to Quebque at any time if they wanted too. Check your facts before posting about stuff you have no clue on. So sit down and shut up. There’s a reason why you’re an ignorant fan who spews garbage and doesn’t run a team. You, and “fans” like you in Buffalo are just as much a part of the problem right now.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jacob.breunig Jacob Breunig

      Well it looks like I don’t have to repeat what you just said as you took the words right out of my mouth. Players who are still on their entry level deal do not pass through waivers. If they are sent down, they immediately pass through the AHL and go straight back to their Junior team, no waivers, until they’re 20, then they will go to the AHL. So for 2 more years, Grigs can be sent back to Quebec, no problems. I say they burn the $700,000 or what ever he will make this year and just send him back to Quebec and take the loss, it won’t kill them.

      • Timothy Redinger

        Age has nothing to do with it, they don’t get a free ride for two years, they only are “waiver” free with Grigorenko until he plays 80 games, which depending on how much he plays for the rest of the season could be next year towards the end of the season.

      • Timothy Redinger

        Plus why would you take the loss? Just because they are terrible? He should be getting more ice time in Buffalo learning the game because they are terrible instead of the opposite – sending him back to the Q isn’t going to help his development there, it might build his confidence back up, thats it – but there is nothing more he can learn from playing in the Q.
        Despite my flub on the whole getting snatched up – sending Grigs down now is doing nothing for the future of the organization.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jacob.breunig Jacob Breunig

          I agree, I would rather see him play and prove he is ready for a full season next year, but if rolston is just gonna so the same shit lindy did and not give him the line mates or time, then stop wasting our time and his and send him somewhere where he would get the time

    • Timothy Redinger

      Correct – he would have to play in 80 NHL games prior to be subject to the waiver system, he could be returned to Quebec. Misread that part of the CBA. Regardless, the fans are not part of the problem, the on ice product sucks and thats not hard to see. Relinquishing your first round draft pick who is an offensive threat to playing with guys that don’t normally put the puck in the net with regularity aren’t going to help him. Main point of the article, your not using him and that’s not helping in his development. Point being, on any other team – he would be used to his proper abilities and not treated in this fashion.

  • wolfdoctor

    IMO Grigorenko wasn’t ready for the NHL. He would have been much better off staying in Quebec. His little ice-time and being a regular healthy scratch can’t be helping his confidence any.

    • Timothy Redinger

      I think he is ready – he just needs to be surrounded by players that enhance his talents, Kaleta is not one of those types. He has shown signs of being ready for the NHL. He doesn’t have to win the Calder to be NHL ready.

      • Andrew

        Myers won a Calder.

        How NHL ready is he?

        • wolfdoctor

          Myers has digressed. He might have been better off staying in the juniors and learning the defensive part of the game. He hasn’t learned it in the NHL.

    • PaulR

      I generally agree with you – up to a point. People are expecting way too much from Grigorenko and also expecting way to much from a coach’s ability to “develop” him.

      He’s still a teenage kid – 18 years old. He’s got good hands, good hockey sense, and I see potential, but he’s clearly smaller, and a lot weaker, than the average NHL player. He needs playing experience in the NHL and simply needs 2-3 years to grow into a man.

      Ruff, Rolston and the Sabres have not mishandled him. They see potential, they want to give him experience, but they also don’t want him to get injured by immediately putting him up against guys like Lucic or Chara.

  • davidmuscalo

    I couldn’t agree more. Management has to admit that this season is a bust, the team is going nowhere and from here on in they are just going through the motions.
    Let the kid play and get some experience. Sending him back to Quebec would do him no good. There is nothing for him to learn in the minors. He went from being a big fish in a small pond to being a little fish in a large pond. He is learning that he needs to grow to become a big fish again.

  • chas territo

    when ruff was coach, i understood how lame grigorenko would become under his”tutelege.” rolston is supposed to be a teacher type of coach. as yet, grigorenko is being held captive. i, agree play him, let him grow, mistakes and all!! thiat is such ano brainer!! PLAY HIM!!

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