Mikhail Grigorenko

Grigorenko makes case for refusing to report to QMJHL


After getting limited playing time with the Buffalo Sabres in 2013-14, the team finally decided to return 19-year-old forward Mikhail Grigorenko to the QMJHL Quebec Remparts. The only problem is he hasn’t reported for duty.

The obvious question is what happens now. Grigorenko isn’t eligible to play in the AHL yet and the Sabres would presumably like to avoid seeing one of their top prospects head to the KHL.

For his part, Grigorenko made his case by posting on a Facebook account the Buffalo News has verified to be his. He later deleted his message, but this being the internet, it still exists.

In his post, Grigorenko apologized for the situation and reaffirmed that he is proud that Buffalo took him with the 12th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

“We just need to find a place for me where i can develop and be the best hockey player I can be,” Grigorenko wrote.

He went on to say that he’s thinking about his career and asked for patience while he does so.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.