Grigorenko has picked up 5 points in 22 games in his first NHL action, including one goal.
Darcy Regier did not view this as a setback to Grigorenko, “No, I view this as an opportunity for him to keep growing, building on his experience here, building on the start in the Quebec League. He had a terrific World Junior Tournament and he surprised all of us by being here for the length of time he had been here and depending on how far they go in the playoffs, he will return here after the season.”
When Grigorenko made the team they thought he would play more. Regier said, “First playing, we wanted to give him an opportunity to see whether or not he could get his minutes up to a level where he could continue the development. What drove the decision was we were really using him in a fourth line type roll where we were hoping to get him in to create some offense, but his minutes topped out at 10 minutes and in the end, he’s got an opportunity go back to Quebec, be the go to guy, play 20-22 minutes.”
Many think having the kid here was a waste. Regier is not one of them, “There’s benefits for him, we got to know his game, he got to know us, he’s got a very good understanding of what he needs to do and he gets to go back and have the opportunity to practice that.”
As far as if he thought Grigorenko was more NHL ready Regier said, “I wasn’t sure. You can’t be sure until you get them in the environment. “
Many fans felt Grigorenko should’ve been thrown out there with the Sabres best players and put on the power play, even though it was obvious he wasn’t ready. Regier said, “The bind you get into is it’s a team game, it’s a team sport and you can only go so far to give the individual something at the expense of the rest of the team. A teammate recognizes whether someone is gratuitously given something or has earned it and you need to keep the team concept in place.”
Regier said this would’ve happened even if they didn’t have to make a roster move.
Leino hasn't played yet this season as he has suffered through a hip injury. Ennis missed a game after being checked into the boards but, he did not suffer a concussion on the play.
The Sabres host Ottawa on Saturday afternoon at 3. The WGR 550 pregame will begin at 2.