Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) -- Sabres GM Darcy Regier has announced that rookie Mikhail Grigorenko will stay with the Buffalo Sabres and play tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Grigorenko's 5-game tryout didn't bring any goals or assists but Regier says that his play has shown enough to merit more time in the NHL.
"One of the things with young players and ice time...is to not be a liabilty. That in turn gets him the next shift. And to the extent that they're not scored on, they're not giving up chances, they gain confidence of the head coach. It allows him to get out the next shift. I think when you combine that with contributing offensively, at least on the chance side, and the points aren't there...but we think that that will come."
Grigorenko now enters year one of his entry level contract. This means that he'll hit Restricted Free Agency in three years. If he plays in 23 games this season that would count as a year accrued, and would mean that his UFA status comes a year earlier as well. Any less than the 23 games would mean the UFA does not tick off a year but the RFA status does.
The Sabres are home against the Maple Leafs at First Niagara Center. As always, you can hear the play-by-play action on WGR Sports Radio 550.