There were rumors this morning of Grigorenko being sent back to juniors and the latest move might be buying the organization some time on that matter.
Mikhail Grigorenko has been assigned to Rochester on a conditioning assignment, meaning he has 14 days to spend down there despite not technically being old enough to play in the AHL. Grigorenko has been sometimes mildly impressive at best although he did have a two goal game again Anaheim on November 8th. However, it's obvious that he's still not ready to hang with NHL competition, and this will give him a chance to play in the AHL, which is really where he belongs right now.
In addition to Grigorenko, both Rasmus Ristolainen and Johan Larsson were also sent to Rochester. To continue the rookie cleanse, Nikita Zadorov was sent back to his OHL team - the London Knights. Zadorov, who missed several games early in the season due to injury, had played in seven games this year and had netted one goal before becoming a healthy scratch the last couple weeks. All signs have been pointing to him going back to juniors for a while now, and he'll now play massive minutes each night for a Memorial Cup contender while knowing that he has the goods to someday play in the big leagues.
We know Mike Weber will be coming back tonight so that explains the move to a point. I personally would rather see Zadorov play over Weber considering his stats but you can't blame the organization for saving a year on a young players contract. It also looks like we might possibly see the return of Patrick Kaleta and perhaps some other guys impressing the crowds down the 90 since four players were moved, and the Sabres are currently under the roster limit. I'm sure more will be developing before the puck drops tonight.
It's clear the new management has no desire to develop these young guys at the NHL level and instead do so in the development leagues. I have to say I agree with the moves. Now the question is, can the veteran players step up?
More from Die By The Blade:
- Grigorenko to be sent back to Quebec, according to reports
- Sabres Links: Roy Returns, Weber to play, Leafs upset with Scott's words
- With Weber set to return, who should be sent down?
- Sabres Links: What's the future like for Nolan, Adam, and McNabb?
- Sabres at Maple Leafs Recap: Home and home series split with 4-2 Leafs win