Think things in Detroit are bad?
At least we're not fans of the Colorado Avalanche.
More bad news for the Avs today when it was revealed the team did not tender 23-year-old center Mikhail Grigorenko a qualifying offer. That makes him an unrestricted free agent.
Ugly news for the Avs, considering Grigorenko was half the price for Ryan O'Reilly.
So, Grigorenko is 23. He's coming off a 10-goal, 23-point season in Colorado. He's 6'3, 209 pounds. He's strong. But he's not particularly fast. And his effort has been questioned.
On the otherhand, he's a 23-year-old center with good skills.
Here's how Mile High Sticking describes Grigorenko.
Here are some numbers worth looking at.
He only took 192 faceoffs, but he won 57.8 percentof them. He had 35 takeaways vs. 26 giveaways.
His points/60 at 5 on 5 were not very good (1.32 would put him ahead of Larkin and behind Nielsen for 7th on Detroit). His goals/60 (.66) were second on Colorado and would be 5th on Detroit.
Those aren't bad numbers for a 23-year-old who's apparently been playing out of position.
There are concerns about his skating. That's fair. But if you've got Athanasiou or Larkin or Helm on one of his wings, that helps the line be a little faster.
NHL Comparison: Jason Spezza
NHL Potential: "Has the capability of being a skilled number one center at the NHL level, but will he have the desire?" - Grant MaCagg, TSN
“Grigorenko is a big player with underrated strength that can be difficult to move once he gets a head of steam. What separates him from other prospects is his ability to make sensational passes while looking off. Defensemen are forced into playing him closely, since he’s a capable scorer and can unleash a wicked wrist shot that he releases without warning.”
- McKeen’s Hockey
Another interesting stat. When he played with Soderberg (250 minutes) he scored 4 goals and 2 assists. When he played with Duchene (242 minutes) he scored 5 goals and 3 assists. That's fairly productive. That's about 16 goals and 8 assists at 5 on 5 for 1000 minutes with Soderberg, or 20 goals and 12 assists with Duchene. He wasn't very productive with Miiko Rantanen and Rene Bourque or Joe Colborne and John Mitchell.
Considering the possibility that Larkin is a better winger than center, and considering we've already lost Tomas Nosek, Ken Holland should kick the proverbial tires with Grigorenko.
Maybe a nice two-year deal at $2.25M gets it done. He made $1.3M last year.
If he fails in Detroit, oh well.
If he succeeds, great. He can stay here for 10 years. Or he can be moved for an asset.
(Edit: Forgot Mantha in the lines))