Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Says No To Mikhail Grigorenko’s Conditioning Stint


A day after the Buffalo Sabres announced they were sending Mikhail Grigorenko down to the Rochester Americans for a two-week

conditioning stint, the NHL appears to have stepped in to stop the move. The Rochester Americans had a pre-game morning skate and Mikhail Grigorenko was no where to be found which is very unusual.

According to various reports, the NHL denied the Sabres request to send Grigorenko on a conditioning stint in the AHL because they did not have enough reason to do so. Apparently the fact he’s not ready for the NHL but too good for the QMJHL isn’t a good enough reason.

Here is the official rule from the NHL;

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 10.20.02 AM

And Shortly after the rumour broke out it was confirmed that the NHL has denied Mikhail Grigorenko’s conditioning stint and he is back with the Buffalo Sabres. The poor kid is getting a raw deal early on. The NHL ruled that Grigorenko was not eligible for a conditioning stint with the Amerks as three first-round draft picks would have been in their line-up tonight.

If the Sabres and Ted Nolan are still unhappy with Grigorenko’s play their only option will be to return him to the QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts, where he will likely be traded. But for Now Grigorenko is still a member of the Buffalo Sabres and it looks like we may see a lot more of him in the press box going forward. The kid needs to play in order to develop but will get very little chance in the NHL and won’t grow in the QMJHL. Is this the beginning of the end for Mikhail Grigorenko and the Buffalo Sabres?

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Mikhail Grigorenko

  • Dano

    Im wondering how much longer it will be till hes not on the top line and feels the need to flee to the KHL.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I have to agree Dano- If the Sabres aren’t careful they lose this kid to the KHL

      • Dano

        Let him go to the KHL. I dont think hes half as talented as was sold. He doesnt know defense, wont try to learn it, doesnt go out of his way to try and hit anything..

        We should trade his rights to Detroit or Washington where he might develop better in a system closer to what he knows.

        • Jes

          He’s way more talented. Hodgson and Ennis don’t know defense neither, so should we get rid of them? He’s a scorer and that’s what he gets paid to do.

          It’s a shame the three coaches thus far haven’t utilized him correctly in the lineup. Hell he was starting to finally come along nicely until Nolan stepped in and brought in and stated we are to young. And he was doing this on the 4th line.

          We’re just as shitty as we were before, no matter how many of those ridiculous veterans we have on this team we are still as shitty. All of our veterans are basically playing like rookies.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            we still don’t know what Grigorenko is capable of at this point in time and you’re right we need to see him being used in a better situation

          • Dano

            What better situation? Put him on the ‘ top line ‘ with a centerman and another winger whom dont know 2 way hockey?

            The BEST thing that could happen to Grigorenko is to be traded to Detroit or Washington, 2 systems that he could develop and thrive in. Buffalo has nothing to help the kid along.. for that matter, they dont have much to develop ANY of its players presently.

            Its a ‘ shitty ‘ ( Plagiarizing Jes ) situation.

          • qwicwted

            Maybe they should play Grigs and Girgensens with Adam. I’m not going to get down about the Sabres not winning against St. Louis. I still think Nolan is learning the plyers – remember, he wasn’t here during preseason and he didn’t realize how young our youngsters were until he saw them. I don’t expect overnight changes and anyone that does isn’t thinking right. The main thing is that Grigorenko needs ice time and it seems he has some chemistry with Girgensens – so mybe adding someone who is also physical can help

          • Dano

            “The main thing is that Grigorenko needs ice time ”

            So.. where does he go?

            Top line? Whom gets demoted? Hodgson? Moulson? Ennis?

            Second line? Foligno, Stafford, Leino?

            Foligno is in the same situation so he really cant be ‘ demoted ‘, he needs minutes to develop.

            Girgensons? Where does he fit in? Hes been playing quite well ( In quite a few peoples opinions, mine included ). Does he get bumped? Hes like Foligno and Grigorenko.. needing minutes..

            Everyone agrees the kid *should not* be on the 4th line, so.. where does he fit in? Whom gets shuffled so this kid gets minutes?

            Its one thing to say ‘ give the kid minutes with better players! ‘ but has he *earned* it? If he hasnt, whats the trade-off for it to the cost of the whole *team* ? Granted, nobody is producing what is expected from an NHL player..

            THAT is part of the question of the whole rebuild that was never put into play ( IMO ). ” Who is going to fit and where ?”.

          • qwicwted

            Seems to me the Sabres have invested quite a bit in Grigorenko – so my thinking is that you play him on a 3rd line with Girgensens with Tropp or Flynn. Your 4th line is McCormick, Scott,Tropp or Flynn. As much as I like Moulson, I don’t see him resigning. We also need to increase the trade value of Stafford and Leino – so they need playing time.
            Just because we have a new Coach and will have a new GM, we are still going to have to go thru some suffering. You can let it drive you up a wall or you can look at the changes that are being made. Hell at least we have some excuses – a coach that was in over his head, a bunch of teenagers playing against men and a GM who was telling us to buck up and suffer. We could be Philly or Edmonton.

          • Dano

            “He’s way more talented. Hodgson and Ennis don’t know defense neither, so should we get rid of them? He’s a scorer and that’s what he gets paid to do.”

            Hodgson and Ennis can go as far as Im concerned.

            If Girgorenko is a ‘ scorer ‘ why only 3 points in how many games?

            “It’s a shame the three coaches thus far haven’t utilized him correctly in the lineup.”

            So.. we should build a team around him or something? Hes NOT Sidney Crosby. Hes NOT Overchkin. Hes a very far leap away from either of them. Hes not nor will he ever be an ‘ elite ‘ player. He was hyped in the draft.

            “We’re just as shitty as we were before, no matter how many of those ridiculous veterans we have on this team we are still as shitty. All of our veterans are basically playing like rookies.”

            I agree 110% with all of that and thus why I believe EVERYONE on the roster is expendable at this point.

            They need to start by bringing in a Captain, Someone with some leadership before they start looking for anything else.

          • Jes

            “If Girgorenko is a ‘ scorer ‘ why only 3 points in how many games?”
            You have seen the lines he’s been playing on right? 4th line with Scott and Kaleta. Not going anywhere with that line. He finally started to come along but Nolan put an end to that.

            “So.. we should build a team around him or something? Hes NOT Sidney Crosby. Hes NOT Overchkin. Hes a very far leap away from either of them. Hes not nor will he ever be an ‘ elite ‘ player. He was hyped in the draft.”

            Did I say he was Ovie or Crosby? Nope!! Did I say we should build the team around him? Nope!! All I said was the 3 coaches thus far in the NHL for Grigs have not been utilizing him correctly. Using a scorer and a rookie at that on the 4th line isn’t really using any of the guys assets. He could’ve easily been a top rookie this season if he were getting the right shots yet they continue to give him absolute ZERO opportunity which IMO is retarded beyond belief. He won’t be 100 point guy ever but he can easily be a 60+ point guy given the right chance. Girgensons will never be an elite player either. The only players that have any chance of being elite on this team are Zadorov and Ristolainen.

            Personally I’m hoping Sabres trade him to another NHL club then all you naysayers can watch how a real team develops its prospects and how good Grigorenko can really be.

          • Dano

            “Did I say he was Ovie or Crosby? Nope!! Did I say we should build the team around him? Nope!! All I said was the 3 coaches thus far in the NHL for Grigs have not been utilizing him correctly.”

            Soo.. its 3 coaches not knowing how to ‘ use ‘ a player? Really?

            Its one thing if a player is one dimentional. We all know Scott *might* have a goal or 2 in his time left in the NHL. Both will cause Milbury and Bettman to have a heart attack.

            Lets be realistic here.

            Grigorenki is making 1.75 million this year. He has 3 points.

            McCormic, whom went later in his draft year is bagging 1.2million. McCormic plays defensive, has put up more points, kills penalties.. plays center!

            McCormic is a 4th and POSSIBLY a 3rd line center. He wont develop any further. His game is maxed at 15-20 points a year and more PIM’s then icetime.

            Presently, Grigorenko has no where to go. Where are they going to utilize him as your claiming? Top line? Put Hodgson on the second line? Make Grigorenko learn wing instead of center and put him on the first line?

            “He could’ve easily been a top rookie this season if he were getting the right shots yet they continue to give him absolute ZERO opportunity which IMO is retarded beyond belief.”

            Just where are they going to put him and whom are they going to pair him with? Give me your honest opinion, no sarcasm. You be the coach/GM, show/tell us what YOU would do with him.

            “The only players that have any chance of being elite on this team are Zadorov and Ristolainen.”

            I believe you are correct about Zadorov. Hes one of the bright spots this team has BUT.. they dont have anyone for him to mentor with nor a coaching staff that can bring him to his full potential ( same as with Grigorenko ).

            With the Knights, under Dale Hunter, a player of similar type of ‘ ethic ‘ as Zadorov.. he can develop quite nicely.

            “Personally I’m hoping Sabres trade him to another NHL club then all you naysayers can watch how a real team develops its prospects and how good Grigorenko can really be.”

            As I said to CC, I think the Detroit or Washington systems would work much better for him. Their systems are far superior to Buffalos in the ‘ skill ‘ game.

          • Jes

            Why not put him on the top line? What has the top line done since Nolan took over?

            Yes and it’s the 3 coaches that haven’t used the guy right. I dunno how you can’t see that?

            You can’t compare McCormick to Grigs. They are two very different players. Grigs is a top 2 line guy and McCormick a bottom 2. Again you can’t bring in Grigs point production compared to McCormick because McCormick is built to play fourth line grinder mins and will get his share of the points and Grigorenko is used to playing with a higher end of talent than what Rolston, Ruff and to a lesser content Nolan has been putting him with.

            He’s a center and he needs at least one finisher on one of his wings to be successful. Especially as a rookie.

          • Dano

            “Why not put him on the top line? What has the top line done since Nolan took over?”

            I would ask ” What did that top like even with Vanek do before Nolan came along?”. They werent scoring goals, winning games or playing 2 way hockey. Their record speaks for itself.

            What did he do ( Grigorenko )before? Why did he need Regier to promise him making the team to be motivation?

            Theres a whole locker room of guys and some decisions arent easy. People earn their places. Not everyone is given a Stanley Cup, its not that kind of league. Everyone doesnt get a trophy.

            “Yes and it’s the 3 coaches that haven’t used the guy right. I dunno how you can’t see that?”

            Do you see what your saying? 3 different coaches with 3 different approaches to the game. What do they have to do, ask the kid what, where, when, and how to make the team adjust to him? How about the league?

            I can see one coach being around for too long. I can see one not really understanding how to coach on an NHL level. I can see one being a coach from quite a while back..

            3 different perspectives, Old, ‘ has been ‘ and ‘ too new to the level of game ‘, but NONE of then knowing how to put the kid to use?

            Thats too many years of experience for *me* to balk at.

            I understand your from Canada and your theocratical beliefs might revolve around a sheet of ice.. But Im willing to bet those 3 coaches your saying dont know how to use this kid have more experience and are more capable with such things then either of us ( you and I ).

            “You can’t compare McCormick to Grigs. ”

            I just did ( above ) and your commenting on it proves such can and DID in fact happen. I understand you dont wish it to be possible or wish to believe such can happen, but reality is I DID in fact make that comparison, used statistics/records and presented such. Its the leagues recordings.

            “Again you can’t bring in Grigs point production compared to McCormick because McCormick is built to play fourth line grinder mins and will get his share of the points and Grigorenko is used to playing with a higher end of talent than what Rolston, Ruff and to a lesser content Nolan has been putting him with.

            They are two very different players. Grigs is a top 2 line guy and McCormick a bottom 2″

            Why is it, McCormic can get those points on a 4th line and Grigorenko, with all this skill thats not being used properly, cant?

            Just WHO are they going to put Grigorenko with Jes? WHO can he learn from? WHAT coach is going to guide him ( you said 3 werent good enough so far.. will number 4 , 5 or 6 be better? Maybe number 7 or 8? )

            Are you wanting to say the team should take this rookie and put him with higher end talent over other guys whom have EARNED their spot on the roster and werent given it to them by a GM in the Preseason?

            THAT would send one hell of a message to the locker-room and the rest of the team. Im sure everyone would look out for the guy and the cohesion would work out well.

            “He’s a center and he needs at least one finisher on one of his wings to be successful. Especially as a rookie.”

            Name 2. Any 2, Jes. Moulson ( whom seems to be working with Hodgson right now ) and… Ennis? Stafford? Leino? Foligno? Ott? Those are the top minute players.. Fact is, Moulson is the only finisher on the whole team and who knows what his future in Buffalo will be.

            This is why I think he would so so much better in a system like Detroit. They could put this kid between top talent on just about all their lines. Buffalo doesnt have the talent to even show if this kid ISNT just hype.

            I get it, you like the kid and feel you have the answer along with colorful names for those whom disagree with you. You were VERY correct when you stated you hoped they traded the kid and he turned out to be an elite player. I would LOVE for that to happen. It COULD happen! I would be pleased if it did because it would fit the Karma of Buffalo all too well.

            I really need to ask though ( Im being 100% sincere ).. Have you ever played the game on any level? Even better question would be have you ever worked with a ‘ team ‘ where there was something more important then the ‘ individual ‘? Firefighting? Military? Law enforcement? Farming? Anything that required structural importance from a whole organization?

            Im trying to understand your perspective on how YOU see things. I already know you like to call people names but from my perspective, your not seeing the whole ‘ team ‘ picture and how things really work.

            Theres more to the whole ‘ Grigorenko ‘ picture then either of us know.

  • Dave

    Just another problem Darcy left on the way out the door

    • Caitlin Campbell

      we don’t know quite yet

  • qwicwted

    Grigs just hasn’t impressed me. Perhaps they should look to trade him. I think he is a player that constantly needs to be motivated – has natural talent, but just won’t work hard to develop it. Maybe Patty can trade him to Philly for Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      He hasn’t impressed me as of yet either but it’s far too early to give up and or trade him

  • Pingback: Buffa-no: NHL rejects Grigorenko’s AHL conditioning assignment – NBCSports.com

  • Pingback: Crosby vs. Ovechkin; Varlamov case goes to DA; DeKeyser to out indefinitely (Puck Headlines) | NHLRealTalk