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Agent: Leafs ‘mismanaged’ Grabovski

Jul 8, 2013, 4:33 PM EDT

Mikhail Grabovski Getty Images

It’s been a few days since Mikhail Grabovski went on a profanity-laced tirade against Randy Carlyle after being bought out of his contract with Toronto.

Now, his agent is trying to put everything into context.

“The team mismanaged him,” Gary Greenstin told the Toronto Star. “He was able to do a lot for the team.”

Grabovski, 29, was bought out of the final four years of his five-year, $27.5 million deal on Thursday, a surprising turn of events considering he signed the contract just 16 months ago.

In terms of mismanagement, the club did take away Grabbo’s alternate captaincy prior to the start of this season. There were also questions about how he was being utilized — in a more defensive, checking-forward-type role — which led to a rant for the ages

“I play in the [expletive] Russian KHL, I make lots of [expletive] points and what’s going to happen? He makes me [expletive] play on the fourth line and he put me in the playoffs on the fourth line and third line again.

“Yeah, I don’t score goals. I need to work more about that. I know that. But if you feel support from your coach [you’ll find success]. I don’t feel any support from this [expletive] idiot.”

…which was then followed by Greenstin explaining his client’s mindset at the time.

“He was under pressure,” the Galex Enterprises representative explained.

See, Grabovski’s wedding was the day following the buyout news — yeah, the Leafs dropped hiim 24 hours before he was going to get hitched — which prompted Greenstin to say the entire incident was unfortunate.

As for what the future holds?

Greenstin says several teams have already expressed interest in Grabovski, who scored 52 goals and 110 points for Toronto between 2010-12.

  1. amityvillefun - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    This guy always seems to find the back of the net against the Bruins.

    Dumped before his wedding day? No wonder he was a little upset. I’m sure he didn’t want the topic of conversation at his wedding to be, “So…where do you think you will be playing next year?”

    Epic fail on the part of Leaf’s brass.

    • dueman - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      The Leafs tried to move him earlier but there were no takers because of his cap hit. It’s unfortunate that his wedding was the next day, but I don’t think that the NHL takes players off ice plans into consideration when setting dates for buy out periods, and free agency, and such, so I really don’t see this “epic fail” on the Leafs. lol Grabo was upset because he wanted to stay in Toronto. He’s a good player with a lot of passion for the game, but unfortunately his cap hit was just to high. I hope he gets signed somewhere in the NHL because he deserves to be playing.

    • elrock7 - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Epic fail? Please teams could only start talking to UFAs Wed. They made moves they think will make the team better and they needed that salary gone to do it.

      Poor Grabo, will have to take 13 mil or so as a wedding gift. We should all be so lucky!

  2. pastabelly - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    The only thing I can think of here is that the Leafs believe they need more role players or two way players. That may explain why they overpaid for Clarkson and just let Grabovski go. Were they overreacting to blowing a 3-goal 3rd period lead in Game 7? That’s got to be part of this.

    • dueman - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      Give me a break, I doubt very much that any team in the NHL, would make any decisions, based on one game.

    • elrock7 - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      Another dumb comment!

  3. timmylaz99 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Grabobvski has always been a whiner. If things are going his way he’ll pout and complain or threaten to take his puck back to the KHL. He did it with Montreal. I think the Leafs finally got tired of him as well.

  4. tuberippin - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Wouldn’t be the first time the Leafs management has been called out for stupidity. Probably won’t be the last time either.

  5. ray2013 - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Saw an advanced statistical analysis comparing Grabbo versus Bozak in terms of corsi, zone starts, linemates, etc. Had you switched Grabbo & Bozak, Grabbo would have out-performed Bozak considerably. So there have been questions raised why Bozak & Grabbo were treated so differently. The whole Grabbo versus Carlyle tiff seemed to be the only explanation. Cut the superior centre, because he doesn’t get along with the coach.

    • dueman - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      You see, this is where advanced statistics and corsi is full of (s)hit. Grabo has been tried on the first line with Kessel, and Lupol/van Riemsdyk and it just didn’t work. This isn’t baseball, and things aren’t as predictable. While stats may be useful in some areas of the game, you can’t build a team with them. There are elements in hockey that just can’t be predicted or measured like heart, drive, line chemistry, or instinct. Hockey is just, too fast, and too physical to properly predict anything. This is one reason that the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win.

      • ray2013 - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:30 AM

        I’m not the world’s biggest fan of corsi and fenwick but there is some merit to zone starts and quality of linemates having an impact on scoring, as well as TOI. I guess we’ll see how Grabbo does on a new team (when he does sign).

      • dueman - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:45 AM

        He’ll do well on a run & gun type team, or a team with a fast transition type system. Personally, I think that a team like the Islanders, or Tampa, should really be looking at him, or possibly Detroit, or Dallas. With the right line mates, and the right system, Grabo will definitely score some goals. He also brings with him, a lot of heart. I’m rooting for him, like I said up top, he was just a victim of the cap.

  6. mrpinkca - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    Bozak isn’t a real 1st liner. Dumping Grabovski to lock him up is yet another in the long list of boneheaded decisions the leafs have been making for years.

  7. bosoxfanpeds - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Grobovsky call Peter Chiarelli and let him know you want to win the cup and play anywhere you can for the bruins…..You can play with Bergeron and Erickson on the second first line…..

  8. rjkilla - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    we’ll take him in jersey…for the right price

  9. papajohn0308 - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    I am a Leaf fan through and through. But why is management always making decisions that they know will get a back lash. Grabovsky was one of the most talented players on the team and anyone that has watched him knows he was on a leash. Playing with Kulemin was like having a weight on his back. McCarther was held back also, so management rids themselves of 2 talented offensive players (2/3 of the 3rd line) and kept confused Kulemin. Hopefully, the team who gets Grabo will unleash him and watch him dazzle.

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