Washington D.C., MD, United States (4E Sports) – The Washington Capitals have signed ex-Maple Leafs center and free agent Mikhail Grabovski to a one-year contract worth $3 million.
He will get an additional $1.8 million from the Maple Leafs, who bought him out of his contract seven weeks ago.
Grabovski, 29, spent the last five seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was limited to nine goals in 48 games last season.
In the previous two seasons, he produced 51 (23 goals, 28 assists) and 58 (29-29) points, respectively.
Grabovski is usually good for around 50 points and is a very strong two-way centerman, able to play both ends of the ice.
“He fits into our puzzle. I talked to him about what a puzzle means to me, his skills set and where he’d fit,” said Capitals coach Adam Oates.
Grabovski’s agent Gary Greenstin said several teams were interested but they decided to go to Washington since they were impressed with Oates.
“He talked with Mikhail, he talked with me. And his enthusiasm to work with Mikhail convinced us,” said Greenstin.
“Mikhail adds speed and offense to our lineup, and we are very pleased to have him sign with the Capitals,” said Capitals general manager George McPhee.
There was some doubt that the Capitals would seek to sign Grabovski as McPhee said earlier this summer that he thought his team was done and he liked where they were at.
Greenstin noted that Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle played Grabovski in the third or fourth line for half of the season, and insisted that’s not the right way to utilize his client.
Carlyle’s move caused Grabovski to call him an idiot.
Greenstin said his client was only looking for a short-term deal of one or two years, with his age playing a factor. Grabovski has a chance to increase his value in a season with the Capitals before hitting the market again.