Buffalo Sabres Do The Right Thing By Returning Mikhail Grigorenko To Juniors
Friday was a big day for roster moves by the Buffalo Sabres, as the team returned rookie forward Mikhail Grigorenko to the QMJHL and traded defenseman T.J. Brennan to the Florida Panthers for a fifth-round draft pick. Both players were struggling to find ice time with the Sabres this season, and will be better suited in their new surroundings. Sending Grigorenko back to the Quebec Remparts will be a positive move for the youngster, who will have a chance for increased ice time.
Grigorenko had one goal and five points in 22 games with the Sabres, but was seeing just nine minutes of playing time on the fourth line and was a healthy scratch numerous times. He had 29 goals and 50 points in 32 games for the Remparts during the lockout, and will be the go-to player up front upon returning. Grigorenko still ranks third on the team in scoring despite having been in the NHL for half of the season. He should have a great chance to be a part of the Sabres roster next season, and it’s probably better for him to not have to suffer through any more losing this season.
The Sabres are dead last in their division and 13th in the Eastern Conference. Sending Grigorenko cleared a roster spot for Ville Leino, who made his season debut Saturday, tallying one assist. Leino was a big disappointment for the Sabres last season, scoring just eight goals in 71 games in his first season with the team. Many things have gone wrong for the Sabres this season, but at least the team’s management made one good decision by sending Grigorenko down to further his development.