Leafs Grabovski will have to ‘challenge’ for his ice time

7 Comments

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis has offered a fairly straight forward assessment of Mikhail Grabovski’s play from last season, and a challenge for the skilled 29-year-old forward.

Grabovski, who, according to Capgeek.com, has four years remaining on his contract at a $5.5 million annual cap hit.

But last season, his offensive production hit a decline. He had only 16 points in 48 games played for the Leafs in 2013 – and only two assists in seven playoff games.

That’s down from his 2011-12 campaign, when he showed balance between scoring and set-up man, with 23 goals and 51 points in 74 games. The season before that: 58 points in 81 games.

But after his struggles this past season, and with the amount of money he earns in this cap era following the new collective bargaining agreement, the Leafs are looking for more from Grabovski.

“(Grabovski) didn’t have the best year he’s ever had, there’s no secret about that. He didn’t have a very good season and there’s a lot of reasons for that. His health was part of it,” said Nonis, as per the Globe and Mail.

“But I think in the postseason he was very good. He competed. He looked more like his old self. And he’s going to have to get ready this offseason and get back and try to challenge for the minutes that he was expecting.”

Nonis also discussed a variety of roster issues as it pertains to freeing up cap space.

The Leafs, having acquired center Dave Bolland from the Chicago Blackhawks over the weekend, are still trying to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Tyler Bozak.