The writing has been on the wall for a while now, but the Buffalo Sabres are sending Mikhail Grigorenko back to his junior team for the second consecutive season.
Interim coach Ted Nolan announced that Grigorenko was being sent back to the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL following Sabres practice this morning. Grigorenko had said he wanted to stay with the Sabres, but that won’t be happening.
Grigorenko, 19, was a first-round pick in 2012 and has had three coaches during his two NHL seasons. Last season, Grigorenko played 25 games under Lindy Ruff and Ron Rolston before being sent back to Quebec.
This season, Grigorenko was routinely placed on the fourth line with John Scott and Patrick Kaleta under Rolston and while he’s had a few games with Nolan, he was allowed to play in the World Junior Championships for Russia. Because of his age, he’s ineligible to play in the American Hockey League until his junior team’s season is over.
Now that he’s through two years of his entry-level deal without any real success at the NHL level, there are questions about just how good he is. Lighting up the QMJHL one more time may not prove that.