Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski gave an interview to Goals.by (Belorussian sports outlet) from national team training camp, in which he discussed the Leafs' collapse in the second half of the season and the competition for his services before signing a five-year, $27.5 million extension with the Leafs.
What do you think is the reason for Toronto's letdowns?
GRABOVSKI: "Everyone is guilty a little bit. We slumped physically and psychologically in February — we completely failed that month. Now we have to get ready for the next season."
How would you evaluate this season for you personally?
"As a zero. That's what it was in the plus/minus column. The main thing is that it wasn't in the minus. At the end of the season I moved up. And overall I played at my level, although I got less points. But this is due to less playing time."
Your linemate Nikolai Kulemin had an obviously disappointing season.
"Probably so, yes. But at the same time he finished the season in the 'plus' column — one of a few players in our team."
Were there any doubts when you extended your contract?
"There were doubts, and there was an offer from another club. If I wasn't needed in Toronto, I wouldn't have signed the contract. It turned out I was needed. I love Toronto. I want to play in that city."
Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyns' season continues in Nashville.
"I wish them only the best of luck. Nashville is a good team, quick. Their coach lets all four lines play, just like how it should be in any team. I won't be surprised if the guys bring the Stanley Cup to Minsk."
Not sure what Grabovski means by having "another offer," but there you have it.