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Capitals ‘needed’ Grabovski, says Backstrom

Aug 23, 2013, 6:36 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Three Getty Images

In the eyes of one player, Mikhail Grabovski is exactly who the Washington Capitals needed to acquire this off-season.

On Friday, the Capitals announced they had signed Grabovski to a one-year, $3 million deal.

“It’s great. I think we needed him,” Nicklas Backstrom told the Washington Post.

“He’s been really good in Toronto, I think, so we’re excited to have him come in. He’s a great player, he brings a lot of speed and skill. He can score goals too. He’s a smart centerman that hopefully will do a lot for this team.”

The 29-year-old center struggled this past season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, producing only nine goals and 16 points in 48 games.

He had eclipsed the 50-point plateau in each of the previous two seasons.

The Leafs used one of their compliance buyouts on Grabovski – who had four years remaining on his five-year deal with the Leafs, at an annual cap hit of $5.5 million – in early July prior to the opening of free agency.

Despite his struggles during the 2013 lockout-shortened campaign, he can still add a scoring punch to a Capitals team that surged late in the regular season and finished fourth in the league in goals-for, averaging 3.04 goals per game.

“Mikhail adds speed and offense to our lineup, and we are very pleased to have him sign with the Capitals,” said Capitals general manager George McPhee. “We believe he will be an excellent addition to our club.”

  1. goodellisruiningtheleague - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    They need more than one player. They also need to learn how not to get shutout in a game 5 in the first round of playoffs. Buncha bums.

  2. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    While scoring goals is always nice, what they really need to do to get past round 1 is to get serious about defence. Lets see – 18th is GAA, 27th in PK, #28 in SOG allowed. Sure they were 4th in goals scored, and they’re going to have to learn to play 2 way hockey.

    Bruins and Hawks played 2 way hockey – may be a good part of the reason they contended for the cup.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:28 PM

      And by thae way, I have nothing vs. the caps, just meant to add some additional perspective. Their coach not not have much of an opportunioty to influence the team/mold mindsets before the season started last year.

      This year, with the training cap and pre-season, he’ll have to chance. I’m sure he might have a concern or two about the “D” as well;).

    • therealjr - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:37 PM

      The Bruins and Hawks were good because they were extremely deep in talent and their best players performed.

      The reality is the Caps gave up 11 goals in the first 6 games of the Ranger series and things fell apart in Game 7. It’s not any of your coaching cliches or arm chair quarterbacking, it’s about not being good enough.

  3. bardown66 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    I feel like the east is just going to be too tough on them. They arent a bad team, they just arent the penguins, bruins, red wings, and hell even the islanders. People forget the islanders had more points in the regular season than the caps. Washington only made it by virtue of a joke division. Realignment did them no favors.

    • utherydeswayn - Aug 24, 2013 at 12:55 AM

      That’s simply not true. With no division winners, the Caps would have finished 5th and played the Maple Leafs in round one. That’s 10th in the league.

      • bmoreredfury311 - Aug 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        Thank you! funny how people forget that.
        The Caps will do fine in the realignment and i’m sooo happy, i don’t have to hear that excuse anymore. People forget that the Caps weren’t bad in the old Patrick Division. Is it Oct 3rd yet?

  4. stinkpretty1 - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    His interview is ruthless on Carlyle! Bubble year for this fella. Has great skill, but laziness is there.

  5. watermelon1 - Aug 24, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    But can he play defense??!?

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 24, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      Not well. He was a -10 in 7 playoff games. He gives the puck away a lot too.

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