A bit of late night news coming out of Buffalo as multiple sources have told Fansided that the Buffalo Sabres are now “more open than ever” at the idea of trading prospect Mikhail Grigorenko.
This news stems after reports that Grigorenko originally refused to report to the Quebec Ramparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) after returning to Buffalo from participating in the IIHF World Junior Championships early this month. The former 12th overall draft pick in 2012, Grigorenko has fallen out of favor with the organization due to the player, and his agent Jay Grossman, fighting the demotion and instead looking for a deal to play overseas.
That move caused the two primary men in power in the hockey department, President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine and new General Manager Tim Murray, to sour on the 19-year old Russian. And having no connections to the player in the first place, the two new front office faces in the organization have no attachment to the player that would keep them from moving him.
Grigorenko is now in the second year of his three-year entry level contract that he signed prior to the lockout shortened 2013 season. In 43 career games, he has just three goals and five assists for a total of eight points.
As far as Buffalo’s other first round pick from 2012, Zemgus Girgensons, goes, he is viewed around the league as Buffalo’s only pure untouchable player when it comes to trade. Then again, if the perfect deal were to come along, it’s hard to call anyone truly untouchable.
Michael Straw is a freelance sports journalist based in Buffalo, NY who has covered the Buffalo Sabres for four years. His work has been featured on WGR-550AM-Buffalo and Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog. You can follow Michael for the latest NHL news and rumors on Twitter @TheMikeStraw