February 21, 2010
On the eve of Team USA's biggest game of the tournament so far, Brian Burke had to get the news that one his Toronto Maple Leaf players was arrested in Vancouver for allegedly being involved in an altercation. Mikhail Grabovski(notes), out of the Toronto lineup since January 2nd with a fractured wrist, had joined his Belarusian teammates at the Olympics for support and was taken into custody early Saturday morning before being released to his parents several hours later.
A Vancouver police spokeswoman did reveal that a man was taken into custody, not charged and then later released after a fight occurred in 700-block of Pacific Boulevard on Saturday. She did not reveal if the person arrested was Grabovski.
Last night, Burke released this statement via the Maple Leafs website:
"Our hockey club is aware of reports that forward Mikhail Grabovski was involved in a minor altercation in Vancouver early Saturday morning. Since we are presently investigating this matter, the team will not provide any further comment at this time."
The NHL has been made aware of the incident, but will not proceed until an investigation is completed by Vancouver police.
Never one too far from controversy, Grabovski had been involved in an on-going feud with Sergei Kostitsyn(notes) from the Montreal Canadiens, including one attempt at a fight that ended up with him being suspended three games for shoving a linesman. The 26-year old forward's arrest did not overshadow Belarus' 5-3 victory over Germany last night in the final round-robin game for both teams. No word if Grabovski was in attendance joining in the on the loud "BEL-ah-ROOS" chants from the crowd.