NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs Better off Keeping Mikhail Grabovski Until Offseason

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2012

EDMONTON, CANADA - FEBRUARY 15: Mikhail Grabovski #84 of theToronto Maple Leafs  of the Edmonton Oilers on February 15, 2012 at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently sitting on thin ice.

They are clinching to the eight seed in the Eastern Conference with Winnipeg, and are only two points ahead of the Washington Capitals.

Management has to decide if they want to go for it this season and attempt to pull off a trade for Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash, or if they should get younger.

If they choose door No. 2, Mikhail Grabovski may be the first one to go. The 28-year-old center will be in negotiations for a new contract this offseason, and the alleged $5.4 million asking price is not going to fly for a franchise like the Maple Leafs.

GM Brian Burke would be much more likely to ship him out of town before it gets to that point, despite Grabovski’s desire to stay in Toronto, according to Dave Hilson of the Toronto Sun. Burke did tell Hilson that a potential deal would have to "blow them away."

ESPN.com reporter Alvin Chang believes the asking price for Grabovski would be a boatload to the tune of a young player who can contribute right away and a combination of picks and prospects as well. Then they have to negotiate with his agent on a fat new deal.

So, as you can see, there are a lot of hurdles in a potential deal. This is pretty ironic considering Grabovski has a grand total of one point in his last seven games, which goes hand-in-hand with the teams’ current 1-6 stretch that has put a severe damper on their season.

With the way NHL playoffs work, the main goal is just to get there. It doesn’t matter what seed you are, if you catch fire you can take home the Stanley Cup.

With a strong opportunity presented in front of them, it’s no time to throw in the towel. Move forward with the current team and hope he snaps out of his recent slump. 


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