On Monday afternoon, it was reported that the Colorado Avalanche were not going to extend Mikhail Grigorenko a qualifying offer, which is just ridiculous.
According to a report from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, the Colorado Avalanche are not going to extend Mikhail Grigorenko a qualifying offer. That’s nonsense. And, nonsense is starting to become the norm for Joe Sakic.
Let me make something very clear from the beginning. I do not think that Mikhail Grigorenko had a spot in the lineup next season. He’s a natural center, but mostly played wing in Colorado. However, his best performances were always when he was playing center, and the Avs have a current logjam at that position.
So, it’s likely he would have played wing again, and he hasn’t show he can do that. He is a great third line center asset, but those are likely J.T. Compher’s minutes for the foreseeable future. He’s also not a great skater, and that’s probably what really hurt him with the current mold of the team.
Sure, he might not have had a spot in the lineup, but that doesn’t change the fact that this was an excercise in stupidity.
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In two years with the Colorado Avalanche, Grigorenko played 149 games, scored 50 points, was a -12 and averaged 14 minutes of ice time a night. He had a career year for 27 points in 2015-16, and a career high in goals at 10 in 2016-17. He averaged third line minutes, and he was just a bit below third line production.
Nonetheless, he’s still also only 23 years old, and will be until the end of next season. He’s also a former No. 12 overall draft pick. And he averaged a 57.8 percent face-off percentage this year. You’re telling me that you’re going to give all that up for free just because he’s not the best skater?
Mikhail Grigorenko HAD Value as a Trade Asset
Maybe Grigs was asking for far too much money. Maybe the Avalanche can’t find a spot for him in the lineup next year. And maybe there is even a chance that he is a pain in the ass as a locker room presence (I doubt it). Even if all three of those things were true, you cannot deny that this was another in a long list of boneheaded moves by Joe Sakic.
To give him away for free is ridiculous. He’s 23 years old — didn’t Sakic say something about getting younger? — a former top 15 overall draft pick and has shown signs of improvement. He could be traded on his own for at least a fourth round pick and is definitely a good inclusion prospect to tip the trade scales.
Unfortunately, Sakic said sayonara, yet he extended Duncan Siemens ANOTHER QUALIFYING OFFER, this is insane!
Gabriel Bourque too! Sure, maybe it was money again, and Siemens and Bourque are cheaper to qualify. But, the organization hasn’t really given Siemens much of an opportunity, and Bourque is an obvious constant AHLer. Grigorenko, on the other hand, has 217 games of NHL experience, and is still young.
I thought it was a mistake when he was exposed in the expansion draft, but this is an even bigger blunder.
I’m going to bring it up again. I don’t know if it has any merit, but it has to at least be considered.
What will Nikita Zadorov think of this decision?
We know that him leaving for the KHL is a possibility. What if Mikhail Grigorenko chooses to go play in the KHL (which, by the way, sources are reporting as a likelihood)? Is it not at least a bit of a possibility that Zadorov decides to take the money and play with his friend, in Russia?
He’s played his entire NHL career with Mikhail Grigorenko, that could be a contributing factor in his decision-making coming soon.
Finally, let’s not forget the obvious. The Colorado Avalanche just gave up on one of the big assets they acquired in the Ryan O’Reilly trade. They didn’t even get anything in return for parting ways.
My guess is that the Las Vegas Golden Knights choose to pick him up on the free agency market come July 1. That way they can get both of the assets they wanted during the expansion draft, Calvin Pickard and Mikhail Grigorenko.
Even if the Knights don’t take him, you can bet that someone will count themselves blessed that he’s essentially a free acquisition. Maybe it will even be the Buffalo Sabres.
Is anyone else infuriated by this news? I don’t care if they didn’t want him playing on their team anymore, he’s an RFA with value and they gave him up FOR FREE.