Blog Entry

Leafs re-sign Mikhail Grabovski for five seasons

Posted on: March 6, 2012 10:08 am
Edited on: March 6, 2012 10:32 am
Grabovski has 20 goals this season for Toronto. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed center Mikhail Grabovski to a five-year contract, ensuring that their talented centerman won't hit the free-agent market this summer.

The cost? Well it's going to be a little expensive for the Leafs.

There hasn't been a whole lot of good news coming out of Toronto recently, so consider Tuesday morning's break to be a relief. The team has lost its grip on the playoff position it held for so long, head coach Ron Wilson was just fired and GM Brian Burke has continued to be Brian Burke, making news for something every other day.

This bit of newsmaking is good, though. Very good. Grabovski's name was floated a bit at the trade deadline since he wasn't under contract for next season. But in an interesting phone interview with TSN's James Duthie on deadline day, Burke expressed interest although not a whole ton of optimism they would sign Grabovski. Either way he wasn't going to be traded.

"We are extremely pleased to have Mikhail under contract for the next five seasons,” Burke said in the team's release. “His speed and skill are valuable commodities and fit perfectly with our style of play. He leads by example and his work ethic speaks for itself."

Grabovski is technically the No. 2 center for the Leafs but many would argue he's the best centerman on the team. He helps give Toronto a solid second line. This season he has 20 goals and 25 assists to follow up his 29-29=58 of last season.

The price tag, as you might expect, comes in a little high. But compare it to other recent signings such as Ales Hemsky in Edmonton and it shouldn't be a total shock. Grabovski is a legit top-six centerman and people all across hockey will tell you that's not easy to find. The Leafs have a good one and they had to make sure they kept him.

I get the sense that I'm in the minority on this one in thinking it's not a bad deal for Toronto. Grabovski will still be just 33 when the deal is done and he should consistently give the Leafs 25-plus goals each season at center.

What do you think, good deal?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.


Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: March 6, 2012 7:09 pm

Leafs re-sign Mikhail Grabovski for five seasons

I see nothing wrong with the timing. James Neal of the Guins just signed a 6 year deal at a $5 MIL cap hit per year. He is much younger but they are close to on par with each other in stats. That's the going rate for a 1st or 2nd line winger or center, if not more. If he also plays good defense, it's not a bad deal. It's actually a good deal. I don't think it makes any difference when a player signs during the season. He should be happy now and maybe will play even better. He's one of the better players on the Leafs, imo. Top line centers are hard to find!

Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: March 6, 2012 6:33 pm

Leafs re-sign Mikhail Grabovski for five seasons

Slightly overpaid for a player resigning with his current team, imo.  5.5 million cap hit with a NTC were he can list 10 team he will accept a trade to each year.  

Mikhail Grabovski - 5.5 million per 5 years, 28 years old, 304 regular season game, 82 goals, 113 assists, 195 pts - 20 teams every year on his NTC
James Neal - 5 million per, 6 years, 24 years old,  299 regular season game, 103 goals, 96 assists, 199 points - last 3 year of contract has a NTC of 8 team he will not accept trade to

Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: March 6, 2012 6:25 pm

Leafs re-sign Mikhail Grabovski for five seasons

Reflects the market????  Watch out NHL or you'll have another MLB disaster on your hands, making no ONE happy except the millionaire players!

Since: Mar 7, 2009
Posted on: March 6, 2012 1:50 pm

Leafs re-sign Mikhail Grabovski for five seasons

I agree why wait until the eleventh hour to sign the guy?  Even if he was being used as trade bait, wait until the off season to lock him up then.  The timing is ridiculous.  What were the leafs going to do?  Trade Grabovski right in the middle of a run for the play offs?  Burke is one of the worst GM's in the league.  Always creating animosity and dissension on his teams.  He should learn to lurk in the shadows a little more.  Or get some weights put in his shoes so he will stop stuffing his foot in his mouth.  It seems like the LEAFS ARE MANAGED THROUGH THE MEDIA.  Why even have a GM?  He keeps his coach for 8 months too long,  over pays for Kessel, finds no one to make a hockey deal with in the league.  The team needs to find a power forward to play in the top six.  By the way the goalie they need to back up Reimer was on the squad at the tail end of last year.  He also has a better save percentage and goals against then the two currently being over paid in Toronto.  How do the peolpe of Toronto do it?  Continue to feed the evil empire that is MLSE.  Take, take, take.  They will be hard pressed to make the play offs in any of the next three seasons.  

Since: Mar 4, 2012
Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:29 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: March 6, 2012 11:00 am

Leafs re-sign Mikhail Grabovski for five seasons

I get the sense that I'm in the minority on this one in thinking it's not a bad deal for Toronto.
I don't think anybody that follows league salary trends and the availability of legitimate centers for a 2nd or 1st line will disagree.    It seems expensive but it reflects the market.    I think it's a good contract for Toronto.

My gripe if I were a Leafs fan would be about why this deal wasn't done before.   The team was going to be in a playoff race and to have those issues hanging over a player's head all year (rumored that talks were on and off since October) would seem to be an unwelcome distraction when combined with trade deadline rumors.    Burke should have taken care of this long ago even if it cost an extra year or a little more of a cap hit, or he should have let things play out until the offseason.   I find the timing frustrating.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or