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Ted Nolan on Mikhail Grigorenko: 'We just need a little bit more'

By Jay Skurski

Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan reiterated today why the organization feels it's best for 19-year-old Mikhail Grigorenko to develop in juniors.

That's a decision Grigorenko at first balked at, writing over the weekend in a since-deleted Facebook post: "I would just ask all of you guys to respect me and the time I'm taking to think about my career. It might be hard to understand, but it is even harder for a teenager."

"We can't control what people do and what they say, but we certainly can control how we're going to try to run this organization and what we feel is necessary for the development of young players," Nolan said early this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center. "The tail can’t wag the dog. The dog wags the tail.

"We feel as an organization it's best for him to develop in junior hockey. That's not taking anything away from him. He's got some skills and he's got some ability, but in order for him to play at this level, we just need a little bit more."

Grigorenko and his agent, Jay Grossman, agreed to the assignment late Sunday night after talking with members of the Sabres' front office.

"You got to make the best of whatever situation you're in," Nolan said. "If he learns at a young age, it's even better. But you will learn how to adapt and to adjust, and if you don't, someone else is always going to take your job."

"We all wish Mikhail the best. We want to see him do really well and get back here," center Cody Hodgson added. 

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Cody Hodgson | Mikhail Grigorenko | Ted Nolan
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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 | [email protected]

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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.

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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 | [email protected]

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