Mikhail Grabovski: Superman or Spiderman?

Melissa HanschellCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2009

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 12:  Mikhail Grabovski #84 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates with the puck during the game against the Buffalo Sabres on December 12, 2008 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

By Melissa Hashemian


There have been numerous players who have come in and out of Toronto. Some have made impressions, some have created memories, and some have simply left fans confused.

With everything that has been happening with the Leafs' organization, it is difficult to rely on many players for leadership and support. There are, however, a few players who can help bring back the confidence and stability the team requires to succeed in the future.

It's hard to predict who will remain a Leaf, and who will be turning in their jerseys for another in the next few years. Nothing and no one can be counted on with the various altercations being done on the team right now. It's all up to the picture management will paint and whether or not it will become a reality. 

With the many promising players present on the roster, Mikhail Grabovski is considered as one of the key factors in turning the team around for a better tomorrow. He has come a long way to get to the level of success he has attained today and continues to be a growing attribute as a Toronto Maple Leaf.

The 5'11" 179 pound forward was drafted 150th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He unfortunately only played three games in 2007 before being sent down to the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal's AHL affiliate).

When the 2007-2008 season rolled around Grabovski continued to exploit his impressive speed and aptitude in Montreal. However, there was a distinct form of frustration on his part when he failed to be in the Canadiens' lineup on several occasions.

Big mistake.

Grabovski ended up being traded to Toronto on July 3, 2008, and since then has become a vital asset to the team's rebuilding process. He was a healthy scratch for most of the season and posted adequate numbers during this time as well.

Recently Grabovski experienced a scoring drought and found it challenging to keep up. After displaying solid effort and numbers, Grabosvski went on to play 18 games without a goal.

It was evident that his lack of production had gotten to him as he displayed a sour puss face under his long wavy hair every time he sat on the bench. Fortunately, the bad luck didn't last too long as his scoring slump came to a halt on March 10th against the New York Islanders.

Since then, he's been nothing but amazing registering seven points in his last three games (2G, 5A). He's a fighter and screams potential with every game he plays. It's important to have players willing to get their hands dirty on a team like Toronto that is still finding itself; this is why every bit of effort counts.

Grabovski currently has 18 goals and 24 assists for a total of 42 points (third on the team) and is riding a five-game-point-streak with four goals and six assists. He's turned out to be a very valuable player for the Leafs.

Grabovski's character is similar to a Peter Parker, before he created his alter ego in Spiderman.

Peter Parker was shy, young, and unsure of how to handle the pressures of his situation, but as he gained experience he became a stronger individual. Grabovski is the same. The Potsdam, Germany native is still on the path of self-discovery and continues to find out what his strengths and weaknesses are.

The more he learns, the more strength and agility he will possess, which will have positive results in his career as he highlights his alter ego (Spiderman).

He has found his comfort zone in Toronto and will continue to get better every season. Though he will never be the No. 1 go-to guy Superman was, he will suffice as the next best thing.

The 25-year-old has gained the trust and support of Leaf fans and shows just why he is among the top NHL rookies in goal scoring throughout the present season.

He still has a long way to go, but there is plenty of ice left to skate on in the meantime.