The path is clear for Mikhail Grigorenko to play in the NHL next season.
The Buffalo Sabres signed Grigorenko, their first-round pick last month, to a three-year entry-level contract Wednesday. The 18-year-old centre, the 12th player taken in the draft this year, likely isn't going back to junior now that he's under contract.
"Now I really can feel that I'm 100% a part of the organization," Grigorenko said. "I was so excited yesterday. I was real excited when they drafted me, but after the draft, it was like the next step to sign a contract, and now I signed. Next step is to make the team and play in the NHL."
That could happen as soon as this fall, according to Sabres general manager Darcy Regier.
"We have a number of young players that he will be competing with, but he will have every opportunity (to make the team)," Regier said. "In Mikhail's case, it will be driven by him. And it will be driven by training camp and exhibition games and where he fits and how he fits."
The enigmatic Grigorenko -- he was once considered a top-three draft pick -- had 40 goals and 45 assists in 59 games with the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL last season.
DOAN HOLD YOUR BREATH
Coyotes general manager Don Maloney believes it could take weeks before unrestricted free agent forward Shane Doan decides where to sign.
And the Coyotes, the only NHL team Doan has ever played for, believe they are still in the mix.
"I still remain confident that we will be able to sign Shane," Maloney told the Arizona Republic. "Nothing has changed in that respect. We still have regular communication despite everything you see and read."
Doan's agent has indicated that part of the reason for the hold-up is that his client wants to see how the Coyotes ownership situation shakes out. Greg Jamison is trying to buy the club but the sale still hasn't gone forward.
Doan and forward Alex Semin are the two highest-profile free agents still on the market.
BRUINS NOT INTERESTED
The Boston Bruins aren't in the running to acquire disgruntled Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash or Anaheim Ducks forward Bobby Ryan.
According to ESPN Boston, the Bruins "are not in on the Ryan and Nash sweepstakes," likely because they don't want to part with forwards David Krejci or Milan Lucic.
Boston is reportedly on Nash's list of teams he'd approve a trade to -- Detroit, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Philadelphia and the New York Rangers are the others -- but it looks like no deal with the Bruins will transpire.
Late Tuesday, MLive.com reported the Red Wings have made a serious offer for Nash but did not offer any details.
The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with restricted free agent defenceman Kyle Quincey.
The agreement came a week before a scheduled arbitration hearing. The contract is worth $7.55 million, according to the Detroit Free Press, with a cap hit of $3.775 million.
"We're very pleased to agree to terms with Kyle and avoid arbitration," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "We drafted Kyle in 2003, watched him develop into a solid NHL defenceman and look forward to having him in a Detroit uniform for the next two seasons."
The Wings aquired Quincey, a Detroit fourth-round draft pick in '03, in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche last February. He played 12 regular-season games and 13 playoff games in three seasons with the Red Wings from 2005-2008 before being traded to the Los Angeles Kings.
The Boston Bruins signed defenceman Aaron Johnson to a one-year, two-way contract. The 29-year-old had three goals and 13 assists in 56 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season ... The Ottawa Senators re-signed forward Jim O'Brien to a two-year contract and defenceman Eric Gryba to a two-year, two-way deal. O'Brien split last season between the Senators and Binghamton of the AHL while Gryba played th eentire season with the minor-league team ... Ex-Leafs assistant coach was hired by the Tampa Bay Lightning as an assistant with Syracuse of the AHL. Zettler was an assistant with the Leafs for four seasons.