Imbroglio contractual or not, Mikhail Grigorenko will bear the colors of the Blue Jackets in Columbus the next season. After three seasons spent in the KHL, the attacking Russian of 25 years is estimated to be a different player than he was during his first stint in the NHL.
Monday, the Jackets have announced that it is to be heard with “Grigo” on the terms of a contract, a season worth$1.2 Million.
In the evening, however, the colleague Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reported that the NHL had rejected the agreement since it did not respect the clause of 50.8 (d) of the collective agreement, which stipulates that players who do not sign a contract to enter must wait at the opening of the free agent market before signing at the bottom of a pact that does not include the current season.
But all of it, these are just administrative details since Grigorenko has the intent to sign the same contract on the 1st of July or later, if the NHL manages to conclude his season.
“I look forward to joining this organization. We have had interest from a few teams, but it is to Columbus that the situation was ideal for me. I will have a chance for me to shine and get time on the first two trios, and in numerical advantage if I deserve it. Everything is in my hands now “, he assured during a telephone interview with The Journal, Tuesday, who is returning to Quebec, where he returns every summer with his wife and their child.
A different player
Choice of first round of the Sabres of Buffalo in 2012, Grigorenko has not achieved the early career desired career in the NHL.
After five seasons in the circuit, three with the Sabres and two with the Colorado Avalanche, Grigorenko has accepted a contract of three seasons with the famous CSKA Moscow in the KHL in the summer of 2017.
After an initial season of 23 points in 45 games, he followed that up with campaigns of 52 points in 55 parts, and from 41 in 47.
He has also had the opportunity to represent her country at the olympic Games in Pyeongchang in 2018, and then at the world Championships, 2018, and 2019.
“I think I’ve gained a lot in maturity over the past three years. I’ve had the chance to play on the international stage against some of the best players in the world, and with CSKA, I was able to play on the first trio and the first wave of digital benefits. I found the button offensive that I had in the junior. I also played in defensive mission and I became more responsible defensively. “
In Columbus, Grigorenko will find a coach who does not accept half-measures in John Tortorella. A challenge that he is eager to meet.
“You always want to evolve to a coach who constantly asks the best out of his players. This will be a great opportunity for me to work with him. Everyone knows that there is a coach hard and he wants his players to be wasted. If I work hard, it’s going to go well. “
Still attached to Quebec
Even if he has spent the last three seasons in Russia, Mikhail Grigorenko was returned to Quebec each summer.
“Grigo” has met his partner and mother of their son when he was with the Quebec Remparts, so it is natural for them to come back in the Old Capital once the hockey season ended, no matter where it was fought over.
“My wife comes from here and all her family is here. It is good to be near family when the hockey season is complete. It is, therefore, an important reason which explains why we go back every summer, but I love this city. There are several lakes, many mountains and the city centre is superb. I love his european style. This is the kind of city where I want to see my kids grow up. “
Remember that Grigorenko had been the first choice of the Remparts, second in total, during the draft european of the canadian hockey League in 2011. He was then landed at Quebec during the 2011-2012 season where he has collected 85 points in 59 games before becoming the first choice of the Swords the following summer.
He later started the seasons 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 in the NHL, but both times, the Sabres had returned to the QMJHL en route.
Stay in shape
Now that he knows where he will continue his career and that the chance that the Blue Jackets offer could well be his last in the NHL, Grigorenko struggles to keep the form at home.
“I took a break after the cancellation of our season in the KHL and I have resumed training recently. I have the equipment to train at home and I’m going to run in the mountains from time to time. “
CSKA had swept its series of the first round in four games in front of the Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod. However, the KHL has subsequently decreed the cancellation of the remainder of the playoffs. CSKA tried to win the Cup Gagarin for a second year in a row.