According to information relayed by ESPN.com’s hockey reporter Craig Custance, ex-Toronto Maple Leaf and free agent Mikhail Grabovski has narrowed down his destination possibilities to three teams. The three finalists are still unknown, so who knows if GMGM is or isn’t in on these secret meetings on behalf of the Washington Capitals.
I’ve written before that I’m not exactly a proponent of a Grabovski signing, and here’s a recap of why: At this stage of the free agency war it’s likely that Grabovski, who will turn 30 in January, will be overpaid because he is seemingly one of the last “gems” left on the market, and teams always get desperate to patch-up roster holes. I mention Grabovski’s age because he is who he is at this stage of his career. By all accounts, he’s a really nice puck possessor and a solid second-line center. My hesitation isn’t because he wouldn’t help the Caps, because he would, but rather what kind of salary cap bind his contract would put the team in going forward. The Caps have overseas talent that (hopefully) will be coming over in the next year or two. That is my ideal fix for the second-line pivot woes, because I don’t necessarily view the Caps as a contender on the verge of a breakthrough. In the playoff mix? Yes. Legitimate deep threat? Eh.
So, should news break in the coming weeks that Grabovski is a Capital, I will be on board because I am a sucker. I get juiced about any Caps news, and like I said before, Grabovski would help the Caps. Just know that my rational, detached brain of the offseason isn’t completely sold on the strategy.