Doesn’t sound like Mikhail Grigorenko impressed the Sabres much in his recent one-game cameo.
“I didn’t like his play,” head coach Ted Nolan said, per the Buffalo News. “For him to play at this level, especially with that much skill, he has to bring a little bit more than what he had. You don’t really want to sit back and hope for things to work. You’ve got to make them work like everybody else.
“I just felt his play on certain parts was very lackadaisical. Didn’t have any energy or urgency in his game whatsoever.”
Girgorenko, 20, played 13:42 in Friday’s 3-2 loss to Ottawa, finishing with one shot on goal and just 1-for-6 in faceoffs. His possession metrics weren’t very good either and, overall, it looks to have been a blown opportunity to show something at the NHL level… and a blown opportunity to stay at the NHL level, as Nolan suggested Grigorenko could’ve remained a part of the parent club with a good performance.
“We could have argued and said, ‘Hey, let’s keep him here,’ ” Nolan said. “But he didn’t give us enough of that to argue for.”
Looking ahead, it’ll be very interesting to see how Buffalo and Grigorenko, a pending RFA, handle this summer’s contract negotiations. He’s a staple of the previous regime — Grigrenko was a Darcy Regier draft pick — but also a staple of the previous regime’s questionable decision-making; as a a result, he’s spent the last three seasons bouncing between Buffalo, AHL Rochester and QMJHL Quebec, proving to be a good offensive producer for the latter two while failing to find his groove with the former.