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UFA of the Day: Mikhail Grabovski

Jun 27, 2014, 9:57 AM EDT

Mikhail Grabovski Getty Images

Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Mikhail Grabovski

The 2013-14 campaign was Mikhail Grabovski’s chance to prove that the Toronto Maple Leafs were wrong to give up on him. It didn’t work out the way he wanted, although it wasn’t a disaster either.

After Toronto used a compliance buyout on Grabovski in the summer of 2013, the forward ranted that head coach Randy Carlyle is a “[expletive] idiot” that didn’t support him and subjected him to fourth-line duties. His agent chimed in that the Leafs “mismanaged him,” but he was upbeat after signing a one-year deal with Washington.

Things couldn’t have started better as Grabovski scored a hat trick in his debut en route to recording 11 goals and 30 points in 38 games through December. However, he went cold after that and his struggles in the second half of the season were further exasperated by ankle problems. By the time the season was over, he had 35 points in 58 contests.

Despite his hot-and-cold campaign, the lack of skilled centers on the free agent market works in Grabovski’s favor. He would like to re-sign with the Capitals though, per the Washington Post.

He’s reportedly hoping to land a four or five-year deal that would pay him in the range of $5 million annually. That would be in line with the five-year, $27.5 million contract Toronto used a buyout to get out of.

  1. dipthatchip - Jun 27, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Hopefully he liked his time in DC and something reasonable can be worked out. We need this guy back.

    • gunnyhighway88 - Jun 27, 2014 at 10:44 AM

      Yeah, as long as they don’t pay him what he was getting in Toronto.

  2. jrocknstuff - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    That’s the problem. He wants the money he was making in Toronto…..about $5 M a year. I want him back in DC as well, but not at that price. He’d like to stay in DC, but I’d let him walk unless he significantly lowers his asking price.

  3. endusersolutions2013 - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    And given that he did not have a really good year AND is getting income from the buyout, less is reasonable. While the Hawks need a 2c, they also will want someone who plays 2 ways.

  4. rsl22 - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    He is a solid puck possession guy that offers a lot for his potential cap hit.

    If he goes somewhere else, he’ll join Ribiero and Semin as difference makers that the Caps have lost in free agency for nothing. Losing these kinds of guys for nothing have been a big a factor in the Caps recent demise. The Caps simply can’t replace high-end talent through free agency like some other markets.

    Re-signing Grabo and offering too much (in a trade or in salary to a FA) to a top defender are the best/only way the Caps can get back to being legit contenders.

    But, unfortunately, they’ll probably end up with neither a 2C or top pair D help and will struggle to make the playoffs.

    • bmoreredfury311 - Jun 27, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      Totally agree with you. Hopefully the new brass, doesn’t follow up with the same ol’bad habits from the last 4yrs

      • rsl22 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        With Semin and Ribiero (or Forsberg, Eakin, Wideman, and even Halak and Neuvirth), I’m not really upset that they’re not on the team any longer, it just is frustrating to see guys leave with nothing to show for them. I understand these guys may not win championships, but it just seems like there’s a major talent drain in DC right now.

        As for the new brass, GMBM was in charge of pro scouting when Schultz was manning the blueline. This may not be accurate, but after he put up a +50 in 2009-10, I feel like there must have been some market to trade him while he had some stock. But instead, they let that stock depreciate until it was worth more to pay him not to play for the Caps. If that’s the kind of evaluation that gets you a promotion in DC, then I am not holding out much hope for any significant changes.

  5. i1theinternet - Jun 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    I don’t see this guy getting more than 4 yrs or $4.5m AAV from anyone. He shouldn’t expect everyone to be as stupid as management in TO.

  6. stakex - Jun 27, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    I don’t doubt that Grabovski could be worth $5 million a year or so. Its just that he hasn’t looked all that great the last two seasons, one of which resulted in him being bought out. Any team willing to give him that kind of money, especially on a long term deal, would be taking a serious leap of faith that his couple good seasons weren’t a fluke.

  7. jrocknstuff - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Schultz was the EXACT example I used when I explained to people why this was the worst possible GM hire. GMBM is known around Caps circles as lazy and complacent, but he wins Ted over with one interview. I am, however, encouraged by the coaching hires. The two assistant hires the past two days should both pay dividends.

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