Grigorenko Barnstorming Tour is Over for 2013

Buffalo fans never cease to amaze. You people can never be called “bandwagon fans”. The overwhelming majority of you support your team through the good times, and the ugly times. As witnessed by this recently concluded failure of a season.

The Sabres have experienced monster growth in their local TV rating and they have YOU to thank for it.

You fans have the leverage. Use it. DEMAND a better on ice product from Pegula, Black and Regier. You expect a better on ice product next season. You’ve earned the right to be rewarded for your loyalty and your financial support.

Imagine what the buzz will be when the Sabres are a winning team!

Though the Sabres did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs for a second straight season, the team is runner up to the Pittsburgh Penguins in local TV ratings.

The SportsBusiness Journal reported Sabres’ ratings on the MSG Network averaged a 9.46 household rating, an increase of 44.4 percent from last season.

Also, the NBC Sports Network said this week that the 2013 season was the most-watched on cable in nearly two decades, up 18 percent compared to last year. The Sabres-Boston Bruins game on April 17 — the first professional sports event held in Boston following the Boston Marathon bombings — was the fourth-highest rated game on the net with 847,000 viewers.

Mikhail Grigorenko
Photo source: Russian Ice Hockey Federation

Mikhail Grigorenko’s barn storming tour is finally over. Think about the frequent flyer miles Grigo has wracked up in the past 11 months. he’s played 90+ hockey games in three different countries. He’s played in the three best hockey leagues in the world in the CHL, NHL, and AHL.

April 2012: Quebec Remparts playoff series in QMJHL.

May 2012: Grigo exits playoffs due to diagnosis of mononucleosis. Remps eliminated for The Q playoffs/

June 2012: Sabres select the Russian Rifle 12th overall in NHL entry draft.

July 2012: Grigo attends Sabres rookie/prospect camp. Participates in Navy SEAL training.

August 2012: Grigo stays in Buffalo with his family while he works with Sabres strength, conditioning, and skating coaches.

Grigo departs back to Russia to play in the Subway Summit Seroes that featured four head to head games between Russian and Canadian U20s. A precursor to the World Junior Hockey Championships.

September 2012-January 2013: Grigo plays a leadership role for Patrick Roy’s Quebec Remparts.

January-March 2013: Grigo represents his country at WJCs on home ice in Ufa, Russia, where he played exceptionally well.

Grigo earns roster spot in Buffalo. Would eventually play his first 25 NHL games

March 2013: Grigo is sent back to QCity to conclude the regular seaosn and to lead his Remps through the playoffs.

Remps defeated Chicoutimi in round one, however, were eliminated by Rouyn-Noranda in round two. Grigo transitions back to Buffalo to play out the final five games of the Sabres’ season.

April 2013: Sabres are officially eliminated from the NHL playoff race.

Grigo sent to AHL Rochester to play two of three games vs. Toronto Marlies. Amerks eliminated in three straight games.

Grigo told Buffalo Hockey Beat after Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Toronto Marlies eliminated the Amerks that he’s feeling the ill effects of all of the travel and hockey.

“A little bit I’m tired mentally,” Grigorenko said.

“If we would’ve (ended up) winning, it would’ve been great. I would’ve had enough energy to go and play more games. But now I know I just realized that (the) season’s over. I just realized I don’t have much more. I’ve played a lot of games.”

Grigo said that the one main take away from this season is that he feels that his play on the defensive side of the puck was his greatest area of growth in 2013.

“I adjusted to the Buffalo Sabres’ system,” said Grigorenko, who played 25 NHL games. “I was playing good defensively. I think this was the biggest part I improved this year.”

After a well deserved break to re-charge his batteries, Grigo will be back in Buffalo to begin the rigors on his off season conditioning program.