The Buffalo Sabres have a hard choice to make when it comes to the future of Mikhail Grigorenko. With his season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League over, Grigorenko has eagerly reported to the Rochester Americans – his first assignment to the Rochester based hockey club since joining the organization.
Next year he will most likely be a part of the training camp process, and will finally be eligible to play in the American Hockey League. But will he have learned enough to keep wearing blue and gold – or will the red white and blue be a better spot for Mikhail Grigorenko?
Much will be written and speculated over the course of the remaining balance of this season and into the start of next season. If Tim Murray continues to cast away expiring contracts in trade for the building of the future – and with the relationship strained between Mikhail Grigorenko and the management team that replaced those who drafted him, could Grigorenko be playing for a new team come next season at any point?
The shortcomings of Grigorenko’s rookie forte into the likes of the National Hockey League are hardly his own. The Buffalo Sabres, in the hopes of rekindling the scoring touch they needed hoped that Grigs would find the back of the net as often in the NHL as he had in the Q. The only problem was, in the Q – he was a man among boys. A player whose talent had far surpassed those of his peers. On the outside – Grigorenko appeared ready for the NHL because he had outgrown the Major Juniors, but he was not mature enough to handle what fate awaited him as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
Mismanaged from day one, Mikhail Grigorenko no doubt has a sour taste in his mouth for anything Buffalo Sabres, but will likely play out his time here with a smile on his face and with as much vigor as necessary to prove that he can last in this league.
If the fate of Mikhail Grigorenko was in your hands – how would you handle his future with the Buffalo Sabres?