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Patrick Roy sticks up for Grigorenko

Mikhail Grigorenko

If there’s a wild card in Friday’s draft in Pittsburgh, it’s Mikhail Grigorenko. The Russian forward out of the QMJHL is ranked No. 3 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting – however, it’s possible he could fall out of the top 10 after an underwhelming playoff performance that left many questioning his work ethic.

But Grigorenko’s junior coach with the Quebec Remparts, Patrick Roy, thinks all the talk is unfair.

“I’ll be honest, I’m very disappointed to hear those comments. From the very first day he decided to come to Quebec he made a huge commitment to learn English. He’s studied for three hours a day, his English is very, very good,” said Roy, as per “He’s made a huge commitment to be an NHL player.

“When people question his work ethic, it’s not true, he works hard all the time. The thing that we need to work on with him is to get his stamina to another level, he gets tired fast, but that doesn’t mean a player doesn’t work hard.”

To which scouts would probably ask, then what does it mean? That he’s not training the right way? That the mono he battled this season took it out of him? Because if he’s naturally prone to fatigue, how’s he going to handle the grind of an NHL season?

Roy also addressed this morning’s meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman that had everyone in Pittsburgh talking.

According to Roy, it had nothing to do with the Phoenix Coyotes moving to Quebec City.

“It was just a friendly conversation,” he said.

“If Phoenix had come up, don’t worry, it would not be in the dining room.”