Different team, same story for Mikhail Grabovski.
He slowly sank down the depth charts of the Toronto Maple Leafs as his hot-then-ghost diapering act eventually pushed management to buy out his contract. One team’s garbage is another team’s treasure though, right?
That was the approach of the Washington Capitals this summer, as they quite literally did nothing to fill any of the holes on their lineup during free agency. They allowed Mike Ribeiro and his incredible chemistry with Alexander Ovechkin walk, only to fill that hole with the enigmatic Grabovski.
(Tangent: What was the point of losing Alex Semin and his oh-so inconsistent ways if you were just going to bring in players like Grabovski and Martin Erat?)
After blowing up in the first game of the regular season and scoring a hat trick, Grabovski has done precisely zilch. Coach Adam Oates has seen enough for his liking, and has taken the center off of the second line and dropped him to the third, according to CSN Washington. (Bolding for our emphasis)
As a result, this is how the Caps’ forward lines looked today at Kettler and could loo when they return to action Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets:
Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin
Marty Erat – Brooks Laich – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Mikhail Grabovski – Joel Ward
Aaron Volpatti – Jay Beagle – Eric Fehr/Tom Wilson
To summarize, Laich moves from left wing back to a familiar role at center, while Grabovski drops from the second line to the third. Eric Fehr slides from second-line center to fourth-line right wing.
It will be interesting to see how Grabovski responds to his demotion. His tendency has been to pout and badmouth coaches who don’t utilize him his world-breaking talents enough, so we’ll see how he likes playing with Joel Ward and Jason “try to keep up” Chimera.
Erat appears to have worked his way out of the doghouse at least. He’s been toiling on the fourth line over the last few days after failing to make any sort of impact so far this season.
That Filip Forsberg trade just looks better every day, yeah?