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?


Tags: Buffalo Sabres Mikhail Grigorenko QMJHL

  • Jes

    Looks like he is refusing to report to Quebec. Probably have to trade him or buy him out at this point.

    My question is why does a guy like Leino, Stafford and Foligno (On the off chance) get first and second line minutes yet this talented offensive force is sitting up in the press box or on the 4th line with John Scott?

    • wolfdoctor

      I agree Jes. He could have at least been tried with other talented forwards or on the power play. I have a bad feeling Nolan was just trying to show him who’s boss.

    • lee Munn

      I agree with your question Jes, but I still see more opportunity with Foligno in a few years than the Staff or Lieno …..or D’Agostini/Konoka.

      • Caitlin Campbell

        Grigorenko is more for the future if the Sabres can dump Stafford and Leino now and wait to use Grgiorenko thats what they want to do

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I think a large part of it has to do with Grigorenko’s work ethic and attitude. What we saw today is he has a poort attitude something Nolan has probably been seeing- remember how he got mad at him for not going hard in practice? If you’re you’re going to play top line minutes you have to work hard and show you’re can do so. Handind a rookie top line minutes is a mistake IMO

      • Jes

        Ya that’s a good point of view. But right now Grigorenko is better then the majority of the players on this team right now. Ellis, Konopka, Porter, Omark, Flynn, Stafford, Leino, McCormick, D’Agostini and Scott are all players if rank below Grigorenko on our forward depth chart. That’s basically 3 lines of players. Besides Stafford and Flynn I doubt any of those players eclipse 10 goals in a season anymore.

        Rookies that perform in the junior leagues usually get at least a shot at performing with the big club and he hasn’t even had a shot at doing that. Hell he even lit it up in a tourney including the very best junior players from around the world.

        Look at Nichuskin he wasn’t producing for the first 10 or so games but he got his time and started to gel with his teammates. Basically same situation as Grigs. He had basically same type of performance game in and game out but he was juggled on the top 2 lines and he turned it around.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          I wouldn’t say he’s better right now but I certainly agree he has 10x the potential of the Stafford’d and Leino’s. But I think as far as the Omark’s and the D’Agostini’s the Sabres are legitimately trying to get the first overal pick in the draft and these guys are on their least NHL shots- why not showcase them and save your best prospect till you’re ready to challenge for a playoff spot.

          As far as dominating at the WJC I don’t think he did- don’t get me wrong he had a solid tournament but he certainly did not dominate. You want to see dominance at the World Juniors? Take a look at Jordan Eberle

  • lee Munn

    i am sorry but this team is starting to scare me too much. I know we are at the bottom & Nolan wants the team to be the best they can.. But we have to look at FUTURE players & if Nolan would rather give good time to D’Agostini/Konopka/Lieno/Omark/Ellis/Porter… while taking off time or removing Larsson/Grig/Foligno this will hurt us bad. I know Nolan likes Vets over Young players but the youth is our future. If we play players like these vets, instead of being 30th place with great potential of top 10 in a few years, we will be a 25th place team with potential to be a 22nd place team & I can’t take that anymore. I have been very willing to be a basement team with great opportunity, but you have to be willing to let the young ones play for our future.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      At this point the Sabres are trying to play for 30th. They’d rather have average veterans out there in the NHL and have the future progressing in other places until they’re ready to be a competitive team again. I think next season there will be a lot more of the younger guys from Zadorov to Ristolainen and Larsson who lead this team