Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs

UPDATED BELOW: Grabovksi and the Capitals have agreed to terms.

The biggest sports outlet in Belarus, Pressball, reports that UFA center Mikhail Grabovski will sign a contract with the Washington Capitals today. A few minutes ago, Igor Eronko of Sports.ru said the deal will be for 1 year and 3 million dollars. Bargain-basement prices for a superb player.

ONT’s initial report has not been substantiated by any stateside sources yet, and Pressball later issued this update, translated by RMNB’s Fedor Fedin:

Mikhail Grabovski’s agent, Gary Greensteen denied the information that the Belarusian forward will sign a contract with Washington today. According to Greensteen, Grabovski’s future will be decided during the weekend or next Monday.

Ex-pat Stephen Whyno spoke with Grabovski’s agent:

And Sky Kerstein from 106.7 The Fan updated us from the Capitals perspective:

Grabovski was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer–  in favor of Tyler Bozak. Grabo’s name has been swimming around in DC for the past few months (both here and at Japers Rink), but it appears he may now be circling the drain.

As translated by our own Fedor Fedin, Pressball’s original story said the following:

ONT channel has reported that Belarusian national team forward Maikhail Grabovski will sign a contract with NHL’s Washington Capitals today

Grabovski is a 29-year-old Belarusian originally drafted by Montreal. Last season he scored 9 goals and 7 assists while performing in a diminished role in Toronto. Following that season, he was given a compliance buyout, which he was…. uh… unhappy about:

A talented forward from the former Soviet Union with a reputation for being tempestuous. Sound familiar?

Robert Vollman’s Hockey Abstract considers Grabo a “possession monster” (he’s in the top-20 strongest possession players since 2008). He’s been consistently undervalued while also driving play– and one who, if the rumors pan out, could be a transformative presence on the Capitals’ second line.

That 2C spot, of course, has already been promised to Brooks Laich by General Manager George McPhee (who, we’ve heard, likes this team). We compared Laich, Grabo, and other comparable centers a few months back, reaching conclusions favorable to Grabovski. On a team whose possession (again: the single best predictor of future success) has been waning the past few years, Grabo could be the proverbial shot in the arm. It might not change the Caps from a marginal playoff team to a true Cup contender, but it would be an instant and dramatic improvement that also allows GMGM to make roster changes as needed.

If Grabovski does sign in Washington, the Caps would have three legitimate centers: Backstrom, Grabovski, and Laich– with Perreault also in the depth chart and Evgeny Kuznetsov waiting on deck for springtime. If Grabovski signs elsewhere, the Capitals will have missed out on a grand opportunity.

We’ll keep you posted. Do your thing, GMGM!

UPDATE (3:10PM): Nick Kypreos confirms the Caps have extended an offer and are awaiting confirmation.

UPDATE (7:45PM): Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov has done his due-diligence as well.

And now here are people dancing: adventure time dance party bowie lets dance breakfast club dance FINAL UPDATE (9:15PM): Aaron Ward of TSN confirms it. That settles it. George McPhee rules.


Additional reporting by Ian Oland and Fedor Fedin.

This story has been updated to reflect new consensus spelling of Grabovski’s nickname: One B.

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  • mad_ballistic

    pressball.by contains a lot of fake news. I would not trust this site. Words of the US insiders confirms this.

  • Jake Green-Go

    Thank you RMNB my day is much brighter.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Pressball is not the primary source. ONT, the TV network, is.

  • yv

    His other call is MiG-84 as famous Russian/Soviet fighter planes MiG-25, 29,35. If he finally sign by Caps that would be interesting situation with new Kuzya number. Maybe Kuzya suspected that when he changed his number from 92 to 84 recently, like Varly did it here grabbing #1!)

  • mad_ballistic

    ONT – Belarusian TV channel, Pressball – “The biggest sports outlet in Belarus”. Their partnership is obvious.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    (bashfullly) not to me– are they owned by the same company or something? My understanding was the TV network said it, the sports outlet repeated it.

  • mad_ballistic

    How the Belarusian TV channel could learn about a signing before the insiders? Nonsense.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Because the player is Belarusian?

  • mad_ballistic

    So? NHL player. Top player. Why insiders nothin’ hear about that? Only Grab knows about this signing? Lol.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Shrug. Maybe. Outside North America, the hockey press is a lot less dense with “insiders.” We’ll see!

  • mad_ballistic

    Yeah. We can only believe :)

  • Big Bob

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bzvtd0InsZs
    Been saying this all day since hearing about the news

  • bob dylan (it’s really me)

    This is good I hope we don’t have to let Mojo go though. Let’s sign them both.

  • yv

    In fact there been a lot of discussions before, and today especially, about MiG signing/fit with Caps. One of the most revealing info is from D.Chesnokov tweet today that when he asked MiG about today’s rumors with Caps he got only a deep silence. This could be GMGM problem he seems like to announce anything at the beginning of the week.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    This might explain why. Fedor tells me that some of the commenters are saying that the host that released the news and Grabovski are close friends.

  • Derek Eklund

    Exciting!

  • Derek Eklund

    Loving all the highlight goals on the Penn teams :)

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Bob Dylan, for whatever reason, I don’t really think that’s you.

  • Colin Annan

    GMGM you sand baggin SOB.

  • yv

    According to D.Chesnokov done deal, for 1 year. Looks like we will have a hockey!!

  • OVIBACKYKUZYAWILLYnowGARBO

    SOOO HAPPY ITS BEEN CONFIRMED

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I’m still holding out for someone naming a source, but yeah!

  • Ash

    BAILAMOS?!

  • Chauncy

    And now, mad_ballistic, you may no longer question the reporting skills of our beloved RMNB, ever again.

  • Ash

    BAILAMOS?!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    LET THE RHYRUHIYIYTHTM TAKE YOU OVER

  • Jake Green-Go

    Now I must listen to this, while checking out the caps gifs.

  • Pat Magee

    EVERYBODY!!! QUICK! I officially take back everything bad that i’ve ever said about George.

  • breaklance

    good deal. what i thought would of been ideal and realistic minimum was signed for. He was a little over paid in Toronto but he could easily out produce this contract.

  • JenniferH

    I had no clue who this guy was until RMNB kept talking about him during the free agency so when I saw that we signed him I was all YAY!!! So YAY!!!!!