Mikhail Grigorenko

Avs grab Grigorenko for one year


The Colorado Avalanche signed Mikhail Grigorenko – a significant part of the Ryan O’Reilly trade – to a one-year contract on Thursday.

This isn’t official, but word from Bleacher Report’s Adrian Dater is that the contract is one-way and worth $675K.

As you may remember, the Buffalo Sabres weren’t pleased that Grigorenko insisted on a one-way deal, so that factor is pretty significant. The 21-year-old was part of a trade package that also sent the 31st pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, Nikita Zadorov and J.T. Compher from Buffalo to Colorado.

The 12th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft endured a bumpy start with the Buffalo organization, as he struggled at the NHL level with the Sabres but put up often-impressive numbers in the QMJHL and AHL over the years.

Grigorenko probably needed a fresh start, and Colorado could very well be a nice fit for the Russian. His development will likely play a key role in how that trade his viewed a few years down the line.

Sabres prospect Compher returning to Michigan


J.T. Compher, taken 35th overall by Buffalo at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has decided to return to the University of Michigan for his junior season, per WGR 550 radio.

Compher, 21, broke onto the collegiate scene as a rookie, capturing Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors in 2013-14, along with an All-Big Ten Second Team spot. He followed that up with a relatively solid sophomore effort — 12 goals and 24 points in 34 games — while representing the U.S. at the 2015 World Juniors.

It’s not all that surprising that Compher’s going back to school. Buffalo’s full-scale rebuild is in its infancy, with little appetite to rush prospects along in their development — something the club experienced with Mikhail Grigorenko, the 12th overall pick in 2012.

If Ryan O’Reilly is traded, where will he end up?


Lots of talk about Ryan O’Reilly on the series of tubes today. The consensus seems to be that the 23-year-old Colorado center will be wearing a different uniform next season, or even by the end of the current season.

It’s not a simple situation, though. O’Reilly is signed through 2015-16, after which he can become an unrestricted free agent. The difficult part is that he can’t sign an extension until July 1, so if he were to be traded by the March 2 deadline, the acquiring team would want to have some sort of assurance that they could keep him long-term. So maybe this is a deal best left for the offseason.

On the other hand, O’Reilly’s value could theoretically be higher at the deadline if he goes to a playoff team.

Anyway, we came up with a list of five possible destinations. Feel free to list yours below.

Toronto Maple Leafs. Their biggest issue is at center, and has been for a while. Having said that, I’m just not sure what they could offer the Avs in return. If it’s a defenseman Colorado wants, it’s hard to imagine the Leafs giving up a youngster like Morgan Rielly. They’d probably be willing to trade Jake Gardiner, but given his struggles this season, would that be enough? Cody Franson is a possibility we suppose, but he’s also a pending unrestricted free agent.

Buffalo Sabres. According to the rumor mill, the trade could be for d-man Tyler Myers. But here’s my question — isn’t the Sabres’ future already looking pretty good down the middle? Zemgus Girgensons. Sam Reinhart. Mikhail Grigorenko. And quite possibly one of Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.

Arizona Coyotes. We mentioned this possibility in our post about Keith Yandle. I imagine a lot would depend on whether O’Reilly would have interest in signing long-term with the Coyotes. If you were him, would you? Again, as of today, he can go anywhere he pleases come the summer of 2016. That’s a lot of leverage, especially for a 23-year-old.

Montreal Canadiens. Their top two centers are currently Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais. Not terrible, but not great either. A future one-two of Alex Galchenyuk and O’Reilly would be formidable, though. Except like with the Leafs, I’m struggling to think what the Habs could offer in return. Would they give up Alexei Emelin? That could hurt them, given Andrei Markov and Sergei Gonchar won’t be around much longer.

Washington Capitals. This is pure speculation on my part. It may not make sense whatsoever, given the Caps already have two young centers, Andre Burakovsky and Evgeny Kuznetsov, to go with top center Nicklas Backstrom. But O’Reilly would definitely help them this season. Remember, they’ve lacked a good No. 2 center for a while now.

Related: Welcome Ryan O’Reilly to the trade rumor mill

Sabres recall Grigorenko from Rochester


The Buffalo Sabres have officially recalled forward Mikhail Grigorenko from the American Hockey League’s Rochester Americans.

Grigorenko’s recall is due to a lower body injury to Sabres’ forward Torrey Mitchell, which occurred during the first period Monday night.

Grigorenko, 20, has seven goals and 19 points in 27 AHL games this season.

The Sabres visit the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night.

Sabres lose Mitchell to a lower body injury


Buffalo Sabres forward Torrey Mitchell suffered a lower body injury during the first period against the Ottawa Senators and is done for the night.

Mitchell played just over four minutes while winning one of two face-offs he took.

According to Kevin Oklobzija of the Democrat and Chronicle, Mikhail Grigorenko has already been recalled from the American Hockey League’s Rochester Americans.

Buffalo plays in Winnipeg on Tuesday.

Grigorenko, 20, has seven goals and 19 points in 27 AHL games this season.