Hey, Buffalo Sabres: Play! Mikhail! Grigorenko!

Mar 2, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Steve Bernier (18) and Buffalo Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko (25) face off during the second period at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Damn you, Buffalo.

Just when I think I’m about to get you – as in Fios get you, for those of you who have suffered through those beastly commercials – you go and do something that makes me feel like a total idiot.

Example: at the beginning of the season, you decided to give prospect Mikhail Grigorenko a 5-game tryout, if you will, at the NHL level.

If you liked what you saw, you would keep him on the roster, knowing you would be using up a full year of his contract.

If you didn’t like what you saw, you could ship him back to the Quebec Ramparts of the QMJHL and avoid using up one of three years on his entry-level contract.

When five games came and went and Grigorenko was still on your roster, I assumed you liked what you saw and planned on giving him a 48-game NHL season to work on developing his game.

Instead, you gave him 22  games and then shipped him back to Quebec.  Way to waste a year of his contract!

Now that the Ramparts have finished their season, you have pulled Grigorenko back up to Buffalo in order to close out the final five games of the season . . . except you won’t start him tonight against the Boston Bruins, meaning he will only pay at best four of the remaining games.

What the hell is going on over there in Sabreland, huh?

March 5, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko (25) carries the puck during the 3rd period against the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC center. The Hurricanes defeated the Sabres 4-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

I get the feeling even you guys don’t know what you are doing, which only adds to my frustration.  Look: it’s simple.  If your goal is to give the kid one last flurry of games in order to give him some things to think about when the offseason rolls around, you need to play him.  Now.  Tonight.  The Boston Bruins are playoffs-bound; they are a good team.  Having Grigorenko play against them one more time will be a great learning opportunity for him, as it is certain to expose some of the flaws in his game.

Bringing him up, just to sit him?  You might as well send him to the Rochester Americans and give him a chance to contribute to their playoff run.

It’s not like you just made the call today; he was skating with the team yesterday.  If you truly think that he is going to be a member of the Buffalo Sabres in the near future, why not let him play out the rest of the season?  It’s not like there’s many games left, and believe me, he can’t hurt your playoff chances, which are already slim to none following Winnipeg’s victory last night.  The Sabres are already halfway to being a minor league team anyway right about now; what’s one more baby out there, fighting to earn a spot on the roster next season?  You brought him up; get his butt off of the bench and put him on the ice.

Play.  Grigorenko.  Now.

Agree or disagree?  Just like to type?  Leave me a comment below, or fire me a Tweet @theamazingMrS.

Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Mikhail Grigorenko

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  • Kevin

    I couldn’t agree more!!

  • Craig C.

    Totally on board with you on this, Rich. Man, the Sabres have really screwed this situation up this season. Rolston seems to have no regard for him. Rolston’s fighting for his job and obviously has no confidence in Grigs. Well, then ship him to Rochester…….is that so hard to figure out, Darcy??!

    This is just one more example of why we can’t dump this GM fast enough. Speaking of inept management, the Bills are keeping Buddy Nix around long enough to screw up another draft….but that’s a different topic.

    • Richard Spalding

      They really have no clue what to do with this kid, do they? I mean, are we missing something here – are these types of decisions more difficult than we think? Nah – probably not!

    • chas territo

      read my comment above. nix is a good gm! made good choices, draft wise, free agent pick ups, he is to be commended, not vilified. he made a few bad decisions, that is true, BUT show me a gm who hasn’t and i have a bridge to sell you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Krzos/100000896551271 Mark Krzos

    Keeping this guy on the bench makes no sense, especially since they keep playing Stafford, who IMO, should have been told to just go home.

    • Richard Spalding

      No doubt!

  • chas territo

    regier, the absent minded gm? bench/play? why should he show consideration for the team or mikhail? he doesn’t show anything else. his time here is pretty much lame duckish. no-show pegula must be ready to oust regier, he must!! mikhail needs to grow! this won’t happen here!! too bad mgmt has no truth in it’s player development. decision making must go to committee, you know a group of disjointed members who have no clue, so, no progress will be made with mkhail! too bad for him, us and the team:(

  • PaulR

    And I remember the debate early in the season if Lindy would “screw up” Gregorenko’s development. I thought – that seems silly. If the kid can play, he will stay, and if not, well at least he gets some NHL experience. It is quite simple, what’s to screw up?

    But against all odds, it appears the Sabres are indeed making a mess of it. The kid is up, he’s down, he’s playing with Stafford and Ennis, then he’s playing with John Scott and Kaleta. He’s in Quebec, he’s in Buffalo, and maybe he’s in Rochester. The Sabres could not have made his development more chaotic if they tried.

    • Richard Spalding

      From what I heard, Ruff didn’t really want Grigorenko to stay past the five games. In that case, they should have sent him back to Quebec for the majority of the season. They screwed that up, and now look what they have: another coach who doesn’t seem very interested in this guy. You’re right: they could not have screwed this up more if they had tried.