Goodbye Grabovski

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It’s days like these where you miss Brian Burke. The straight-shooting, loyalist ex-GM of the Leafs had his faults (eg. being too loyal), but impatience was never one of them. The buyout of Mikhail Grabovski, one year into a recently signed contract reeks of shortsightedness and impulsiveness on the part of Leafs management.

Admittedly, we cannot judge this move until the full extent of Dave Nonis’s plans are revealed. However, we do know that the free agent center options still remaining are limited at best.  Names such as Bozak and Weiss do not  represent an upgrade on either end of the ice over Grabovski.  In conjunction with the recognition that Grabovski’s “down year” is the product of a shortened sample size, limited minutes, extremely difficult competition and few o-zone starts – this move is puzzling to say the least.

Ironically enough, today MLHS was going to release its final player review on Grabovski himself. While that article will never be released in its entirety, it featured a logical defense of the Belorussian center. It examined the tantalizing possibility of returning Grabovski to an offensive role where he belongs, with Bolland shouldering the shutdown responsibilities and defensive zone starts.

There were many reasons that indicated this year should not be used as a conclusive judgement of the Leafs best center. The most damning, simple defense? It was one (shortened) season – a sample size of just 48 games.  Yet the whispers of Grabovski being “done” or “just not good enough” began to percolate in the maddening sphere of irrationality that is the Toronto hockey market.

After being one of the driving forces behind the Leafs offense for years (regularly near the top of the league in possession statistics), Grabovski found himself thrust into a defensive role with limited minutes in 2012-2013. True to his relentless work ethic and competitive spirit, Mikhail took to his new role with aplomb, never once uttering a word of complaint. Even after being abruptly shoved out the door, his character and love for the city of Toronto still shine through:

Is it at all surprising that a player would produce poorly when given just over 15 minutes of average ice time? Consider that his best year, a 29-29 output in 2010-2011, came with roughly 19 minutes of average ice time. Minutes that are in line with other top six centers in the league. Simply put – it would have been virtually impossible for him to produce anywhere near that level considering how he was deployed in this campaign. To further emphasize the “pigeon-holing” he received, the feisty forward was limited to just 36% offensive zone starts while facing the 3rd highest quality of competition on the team. The only forwards that surpassed him in this respect were often his linemates – Kulemin and McClement.

The story of this season for Grabovski would read as such: you take an offensively dynamic center and force him into one of the most purely defensive roles in the league, alongside players with limited offensive capabilities. Then, you begin reducing his minutes to that of a third line player, effectively eliminating any possibility of him working his way out of his apparent offensive doldrums.

In the now-defunct MLHS player review, it was concluded that all signs indicated that Grabovski could very well bounce back given, you know, a chance. Having played less than 7% of his shifts as a Maple Leaf with Kessel, fan-concocted storylines of “no chemistry” were not based on anything but conjecture. Indeed, the prudent route would have been to give Grabovski that opportunity in 2013-2014. If indeed he were to falter once more, the Leafs could explore trade options, or use the second compliance buyout at that point.

Instead, it seems that Dave Nonis et al. have something grand planned in the immediate future. Grabovski’s contract was inflated to the tune of a million dollars or so, although this did not appear to cause any problems in the near future for Toronto’s cap structure. Clearly, the Maple Leafs envision resigning some of their 2014 UFA’s to big contracts while also overpaying some of this year’s crop in the coming days. Why else would Nonis so quickly renege on his statement that Toronto would not use their second compliance buyout? Hopefully, it was not so they could throw money at an older, offensively/defensively inferior Stephen Weiss.

Until the dust settles on what will surely be a busy UFA period, Leafs fans should remember Grabovski for what he was. A warrior of a player with a questionable, but hilarious, handle on the English language. That special brand of crazy that became better after being hit by Zdeno Chara. A person who in his hardest, most challenging season as a Leaf still elevated his game in the playoffs because he wanted nothing more than victory for his team and their fans. Make no mistake – regardless of who Nonis and company bring in to replace the departed Grabovski, he will be missed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZpOEH5KByg

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Nikhil has been writing for MLHS since the site launched in 2008. He misses talking about Mats Sundin and is currently entrenched in enemy territory (Boston) pursuing a doctoral degree. Contact Nikhil here: [email protected]
  • king leary

    Burke was never impatient?
    Are you serious?

    • Nikhil Daljeet

      king leary 
      Yes

      • 2minutes

        Burke was probably the most patient GM we have seen in decades. Who else would put that much faith in Reimer and let him develop, or let Kadri take his time in the AHL? Luke was rushed, but other than that, I feel Burkie was very patient.

        • king leary

          I think he’s a good man and a good GM and loyal to a fault. Patient, the proof is in the pudding in the rebuild. I don’t disagree with you on Grabbo though.

        • rustynail

          2minutes Luke was already rushed before Burke got here

        • Mattmark

          rustynail 2minutes I believe that was RW’s idea, not Burke’s.

        • rustynail

          Mattmark rustynail 2minutes yup and while Cliffy was asleep at the wheel

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Nice post Nik.

  • mcloki

    This does make me miss Burke more than ever. But say hi to the new boss, same as the old boss. Grabo will be missed and this is the toughest loss that Leaf fans have had to deal with. Most other trades, fans would have drove the player to the city limits. Grabo is different. He had pluck and drive, was a little crazy and we loved that. It’s going to take a lot to replace that. A lot. Good Bye Grabo, we wish you all the best.

    • Jay_Berg

      You lost me at miss Burke

      • Alec Brownscombe

        Jay_Berg Oh come on

  • Uncle Otis

    Picked a bad day to go shopping for glue
    Did I miss anything 😉

    • Uncle Otis

      TheCanucksnaphook 
      awesome!

  • mcloki

    Shift_Disturber1 No we’ll still rub it in when Boston shows up here next year. I hear the HNIC broadcast crew is on suicide watch.

  • ProfessorRance

    Great post. Going to miss the little spitfire.

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/MathHappens51https://twitter.com/MathHappens51/status/352912001351155712
    Briere most noticably activates his no move clause in the Defensive Zone RT https://twitter.com/LouisJean_TVA Briere has a no move clause in his deal w/ https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Habs&src=hash.

  • bermudaboy

    Most everyone seems to agree that Grabo wasn’t a true 1C.
    Kadri with 44 pts in 48 games seems a true 2C, and maybe a 1C in time.
    Even Grabo’s supporters feel he is unsuited to play the shutdown role expected of a 3C.
    McClement is as good a 4C is there is in the league.
    So, despite Grabo’s heart etc etc, just where did you expect him to play this coming season?

    • Area49th

      bermudaboy Id rather him over Bozak though, guess we have to see what’s in the works

      • bermudaboy

        Area49th bermudaboy Yeah, hope we get some good news tomorrow for sure.

    • Nikhil Daljeet

      bermudaboy 
      Think about it this way:  will we now get a “true 1C” with Grabovski gone? No.  Will we get anything better at the C position with him gone? No.  So while him and Kadri both trot the line between good 2C and low-end 1C, they were our best option as a duo in the top 6.  Not every team in this league will be able to have a “true 1C” at the same time.  Our top-flight wingers, improved goalies, and (hopefully) improved defense along with proper deployment of Grabovski (via Bolland acquisiton) would have been the source of improvement for the team.

      • bermudaboy

        Nikhil Daljeet bermudaboy Don’t see why the answer to your two questions is “no”, particularly when the season does not begin for three months.

        • Nikhil Daljeet

          bermudaboy Nikhil Daljeet 
          Well we can dream

        • bermudaboy

          Nikhil Daljeet bermudaboy Been doing that since 1967…)

  • Loric76

    Shift_Disturber1 the new ACC chant when Boston is in town is “Where-Is-Se-guin?”

  • Mind Bomb

    Its a sad day, but some one here with there resonable perspective have made me relax and wait for Nonis’s plan develop before judging, but as it is, it seems The leafs spent millions because RC and Grabo were having a Tif. 
    Good bye you little maniac, I will miss your interviews and your Fire.

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/Russostribhttps://twitter.com/Russostrib/status/352913599955607554
    Two-year, $3 million deal for Keith Ballard with https://twitter.com/search?q=%23mnwild&src=hash

  • Loric76

    “Having played less than 7% of his shifts as a Maple Leaf with http://mapleleafshotstove.com/roster/phil-kessel/, fan-concocted storylines of “no chemistry” were not based on anything but conjecture.”
    Yet two separate groups of coaches opted to not put them together other than on the PP.  Just because it was never explained doesn’t mean there wasn’t a good reason behind it.
    Even the media, who tend to ask really dumb and obvious questions in an effort to dig up a story where none exists, didn’t bother to ever question this.
    I like Grabo, I really do, and I wish him the best of luck wherever he goes, but it’s obvious that they didn’t see a fit for him here long term.  He couldn’t play with Kessel for whatever reason, yet was being paid like a 1C.  Kadri effectively bumped him from the 2C slot last year, and now Bolland bumps him from the 3C slot this year.  Square peg in a round hole.

    • JMAC17

      Loric76 Bang on, Square peg round hole.
      He is a good player, I will miss the heart and no quit style of play, but he lost his spot.
      Good on the Leafs to give him the golden hand shake on the way out.  He is now free to take his new wife and start their life in a location of their choice.
      People should relax a little, this is a pre cursor to what is next.
      Better be Bozak or a Trade…dont want any part of Ribero or Weiss

    • Nikhil Daljeet

      Loric76 
      Wilson didn’t put them together because when he was here – they were his only two creative threats.  They were split up so we could actually have two competitive lines.  
      It’s as simple as this – they never had an extended look together.  When they did play together, the numbers show that they were productive.  People like to insinuate that it “just wouldn’t work” but it is not based on proof.  Kessel is the type of high-end versatile talent that would be worth giving just about any center – let alone your best center – a shot with.  Grabovski never got that chance.

      • Loric76

        Nikhil Daljeet Loric76 if the line combo worked you would have seen them together in the last few minutes of every game the Leafs were down by a goal or two.  Both Wilson and Carlye like to blend lines, yet this isn’t something either of them did.

  • Uncle Otis

    Wow..lots of Nonis “haters” after this move.
    Tried catching up through the back threads but blew a vessel/gave up.
    The vitriol was thick for MLHS…eh boss?
    Maybe we should wait and see what Nonis has up his sleeve before having him drawn and quartered

    • 4evrblue

      Uncle Otis Im withholding judgement but I haven’t been impressed so far

      • Uncle Otis

        4evrblue 
        with…..?

        • 4evrblue

          Uncle Otis 4evrblue this buyout, the trade deadline, the draft, the trade for Bolland………. anything really.

        • BruHawk

          4evrblue Uncle Otis What exactly do you now like about the Bolland deal?

        • 4evrblue

          @BruHawk 4evrblue Uncle Otis It was needless. There are free options coming up in the free agent market

        • BruHawk

          4evrblue Uncle Otis Free options? Nothing is free, especially when it comes to free agency. Guys are going to get overpaid left and right. We just got a number 3 center, who can score, is physical, and goes to the dirty areas of the ice. HE has won 2 stanley cups in the past four years. He knows how to win. A guy like that doesn’t come free.

        • 4evrblue

          @BruHawk 4evrblue Uncle Otis right….. I’m not even going to bother answering this. You have a boner for Bolland. Congrats you win.

        • BruHawk

          4evrblue Uncle Otis I swear, the level of douchebaggery on this site is getting worse every day. You try to have a decent conversation/debate, and it turns into this.

        • Mind Bomb

          @BruHawk 4evrblue Uncle Otis NO but he does only come for a Year, and then we are right back looking at overpay to keep him :)

        • BruHawk

          Mind Bomb 4evrblue Uncle Otis One year left, which is the reason it took very little to get him. At least we can take this year to have a look at him, and if he fits, we can try to sign him to an extension before free agency.

        • 4evrblue

          @BruHawk 4evrblue Uncle Otis lol I’m on this site everyday and have been for years. I can generally have a good conversation but when I make a statement and somebody takes exception to one little part of it it tells me they don’t care to have a decent conversation. Also when you make blanket statements like “he is physical” there really is nothing to debate. Yes, he is physical, he is also injured a lot because of it yada yada yada we’ve both seen this debate before. Don’t take me for a fool that hasn’t read it all. Again, you have a boner for Bolland, good for you, now fuck off

        • Mind Bomb

          @BruHawk Mind Bomb 4evrblue Uncle Otis aye I was just pointing out that if Bolland plays a significant role then he is going to get paid like any other UFA,

        • BruHawk

          Mind Bomb 4evrblue Uncle Otis Well, if he does play a significant role on this team, hopefully we can extend him for a decent price. The fact that Dupuis and Kunitz signed lower deals in Pittsburgh gives me hope that some of ours guys will take a home town discount… though I’m not counting on it

        • Mind Bomb

          @BruHawk Mind Bomb 4evrblue Uncle Otis Ha the imfamous home town Discount, may Bozie will take one lol

    • Alec Brownscombe

      Uncle Otis I suppose he could have a true number 1 coming in.
      More likely it’s Bozak or Weiss. And how disappointing that would be.

      • mcloki

        Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis I guess we’ll be here at 12:00 noon tomorrow then waiting to find out.

        • Uncle Otis

          mcloki 
          Thing is, I’m willing to withhold judgement as Nonis seems pretty level headed
          Time will tell

      • Uncle Otis

        Alec Brownscombe
        But you were first to jump to these conclusions somewhat prematurely…and inspired the pitchfork parade
        Maybe a first for these eyes

        • 2minutes

          LYNCH MOB!! LYNCH MOB!! LYNCH MOB!!

    • MikeGartner11

      Uncle Otis Hey it’s been a whole since the cup finals! But I will be sad if Bozak becomes are best center available this year. I wish Grabo the best as far from the leafs division as possible

      • MikeGartner11

        Uncle Otis wow brutal post sorry….whole week since….and our not are…..tablet typing

    • Mind Bomb

      Uncle Otis  Well he could have given Grabo this year, and used the But out next year if it was warranted, he could have used this season to build him back up. Even if the only reason to get rid of Grabo was because RC didnt like him, then give him the year to bounce back and build trade value, his contract has a year less, you acquire assets. If it did not pan out then you buy him out. 
      So if we go into next season with the Cap to cover grabo, RC has proven he is running the team. Wait , no it is Leiwiki, hmm no its Nonis, I cant * Cope *
      So who exactly is running our Team

      • Uncle Otis

        Mind Bomb 
        The man they call Hanta Yo 😉

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb 
          lol

  • Loric76

    lol
    https://twitter.com/TheTweetOfGodhttps://twitter.com/TheTweetOfGod/status/352914282138181632
    The main difference between the Gay Pride parade and the Fourth of July parade is the people in the Gay Pride parade KNOW they’re gay.

  • Gerg3d

    Grabo is a great guy, combative as shit.  He was my favourite leaf.  But he just doesn’t fit in here.  They have  Bolland who will be the number 3 centre, Kadri is #2, McClement is #4. Grabo will never be a #1 because he doesn’t see the ice well.  He doesn’t pass, and therefore he is not the centre you need for Lupul or JVR with Kessel.  Not going to work, so they need to move on and get a good playmaking centre to feed the pucks to the #1 wingers on this team which are very impressive.

    • Area49th

      Gerg3d Logic! damn you!

    • Loric76

      Gerg3d well said

      • Gerg3d

        Loric76 Gerg3d  don’t forget $5.5MM in cap space. Weiss would be a better fit and then they would have a true top 6 and bottom 6.

    • Mind Bomb

      Gerg3d  OK Gerd, but where are we getting this fantasy Good playmaking Center to feed pucks ? ( Other than Kadri ) 
      We have been on this 1C fantasy for years, Grabo deserved the shot, they could have waited the year

      • Gerg3d

        Mind Bomb Gerg3d possibly yes, but are we doing this full time?  I think I  prefer Nonis over Burke because I think he is more thoughtful and has a plan. only time will tell. we are just posers here, so anyone’s guess is good as anyone else.

  • MattWhite2

    Grabo is my favorite player, I have his jersey, and the guy fucking bleeds blue and white. This move does reek of short sightedness, and if July 5th is a bust Nonis is going to look pretty fucking stupid. So much for being patient, shipping out our NUMBER ONE CENTER, maybe he should have played TOP LINE MINUTE, with TOP LINE PLAYERS. 
    Let us pray Kadri is everything this organization things he is, this sophomore season will be a real test not playing sheltered minutes. I was real upset after Burke was let go, this move is a close second, Nonis obviously thinks nothing like Burke because he would have never traded guy 1 year after signing him to a 5 year deal. Grabo is gonna be snapped up July 5 and be amazing next year, sad day in leaf land.

    • JMAC17

      MattWhite2 Sad to see a heart and soul player go, but he just wasnt part of the core.  Time to cut bait and improve the team.  
      Nonis will surprise us.

  • Shelmo

    Shift_Disturber1  what seguin be awesome now lol

  • B_Leaf

    Best article ever

  • B_Leaf

    -Keon- 
    Grabovski>>>Weiss

    • ProfessorRance

      B_Leaf -Keon- plus 1000 likes

      • JMAC17

        ProfessorRance B_Leaf -Keon- Fully agree there.

    • moimoi

      B_Leaf -Keon- Have you ever actually watched Weiss? Be honest

  • Mattmark

    It’s conceivable that when Burke was shown the door the top brass told Nonis, ‘He was costing us money.  You save us some or you’re gone too.’

    • 4evrblue

      Mattmark nothing pays like the playoffs. “spend to the cap if you have to, just get us to the playoffs” was probably the message

      • Mattmark

        4evrblue Mattmark We got into the playoffs on Burke’s coattails, clearly, so they’d already factored that in.

        • 4evrblue

          Mattmark 4evrblue I don’t buy it

        • Mattmark

          4evrblue Mattmark I don’t have any evidence apart from the fact that every move Nonis has made so far has been one of subtraction.

        • 4evrblue

          Mattmark 4evrblue lets see what he does in free agency :)

    • MeIzGuest

      Mattmark This is Toronto, money is never gonna be an issue… cap hit maybe.

      • Mattmark

        @MeIzGuest Mattmark You think it isn’t an issue because it’s not your money.  I’m not so sure the head honchos share your casual assumption that the money’s there to be spent.  The fans are going to buy the tickets regardless.

  • Mind Bomb

    -Keon-  Heart !

    • lukethenuke

      -Keon- not grabos

    • Mind Bomb

      -Keon-  Well wont matter we are probably getting Riberio

  • Waiting4LSC

    Thank you Nikhil. Very solid piece. You nailed it with “Warrior”. Like a lot of fans I am perplexed by the move. Grabs had me frustrated last year, but I always remembered him being hit, presumed concussed, and still playing and scoring a great goal. He was a blue collar player, with flashes of top talent. Timing has to really suck.

    • LeafsForLife

      Waiting4LSC Timing has to really suck. Seems that was connected to the firing of Burke too.

    • ShotgunCharlie

      Waiting4LSC  i blame Craplyle

    • 4evrblue

      Waiting4LSC He admitted he was concussed after. We can scratch “presumed” :)

  • B_Leaf

    Nonis is becoming a huge disappointment. I expect more stupidity to follow.

    • JMAC17

      TheCanucksnaphook B_Leaf What has he done that is so stupid.
      Bernier and Bolland make this team better, no contest. 
      Grabs going give the nod to Kadri….and if Bozak stays we are flat to last year in terms of output.
      He can only add to the team from here.

      • B_Leaf

        JMAC17 TheCanucksnaphook B_Leaf 
        Well you won’t say that about Bernier if he is an average back-up or if Scrivens does just as well…not to mention Matt Frattin was a keeper…power forwards are hard to come by…when he scores 20-30 goals you might reconsider. I think it was a retarded trade. Bolland is a good pick-up but not at the cost of Grabovski. 
        Sorry, but I don’t like what Nonis is doing. I mean if Grabo has ulcers in his stomach and he isn’t coming back, then I understand. But if you want to win a cup…you need guys like Grabovski.

    • B_Leaf

      TheCanucksnaphook B_Leaf 
      But I see a pattern developing…

      • Savo43

        B_Leaf TheCanucksnaphook A pattern? Oh you mean, getting rid of the under achieving, overly expensive contracts to reallocate towards other assets that make more sense? Right.

    • Savo43

      B_Leaf Nice avi, maybe you should double bag it before UFA period starts. Fml Leaf fans are ridiculous.

    • Tim Horton

      TheCanucksnaphook B_Leaf You say patience but what are we waiting for the writing is pretty much on the wall, UFA’s are terrible and we have 12 players signed that we could potentially trade, most of which we won’t because they are part of our core.

      I will completely change my tune if he takes on salary to get a potential #1 like Cobourn + Couturier but the chances are slim IMO.

  • MattWhite2

    why the fuck did we not buy out Liles

    • MattWhite2

      OH its so we can play Gardiner less

    • JMAC17

      MattWhite2 Cause we can trade him or we can use him…depth player.

      • MattWhite2

        JMAC17 MattWhite2 a 4million dollar depth player? and ya sure i bet he has lots of trade value lol

  • 2minutes

    MLSE decided that change is bad, and playoffs just aren’t for us.

    • 2minutes

      By change I mean, from being annual losers to not being that…

  • Biltmore

    Just for the record, I’m not a fan of the Frattin trade, hated to lose him. I’ll really miss Grabo as well, I thought he deserved a season or half with Kessel to see how that panned out. His production aside the past season, he never took a night or shift off. That kind of hustle (ditto Komarov) is infectious and went a long way to putting an identity to the team. I don’t want to see this team slower, or with less “belligerence.”

  • Greg Fenton

    Grabovski is a good/average 2nd line player. He was just making too much money. Kadri’s play last year made Grabovski redundent this year. It just doesn’ tmake sense to pay him 5.5 million when they have Kadri to play the same role. So they did the smart thing, and bought him out.

    • ProfessorRance

      Greg Fenton I would say an above average 2nd line center who was not utilized to his full potential and put in the right role to succeed.

      • Greg Fenton

        ProfessorRance Greg Fenton Not even close to being above average. He had one year were everything clicked with him and Kulemin and MacArthur, but other then that, just an average 2nd line player who couldn’t impress the coach enough to get off the 3rd line, was replaced by Bolland and Kadri, and was making to much money and eating up too much cap space.

    • Area49th

      Greg Fenton Friction with RC and his cap hit. Maybe something else too. I will miss him and appreciate his effort. Now show us something, Nonis

      • Greg Fenton

        Area49th Greg Fenton Carlyle not liking him or wanting to play with him certainly didn’t help.

    • Tim Horton

      Greg Fenton The smart thing to do as far as asset management goes, is to give him another year and trade him when the cap goes up. Clearly getting anything for him> getting nothing. Don’t tell me he has no value, he will be scooped up tomorrow for 4 mil if he so chooses.

      • Greg Fenton

        Tim Horton Greg Fenton They tried to trade him this year, no one wanted him. They brought in Bolland to center the 3rd line, Kadri will be in the top 6, and clearly they are looking for a real #1 center. There is no place for Grabovski and his 5.5 million is too much money to keep him around for no reason.

        • Tim Horton

          Greg Fenton Tim Horton Like I said clearly no one wants a 5.5 mil #2c right now but next year the cap will go up significantly and its a whole notha ball game.

        • Greg Fenton

          Tim Horton Greg Fenton And there could still be no one who would want Grabovski next year.

        • Mind Bomb

          They you can still buy him out, for less :)

        • Tim Horton

          Greg Fenton Tim Horton There could be 9… Buy him out next year if he continued to slide, we are not in a good enough position that we can be dumping good players for nothing.

      • Mind Bomb

        Tim Horton Greg Fenton  Exactly Tim, give him the year, it only make sense unless you have already spent the cap on a trade that you have agreed upon.
        I will wait and see what Nonis has acquire, it better be Peitrangelo lol

  • Bryan93

    Season doesn’t start tomorrow….I think we need to back off the ledge and see what the summer brings before we start throwing Nonis under the bus.  Things are gonna happen, just not all at once

  • Jay_Berg

    Love how irrational some of these comments are.
    People are saying this is a bad move before we even know who is replacing him. Sounds good

  • Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs

    Daljeet named the reason for Grabos departure but failed to see it.
    Grabos best year with top 6 minutes was 29-29 (19mins avg toi). Simply put, when the player isnt a tough guy, doesnt really finish his hits, is defensively average, small and cant take a face off, 5.5 millionis about 2.25 million too much.
    As much as I admire Grabos desire and put up and shut mentality which shows great loyalty and professionalism he just isn’t good enough for the Leafs any more. We’ve moved on from a team trying to make the playoffs to one that wants to be there year in year out. If you get payed 5.5million then you should either be a regular 60 point man with a lot of grit OR a 70 point man (30 goal scorer).
    Simply put Bolland is a comparable 2nd line scorer when put with decent line mates, on a par with Grabo BUT Bolland is more aware defensively. On the 3rd line Bolland is heads and shoulders better than Grabo. So please for the life of me tell me why 1. We need Grabovski and 2. Whay is he worth 2.25 million more.

    • MikeGartner11

      Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs I do think the contract was an obvious factor, but i’m sure paying bozak as much or more isn’t the solution

      • Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs

        @MikeGartner11 Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs 
        Bozie isnt signed yet and im pretty sure Nonis hasn’t dumped Grabo just so there is more money for Bozak. Im pretty sure that the Leafs have a set price and wont budge from it completely independent of whether Grabo was/is bought out or not.
        I think the Leafs possition is he gets his original contract back. The one he signed with the leafs in the beginning, I believe it was 3.7m

  • 2minutes

    Nonis believes defense wins championships. So,he has decided that we don’t need anybody who’s not a goalie or a defensive forward. Everybody else will traded, bought out, or disappeared…

  • LeafsForLife

    Great job Nikhail. You captured what Grabo is truly made of. Ty for this.

  • Nikhil Daljeet

    -Keon- 
    That’s a fair stance to have. It is a closer comparison than Grabovski and Bozak, at the very least.  But from watching many Panthers games, Weiss reminds me a lot of Tim Connolly.  Panthers fans have had a similar opinion for years now, and were mostly disappointing when Stephen went and got himself hurt this year because they could not use him as trade bait.  Weiss is a year older than Grabovski, and has produced at a lower level offensively in recent years.  He has also been deployed against easier competition and never been utilized in a defensive role in Florida.  In my opinion, Grabovski is the better player and it is not even close.  Take the comparison back about four years and I wouldn’t be so sure.

  • Great Dane

    all in all we have to face the fact that Kadri, Grabo and Bozak are too much of the same. Kadri might develop into a true ffirst line center but right now he is a 2nd line center and so is Grabo. Bozak is maybe a third line center and that slot is now filled with Bolland.
    I am sure that we can all agree that Kadri is the preferred choice for the second line. 
    To me there are two mistakes in this: 
    The first is Grabos contract – Burke screwed that up royally.

    Second mistake is that that it doesn’t seem clear what Nonis will do with the first line center position.

    • Uncle Otis

      Great Dane 
      Yep,Burkie gets a free pass around here/Teflon man but that was a poor contract decision

      • Greg Fenton

        Uncle Otis Great Dane It is amazing how a guy can fail for 3 years, making loads of bad personal decisions and be looking on favorably.

        • Uncle Otis

          Greg Fenton 
          Not saying that at all…I loved the majority of his trades
          But like the outpouring of emotion against Nonis right now,I found equal emotion falsely making Burke out to be infallible

        • Great Dane

          Uncle Otis Greg Fenton I like that Nonis is emotionless and not attach to players like Burke was.
          Most of Burke trades were good. His UFA signings was bad really bad and the his resignings way to expensive.

        • Greg Fenton

          Uncle Otis Greg Fenton He did get good value in most of his trades, the problem with his trades was that they took the team in the wrong direction (when he should have been stocke piling picks nad and prospects, he was moving them for players to improve right away). 
          However he did fail to get into the playoffs for 3 years (which was his stated goal) and did make a lot of personal mistakes.

        • Uncle Otis

          Great Dane 
          He’s one cold ass honkey 😉
          #maplemore

        • Greg Fenton

          Great Dane Uncle Otis Greg Fenton Thats how a GM should be.

        • newkb

          Its amazing that a moron like you can type legibly…

    • peterbleafs

      Great Dane Well look at it this way.  Last year we had 2 – 2nd line Centers and bottom 6 centers and we came damn close to walking right past the Bruins.  This year if we change nothing we have 1 2C, 3-3C…not much different but we can add one top 6 winger.  About offsets.

      • Great Dane

        peterbleafs Right I can’t see the solution either – trade for Stastny yes – I want to see it before I believe it.

    • ShotgunCharlie

      Great Dane problem is…it looks like they are replacing a 2nd line center that was about to get 1st line minutes with a 3rd line center….about to get 1st line minutes

      • Great Dane

        ShotgunCharlie and last year a 3rd line center got to play 1st line minutes. It is a mess.
        Nonis and Leiweke need to fix this.

        • ShotgunCharlie

          Great Dane ShotgunCharlie Problem is…the only way to fix it is via trade.

    • Greg Fenton

      Great Dane The first line center position is still a weakness, but Grabovski was hardly a solution.

      • Great Dane

        Greg Fenton Agree too much of the same – that has long been the problem at center

  • Komas Taberle

    Baby Huey is going to surprise you tomorrow, do you know that if we trade Liles for a draft pick we would have almost 25M of cap to work with? Baby Huey knows this and he will dominate tomorrow. From now on July the 5th will be Baby Huey Day.

    • ShotgunCharlie

      Komas Taberle and…who will we have on defence?

      • Savo43

        ShotgunCharlie Komas Taberle Players that will surprise you =).

      • Komas Taberle

        ShotgunCharlie Komas Taberle Lots of options when you have 25 M

      • Komas Taberle

        -Keon- exactumondo!

  • Mattmark

    Grabo’s merits and demerits are history now, no point dwelling on them.  What’s relevant are the merits and demerits of this move, and there’s no way to assess those until the other shoe drops.  If Nonis succeeds in getting us a first-line centre, like Stastny, we’ll all be looking at today’s news in a very different light.

    • Waiting4LSC

      Mattmark: good post. For me the sadness comes from the timing. Years of failing to make the playoffs. We then start to make progres and key personnell are jettisoned. Doesn’t seem fair, but then what is in business unless you are an owner dividend-ing yourself wealth. Burkie and Grabs were part of the foundation of the new leafs. I just hope we build wisely and not destroy.

      • rustynail

        Waiting4LSC  To me this seems like a perfect screw you to Grabo. Announce we are all done compliance for this year and then boom compliance buyout the day before Grabo’s wedding. No surprise he was emotional in his response. If the relationship between Grabo and Cralyle was that bad last year it certainly explains to me why he was Eddie Shack reincarnated last season.

    • newkb

      I am thinking Gillis might be smarter….if we only end up with Bozak or Weiss plus Clarkson..

    • Uncle Otis

      Mattmark 
      I’d prefer an Evander Kane,but yes…exactly what I have been trying to preach
      Lets see what Nonis has in store before you lynch him

      • Mike Bosse

        Uncle OtisMattmarkyeah that’s sounds like a good one, and since Alexander Burmistrov has requested out of the Peg maybe we could get him as a throw in.

  • Leafs_17

    its is funny to see Boston fuck up with Seguin

    • lukethenuke

      Leafs_17 they got ericcsson,…. did well id say

      • Komas Taberle

        lukethenuke Leafs_17 Short term Boston wins. Long term Dallas wins!

        • Loric76

          Komas Taberle lukethenuke Leafs_17 short term and long term we win

        • lukethenuke

          Komas Taberle lukethenuke Leafs_17 exactly, and Boston only cares short term really with Chara and core aging.  But Ericcsson is young… core player in prime, so mid term Boston wins too id say

      • Leafs_17

        lukethenuke Leafs_17 meh they still fucked up with the contract they gave seguin, and ericcsson is 27 so they only got older

      • Mind Bomb

        lukethenuke Leafs_17 I Thought Joe Morrow was highy though of as well

        • lukethenuke

          Mind Bomb lukethenuke Leafs_17 yeah exaxctly , Boston did very well

    • Waiting4LSC

      Karma for me.

    • Mike Bosse

      Leafs_17 bet there wasn’t 1 Leaf fan worldwide that did have a smirk on when the news was announced……see ya Tyler

  • Faalcon

    Goog artcile Nik.   I agree Nonis better show us that BUYING OUT GRABOVSKI  I am some what troubled by NONO.

    Nono was the right hand man of BB. Logically one would assume, he was part of all the decision making of BB ala Komisarek, Armstrong,Connoly etc etc. 
    Being part of the decision making, he therefore agreed with those decisions and therefore he should shoulder the blame for the above decisions for which only Burke was maligned. 
    On the other hand it is possible that NONO did not agree with the decisions of Burke but he was  not man enough to stand up to Burke and quit or move to other teams; One would assume, NoNo got dominated and he stayed for the shelter of Burke and for the pay.

    When NONO took over the job as Leaf GM this year, his decision making at the start of this season  was swift. I am now not sure whether his  decision of waiving non-productive leafs to the minors were his decisions. It could be that he is being dominated by his coach who appears to be a much more forceful character. Since NON has been conditioned to submit to authority previously ( of Burke), he is now submitting to the authority of Carlyle.
     We will soon find out what he is by the seeing the next moves he makes. Yes, any one can be traded or bought our, but it better be for upgrading the team and CERTAINLY NOT FOR CHICKEN NUGGET BOZAK.

    • ShotgunCharlie

      Faalcon every time I see NONO in yoru post I think of my NONO (grandfather)

      • Faalcon

        ShotgunCharlie Faalcon OK, I trust he was a good man.

  • MikeGartner11

    Wow it’s an all out Melee on MLHS. It’s all up for debate tonight……Grabo, Bozak, the value of advanced stats, Burke, Nonis….If someone starts a steve spott fight this place might blow up. I hope something happens to help us focus on one fight at a time :)

    • lukethenuke

      @MikeGartner11 Dont start me on spott, i avoided this place yesterday for that reason… cock sucker was SO SO BAD in WJ’s its not funny… i chirped him so hard then.  Oh god.

      • 4evrblue

        lukethenuke I remember he came up as a possible replacement here one day and everybody was ranting “fuck him” lol

      • MikeGartner11

        lukethenuke I did it! I had the same feelings during the tourny…..I’m looking at the players that have played for him that are nhlers now and giving him a clean slate since he is a leaf

      • Waiting4LSC

        With you brother.

  • peterbleafs

    I like it and hope we do not sign any more centers…get one big capable winger and Scuderi and maybe a draft pick.  We are all set.  Do not need any more centers UNLESS a true 1C shows up…no bandaids.

    • MaxwellHowe

      peterbleafs Unless its a home run like Stasney or Evander Kane (speculation he is out there), I agree.  Though I shudder at the thought of what Nonis would give up for those guys

  • BollandCup

    Hi guys, I’m a long time creeper, first time poster. I have a question. I’ve seen a lot of people comment about how if the Leafs overpay Bozak, he’ll just be the next buyout next year. I thought that the compliance buyouts were ONLY a total of two over the next two years. Is this incorrect ?? Please advise. Thank you.

    • lukethenuke

      BollandCup we now have no more compliance buyouts

      • Leafs_17

        lukethenuke BollandCup time to play it really smart with the contracts

    • MeIzGuest

      BollandCup we’re fresh out of compliance buyouts… boo hoo

    • Mind Bomb

      BollandCup Welcome to the Jungle, we are done with Compliance buy outs only get 2 bro

    • ShotgunCharlie

      BollandCup probably a normal buy out. I cant see it happening though.

    • ProfessorRance

      BollandCup Welcome!

      • BollandCup

        ProfessorRance BollandCup Thanks very much guys. I pride myself on being one who get’s my facts straight before opening my mouth…LOL

        • Loric76

          BollandCup ProfessorRance that would be refreshing around here , especially on days like this

        • ProfessorRance

          BollandCup ProfessorRance We can use more of ya then.

        • BollandCup

          -Keon- Exactly the way I’m seeing things

    • Gerg3d

      BollandCup Bozak is done here.  Nonis is moving on and going to get a #1 centre, hopefully cross your fingers

  • peterbleafs

    Lets see…a line of :
    Lupul    Colborne    Clarkson  ….nah they wont get any points.
    JVR   Kadri    Kessel….nah they wont be able to compete with the leagues best lines.
    Kulemin Bolland  ???  ….nah cant check worth a damn

    • ProfessorRance

      peterbleafs Put Jay on right wing coach!

    • MaxwellHowe

      peterbleafs Well.  When you put it like that… Seriously though, I can only hope that the Leafs give Colborne his break.

    • newkb

      Your first line will be lucky to break 120 points combined…

      • peterbleafs

        newkb I would not under estimate Colborne, he played extremely well in those few playoff games and was far quicker than he was the year before.  That guy is a prime prospect and should play.  And Lupul ups the game of anyone he plays with.  That line are 6’1, 6’5 and I think Clarkson is around 6’2… a big talented group

  • ShotgunCharlie

    FUCK I HATE THIS BUYOUT

    • ShotgunCharlie

      Nonis better pull a big fucking rabbit out of his stinky hat.

  • lukethenuke

    I feel we have taken steps back so far with every move so far this offseason. Must wait for further moves, must not hate Nonis… patience Luke, patience

    • ShotgunCharlie

      lukethenuke I feel like you are correct!

      • ShotgunCharlie

        lukethenuke well all but the not hating Nonis part

    • leafmealone

      lukethenuke Buying out Komisarek was not a backwards move.

      • Komas Taberle

        leafmealone lukethenuke Neither was Bernier and Bolland, brilliant moves if i say so myself!

        • Tim Horton

          Komas Taberle leafmealone lukethenuke I was for the Bernier trade because of Berniers potential, we still lost the current best player in the trade. Bolland I am all for because I find most late draft picks useless but not at the expense of Grabo and Bozak if that is the case.

  • jimyor

    business is business.the leafs would not buy out grabo without having his cap hit working better on another player or players. they know who they want. good luck grabo,i will miss you.

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/chrisjlundhttps://twitter.com/chrisjlund/status/352898277106130944
    Would a Briere-Gionta-Gallagher line be the first in NHL history wherein nobody was allowed on the rollercoaster?

    • 4evrblue

      rustynail lmfao

    • ShotgunCharlie

      rustynail LMAO

    • Loric76

      rustynail lol

    • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

      rustynail That’s gold.

      • LeafsForLife

        ingy56 rustynail That is downgoesbrown-like. awesome!

    • Mind Bomb

      rustynail  Thats Gold Gerry !

    • Uncle Otis

      rustynail 
      LMFAO….That’s AAA stuff right there Rusty!!!
      Who  is Chris Lund?

  • TOHockeyNut

    I don’t know why many on here are penciling Colborne in the line up for next year. He played 10 games in 2011-2012 for the Leafs and 5 regular season games and 2 playoff games with the Leafs this season. He d.id not register a single point this year on the Leafs. If Nonis is penciling him in we are  in big trouble.

    • 4evrblue

      TOHockeyNut maybe Carlyle really likes him? Regardless of the points he put up this year I think he is very close to being ready.

      • TOHockeyNut

        4evrblue TOHockeyNut He may be close, but you don’t pencil a player in that may be close to being ready.

        • 4evrblue

          TOHockeyNut 4evrblue thats normal though. Kadri was penciled in every year since he was drafted

    • ShotgunCharlie

      TOHockeyNut If Colborne is one of our centers next season say goodbye to the playoffs now

      • MaxwellHowe

        ShotgunCharlie TOHockeyNut What is it with the Joe Colborne hate? I said it before, if he was on another team we would be clamoring to trade for him.  Christ, no team can get ahead without playing the low paid prospects.

        • TOHockeyNut

          MaxwellHowe ShotgunCharlie TOHockeyNut I don’t hate Colborne, I just have not seen him translate his game to the NHL yet and am not prepared to say the he should be in the line up.

        • ShotgunCharlie

          MaxwellHowe ShotgunCharlie TOHockeyNut its not a Colborne hate. he is just not an NHL player

        • MaxwellHowe

          TOHockeyNut MaxwellHowe ShotgunCharlie That is what I call circular reasoning

        • ShotgunCharlie

          MaxwellHowe TOHockeyNut ShotgunCharlie It is what I call replacing your BMW with a K Car

  • Tim Horton

    canuckintheuk Nonis also just said he did not see them using their second buyout this year. GMs say a lot of things.

    • Tim Horton

      canuckintheuk Tim Horton Lol we will see I guess. But if your just assuming the best case scenario you may be in for a huge let down.

  • 4evrblue

    canuckintheuk I hope it’s Stastny, there really isn’t much to get from this free agent class

    • ShotgunCharlie

      4evrblue canuckintheuk Yes but Stastny is WORSE than grabo and his salary is 1 million more

      • Mike Bosse

        canuckintheuk ShotgunCharlie 4evrblue no denying Stastny would be #1 on the Leafs but you have to remember…the Aves need defensemen, I would definitely come in the Gardiner/Reilly form + on top of that.

      • ShotgunCharlie

        Mike Bosse canuckintheuk ShotgunCharlie 4evrblue that would be a really fucking shitty trade.

      • Mike Bosse

        ShotgunCharlie Mike Bosse canuckintheuk 4evrblue lol sorry didn’t mean both but 1 or the other for sure +?

      • ShotgunCharlie

        canuckintheuk ShotgunCharlie 4evrblue he still sucks. In the words of Public Enemy….Don’t believe the hype!

  • BollandCup

    I’m not sure if anybody has much of a memory on here, but when all the talk was about Vinnie, everyone said that he’d sign short term just to get back to Tampa. Well, I think the same can easily be said for Grabo. Whoever signs him, it will “unlikely” be a very long term. So he may not be gone for long. Nonis (I’m not a fan just yet), may just be allowing another team to test out his value. Just sayin….