Sabres general manager Darcy Regier had said the Russian center, the 12th overall pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft, would be given “every opportunity” to make the big leagues.
Of course, back then another lockout seemed unimaginable. Training camp will be abbreviated if it ever begins. Who knows if the Sabres would even have one exhibition game?
Even though Grigorenko has an eye-popping 29 goals and 50 points in only 30 games this season, he’s still 18 years old. He’d almost certainly need a full camp to acclimate himself to the NHL.
Then there’s the shortened NHL schedule. Do the Sabres want to throw Grigorenko headfirst into, say, a 48-game slate, where every point would become even more precious than usual?
Remember, Pierre Turgeon was the last 18-year-old to play regularly with the Sabres, way back in 1987-88.
If the Sabres’ decision is true, it’s really not too surprising. As a reader just pointed out, do they really want to burn a year of Grigorenko’s entry-level contract?
What do you think, Sabres fans?