Sullivan: Grigorenko deserves to go pro
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01-14-2013, 09:16 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Laurel, MD
Originally Posted by
But that's what I would call making a team by "default". Buffalo is pretty thin down the middle, and bringing Grigorenko up just because of that may not be the best for his development, and thus may not be the best for the team longterm.
Toronto brought Schenn up right away, with the argument that he had "earned' a spot in the top 4. All he had to do was outplay the likes of Frogren, Finger, Van Ryn, and Stralman in training camp. Only one of those players is still in the NHL, and predominently plays in a bottom pairing role.
Huberdeau wasn't brought up last year, despite Florida having a pretty thing team up front. Same for Strome with NYI, ZBad with Ottawa, etc. I think the decision should be what's best for Grigorenko longterm, not what's best for the team this year. Because Grigorenkos longterm upside is very much tied to Buffalos.
I don't think any team is wise to bring a player up if he isn't ready, I'm just saying it seems to happen a lot more often for teams that aren't in contention for a Cup. Part of that is obviously because teams in contention don't typically get lottery picks, and another of course is that they have less places. I suppose then it really boils down to the kind of pressure an organization feels to take the 'next step', whatever that means for them.
I can tell you that I'm 99% certain the Sabres don't feel that pressure to a degree that it would make them rush a player along consciously. Perhaps subconsciously it may influence them, but I don't expect it to happen. I fully expect the Lindy to make a sincere evaluation of whether Grigorenko is ready enough and act on it. There's every chance his evaluation turns out to be the incorrect one, but I believe he'll make it from the right perspective.
As I said above in my edit, Grigorenko and the other picks from this year have already played half their juniors season and participated in a WJC, so I don't buy that they'd miss out on much developmental time in juniors. Being around pros helps development as well. The real concerns in my mind are as follows:
#1 He's not worthy of being here. His play hurts the team more than it helps and you've burned an ELC year for the privilege.
#2 His confidence gets destroyed. I don't really think this happens as often as people portray it. I feel like it's more likely the players that do get their confidence destroyed have a small chance of ever making it in the first place, and further that it takes being put in a crazy role (e.g. first line with poor supporting lines) for it to typically happen.
Worst case scenario is probably that he doesn't play well and gets some healthy scratches/4th line games, in which case he's still not missing much of his juniors time all things considered. That's obviously not a good thing especially when you consider burning an ELC, so let me reiterate that I would absolutely not consider keeping him up unless he truly appears ready. It's just that if he appears ready and then falters, it needn't be the end of the world.
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