Mikhail Grabovski

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Filling The Gap On The Top Line

As of now, the New York Islanders do not have a forward that is undeniably the top line winger to play alongside of Kyle Okposo and John Tavares. Last year, the Islanders started the season with Matt Moulson on JT’s wing, who was soon exchanged for Thomas Vanek.

Both Moulson and Vanek fit perfectly on the top line. But with Moulson staying in Buffalo and Vanek currently preparing to wear a Minnesota Wild jersey in 2015, the top spot is once again vacated.

How To Prepare For The Rest Of The Caps Season

Being a half-decent sports fan is about moderating expectations.

You don't want to be that guy or girl who goes into every season saying "this year is ours because reasons" because if you do, you'll wind up crying in the corner clutching your jersey and listening to sad Radiohead. You don't want that.

A 4-3 loss to the Penguins in Pittsburgh saw the Capitals slide to third in the Metropolitan division, their third loss in a row. It was a good effort by the visiting Caps but, like always, almost every Capitals goal saw a Penguins equalizer shortly after.

And on cue with 1:54 to go, the Penguins scored a gut-punch goal from rookie defenseman Olli...

Pregame 11/5: Islanders at Capitals

The Islanders begin a 4 game road trip tonight in our nation’s capital against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center that is now a divisional matchup as part of the Metropolitan Division.

The Giant Falls: Flyers Admit for the First Time That Chris Pronger's Career is Over

The inevitable has been confirmed.

In a heart-breaking dose of reality, the Philadelphia Flyers have publicly acknowledged for the first time that Chris Pronger's professional hockey career is done. In a radical metaphor, it feels like the plug has finally been pulled.

In an exclusive interview with Hockey News, this is the first time the team has publicly made it known his career is over.

"I'll say it, Chris is never going to play again," said Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. "I have no problems saying it."

(Photo: Matt Slocum/AP)

First preseason game in DC and what I know about the season

Tonight is the first preseason game in D.C. for the Capitals. Their preseason roster is playing the preseason roster of the Chicago Blackhawks, the champs themselves. If Washington Redskins fans can tell you anything about preseason results, it’s that preseason game results are beyond all of lies, damn lies and statistics. Don’t stress the score. This is still part of the buildup to a real season of hockey and the score is not important.  What’s important is that there is hockey in D.C. again. This I know. (There will be an outdoors game in D.C. in 2015 too. The temperature during the week will undoubtedly hover around 45 degrees and the game will be pla...

Toronto Maple Leafs: Free Agency in Review

By Lukas Hardonk (@LukasHardonk)

As the most intense part of NHL free agency winds down and hockey fans return to their every day routine, it is safe to say that most teams have their rosters set for the upcoming season. That is no different for the Toronto Maple Leafs barring a surprise from GM Dave Nonis or few minor deals.

The Maple Leafs certainly weren't quiet during the days leading up to and including the first few moments of free agency. While not all of their moves were free agent related, each one of them had a major impact on the team's roster and make up for the upcoming season.

Now it's time to reflect...

Leafs Will Regret Buying Out Grabovski + Potential Replacements

The Toronto Maple Leafs have used their final compliance buyout on centre Mikhail Grabovski.

According to capgeek.com, the Leafs now have $24.5-million in cap space. Jonathan Bernier, Cody Franson, Nazem Kadri, Joe Colborne, Carl Gunnarsson, Frazer McLaren, and Mark Fraser remain unsigned as restricted free agents.

It's difficult to understand the decision from general manager Dave Nonis' perspective, as he recently said Grabovski would have to "earn his ice-time" next season. What he and the Leafs' management fail to understand, however, is that Grabovski was tasked with tough, defensive minutes under head coach Randy Carlyle. His offensive zone start ra...

What the Bolland Acquisition Means for Grabovski

This past Sunday at the 2013 NHL draft the Maple Leafs made a trade for Centre Dave Bolland, who is fresh off his second Stanley Cup championship. The trade addressed a key need for the Maple Leafs, a centre with size and physicality who has proven to be a clutch performer. Bolland may have only had 6 points in the playoffs but 3 of those came in the last 3 games of the Stanley Cup Final. Perhaps the acquisition has no greater effect than on current Maple Leafs centre Mikhail Grabovski.

Under Coach Randy Carlyle, Grabovski saw some hard defensive minutes and not a whole lot of quality offensive situations. With Dave Bolland slotted in for the third line defensive role this frees up ...

Dave Bolland Trade: What it Means for the Maple Leafs

By Lukas Hardonk (@LukasHardonk)

You may not have known who Dave Bolland was a few weeks ago but you probably found out about him shortly after he scored the game winning goal in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final this month.

Now he's a Toronto Maple Leaf.

The Leafs made another big splash in the trade market during the NHL Entry Draft on Sunday when they acquired Bolland from the Chicago Blackhawks for three draft picks including a second round pick this year.

Bolland, 27, doesn't have the biggest frame but plays with a ton of grit. As TCL's Ron Guillet notes here, Bolland plays mostly "tough, defensive minutes." However he stil...

McClement Gives Best Performance in Game 5

With their backs against the wall after a heartbreaking overtime loss on home ice, the Toronto Maple Leafs had to come into Boston and steal one from the Bruins in Game 5, and that’s exactly what they did. James Reimer stood on his head in Game 5 and was the biggest reason for the Leafs being able to schedule another game at the ACC, but lost in the hype and excitement of Game 5 was Jay McClement’s best performance as a member of the blue and white.

After the catastrophe that was the late season 2011-12 collapse, Toronto fans were hopeful that there would be a big shakeup or move heading into free agency. All Brian Burke did that first week of July was pick up Jay McClem...