The Buffalo Sabres have, for at least a few weeks, found someplace to stick Mikhail Grigorenko.
The team said Thursday he will be loaned to Team Russia for the 2014 World Junior Championship, taking place Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Sweden. He's played in the tournament for Russia the previous two years.
"I'm always happy to represent my country, and I would be happy to go there and have the opportunity to play there," he said.
The 19-year-old figures to see more time there than he has at any point as a pro. he's struggled mightily in his season-plus in the NHL. He put up only one goal and four assists in 25 games last season. he only has two goals and one assist in 18 games this season while playing fourth-line minutes and being a healthy scratch multiple times.
Buffalo tried to option him to the AHL for a conditioning assignment, but AHL rules prevent teenagers from playing there, so he had to remain in the NHL. He's also used up his juniors eligibility due to his NHL experience.
Grigorenko departs Sunday to begin training with the Russians.
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