from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
As far as Ted Nolan is concerned, it seems that Mikhail Grigorenko is running out of chances to make any sort of impression to impact his future with the Buffalo Sabres.
Grigorenko was called up from Rochester Thursday, installed as Buffalo’s No. 2 center for Friday’s loss in Ottawa and was back in the AHL on Saturday.
After Monday’s practice in HarborCenter, the coach made it clear why.
“I didn’t like his play,” Nolan said bluntly. “For him to play at this level, especially with that much skill, he has to bring a little bit more than what he had. You don’t really want to sit back and hope for things to work. You’ve got to make them work like everybody else. I just felt his play on certain parts was very lackadaisical. Didn’t have any energy or urgency in his game whatsoever.”
While Grigorenko is still only 20 years old, his ability to show something at the NHL level in the final quarter of the season looms large for a variety of reasons.
This season marks the end of Grigorenko’s entry-level contract, and it will be interesting to see what tact the Sabres take with him going forward. The team could simply extend him his qualifying offer as a restricted free agent (roughly $975,000) and not negotiate a higher amount, or try to package Grigorenko in a trade.