By Mike Harrington
The Rochester Amerks are in a Maple Leafs-like collapse out of the AHL playoffs, going 0-7-2 in their last nine games. With all the injuries in Buffalo, they're not getting many reinforcements from the parent club anytime soon but they got at least one interesting body added today.
Center Mikhail Grigorenko has been transferred to Rochester now that his junior season with the Quebec Remparts is complete. After being sent back to junior by the Sabres following his stellar play for Russia in the World Junior Championships, Grigorenko had 39 points in 23 games for Quebec (15 goals, 24 assists). He also had nine points in five playoff games against Rouyn-Noranda. (1g, 8a).
The 19-year-old has established he can dominate junior players but now it's time to see what he can do in the AHL, the level he's probably most suited for at this stage of his career. He played two Calder Cup games for the Amerks last season, once the junior campaign had ended.
Grigorenko played 18 games with the Sabres this year, with two goals and three points. He did not impress new coach Ted Nolan or then-hockey operations president Pat LaFontaine and agreed to return to junior in mid-January after initially declining the assignment.
Nolan said Saturday the Sabres would likely send Grigorenko to the AHL because of the Amerks' dire roster situation. Rochester is off until hosting Syracuse Wednesday in Blue Cross Arena. The Amerks have nine games left and entered Sunday's play three points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
taggedMikhail Grigorenko | Rochester Amerks