NHL Trade Speculation: 4 Potential Destinations for Mikhail Grabovski

Curtis NgContributor IIIFebruary 18, 2012

UNIONDALE, NY - JANUARY 24:  Mikhail Grabovski #84 of the Toronto Maple Leafs in action against the New York Islanders on January 24, 2012 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Maple Leafs defeated the Islanders 4-3 after overtime.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

On Thursday, February 16th's edition of Insider Trading on TSN, Darren Dreger reported that there was an offer on the table for centreman Mikhail Grabovski of the Toronto Maple Leafs consisting of a second-round pick and a prospect.

The ideal situation for management, the player himself and Leaf fans would be for Grabovski to be re-signed to a long-term deal.

However, it is possible that the pending unrestricted free agent's camp could be asking for too much money.

It is also possible that another team (or perhaps the same team) will call with a superior offer that Leafs general manager Brian Burke would be foolish to decline.

Dreger did not specify which team had made the offer, but the list of teams that require a second line centreman is rather short.

Here are four teams who might be looking for an upgrade down the middle:


Washington Capitals

With Nicklas Backstrom out indefinitely due to a concussion, the Caps' playoff hopes are in jeopardy. Brooks Laich has been struggling mightily this year while Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault have not been able to step up to replace Backstrom's production.

It would be odd for the Leafs to trade one of their most valuable players to a team that's chasing them in the standings, so it's only a distant possibility.

Also, the Leafs would probably want something more, or at least something more helpful to their playoff chances, in return for Grabovski.

A mid-first rounder or even a good prospect would not help the Leafs right now.


Anaheim Ducks

It is entirely possible that Jason Blake, Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne will not be with the Ducks next season. They are all pending UFAs and are 38, 37 and 41 years old, respectively.

That's three of the Ducks' current group of top-six forwards gone.

Koivu has not scored more than 19 goals or 56 points since 2006-07 when he had 22 goals and 75 points for the Montreal Canadiens.

Assuming the Ducks can work out a deal with Grabovski for him to re-sign there, picking him up before the deadline might be a smart thing to do.

They could upgrade their top-six, but also try to salvage the season by making a late playoff push.


Minnesota Wild

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 31:  Mikhail Grabovski #84 of the Toronto Maple Leafs waits to face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 31, 2012 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Once atop the NHL standings, the Wild now find themselves 12th in the Western Conference, six points behind the eighth-place Los Angeles Kings. 

The Wild need a shake-up and an upgrade if they want to salvage their season as well. 

Their No. 1 centreman Mikko Koivu is apparently injured, but the Wild are also missing valuable forwards Guillaume Latendresse and Pierre-Marc Bouchard to concussions.

Leaf fans will recall the game against the Wild on January 19th where a big story going into the game was Warren Peters, who was called upon to centre the top line due to Koivu's absence.

The Wild are in danger of missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season.


Chicago Blackhawks

The Hawks currently have the 21-year-old Marcus Kruger playing between Andrew Brunette and Marian Hossa on the second line.

The top line is one of the best in the league, but, Hossa aside, the second line could use a couple upgrades.

Chicago recently beat the New York Rangers to end a nine-game losing streak.

Once ruling the Western Conference, the Hawks are now treading water; the ninth-place Calgary Flames are only four points away.

Grabovski would provide an instant upgrade and could stop a dangerous downward spiral for the club.