Grab Grabovski

Kent Wilson
July 04 2013 10:32AM

 

 

Word from the insiders on twitter is that the Maple Leafs have waived Mikhail Grabovski for the purposes of buying him out today. This is a prelude to unrestricted free agency opening up this weekend (and possible re-signing Tyler Bozak). It's a comically poor decision for Toronto who are one of the worst possession teams in the league, but it represents an opportunity for the Flames.

Gabovski had a down year last season in terms of output, but that was due to a combination ofr brutally difficult circumstances and really poor luck (36% ZS and toughest competition on the team, PDO of 98.8). Grabbo has historically been the best possession center on the Leafs and once his percentages regress to the mean his counting numbers will drastically improve as well. Style wise, he is fast, agile, creative with the puck and a quality passer.

Grabovski is 29 and will be paid an average of $5.5M for each of the next 4 seasons, so he's not cheap and there's some risk at the end of the deal. On the other hand, he's a legit top-6 center capable of playing other top-6 opponents and is available for nothing. If he rebounds next season he improves the Flames to a non-trivial degree and could become a viable trade asset should Calgary look to flip him for a return a year or two down the road.

Bonus - check out the difference between Bozak and Grabovski's effect on Phil Kessel.

There isn't a better option on the UFA market than Grabovski. The Flames are high on the waiver order priority...they could either grab him for free right now and accept his exisiting contract or try to court him as a UFA when (if?) he is bought out.

I don't know if the Flames brass will seriously consider acquiring Grabovski, but they should.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 marty
July 04 2013, 02:12PM
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but steve simmons says that grabbo is proof that advanced stats are stupid!! i dislike simmons a great deal.

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#2 Southern_Point
July 04 2013, 10:36AM
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Please let this happen (it won't happen).

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#3 FireOnIce
July 04 2013, 10:39AM
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He'll tell us what to do!

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#5 Craig
July 04 2013, 11:29AM
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So if we got Grabo, we would have one centre that can adequately play against top competition (Grabo) a second centre that has shown he can drive possesion against second tier competition (Backlund) A potential third line grinder playing third line competition (knight) and Matt Stajan? Who am I forgetting. Then we'll have some good young centres waiting in line, reinhart, horak, monahan. that could slot in for injuries.

That sounds half decent to me, that kind of team could drive possesion, and get scoring from all four lines. The flames would no longer be built with one or two high scoring lines but would need smaller contributions from every player.

The main thing I like about that centre core is that besides stajan you don't really have to shelter any of them all that much.

This move makes too much sense, and because of that I am not optimistic it will happen.

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#6 Mangotanker
July 04 2013, 11:58AM
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aloudoun wrote:

Raymond is a left wing... why are we getting so may left wingers?! Something has to give...

Maybe they want Sven to play on the 4th line forever

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#7 mattyc
July 04 2013, 12:03PM
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@Kent Wilson

wow... major bummer.

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#8 SmellOfVictory
July 04 2013, 12:32PM
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@Craig

Sounds about right. In an ideal world the Flames would grab Grabovski off waivers and move out Cammalleri and Stajan. Of course in this ideal world they didn't trade for David Jones, but we can't have everything we want.

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#9 aloudoun
July 04 2013, 12:38PM
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Quite the fact from Arctic Ice Hockey on twitter...

"Grabovski has scored more goals than Kopitar, Richards, Duchene, Datsyuk, Lecavalier, Berglund, Bergeron, Seguin, Eberle over last 3 yrs."

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#10 Baalzamon
July 04 2013, 04:07PM
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@BurningSensation

What I want to know is why Button was included in the deal. Seems like a completely pointless add from the Stars' point of view.

How would that conversation have gone?

Nill: Are you joking? Seguin and Peverley aren't enough. Get your head out of your arse! I want Hamilton.

Chiarelli: Mm. You can have Button..

Nill: deal.

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#11 icedawg_42
July 04 2013, 10:38AM
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If he passes waivers, do you see a risk of a bidding war pushing his next contract to at or beyond what's left on his current one? If so, grabbing him off waivers becomes a 'no brainer' no?

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#12 Lordmork
July 04 2013, 10:39AM
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We have cap space, we have roster space, we have need, and we could acquire Grabovski for nothing. The only reason we shouldn't acquire him is if a team higher on the waiver order gets him first. If the Flames pass on him, you have to hope they have something absolutely amazing lined up for top-6 centre.

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#13 FireOnIce
July 04 2013, 10:41AM
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I would love to see Grabo in a Flames uniform. It's a bit surprising that Toronto hasn't tried to trade him... wonder if they have, and some teams know something we don't?

Maybe his performance this season wasn't on-ice related, but off-ice (drugs, etc).

Either way, wet dream.

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#15 Lordmork
July 04 2013, 10:45AM
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In the face of what seems like a very silly decision by the Leafs, could there be an underlying issue? Addiction or dressing-room? Has Corban Knight recently been in Toronto?

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#16 shutout
July 04 2013, 10:46AM
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As an aside, the Fan is talking like the Flames and Mason Raymond have come to an agreement.

If you really want him you need to pick up Grabovski on waivers, or I doubt that you could get him signed with the amount of competition out there for good centers.

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#17 Ed Ward
July 04 2013, 10:46AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Bidding war + the chance he wouldn't pick the Flames anyways.

Totally agree. I think waivers are the only way he ends up in Calgary. I'd put in a claim in a heartbeat, but I'm not holding my breath that the Flames will.

I wouldn't be shocked that if he ends up a FA the deal he gets on the open market is pretty dam close to what the leafs were paying him. Which is hilarious.

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#18 MC Hockey
July 04 2013, 10:49AM
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Flames can afford him so grab him on waivers (only 6 teams ahead of us) and pay the big $. You never know, he could get even more on the open market so avoid that risk and pick him up on waivers. Good advanced stats in past years.

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#20 MC Hockey
July 04 2013, 10:52AM
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Lordmork wrote:

In the face of what seems like a very silly decision by the Leafs, could there be an underlying issue? Addiction or dressing-room? Has Corban Knight recently been in Toronto?

We all love him and know Corban is the next coming of Gretzky but how would him being in Toronto have any effect.

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#21 BurningSensation
July 04 2013, 10:54AM
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Looks like Grabo would be a very solid pick-up!

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#23 MC Hockey
July 04 2013, 10:55AM
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I wonder where Raymond fits also but hints on 960 were strong he may come here

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#24 jeremywilhelm
July 04 2013, 10:59AM
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Ermagerd. We gotta get Grabovski. Wow. HOLAY crap.

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#25 Lordmork
July 04 2013, 11:00AM
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@MC Hockey

I just assume he leaned on Toronto's management until they made this decision. Clearly, Corban is looking out for his new team. Anything that could potentially benefit the Flames has his fingerprints all over it.

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#26 FireOnIce
July 04 2013, 11:04AM
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The Flames are quickly becoming the Frankenstein monster of NHL teams. Random parts cobbled together in the desperate attempt to make a working team. If they pick up Grabo somehow (and possibly Mason Raymond?) this team will look totally different and could be half decent, or utterly horrific. Let's hope it's the former.

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#27 Lordmork
July 04 2013, 11:05AM
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Also, if we're getting Raymond, then we've got to have our fingers on a trade selling another LW. I guess Feaster could have had success with his "call me" plea about Cammalleri. Maybe Hudler? I guess we could send Sven back to Abby.

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#28 jeremywilhelm
July 04 2013, 11:06AM
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Grabovski and Gilbert goes a long way in getting the Flames back from a rebuild.

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#29 aloudoun
July 04 2013, 11:24AM
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Raymond is a left wing... why are we getting so may left wingers?! Something has to give...

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#30 Kevin R
July 04 2013, 11:27AM
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I know Leafs have gobs of money, but those are pretty serious $$$ to pay a guy who is going to get scooped up for not that much less money to play against you. I get the cap space is needed for other goofy moves Leafs are going to do but...... Can Feasty not just get on the phone to Nonis & say, OK, we'll save you 15mill if you package Grabo & your 2014 2nd for our 2014 5th & just trade him to us. Maybe Nonis can get a bonus from the savings.

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#31 aloudoun
July 04 2013, 11:28AM
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You have to believe that Cammy or Hudler (or both) are gone if we sign Raymond.

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#32 Bigfatflamesfan
July 04 2013, 11:29AM
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I don't think it happens, Feaster seems a little gun shy since he admitted rebuild. I don't think he pays the 5.5 mil.

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#33 Baalzamon
July 04 2013, 11:33AM
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FireOnIce wrote:

The Flames are quickly becoming the Frankenstein monster of NHL teams. Random parts cobbled together in the desperate attempt to make a working team. If they pick up Grabo somehow (and possibly Mason Raymond?) this team will look totally different and could be half decent, or utterly horrific. Let's hope it's the former.

In other words, the Florida Panthers

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#34 MC Hockey
July 04 2013, 11:33AM
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aloudoun wrote:

You have to believe that Cammy or Hudler (or both) are gone if we sign Raymond.

No you don't. Raymond may play in another position

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#36 Bigfatflamesfan
July 04 2013, 11:36AM
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Pierre LeBrun tweeted Claude Giroux the Flyers are close to agreeing to an 8 YR dealt worth north of 8m a year.

LOL

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#37 Craig
July 04 2013, 11:37AM
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@Kent Wilson

With the addition of Grabovski, calgary's centre depth would be pretty good, if Knight works out. If Knight doesn't work out, Horak has shown himself to be capable, and hopefully Reinhart does the same. Very solid possesion driving centres with no elite centre.

The bliss of speculation.

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#38 Ed Ward
July 04 2013, 11:51AM
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Bigfatflamesfan wrote:

Pierre LeBrun tweeted Claude Giroux the Flyers are close to agreeing to an 8 YR dealt worth north of 8m a year.

LOL

Maybe I'm misinterpreting your LOL but under the new CBA thats about what Giroux's worth. I'd take him for that term/$ over Getzlaf any day of the week.

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#39 Bigfatflamesfan
July 04 2013, 11:53AM
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@Ed Ward

My fault, I should have explained after the "LOL"

They will have to get rid of someone soon won't they? They were 300k over the cap after the Lecavalier thing, and now this?

And I agree with the Giroux over Getzlaf thing. Definitely.

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#40 Mangotanker
July 04 2013, 11:55AM
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Flames have a boatload of cap space, and Feaster has made it public that he wants to target centreman as new additions during free agency. He now has the opportunity to grab a quality centre in Grabovski. Let`s hope he realizes it.

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#41 Demetric
July 04 2013, 11:56AM
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if picked up off waivers is it that TO still pays part of the salary? what about the cap hit?

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#42 Parallex
July 04 2013, 12:02PM
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@Kent Wilson

"The other issue is, where are they going to start shoe-horning all these wingers if they do sign someone like Raymond?"

On a team that woke up on July 6th having missed on July 5th?

I have no problem with the team accumulating bodies now and then flipping roughly equivalent bodies later. Dealing from a position of surplus is nice since it's basically money for nothin'.

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#44 mattyc
July 04 2013, 12:03PM
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Doubt Grabo goes above his current salary, if he does make it to market. You'd have to think that the Leafs would have been shopping him already for a marginal draft pick, and no one would touch it. There would likely be bidding, but i doubt he gets another offer over 5per.

Raymond would be another useful top 9er. I like that we seem to be trying to get a little faster.

Somewhat related, I'd be interested to see if the flames would go after Kris Russel. When we traded Jbo, I'd assumed that Russel would be one of the pieces coming back (instead of Cundari).

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#46 Parallex
July 04 2013, 12:03PM
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@Kent Wilson

Who does Dallas have that = Sequin?

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#47 schevvy
July 04 2013, 12:05PM
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Well that's disappointing. Oh well. Grab Grabovski and it will be alright

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#48 schevvy
July 04 2013, 12:06PM
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@Parallex

Loui Eriksson and other stuff, according to Dreger

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#50 negrilcowboy
July 04 2013, 12:07PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Dreger says Dallas and Boston are close to consummating a deal for Seguin. Bummer.

erickkson involved. wow.

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