I've been unimpressed with newish Sabres GM Tim Murray, how he tends to bristle, to act like an ornery fool at times, notably this spring at the Draft Lottery, when he couldn't hide his disappointment at 'losing' Connor McDavid.
Here is another instance when his behaviour is odd: he's insisting that 2012 first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko take a two-way qualifying offer, and that he needs to spend more time in the minors. Which in the practical sense is irrelevant. The Sabres can never really make use of the two-way provisions in his case.
The Sabres are in the same position with Mikhail Grigorenko as we are with Jarred Tinordi, with respect to their waiver-eligibility which clicks in this season. They have to play him in the NHL, since if they try to send him down to the AHL he has to pass through waivers. And he wouldn't pass through, many teams would be sure to claim him if he did appear on waivers. So he has to be on their NHL roster, ready or not.
This is an example of bad asset management on their part, having him up in the NHL for 25 games his first season before sending him back down to the Remparts hastened the time it took for him to now require waivers.
So now any team discussing acquiring him in a trade has to be certain that he is useful as a roster NHL player, because they have to have him on their 23-man roster. They have to make the determination that he will be worth the compensation the Sabres would ask for in trade, to ensure they don’t ante up and then be faced with the prospect that it was a waste, that young Mr. Grigorenko needs more time in the AHL and you can’t send him down there without losing him.
The Sabres have to figure out what they’re doing this season, losing intentionally again, or trying to ice a legitimate roster and to win games. They have to figure out how Cody Hodgson fits into all this, whether he’s bought out, traded, or does he hold down one of the centre spots.
Or, do they go with a youth movement, promote Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel right away, and let them grow with the team, like the Flames did with Sean Monahan.
How Mikhail Grigorenko fits into this picture, whether he does at all or gets to be traded, is what the Sabres need to figure out. But for Tim Murray to strain to make the academic point that he should be on a two-way deal smacks of the personal, of the ideological rather than the common sense. It's more likely taking another swipe or two at the player before he's ushered out the door than to good player development and asset management.