The Toronto Maple Leafs announced they have signed forward Mikhail Grabovski to a 5 year, $27.5M contract. The deal averages out to be a $5.5M cap hit per season. Grabovski also has a modified no-trade clause.
Grabovski’s agent, Gary Greenstin, said contract talks had been underway starting last October. The deal was complicated and took a while, but both sides are happy to get it finally done.
Grabovski spoke on his new contract after Tuesday’s practice. He said, “They know I love to play here. They do everything to keep me here and I enjoy being a part of this organization. They believe in me and right now it’s like starting a new life. I’m very happy to stay here. I always want to be in a place where people believe in me and give me a chance to play.”
Since being traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Maple Leafs in 2008, Grabovski has dominated the Leafs lineup. Over the past three seasons, Grabovski has averaged 47 points and have scored at least 10 goals each season. With 20 goals and 25 assists totalling 45 points in just 59 games this season, Grabovski is on pace to smash his career highs in all offensive categories. He has developed strong chemistry with Joffery Lupul and Phil Kessel which has propelled his game to a new level. Grabovski’s greatest assetts are his speed, shot, and defensive awareness which all fit perfectly into the Maple Leafs system.
Though the Maple Leafs were one of the trade deadline losers, re-signing Grabovski before he hit the open market was a big move. They’ve secured a top center man and have their core group of forwards signed through at least next season. Though they signed Grabovski to a 5 year deal, expect Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke to still take a shot at one of this season’s top free agents. This group includes Zach Parise, Alexander Semin, and Shane Doan.
More to Come..
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