Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Mikhail Grigorenko Heading Back to the QMJHL

It’s official, Ted Nolan and the Buffalo Sabres have sent forward Mikhail Grigorenko back to his QMJHL team the Quebec Remparts after his return from his World Junior stint with Russia.

 

With both Cody Hodgson and Ville Leino ready to play again the Buffalo Sabres had no need for extra bodies and no real reason to keep Mikhail Grigorenko in Buffalo if they were not going to play him. As a result Grigorenko draws the short straw as he will be

heading back to the QMJHL once again.

In other roster moves Johan Larsson has been returned to the Rochester Americans while Brayden McNabb, who was sent to Rochester last night is expected to be recalled today.

This is the second straight year the Buffalo Sabres have sent Grigorenko back to the Remparts and since they waited until after the World Juniors it will burn a 2nd year off his entry level contract and if the Sabres aren’t careful he’ll quickly find a new home once his contract is up. The first two years of his ELC have been wasted on 43 games and 8 points- thanks Darcy Regier.

Mikhail Grigorenko is in a very difficult place; Being just 19- we think- and being drafted through the CHL prevents him from spending some much needed time in the AHL and as a result has to play in a league he has outgrown where he averages over 1.5 points per game.

Grigorenko recently returned from a bronze medal win with team Russia at the World Juniors. He was solid throughout the tournament but not the type of dominate you might expect for someone competing in his third World Juniors as he looks to earn an NHL roster spot. Grigorenko scored 5 goals and racked up 8 points through his 7 games but wasn’t able to bring home the elusive gold medal for Russia.

Mikhail Grigorenko had really wanted to stay in Buffalo this time stating that “he had done everything they had asked of him and that he hadn’t really complained.” None the less, Grigorenko will be making his way back to Quebec to finish out the year with the Remparts.

Sure the Buffalo Sabres deserve some blame for the handling of Mikhail Grigorenko but the NHL’s agreement with the CHL puts them in a real bind. Are the Sabres to blame or is Grigorenko just a victim of a general rule?

 

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