The Buffalo Sabres have assigned young forward Mikhail Grigorenko back to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and his former team the Quebec Ramparts.
An unfortunate end to the start of his NHL career. Not able to play in the AHL because of his age, and after burning his first contract by keeping him with the big club for more than 5 games, the young center will finish out the year with the Quebec Ramparts and no doubt be in the running to add a Memorial Cup to his resume before rejoining the blue and gold for training camp next season.
My question is why now? You have the perfect opportunity to reunite Grigorenko with Ville Leino – and see if the training camp magic would spark back up.
For me, this is the typical Darcy Regier move. There was probably no trade available that would pay Darcy enough dividends to make room on the roster for Leino and Grigorenko.
I can’t say that I hate the fact that Grigs will play out the rest of year actually playing hockey and winning. What is off on this whole thing is the timing. It almost appears as if he was kept up here to fill a roster spot for the Buffalo Sabres until Leino was healthy.
To me this is the easy way out. I don’t think there is anything to gain for Grigorenko in the QMJHL. It is just a way for Darcy to hold on to the pipe dream that his vision of hockey will one day win a Stanley Cup.
The right move here would have been to trade, start the firesale and move on with the guys that you think will be apart of the future. Maybe Darcy doesn’t have that authority because he knows he is on the way out.
No matter how you try to explain this one to me, sending Grigorenko to the minors is the wrong move.