Feb 7, 2012, 8:23 PM EDT
The New York Islanders took underrated forward Frans Nielsen off the unrestricted free agent market today, so it only makes sense that a somewhat similar* player was the topic of discussion elsewhere.
It’s strange to define a Toronto Maple Leafs center as underexposed, but if any player fits that description, it’s Mikhail Grabovski. The Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle believes that the versatile Russian pivot’s value might be tough to determine as contract talks loom.
Fellow Leafs center Tyler Bozak gave Grabovski rave reviews.
“I don’t think I can do half the stuff he does,” Bozak said. “Those Russian guys have some pretty nice tricks up their sleeves. He’s got some moves, and he’s got a lot of patience. It’s just fun to watch guys like that.”
Grabovski has been a productive producer even though he hasn’t enjoyed the luxury of lining up with prolific wingers Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. Mirtle points out that he’s tied for eighth among centers when it comes to scoring goals with 47 in 128 games, placing him ahead of high-wattage stars such as Eric Staal and Anze Kopitar.
Such a price tag might be tough for Brian Burke and the Leafs to stomach, but could he be worth it? If not, what kind of deal would be appropriate? Share your thoughts in the comments.
* – Grabovski is far more explosive, mind you, but both seem to slip under the radar to some extent.
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- Leafs deny rift between Kessel and coaching staff 9
- Injured Crosby, Malkin will miss start of Pens’ camp 8
- Selanne rips Boudreau in book 17
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- Panthers owners say they’re committed even though team has lost ‘tremendous amounts of money’ 11
- Update: Wild’s Harding out indefinitely with fractured foot 20
- Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier 24
- Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’ 25
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- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (54)
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- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)