Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Mikhail Grigorenko Loan Makes Most Sense

The Buffalo Sabres still have to figure out what to do with former first round draft pick and 19 year old Mikhail Grigorenko.

Rushed into service in the first year of NHL eligibility after the draft – the Buffalo Sabres have burned what is now amounting to two years of his entry level deal into the National Hockey League.

Grigorenko stands to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this contract – with little or no NHL experience under his belt.

The Sabres tried sending Mikhail Grigorenko to the Rochester Americans this year on a “conditioning stint” to try and salvage this season without sending him back to the QMJHL and the Quebec Remparts.  Grigorenko is a stud for the Remparts, and is a man among boys in the “Q”.

The new regime is weighing the options with Grigorenko very carefully, wanting to get the most out of their inherited first round draft pick.  Time it seems though – is no longer on their side.  With Cody McCormick healthy and ready to play once again – a roster move is necessary.  By loaning Grigorenko to the Russians, they don’t have to rush a player down the thruway to Rochester.

The best bet for the Buffalo Sabres at this point, is to loan Mikhail Grigorenko to the Russian Federation – and allow him to lead the Russian’s again at the World Junior’s – a tournament which he excelled in when the games were in Ufa, Russia.

If I am Grigorenko – or his agent, I would be using the time if loaned to the Russians to seek out employment in the KHL – on a team that will actually play him.  That is one statement, that has to be playing on the minds of the hockey minds in the Buffalo Sabres organization – and for Mikhail Grigorenko, might be the best option for his hockey career.

Buffalo may be able to benefit the most if Grigorenko plays in the World Juniors – a dominant effort in the international tournament could boost the young forwards confidence – and would give the Sabres time to figure out where he fits on the roster.

Left off the invite list by the Russians because of the need to be “loaned” it might benefit Pat Lafontaine to give the Russians a friendly call and offer up the services of his young center.  Who knows who will get injured in that two week loan period.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Mikhail Grigorenko Russia World Juniors

  • Jes

    Be awesome if they did loan him out. That way he could get some playing time in and help his confidence a bit. But looking for KHL employment I’d have to disagree. The guy was a first rounder and is worth something to other teams. I try and trade the guy no use in keeping him here and just lose him to the KHL. I guarantee we could land a pretty good player in return for him. Pair him with one of our 2nd rounder’s and we’d be laughing.

    • JHizzle75

      For sure. WJHC might boost his confidence, but we can’t lose him for nothing. If we’re not going to play him and waste his entry level contract, get something for him! Trade him somewhere and get a decent return.

      • lee Munn

        Wow you guys give-up quick. Re-member he can go to Roch next year for a little more true “Learning”. It may take Armia 1 or 2 years & he was drafte the year before Grigs.

        • JHizzle75

          I haven’t necessarily given up, I’m just saying if we’re not going to play him we might as well trade him somewhere he will get ice time. To my knowledge we can’t send him to Roch, and Quebec has their quota of imports already, so we just let him sit on the bench for the rest of the year?
          I think we owe it to him ( thanks Darcy) to either play him or give him a chance to play elsewhere.
          The fourth line didn’t do him any good at the beginning of the year, he needs to be with other skilled players.

          • Dano

            What you ( and Tim ) have stated is why I feel he will ( eventually ) go to the KHL. The only real time he has had in the NHL is with Buffalo and hes not on the ice.

        • wolfdoctor

          I agree Lee. Grigorenko just needs to get through this year then he can play in Rochester next year because in 2014 he will meet the age requirement for the AHL. It’s a shame though that he’s being wasted this year. I don’t think Nolan is giving him much of a chance to play.

        • Timothy Redinger

          Problem with that theory is – he will be in the third year of a three year deal – if he is not happy with the way Buffalo has handled his situation – why re-sign here?

  • Kevin

    I actually feel bad for the kid. He is product of a stupid choice by Regier. He was way too young and immature to be in the NHL yet. And in my opinion still is. But we are stuck cleaning up that mess. But to throw him away for nothing is just wrong. It’s not his fault. He wasn’t ready, Regier told him he was, and he was wrong. My opinion is the guy needs a veteran role model to help through this mess. I have no doubt he will be a above average player. But I can actually see the poor kids hockey career ending because of Regier.

  • Caitlin Campbell

    I think they have to send him down for the WJC- it’s the best thing for him right now

  • lee Munn

    I agree with all you say, but would he not still be a Restricted-Free-Agent at the end of next year, and could we not re-sign him for a 2 yr RFA like Ennis/PK Subban…. it would prob be in his best interest to sign an additional 2yr RFA to prove & earn the big $$. He would not be able to sign for a UFA 6/7 yr 5M+ from what we have seen up to this point. So adding 2 more years of RFA would be in both sides best interest.