The Buffalo Sabres have sent 18-year-old forward Mikhail Grigorenko back to junior (Quebec, QMJHL), the club announced today.
Grigorenko had one goal and four assists in 22 games with Buffalo. Since he played more than five games in the NHL, the first year of his three-year, entry-level contract will not be delayed. (Or, in more dramatic terms, it will have been “burned.”)
The Sabres had originally intended to keep Grigorenko the entire season, but the pending return of forward Ville Leino (expected to make his season debut tomorrow versus Ottawa) — not to mention the fact Grigorenko played just 4:51 in Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over the Rangers and had been used sparingly under interim head coach Ron Rolston — apparently changed their minds.
The news is at least good for Remparts fans, as playoffs in the Q start soon. Grigorenko had 50 points in 32 games for Quebec during the NHL lockout.