The excitement was evident prior to this season for both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Mikhail Grigorenko. Grigorenko couldn’t wait to move his whole family to Columbus and get involved with the team and community. Jackets’ management couldn’t wait to announce their new free agent signing, announcing it prior to the proper filing window, thus voiding the original contract.
Unfortunately, the results didn’t live up to the hype. The former 12th overall pick was just never able to put it together with the Blue Jackets. With that being said, he never got much of a chance to really settle in and find his role on the team. Coach John Tortorella pretty much had Grigs playing everywhere, with stints on the top line to long stretches on the fourth line in the games he actually played when he wasn’t a scratch.
It’s not that he was awful this year by any means, but he also did not stand out in any way. The Jackets already have two “reclamation projects” coming to town on one-year deals for next season with Gregory Hofmann and Justin Danforth to replace Grigorenko’s modest production.
Mikhail Grigorenko 2021 Stats
Games Played: 32
5v5 CF%: 45.4
5v5 FF%: 45.4
Grigorenko came to town on a one-year deal worth $1,200,000. It was a low-risk signing to help bring some offense to a team who had historically struggled to score goals. Although Kekalainen attempted to re-sign him, Grigorenko is a “one and done” with the Jackets. Recently, news broke that he would be returning to the KHL on a multi-year deal, most likely with his old team, CSKA Moscow. Best of luck Grigs.
On May 5th against Nashville, Grigorenko’s line had a dominating shift in the offensive zone that spanned about a full minute. The sequence ended when Grigorenko tipped home a Vladislav Gavrikov point shot. The goal ended up being the game winner and will in all likelihood, be the last goal and point of his NHL career.
Grigorenko was out of the lineup for just over a third of season either as a healthy scratch or a member of the team’s taxi squad. It is a pretty safe bet to say that this stretch factored heavily on his decision to return to the KHL where he will get consistent playing time in an offensive role, not to mention on a juggernaut of a team.
How would you grade Mikhail Grigorenko’s season?
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