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Grigorenko set to return for Sabres, who want to see what he'll bring in final three games

By John Vogl

Mihkail Grigorenko has been waiting for another shot at the NHL, and he's going to get it Monday.

The Sabres' prospect, who hasn't played for Buffalo since March 12, will be in the lineup when the Sabres host Winnipeg. Patrick Kaleta is out after getting hurt blocking a shot Friday, and the injury will give Grigorenko three games to show what he's learned during a whirlwind season.

"I was thinking about this," Grigorenko said today after practice in First Niagara Center. "I’m ready to play."

Grigorenko has dressed 22 times for the Sabres and recorded a goal and four assists. The organization sent him back to Quebec in mid-March to compete in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. Buffalo recalled him Tuesday and he's been practicing with the team.

"When I first came here when the season started, I was a little nervous and stuff," he said. "I didn’t have a lot of confidence. After I went to juniors and came back here again, I felt more comfortable. I felt like it’s my team and I belong here."

The 18-year-old centered Jochen Hecht and Nathan Gerbe today.

"For a guy like Mikhail who will be in there, again with another opportunity to do what he needs to do to be a member of this team and be somebody who can help us be successful, it’ll be an opportunity for him," interim coach Ron Rolston said. "We’re going to see these next three games with Mikhail. He’s got skill. You watch him out there, he’s got big skill. It’s going to be all, just like the rest of them that we ask them every game and every practice, just the compete.

"So we’re going to see the next three games where that’s at and then continue the evaluation."


Mikhail Grigorenko
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |