According to Dmitri Chesnokov of TSN and Puck Daddy at Yahoo Sports, the Washington Capitals have agreed to a one year contract with centre Mikhail Grabovski. Financial terms were not disclosed. Grabovski became a free agent after being made an amnesty buyout by the Toronto Maple Leafs in Early July. Grabovski had 4 years and $21.5 million left on his contract before the buyout. He will make 2/3rds of that amount, spread over 8 years from Toronto.
Update: James Mirtle is reporting a Belarussian Source saying the deal is $3 million for one year.
Grabovski should step into the Capitals lineup as the second line centre behind Nicklas Backstrom. The position was filled by Mike Ribeiro last season, but he signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Coyotes.
The 29-year-old scored just 9 goals and 17 points in 48 games for the Leafs last season. However in his NHL career he has scored 94 goals and 217 points in 367 games in seven seasons split between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. In his best season, 2010-11, Grabovski had 29 goals and 58 points in 81 games.
Grabovski ripped Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle after his buyout saying the following to TSN’s Jonas Siegel.
“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,” Grabovski said. “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.”
“Wilson [expletive] pushed me same hard as this,” Grabovski went on to say, “but don’t be an [expletive] with me. If you don’t like something tell [expletive] right away, don’t put me on the bench, healthy scratch [me] or something. Don’t put me on a [expletive] third line and then [expletive] play me six minutes in a game.”
This ugly divorce from the Leafs comes on the heels of a similar ugly departure for Grabovski in 2008 from the Montreal Canadiens. This type of situation is probably a key contributing factor to why the talented 29-year-old stayed on the free agency market for so long before signing this short term deal with the Capitals.
Thanks for reading, as feel free to follow me on twitter @lastwordBKerr. Give the rest of the hockey department a follow while you’re at it – @LastWordBigMick, @CMS_74_, @dasimonetta, @TheHockeyMitch, @ddmatthews, @CanuckPuckHead, and @LastWordOnNHL, and follow the site @lastwordonsport.
Interested in writing for LastWordOnSports? If so, check out our “Join Our Team” page to find out how.