Grigorenko to stay put?

A Monday tweet from junior hockey broadcaster Raynold Cloutier turned into front page news in Quebec City this week, as it appears that the Sabres are planning on keeping 2012 first-round draft pick Mikhail Grigorenko in the QMJHL for the completion of the 2012-13 season regardless of whether or not the NHL sees its labor dispute come to an end. 

First, the tweet:
Then the news story.

Sorry for the french, but it claims that a source within the Sabres organization (perhaps a scout based in Quebec City?) has divulged the Sabres' "decision" to keep the developing pivot in the major junior ranks.

For those who have listened to the prospect updates every Wednesday on Sabres Hockey Hotline, this decision isn't all that surprising if true. The longer the work stoppage goes, the more likely an ultra-compressed season would be scheduled, thus making "on the job" training for an 18/19-year old rookie all the more difficult.

There really isn't much need to write an essay here. Just because Grigorenko has scored 29 goals in 30 QMJHL games this season doesn't mean that he'd be an immediate smash hit at the NHL level. Rookies need coaching and practice time to have their game brought on correctly. A sprint of a season would require him to learn on the fly in game play. That doesn't make much sense for a team looking to win the Stanley Cup.

For now, Sabres fans need to focus their energy on the NHL level players being ready whenever play resumes, while realizing that it's perfectly OK, and frankly normal, to wait a little bit before seeing their young guns in blue and gold. In this case, it looks as if Sabres fans will wait until (at least) next fall.

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