Updates on Grabovski and Hainsey – Sunday, August 18, 2013.

A list of some notable remaining free agents, including Ron Hainsey’s rumored new asking price, and the reasons why Mikhail Grabovski remains unsigned.

Why hasn't Mikhail Grabovski signed with a new NHL team yet?

Why hasn’t Mikhail Grabovski signed with a new NHL team yet?

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons listed several notable free agents still available, including former Leafs Tomas Kaberle, Ian White, Carlo Colaiacovo,  Hal Gill,  Steve Sullivan, Brad Boyes, David Steckel, Matthew Lombardi, Tim Connolly, Jamal Mayers and Ryan O’Byrne…Simmons also said he’s heard former Winnipeg Jets blueliner Ron Hainsey could be had for $1 million…One NHL GM claims Mikhail Grabovski remains unsigned because he asked for too much money and too much term in the earlier days of free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of those former Leafs were part of their lineup not that long ago. Just goes to show how quickly a player’s stock can decline, especially in a summer when the salary cap has dropped. Some of those players (Kaberle, Sullivan, Connolly) are past their prime…I’ll be surprised if Hainsey remains unsigned by the start of the regular season. He’s an effective, experienced (and now affordable) defenseman who could be a welcome addition for teams in need of experience and leadership on their blueline. Colorado, Edmonton and Carolina could be good fits…We were initially told the reason Grabovski went unsigned throughout July was because he was on honeymoon and still coming to grips with the Leafs buying him out. His agent claimed Grabovski had narrowed his list to three teams and would make a decision in August. Well, we’re now over halfway through August, and there hasn’t been a peep from the Grabovski camp. Certainly lends credence to speculation about his asking price being too high.


  1. Sure. Grabovski might be asking for too much money. He also has a mental resume that makes one worry.
    – went AWOL, on the Canadiens, when he learned he was to be a healthy scratch one night during a western road trip (flew to his agent’s house – in LA – while the team was in Pheonix)
    – in Toronto, had three fights at practice (one vs. Beauchemin … two vs. Blake)
    – fought some young kids, during the Vancouver Olympics, on the street after words were exchanged (spent the night in jail)
    – suspended for abusing an official after an altercation with Sergei Kostitsyn
    – should have been suspended for biting > something even he admitted to later < Max Pacioretty's hand ('Grabo' was third man in during a shoving match between Prust and Komarov)
    – Mikhail's nasty speech, directed at Carlyle, once he found out the Leafs had bought him out.
    I would say the elevator doesn't travel all the way upstairs!

    • Agreed.

  2. Jeez no wonder we didnt make the playoffs for 10 years look at that sack of crap we had here, throw some other gems that no longer are playing in the league like… Toskala, Finger, Allison, Jason Blake and Raycroft on that list and thats pretty much the opening line up for most of that slump. Those were some lean years…lol

    • Raycroft done pretty well here, he has the most wins for a Leafs goalie. Sure we all look back now and regret the Raycroft/Rask trade, because we see what Rask is doing now.

      • I was never a big Raycroft fan even when he was in junior playing here in Kingston.

        • Plus Im not even mentioning the dump we took on Calgary with Stajan and the rest to get Phaneuf. No matter how you cut the cheese, the line up we had here for quite a few years up to recently was still cheesy.

      • Raycroft was one of the worse acquisition the leafs made. Next would be toskala. These guys suck, suck and suck.

        • Yep

    • Haha, that gave me a good laugh.

      Anyone heard anything on Ryan Whitney ?

    • To be fair, Toskala was a great goalie for the Sharks during his time there. He was traded with Mark Bell for a 1st round pick (7th I think? Logan Couture), so he must have had some value…

      • Shhhh dont rub it in… Toskala was an average starter at best for us really, had a cool mask is about the best I could say about him, poor work ethic never really lived up to the billing definitely not worth the pick by a mile.

  3. Someone please explain to me why Kaberle is notable. He’s a totally washed up has-been IMO.

    Rutherford was insane to sign him to that contract and the Habs were insane to trade for him.

    Hainsey would be a good addition to most teams at $1 million.

    Steckel is a serviceable 4th line center for some teams, and Brad Boyes would be a good fit somewhere.

    • At a Million or even 1.3 mil Hainsey would be a good addition for just about any team.
      If there is one area where NHL has a shortage it’s in good D-men, especially when injuries hit just picking up a warm body is a relief and at trade deadline you might even pick up a mid round draft pick if no longer needed.

      • Agreed I think Hainsey would be a very good pick up for that kind of money. I said yesterday Id rather the leafs trade away Franson get a good young prospect (center) and sign Hainsey then pay Franson 3.5 mill – 4 mill. Takes care of any cap issue. Plus he is a proven guy defensively responsible, can never have too many of them.

        • So you trade Franson, sign Hainsey. then pay Franson?

          Leaf ideas at their best.

          Just razzing you, you probably mean’t pay Kadri.

          • Lol no what I meant was I rather pay Hainsey 1-1.5 then pay Franson 3.5-4, but yes sign Kadri around 2.5-3 that way we have cap room and a center prospect to boot.

          • I think Shticky meant “than” instead of “then”. He’d rather have Hainsey and a prospect *than* pay Franson $3.5-4M.


          • @ Shticky

            Kadri will get paid more than $3M

          • Exactly Paddy…and Im not so sure Advocate 1 maybe 2 years around 3 possibly a little more but not much use Duchene and Gagner as comparables they both had more experience signing their deals prior to this contract and they were both in the neighborhood of 3.

          • I’d say Kadri will get a 1 year deal at $3.275M per. If he can prove he is as good as he is, he’ll get Duchene dollars.

  4. While Grabo has talent, he does have anger issues and perhaps lowering his asking price could allow for him to sign a one-two year contract in which to show himself a “team player” and some maturity. Like Steve Sullivan, but like Langinbrunner – they need to retired. Hainsey would be a good pickup for any team needing a stay at home d-man. Personnally, I think Buffalo could use someone like Marrow – I think he still has some legs and scoring value, but moreso for his leadership and work ethic – mentoring ability for our youth. Its surprising that Raymond, Morrow and Mueller are still available.

  5. I think that it sucks for Grabo. The guy is def a headcase, but I also think he is peeved because he is also constantly asked to play roles that he knows he doesn’t fit. Plain and simple, Grabo is not a pure defensive forward. When you give the guy big minutes he can play a decent two way game (he has shown Datsyukian flashes throughout his career) however the guy plays offense. This is what you pick him up for and this is what you pay him for. We all know that ideally every hockey player on the club will be an excellent two way guy, but that is just not the case. Grabo will be signed before training camp opens is my bet, but to a short term cheaper deal.

    Hainsey will def find a home and it should be soon. A lot of teams could use him, more so if his asking price has dropped. I’d really like to see him find a home with the Islanders, a young team with cap space and tons of potential and playoff upside.

    • well he had his chance to play 2nd line C, but Kadri out performed him. If you can play any position professionally, you risk losing a career.

      • can’t.

  6. If the Leafs were to trade Phaneuf, Hainsey would be a solid pickup to fill the defensive slack while Gardiner/Franson/Liles could pickup offensive slack easily.

    • Brandon, buddy you need guys to play defense. Hainsey is not going to play 25 mins a night against the best lines in the league, nether is Franson or Gardner, maybe in the next couple years but not right now. We get it you and some others watch a game and hear what a bum Dion is and how he is overplayed and shouldnt be playing that many minutes….why do you think that is? You think the coach (former norris winning d man, stanley cup winning coach) has no idea what hes doing? Do you think if he maybe had another guy who could do almost as much or he felt almost as comfortable with Dion might play a little less? Offensive d men are great but the name of the position and the point of the position is to defend you need a few of these guys to take the pressure off Dion it will improve everything. Franson and Gardner and Reilly will be great D men too but they will need time to get there and support, they do not play physical they dont block shots or play particularly well in their own end yet. Dion and guys like him do (better then anyone the Leafs currently have anyway) this is why you have them this is why he plays against other teams best lines for 25 mins or more a night and they dont. Give the young guys some time they will develop, but right now Dion is our best all around Defenseman.
      Statistics back this up, and again I am sure Randy knows a thing or 2 about defencemen.

      • Totally agree! I think Phaneufs plus / minus would look much better if he would play with a veteran (stay at home) d-man like Hamrlik in calgary! Just my 2 cents….