Just over a week ago, Mikhail Grigorenko had words with head coach Ted Nolan after the NHL blocked the Buffalo Sabres and their attempt to send the young forward to the AHL. Grigorenko told Nolan that he wanted a chance to show the coach what he could do, adding that Nolan hadn’t seen him play too much yet.
Nolan has apparently seen all that he wants to see from the 19-year-old center.
No Grigorenko tonight. “When you develop a young guy like that, once in a while it’s better to sit back.” -Nolan. Back tomorrow. #Sabres
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 29, 2013
Grigorenko hasn’t registered a point in four games, and hasn’t seen his ice time increased under Nolan’s watch. Through the month of November, the youngster hasn’t spent an hour on the ice during games, and he might not crack the 60-minute mark if he is scratched for Buffalo’s game against the New Jersey Devils tomorrow.
That would be the last game of the month for the Sabres.
In developing a prospect of any talent level, ice time is a must. This is the fourth time this season that Grigorenko will watch from the press box. Whether or not the message from Nolan is any more clear than it was from Ron Rolston is unclear, but the outcome has been very much the same for both player and team.