Grigorenko heads home to Russia
Grigorenko will play in the Russian Superleague with Ufa Salavat Yulayev and the Red Wings will maintain his rights. The Russian, who doesn't speak English, shook hands with teammates after Friday's game, nodding his goodbyes.
It was Dominik Hasek's sore hip that finally forced the Red Wings' hand. The team brought Jimmy Howard up from Grand Rapids to back up Chris Osgood. Hasek, however, is close to returning to the lineup and will travel with the team on its three-game swing through western Canada. To make room for Howard, Dallas Drake was put on injured reserve. Grigorenko's assignment to Grand Rapids likely means that Drake will be activated for Sunday's game in Vancouver.
Both Matt Ellis and Aaron Downey have pleased Red Wings' management with their play over the past weeks. The decision was made to keep both and risk losing Grigorenko.
As is, when Drake returns either Ellis or Downey will become a healthy scratch.
Grigorenko could return to the Red Wings next season. He will become a restricted free agent this summer. After Friday's game both sides expressed interest in trying again next fall.
But that sounds more like two sides both trying to make it a nice goodbye rather than looking for another hello.