Mikhail Grigorenko’s three-year stint in the KHL is over.
The 25-year-old signed a one-year, $1.2 million deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, as announced by his agent, Dan Milstein.
Grigorenko spent the last three seasons with CSKA Moscow, where he scored 19 goals and 41 points in 47 games during the 2019-20 campaign.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Russian forward left serious money on the table to come back to North America. Friedman mentioned that one of the KHL offers on the table was for double the amount of money he signed for in Columbus.
Grigorenko was drafted 12th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2012 NHL Draft. He last played in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche during the 2016-17 season. He posted 10 goals and 23 points in 75 games during his most recent season in North America. Grigorenko played 217 NHL games with Buffalo and Colorado, and he picked up 22 goals and 64 points in 217 games.
Grigorenko’s combination of size and skill has led to him getting multiple chances at the NHL level. He’s listed at 6-foot-2, 213 pounds and he’s been an offensive player at every level.
As TSN’s Bob McKenzie mentions in the video at the top of the page, Grigorenko was once considered the number two prospect in the 2012 draft class. That’s how skilled he was. Can he figure it all out now that he’s older? Maybe. Either way, this is a low-risk signing for the Jackets.
He and Columbus defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov has played together internationally for Russia. Having Gavrikov around might help Grigorenko stay focused on the ice.
UPDATE: Not so fast? The NHL rejected the contract. TSN’s Bob McKenzie has more on what may be a temporary holdup … or not?
On the NHL’s rejection of the contract that CBJ submitted for Mikhail Grigorenko for the 20-21 season, it could be as simple as CBJ/Grigorenko re-submitting the contract when the 2020-21 UFA period opens (July 1 or later if 19-20 hockey is played in the summer).
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 21, 2020
The Blue Jackets put out a press release that backs up McKenzie’s assertions:
Earlier today, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced the signing of forward Mikhail Grigorenko to a one-year contract for the 2020-21 National Hockey League season. The contract subsequently has been rejected by NHL Central Registry due to a misunderstanding with regards to the filing window. We have been in contact with the league and Dan Milstein, Grigorenko’s agent, and the contract will be filed on July 1.
Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.