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Capitals Sign Mikhail Grabovski

Rumors circulating over the past couple of days have come true as the Washington Capitals have signed unrestricted free agent center Mikhail Grabovski to a one-year deal worth roughly $3 million.  The move comes as a bit of a surprise as it had appeared that George McPhee was standing pat with the roster that he had.  He even went as fair as to name Brooks Laich as the second-line center for the upcoming season.  That probably is not the case anymore.

This should be nothing of a slight against Brooks Laich, but Mikhail Grabovski gives the Capitals a legitimate player to fill the hole left when Mike Ribeiro bolted for the desert.  Grabovski, 29, has all the makings of a scoring center, if he can stay healthy.  His best season came in 2010-2011 when he racked up 29 goals and 29 assists in 81 games with Toronto.  He has scored 20+ goals in all 3 seasons in which he played more than 60 games.  If his NHL numbers last season are combined with his KHL numbers, he actually posted a respectable 21 goals and 19 assists in 77 games.

The one downside for Grabovski throughout his career has been his attitude.  In 2008, during his rookie season, he forced his trade from Montreal to Toronto by essentially running away from the team during a West-coast road trip.  In 2010, he was arrested by Canadian police for his role in a fight where he assaulted a couple in Vancouver.  Most notably, in 2013, Grabovski was rightfully accused by Max Pacioretty of biting him during an in-game scuffle.  He was also quite vocal against the Maple Leafs organization after getting bought out last season.  I do not feel very comfortable writing his words on this site, but you can read it here.  This is a bit of a worry for Capitals fans as we have gone from Alexander Semin to Mike Ribeiro to Grabovski over the past 3 seasons.  

 Including the $3 million now taken up by Grabovski, the Capitals are left with just over $2.5 million to wrap up negotiations with RFA Marcus Johansson and leave themselves some operating space.  And, since Grabovski is only a one-year deal, the door will still be open for Kuznetsov to slide into the 2C in 2014.  With those terms, I’m sure most Caps fans are much more confident entering the tough Metropolitan division this season.   And in case you were wondering, the Capitals will visit Toronto on November 23rd.

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Da lil Guy's avatar

$3 million is likely less than he was expecting to make at the beginning of this. Seems to be below the going rate for a 2C.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 08/23/13 at 12:20 PM ET

Matthew Tate's avatar

I’d agree.  Mike Ribeiro would have cost nearly twice as much despite his age.  My main assumption is that his attitude, mixed with his low numbers from last season, cost him the big contract he was probably deserving of.

Posted by Matthew Tate on 08/23/13 at 12:36 PM ET

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Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate.  This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals.  The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.

In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at  York College of Pennsylvania.  I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland. 

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