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Michail Jurjevič Hraboŭski (Belarusian: Міхаіл Юр'евiч Грабоўскі; born 31 January 1984), better known as Mikhail Grabovski (Russian: Михаил Грабовский), is a German-born Belarusian professional ice hockey coach and former player. Grabovski currently serves as an assistant coach for HC Dinamo Minsk in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).[1] Prior to his coaching career, Grabovski played as a centre in the National Hockey League (NHL) for 10 seasons.

Mikhail Grabovski
Mikhail Grabovski - New York Islanders.jpg
Grabovski with the New York Islanders in January 2015
Born (1984-01-31) 31 January 1984 (age 35)
Potsdam, East Germany
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk
Dynamo Moscow
Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs
CSKA Moscow
Washington Capitals
New York Islanders
National team  Belarus
NHL Draft 150th overall, 2004
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 2003–2016

Early lifeEdit

Grabovski was born in Potsdam, East Germany, where his father, Yury, worked in construction. The family returned to their native Belarus (then a Soviet Socialist Republic) when he was three years old.

Playing careerEdit

Grabovski was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens 150th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and played his first NHL game with Montreal on 6 January 2007 against the New York Rangers. He played three games in the NHL before being sent back down to Montreal's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs. He helped them win the Calder Cup as AHL champions in the 2006–07 season. Grabovski was called up to play in a few games with the Canadiens during the 2007–08 season but did not see much playing time due to his low position on the team's depth chart. Grabovski recorded his first NHL assist on 20 October 2007, against the Buffalo Sabres and his first goal two days later against the Boston Bruins.

On 3 July 2008, Grabovski was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for the draft rights to Greg Pateryn and a second-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. As a 25-year-old, Grabovski went on to finish his first full season in Toronto with 20 goals and 48 points, leading all NHL Eastern Conference rookies in scoring. The Maple Leafs rewarded Grabovski for his rookie season performance by re-signing him to a three-year, $8.7 million contract carrying an average annual cap hit of $2.9 million.[2] His 58 points in the 2010–11 season was the highest among Maple Leaf centres since Mats Sundin's 78 points in the 2007–08 season. On 6 March 2012, Toronto re-signed Grabovski to a five-year, $27.5 million contract carrying an average annual cap hit of $5.5 million.[3]

On 25 September 2012, due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout that cancelled the first three months of the 2012–13 NHL season, Grabovski signed with CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).[4] When NHL play returned, following a 2012–13 season in which he recorded only 9 goals and 16 points in 48 games, on 4 July 2013, Grabovski was unexpectedly placed on waivers and listed to be bought-out by the Maple Leafs.[5]

On 23 August 2013, as a free agent following his buy-out, Grabovski signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Washington Capitals.[6] In his first regular season game with the Capitals on 1 October 2013, Grabovski scored a hat-trick in a 6–4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.[7] Grabovski completed the 2013–14 season with a respectable 35 points in 58 games as the Capitals failed to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in seven seasons.

 
Grabovski with the Toronto Maple Leafs in November 2011

On 2 July 2014, as a free agent, Grabovski signed a four-year, $20 million contract with the New York Islanders.[8] His tenure with the Islanders was largely affected by injury, with a lingering concussion ruling him out for the entirety of the 2016–17 season.

On 21 June 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights selected Jean-François Bérubé from the Islanders in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft.[9] Berube was selected with the condition that Grabovski's final year of contract be traded to the Golden Knights along with a first-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and prospect Jake Bischoff.[10] On 14 September 2017, Grabovski attended his physical for the Vegas Golden Knights with the desire to play for the team.[11] However, he did not appear in a single game for the Golden Knights.

In June 2019, Grabovski announced his retirement, stating "I decided for myself that staying at home is not the best option. I need to do something. As a player I can no longer participate in games, so I want to try myself as a coach."[12]

Coaching careerEdit

On June 15, 2019, Grabovski was announced as an assistant coach with HC Dinamo Minsk of the KHL.

ControversiesEdit

In March 2008, after being a healthy scratch for a game against the Phoenix Coyotes, Grabovski left the Montreal Canadiens and flew to Los Angeles to consult with his agent. The incident prompted his trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs that summer.[13]

In January 2009, Grabovski was involved a scuffle with fellow Belarusian Sergei Kostitsyn during a game between the Maple Leafs and Canadiens. The two had been in a feud since Grabovski's days with the Canadiens. Prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the head of the Belarusian national hockey program had to intervene in order for the two players to be able to coexist on the same team.[13]

On 19 February 2010, Grabovski was arrested in Vancouver after becoming involved in a street scuffle. He was out of the Maple Leafs lineup with a broken wrist at the time of the arrest and was in Vancouver attending the 2010 Winter Olympics. Court documents alleged that Dylan Richardson was punched in the face and knocked unconscious by Grabovski, who then assaulted Richardson's wife by also punching her in the face.[14]

Grabovski inadvertently ended Chris Pronger's career when he accidentally hit him in the side of the eye with his stick.[15]

On 9 February 2013, Grabovski was accused of biting Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens during a scrum along the boards. The NHL conducted a telephone hearing with the players involved, but could not determine conclusively if Grabovski had indeed bitten Pacioretty.[16] However, on 20 May 2013, more than three months later, Grabovski admitted that he did bite Pacioretty, stating in an interview, "He was choking me and I bit him. Don't stick your hands where you shouldn't."[17]

On 3 July 2013, after learning that his contract was being bought-out by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Grabovski was very critical of Toronto's head coach at the time, Randy Carlyle, in an expletive-filled interview with TSN. "I play in the fucking Russian KHL, I make lots of fucking points and what's going to happen? He make me fucking play on the fourth line and he put me in the playoffs on the fourth line and third line again," said Grabovski. "I don't feel any support from this fucking idiot."[18]

International playEdit

 
Grabovski with Team Belarus
Medal record
Representing   Belarus
Ice hockey
Ice Hockey World Championships
  2004 Norway Division I Group A
World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
  2004 France Division I Group B

Grabovski has represented Belarus in international play. He scored four goals and was the first star in one game (against tournament hosts Austria) in the 2005 IIHF World Championship. Grabovski was selected to play for his country at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[19] However, he did not play due to injury.[20] However, a few months later, he participated in the 2010 IIHF World Championship for Belarus.[21] Grabovski was named captain of Belarus's roster on the eve of 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia.[22] In total, Grabovski has played in seven major international tournaments for Belarus.

Personal lifeEdit

Grabovski and his wife Kate Van Alstyne had their first child, a daughter, on 30 December 2010.[23] He missed the Maple Leafs' game against the Columbus Blue Jackets that night to be present at the birth. They had their second child, a son, on 6 December 2011.[24] Grabovski and his wife called their son Jagger after The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.[25] A third child was born 13 December 2017.

Grabovski lived in Stouffville, Ontario, before transitioning to the bench in Minsk.

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2000–01 Yunost Minsk BLR 6 1 3 4 0
2001–02 Yunost Minsk BLR 24 9 6 15 16 2 1 1 2 0
2002–03 Yunost Minsk BLR 42 14 22 36 22
2002–03 Yunost Minsk II BLR II 10 16 12 28 2
2003–04 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk RSL 45 6 11 17 26 5 0 0 0 4
2004–05 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk RSL 60 16 20 36 32 3 2 0 2 2
2004–05 Yunost Minsk BLR 5 2 4 6 6
2005–06 Dynamo Moscow RSL 48 10 17 28 28 4 0 0 0 4
2005–06 Yunost Minsk BLR 8 6 8 14 8
2006–07 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 66 17 37 54 34 20 4 7 11 21
2006–07 Montréal Canadiens NHL 3 0 0 0 0
2007–08 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 12 8 12 20 6
2007–08 Montréal Canadiens NHL 24 3 6 9 8
2008–09 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 20 28 48 92
2009–10 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 59 10 25 35 10
2010–11 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 81 29 29 58 60
2011–12 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 74 23 28 51 51
2012–13 CSKA Moscow KHL 29 12 12 24 10
2012–13 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 48 9 7 16 24 7 0 2 2 2
2013–14 Washington Capitals NHL 58 13 22 35 26
2014–15 New York Islanders NHL 51 9 10 19 8 3 0 0 0 0
2015–16 New York Islanders NHL 58 9 16 25 33
BLR totals 72 24 31 55 38 15 9 13 22 14
RSL totals 153 32 48 80 86 12 2 0 2 10
NHL totals 534 125 171 296 312 10 0 2 2 2

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2002 Belarus WJC18 5th 8 2 1 3 2
2002 Belarus WJC 9th 6 0 1 1 2
2003 Belarus WJC 10th 6 2 0 2 2
2004 Belarus WJC D1 11th 5 4 5 9 0
2004 Belarus WC D1 18th 5 2 1 3 8
2005 Belarus OGQ DNQ 3 4 3 7 10
2005 Belarus WC 10th 6 4 1 5 2
2006 Belarus WC 6th 7 5 4 9 2
2008 Belarus WC 9th 5 0 3 3 0
2009 Belarus WC 8th 7 3 6 9 2
2010 Belarus WC 10th 6 0 3 3 6
2011 Belarus WC 14th 6 2 2 4 2
2012 Belarus WC 14th 7 1 3 4 4
2014 Belarus WC 7th 6 4 4 8 0
Junior totals 20 4 2 6 6
Senior totals 50 19 26 45 18

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Woodcroft and former Islander take over Dinamo Minsk's bench". hockeybuzz.com. 15 June 2019. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Maple Leafs re-sign Grabovski to three-year, $8.7M deal". Tsn.ca. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Maple Leafs re-sign Grabovski to five-year, $27.5M deal". NBC Sports. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Leafs' Grabovski signs with CSKA". Toronto Sun. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Mikhail Grabovski to be bought-out". MapleLeafHotStove.com. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Capitals sign Grabovski to one-year $3 million deal". The Sports Network. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Capitals lose high scoring game to Blackhawks". Washington Capitals. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Islanders agree to terms with Grabovski". New York Islanders. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  9. ^ Pinchevsky, Tal (22 June 2017). "Vegas Golden Knights Focus on Defense in N.H.L. Expansion Draft". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Islanders lose Berube, trade No.1 Pick to Vegas in expansion draft". Newsday.com. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Mikhail Wants To Play This Year". prohockeyrumors.com. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  12. ^ Kalniņš, Aivis (17 June 2019). "Grabovski has officially announced his retirement". Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  13. ^ a b Zwolinski , Mark (10 February 2012). "Leafs' Mikhail Grabovski attributes trade from Habs to inexperience". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Leafs' Grabovski sued by couple who claim assault during Olympics". The Globe and Mail. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
  15. ^ "Grabovski remorseful over Pronger incident".
  16. ^ "Mikhail Grabovski won't be suspended for allegedly biting Canadiens' Pacioretty". Toronto Star. 9 February 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  17. ^ "Mikhail Grabovski on biting Max Pacioretty; his disappointing Leafs postseason; losing Game 7". Yahoo! Sports. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  18. ^ Traikos, Michael (4 July 2013). "Mikhail Grabovski rips Leafs' coach Randy Carlyle after buyout". The National Post. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  19. ^ Longley, Rob. "Grabovski grabs Oly. spot". Canaoe.ca. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  20. ^ Terry Koshan. "Leafs' Olympians get the itch | Hockey | Sports". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  21. ^ IIHF (2010). IIHF Media Guide & Record Book 2011. Moydart Press. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-9867964-0-1.
  22. ^ "Grabovski named captain of Belarus at world championship". Tsn.ca. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  23. ^ Hornby, Lance (30 December 2010). "Baby first for Grabovski". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
  24. ^ Siegel, Jonas (11 December 2011). "Siegel: Change coming to ailing Leafs penalty kill". TSN.
  25. ^ "Mikhail Grabovski Still battling Concussion". The Hockey Writers. 18 January 2017.

External linksEdit