On Thursday, we learned that they would be using their second amnesty buyout on centre Mikhail Grabovski. Sure, he struggled in the first year of his big-time extension with just 9 goals and 7 assists, but even still, this makes a great deal less sense.
The veteran forward, who was just one year into a five-year deal at a $5.5-million cap hit, has been placed on unconditional waivers by the Leafs for the purposes of being bought out.
If he clears, it'll cost Toronto $14.33 million, and Grabovski will join the crop of unrestricted free agents that can be signed as early as Friday.
With the move, the Leafs now have a little more room to re-up centre Tyler Bozak, whom this move would indicate that they prefer to keep.
Some in the Maple Leafs' community don't agree with this preference. In an article titled "Stupid team makes stupid move", Cam Charron of Leafs Nation goes off:
For two years, Mikhail Grabovski, Nik Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur were one of the best second lines in hockey. Not only did they drive play and get all the Corsis that the nerds love, but they also scored a bunch of goals, which seems like an important aspect of the game.
[...] Usually, I'll wait a while to make a judgment about a general manager, but this is an inexcusable move by Nonis unless there is somehow a way to trade for a centreman who is even better than Grabovski. He won't, and this money will be definitely useless as it could take three or four years to find somebody in the system that progresses to be as good as Mikhail Grabovski was.
Well, the Leafs did say Dave Bolland was going to get a larger role. Looks like he'll get Grabovski's. I'm not so sure that's an upgrade. But there you are.
Grabovski's ability to be a two-way force for the Maple Leafs will undoubtedly be missed. Althoguh perhaps the point of this move is to give Jonathan Bernier more opportunities to show he can stop pucks?
Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
• Tyler Seguin headed to Stars in blockbuster, seven-player trade
• Canadiens' Blake Geoffrion ponders comeback bid
• Maple Leafs buy out Mikhail Grabovski, eye Tyler Bozak
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