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01-13-2013, 11:52 PM
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Sullivan: Grigorenko deserves to go pro

http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs...130119591/1003


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But there was no mistaking him on the ice. The gifted ones always catch your eye. This is an extreme parallel, but as Grigorenko glided along the ice, it reminded me of the first time I saw Mario Lemieux, a big man who skated so effortlessly he barely seemed to be trying.

He looks big out there, Lindy Ruff said after the Sabres finally opened practice at the First Niagara Center.
Quote:
The Hecht signing could mean that Grigorenko is ticketed for another year in juniors. That would be typical of an organization that becomes infatuated with its own players and is often too slow to elevate promising young players to the parent team.

Grigorenko is too good to spend another year in juniors, playing against boys. No doubt, his game needs polish. He has to mature. But if the Sabres want him to learn how to compete against men, they should allow him to learn alongside them at the NHL level.

Let the guys on the big club nurture and school him. The best way to adapt to the physical challenges of the NHL is to do it against NHL competition.

If Im with them every practice, I can learn so much stuff on the ice and off the ice, too, Grigorenko said.

He might help them win, too.

The NHL is evolving. Teenagers can have an impact these days. Four of the top eight selections in the 2011 draft played a full season in the NHL.
Do you agree? Should we take a chance and keep him? Are we a bit behind the curve in terms of letting teenagers play?

Or should we send him back, let him have a full, fresh rookie year next year?

Either way, five game tryout is nonsense. Whatever the decision ends up being, the five games wouldn't be a good barometer.

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01-13-2013, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jBuds View Post
http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs...130119591/1003






Do you agree? Should we take a chance and keep him? Are we a bit behind the curve in terms of letting teenagers play?

Or should we send him back, let him have a full, fresh rookie year next year?

Either way, five game tryout is nonsense. Whatever the decision ends up being, the five games wouldn't be a good barometer.




I'll be honest.... I haven't seen a ton of him...but from what I've seen... I think Juniors is the answer.

Now if he earns a spot...go for it..but... as of now.. I don't think he's ready to play with the men.

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01-14-2013, 12:03 AM
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I know it's poetic hyperbole, but I can't help but be excited reading praise like this.

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01-14-2013, 12:20 AM
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I would give him his 5 game tryout and see if he can be an asset. Its not a huge sample but I'd rather have him getting 20+ minutes a night in the Q then having his development retarded by being stapled to the bench in the NHL a la Adam last season.

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01-14-2013, 12:28 AM
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Years ago I would have been against it but the league has changed so much in regards to development and scouting. Grigorenko isn't a homesick 18 year old fresh off the boat kid with zero grasp of what goes on in North America. Rushing him wont bust him as a player. He's also not a tweener as far as skill is concerned the way someone like Josh Bailey was. He has elite vision and passing and should have for all intents and purposes gone top 3 in the draft. So if it's acceptable for players like Yakupov, RNH or any of the recent top picks to go pro 1st year why isn't it for Grigorenko.

You have to weigh the pros and cons to each scenario. He has nothing to learn as far as the regular season goes in the Q. You're essentially sending him back for the playoffs. Quebec is an above average team with him in the line-up but they aren't amazing. They could go deep into the tournament with him leading the way or they could get swept just as easily. So to narrow it down even more you're sending him back to go through the motions in the regular season and hopefully learn something in the Memorial Cup.

If he stays in the NHL he will be learning something every single regular season game. He will score his first NHL goal, play on the 1st or 2nd PP unit, maybe even be the hero in OT and knowing Ruff will see some penalty kill time and shoot out action.

I'd be pretty pissed if they send him back. He wont be ruined if it's too early for him and this team isn't a contender. Give him a head start to potentially being a star.


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01-14-2013, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Navy Goat View Post
I would give him his 5 game tryout and see if he can be an asset. Its not a huge sample but I'd rather have him getting 20+ minutes a night in the Q then having his development retarded by being stapled to the bench in the NHL a la Adam last season.
I think the cases are slightly different. Adam was sent to the minors to find his game - playing against men. Grigorenko is playing with boys in the Q, and dominating.

Not that I'm really All gung Ho about keeping Grigorenko at all, just pointing out the situations are different.

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01-14-2013, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jBuds View Post
I think the cases are slightly different. Adam was sent to the minors to find his game - playing against men. Grigorenko is playing with boys in the Q, and dominating.

Not that I'm really All gung Ho about keeping Grigorenko at all, just pointing out the situations are different.
Edit: Adam also had a good 20-25 game tryout in the bigs. Grigorenko will get five.

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01-14-2013, 12:30 AM
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Great article. I'm hoping beyond hope he stays up. We can ill afford to have our top 2 centers be small like Ennis and Hodgson( listed as 6'0 but he seems smaller then that) and having those 2 be ineffective. Grigorenko is a big guy already and is still growing. Loaded with talent, Grigorenko has elite potential, just as much as guys like RNH , Hall, Seguin etc) Very minimum he should get the 5 game tryout like all the other young phenoms do, I haven't been this excited for a Sabre prospect since Myers and Vanek.

Switch Grigorenko with Cody, and I'll gladly take V-G-P, F-E-S O-H-L and then a fourth line alternated between Gerbe, Hecht, Kaleta , Scott and McCormick.

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01-14-2013, 12:30 AM
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Grigs is a special player. Let him learn from the big boys and the big show. I think it's pretty safe to say he knows the in's and out's of the Q.

Even if Grigorenko were this super weak character who was fragile and not fit to be a rough NHL customer.. his skills at age eighteen are ALREADY greater than the average NHL'er. You HAVE to play him for the season given his pedigree.

This is the new NHL. Players like Mikhail Grigorenko enter the league as teenagers and learn on the fly. They also contribute on the fly.


It ultimately comes down to this: Will Grigs be a liability for the Sabres this season? That remains to be soon, but looking into my crystal ball I doubt he will be. Heck, it's even theoretically possible that he's better than Hodgson at this stage of the game. Simply: His ceiling is so high, you just have to explore it. It's dim of wit not to.

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01-14-2013, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moskau View Post
Years ago I would have been against it but the league has changed so much in regards to development and scouting. Grigorenko isn't a homesick 18 year old fresh off the boat kid with zero grasp of what goes on in North America. Rushing him wont bust him as a player. He's also not a tweener as far as skill is concerned the way someone like Josh Bailey was. He has elite vision and passing and should have for all intents and purposes gone top 3 in the draft. So if it's acceptable for players like Yakupov, RNH or any of the recent top picks to go pro 1st year why isn't it for Grigorenko.

You have to weigh the pros and cons to each scenario. He has nothing to learn as far as the regular season goes in the Q. You're essentially sending him back for the playoffs. Quebec is an above average team with him in the line-up but they aren't amazing. They could go deep into the tournament with him leading the way or they could get swept just as easily. So to narrow it down even more you're sending him back to go through the motions in the regular season and hopefully learn something in the Memorial Cup.

If he stays in the NHL he will be learning something every single regular season. He will score his first NHL goal, play on the 1st or 2nd PP unit, maybe even be the hero in OT and knowing Ruff will see some penalty kill time and shoot out action.

I'd be pretty pissed if they send him back. He wont be ruined if it's too early for him and this team isn't a contender. Give him a head start to potentially being a star.
This is spot on. I basically posted the same thing without having read this, and I like your wording of it better.

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01-14-2013, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jBuds View Post
I think the cases are slightly different. Adam was sent to the minors to find his game - playing against men. Grigorenko is playing with boys in the Q, and dominating.

Not that I'm really All gung Ho about keeping Grigorenko at all, just pointing out the situations are different.
I don't disagree about that, I was meaning I'd hate for Ruff to lose faith in him and give him the Adam treatment of dressing but not getting any playing time. I guess I don't have much faith in Ruff not letting Grigs play his way out of any funks.

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01-14-2013, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Old Navy Goat View Post
I don't disagree about that, I was meaning I'd hate for Ruff to lose faith in him and give him the Adam treatment of dressing but not getting any playing time. I guess I don't have much faith in Ruff not letting Grigs play his way out of any funks.
I reread your original post and figured that's what you were insinuating - more on Ruff and his mishandlings. Thanks for additional clarification.

I'd hate to see it, too, but I have to think a kid like that would be given a lot of leeway, a long leash, and almost "coddled" to an extent since he is, quite frankly, a prospect we haven't had under Ruff.

Last elite prospect Ruff had was Vanek, and he's a goal scoring winger. This is a playmaking center with lots of gifts talent wise and a talent we don't see often in terms of elite possibilities.

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01-14-2013, 12:45 AM
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I don't disagree about that, I was meaning I'd hate for Ruff to lose faith in him and give him the Adam treatment of dressing but not getting any playing time. I guess I don't have much faith in Ruff not letting Grigs play his way out of any funks.
Tyler Seguin was benched in his rookie year late in the season to send a message. He returned in the playoffs and helped his team to the cup.

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01-14-2013, 12:47 AM
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I say "coddled" and given a long leash because if we were to keep him, it would be under the obvious premise that he is raw, likely well below Ruff's standards defensively (especially as a center), and here to learn. They couldn't possibly be stupid enough to try to destroy his confidence and belittle him knowing that - after all the risks (raw, young, d needs work, draws) - they kept him.

I'd immediately hop on the fire Ruff train for the first time if he did that. If that's the desired route, keep him with Roy in Quebec.

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01-14-2013, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by GodHatesBuffalo View Post
Tyler Seguin was benched in his rookie year late in the season to send a message. He returned in the playoffs and helped his team to the cup.
This after a season in which the coach got to handle him behind the bench for a full year (benching was in the playoffs). If we get that far with Grigorenko, and he has shown the promise as a rookie that Seguin did, I'd be more sympathetic towards tough love. It means he'd be able to handle it. Again, not really applicable to Mikhail at this current time.

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01-14-2013, 01:13 AM
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I'm with the comments in the TBN website. What I thought was gonna be an in depth look at how Grigs game would translate to the pros turned into "Lindy Ruff blows and that's why Grigs won't stay." I'm all for it, it may be selfish and not team first but I want to see the best prospect weve had in a decade on the ice. He's not learning anything in the Q and he basically got playoff experience in the WJC.

This season, for me, is about sorting out where we are in the rebuilding process. If you are going to let Hodgson and Ennis sink or swim in top line minutes then let Girgs do the same.

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01-14-2013, 01:36 AM
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I couldn't have written a better article, it portrays exactly what's going to happen, and why Ruff needs to go.

Quote:
Why would Ruff take a gamble on great when he can settle for reliably average?
<3

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01-14-2013, 01:42 AM
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It's a delicate situation. Say he plays 5 games, shows flashes, and scores a goal or two. I'm sort of envisioning the same output as Mark Scheifele had for the Jets in his brief stint last year. Do you keep him, or send him back? He doesn't belong on the 4th line where his skills are not greatly valuable. If Lindy and Darcy are skeptical about his ability to play at least 15 solid minutes a night, I say let him marinate for the rest of the year in the Q. I'd almost rather see him crack the lineup next year and have his first season be 82 games. However, I'm equally excited to see what he can bring at this level.

I also am going to put out there that I don't necessarily agree about the sentiments regarding 18 year olds playing and having success in the "new" NHL. I think players like Sean Couturier and Ryan Johansen were exposed to the NHL a bit too early (but that's just a personal opinion). Grigorenko is a special prospect; one that I am overly excited to see play. But if he ain't ready, don't thrust him into action and expect him not to be snakebitten and a bit discouraged. His potential raises the more he's allowed to grow.


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01-14-2013, 01:48 AM
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I tried to watch as much as I could of him in the WJC's and he did not do that much to impress. But, given what he did in juniors so far this year puts him at the very top of that system.

I want him to get a 5 game try out and see what happens. 5 games isn't much, but it's something. Would hate to waste a year on his contract if he does not adjust well to the NHL game.

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01-14-2013, 02:07 AM
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The point about Hecht is a lot of BS criticism of the organization. They signed Hecht because it's irresponsible to go into a season with their center position looking like it did. Hecht in no way prevents Grigorenko from playing and the Sabres wouldn't play Grigorenko just because they 'had' to. He will stay if he impresses and he's getting the same opportunity to impress as he would otherwise, as it looks like he's beginning camp between Leino and Ott. Hecht and Grigorenko can both play wing as well, so there's no shortage of place to play these guys depending on how well they are able to perform.

Further, I don't get the impression that he's seen mcuh of Grigorenko himself or knows much about him -- or indeed really knows what he's talking about here.

As to the issue itself, I think one thing in favor of keeping Grigs is that he already played a lot of his Q season, so even if he ends up playing some games here on the 4th line or scratched (vs other games on the 3rd line and all games he's in on the PP), he wouldn't be missing much development time overall while he'd get the benefit of learning from the pros. That gives the Sabres flexibility as they shouldn't worry about scratching him or playing him on the 4th if he has some week-to-week struggles. He's already played a bit more than half of the Q reg season games he did last season and got another WJC in to boot.

I'm rooting for him to make it, which is different than saying he should make it. I want the Sabres to keep him up if he's good enough and I very much want him to be good enough, but if he isn't then he isn't. Sullivan's take, as expected, does nothing other than dumb down the conversation and refocus the standard vitriol against Ruff/front office before they've even made their decision. In other words, he's already indicated what his article 6 games into the season will be and it won't factor in how well Grigorenko actually played.


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01-14-2013, 02:14 AM
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My hatred of sully grows with every word spit forthfron that sewer hole in his face. Just sick of miserable buffalo sports fans, the last week of Marrone is just Russ giving his friends jobs has really taken a lot out of me. So here comes an article that I thought was going to be all about my newest favorite prospect and instead I get "subtle and nuanced" points about Sullys anti-Ruff agenda. Hockey's back can we be a little more positive? At least until we lose 7-2 to the flyers Sunday.

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01-14-2013, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Imlach a cup View Post
My hatred of sully grows with every word spit forthfron that sewer hole in his face. Just sick of miserable buffalo sports fans, the last week of Marrone is just Russ giving his friends jobs has really taken a lot out of me. So here comes an article that I thought was going to be all about my newest favorite prospect and instead I get "subtle and nuanced" points about Sullys anti-Ruff agenda. Hockey's back can we be a little more positive? At least until we lose 7-2 to the flyers Sunday.
Sullivan is probably the worst because he is much more condescending than, say, the WGR guys who come off more as just very opinionated fans. When you read his articles it seems like he really thinks he's an expert on the NFL/NHL. He's a more talented writer than most of the local sports guys so that's probably part of it as well, but yeesh. His consistently cynical attitude betrays his lack of desire for ascertaining 'the truth' in his writing and it's almost comical much of the time.

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01-14-2013, 03:02 AM
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What has either team done lately to not deserve the cynicism??

The Bills are a 13 year old tire fire that are incompetently run.

And the Sabres are a boring mediocre team with a hockey department that is scared to try different things. Although, I think that is improving slightly.

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01-14-2013, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
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What has either team done lately to not deserve the cynicism??

The Bills are a 13 year old tire fire that are incompetently run.

And the Sabres are a boring mediocre team with a hockey department that is scared to try different things. Although, I think that is improving slightly.
There's a difference between cynicism reflecting reality and cynicism dictating reality. Sullivan projects incompetence onto things rather than finding it where it be. This article is a clear example; the Hecht signing was necessary (if not him then a similar player of a similar value), yet signing Hecht to Sullivan was a terrible idea that will has already doomed Grigorenko's roster spot (which he never had to lose yet). He hasn't seen Grigorenko play with these guys or against men (and probably almost not at all in general), yet he declares him ready and already insinuates that not only will it be the wrong decision if he doesn't stick (which is BS prognosticating conjecture), but what will have drove that decision: Lindy Ruff preferring 'grinders' (lol) + the signing of Hecht (lol).

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01-14-2013, 03:53 AM
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Perfect response Rob. There's a difference between "that's a bad decision" and "criticizing before the decisions been made."

But for me it's more about Sully's style. He's a great writer and more than capable of writing a well researched and insightful article, but this article has none of that. He plays it up as an article about a future star. A star I can almost gaurentee everyone in this thread has seen more of than him. Then he compares him to Mario (what?), then spends the majority of the piece talking about how Ruff will ruin him. If I wanted that crap I'd put the last 2 years of whiner line on loop. He doesn't support his thought, he doesn't defend it, There isn't anything we haven't heard from a drunk at a bar in the entire article (except the Mario part, which even drunks arent building him up that high). Anyone on this board could had written that article. Your kids could have written it. Sorry this isn't a basketball town but if you are gonna mail it in let someone else have that space. Maybe Baker could write the Grigs column so I can learn something new at least. If you want an opposing opinion fine but put something behind it. Sully is becoming the Derek Roy of TBN. Next he's gonna tweet us about how his new mechanical keyboard sets off car alarms.

The Hecht point is atrocious. Since last season ended we have asked for a third line center who is defensively competent and can play the PK, maybe chip in 10-15 goals and when needed fill in the top 6 for a game or 2. What part of Hecht doesn't that match perfectly? On top of it Hecht is a short term bandaid. He's filling a spot IF Grigs doesn't make it UNTIL Girgs can. This is a transition roster not a cup contender.


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