Mikhail Grigorenko now has to report back to the Buffalo Sabres, with the World Junior Championship officially over.
Grigorenko ended the tournament with five goals and three assists. Despite having a good tournament, he was not named to the tournament all star team like his NHL teammates Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov.
With the ability to dominate back in his mindset, he gets to come back to the twilight zone that is the Buffalo Sabres. Unable to be sent to the Rochester Americans – Grigorenko must play for the Buffalo Sabres or be sent back to the Quebec Remparts.
Grigorenko is on his way to Buffalo, however – it may only be to get his marching orders to Quebec, as Ted Nolan is already leaning towards sending him back to the QMJHL.
“He’s coming back here initially. He’s coming here for Pat and I to discuss and we’ll make that decision when he gets here.” Nolan agreed with beat reporter Paul Hamilton on junior may be best, “It’s what Patty and I will be discussing, but we’re leaning that way, yes.”
Why are the Buffalo Sabres so afraid to let the kid lose in a Buffalo Sabres uniform? You can’t really blame him for not being able to score in the National Hockey League – no one wearing a blue and gold uniform is scoring.
Unfortunately for the Buffalo Sabres – time is limited on Mikhail Grigorenko in the National Hockey League and in Buffalo. The Sabres have already burned and ruined two years of Grigorenko’s entry level deal. Next year will be the final year of his first entry level contract.
If I were Grigorenko – I would be demanding the Buffalo Sabres buy me out of my contract and let me hit free agency early. There should be no reason to carry on the charade any longer. The team doesn’t want him to play in Buffalo, so why force him to watch hockey? There are certainly teams in the National Hockey League that will sign and use him, or he can go play in the KHL where he will get the ice time his skill level calls for.