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Mikhail Grigorenko continues to struggle for the Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres have been a woeful mess to start the 2013-14 NHL season. While no one expected this squad to win the Stanley Cup, things weren’t supposed to be this bad either. One of the possible bright lights heading into the season was Mikhail Grigorenko, who was coming back to town after a disappointing 2013 campaign that saw Buffalo ship him back to juniors despite burning a year off of his entry-level contract.

The way that Grigorenko has been playing, the Sabres won’t have to worry about giving him much of a raise in two years regardless.

The former 12th-overall selection has been scratched twice so far in this young season, and it’s done nothing to fire up the typically lackadaisical forward. Grigorenko played one more minute than enforcer John Scott did on Thursday night against the Vancouver Canucks.

That right there should tell you all you need to know about where this player-coach relationship has gone.

Buffalo believed they had an outright steal when Grigorenko fell to them at No. 12 at the 2012 draft. It was believed that he possessed All-Star talent, but a grinch-like heart when it came to the grittier and finer parts of the game. So far, Grigorenko has done nothing to shed that reputation.

Still, he’s one of the most talented players on Buffalo’s roster, and it’s only a matter of time before he’s playing top-six minutes and putting up some points. The Edmonton Oilers are dealing with a similar situation with Nail Yakupov, and no one is expecting him to finish the season with only three goals and a minus-132 rating.

Grigorenko will get his game legs going eventually, and the Sabres will be all the better for it.

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Mikhail Grigorenko NHL

  • mike

    Struggling? How the hell his he supposed to produce playing with the likes of John Scott and Cody McCormick. I mean, McCormick was a solid NHL 4th line center at some point.. But that point was a long time ago. John Scott just stinks and his hockey skills wouldn’t land him in the ECHL. But he can punch faces, so I guess the Sabres need him for big bad Boston. Ugh…

    • Vic Soga

      Do you think Grigorenko should be playing Junior or AHL instead of 4th line? Coaches don’t like him but Regier does? Catch 22 position. Scott was playing because of Kassian.

  • Vic Soga

    Franklin, you do not need to comment on Grigorenko today on this site. You just need to ask Jes, Richard S and Caitlin. They are the experts on Grigorenko. I am a season ticket holder and when you go to live games you can watch Grigorenko and others specifically for their whole shift and see what they are doing. Watching players on TV is like watching with blinders on. You do not see the whole picture. I did not go last night as I was at a Quebec Junior A game in the east coast and they showed more hustle than the Sabres.