Mikhail Grigorenko has finally put the Buffalo Sabres and fans at ease by accepting his assignment to the QMJHL where he will rejoin his junior team the Quebec Remparts. The Sabres had sent the 19 year old back to the Remparts after his return from a solid World Junior tournament but on Saturday night Grigorenko announced he would not go down to the QMJHL.
His decision caused a lot of turmoil and debate in Buffalo, some even called for him to be traded but Grigorenko has decided to comply to his employers wishes and report to the QMJHL for the time being.
Mikhail Grigorenko has informed the #Sabres that he will be reporting to the Quebec Remparts.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 13, 2014
Both Grigorenko and his agent had some worries about the way the Sabres have handled his development and that was the cause of Grigorenko’s stand.
“I think that it was fair to say there were some real serious concerns about the development process of this player. Going down to Quebec, he’ll have played for his seventh coach in one calendar year. I certainly have not seen that or experienced that. I don’t think that anybody would think that’s ideal.” Jay Grossman, Grigorenko’s agent. Quote from Buffalo Hockey Beat
After causing much turmoil and likely landing on the wrong side of new GM Tim Murray, Grigorenko quickly had a change of heart,
despite asking for time and respect on his facebook page, and is heading back to where most 19 year old players are. Grigorenko will land with the Remparts later this week as he looks to lead his junior team back to the playoffs looking to show the Sabres he is ready for top 6 minutes in the NHL and if he is indeed ready he should have no issues dominating the QMJHL.
The Sabres are aiming for the top pick at the upcoming NHL entry draft and want to wait before putting Grigorenko into the line-up full time which is likely the best route for his development. Having a young rookie, perhaps the future of your team, playing with veterans who want out of town, on a team that losses more than it wins and faces immense media pressure isn’t the most ideal situation. Keeping him away from the limelight until a team full of young and competitive players rolls around is a much better idea.