The Buffalo Sabres announced on Wednesday morning that forward Mikhail Grigorenko will remain with the team after the NHL ruled against their attempt to send him to the AHL on a conditioning assignment.
Grigorenko, Buffalo's first-round pick in 2012, has been struggling to find a regular spot in the lineup this season and the team was attempting to find a short-term solution that would allow him to get meaningful playing time without continuing to struggle in the NHL.
The only problem was that players under the age of 20 with less than four years experience in the Canadian junior leagues are by rule not permitted to play in the AHL. The Sabres also couldn't send him back to his junior team, the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, because they already have two import players on their roster and would have to either trade one of them (or Grigorenko).
So the Sabres attempted to find a loophole (article 13.8, which allows teams to send a player on a conditioning stint for 14 days), that allows for a short-term fix and send him for what would have been a "conditioning" assignment for "general body soreness".
The NHL decided on Wednesday that would not be allowed in this case because Grigorenko, in their view, was not suffering from soreness.
The Sabres said that they respect the NHL's decision.
In 15 games this season the 19-year-old Grigorenko has scored two goals to go with one assist in limited ice time.