Saturday, October 3, 2020

Michael Grabner Autographed Card

The NHL is a thankless and ungrateful work environment.

Sure, most players end up getting their largest payday essentially for their work in the past, which seems contrary to that point, but apart from a select few (generally top-ten draft picks) who get countless chances, most players deal with a "what have you done for me lately?" mentality from organizations that lead to quick trades or buyouts after their big contract.

Today's proof of that comes in the form of Michael Grabner, who was bought out from the final season of his three-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes. Grabner may never post another 50-point season like he did with the New York Islanders in 2010-11 - except perhaps if he signs with the current Barry Trotz-coached Isles - but even his last two injury-filled seasons with the Yotes did not take away his blazing speed and defensive acumen, so he's still a very good penalty killer who is a sure bet for at least one breakaway per game. Heck, even in a sub-par, 9-goal, 7-assist, 16-point year in 2018-19 (in which he only suited up for 41 games), he still managed 6 of those goals on the PK to lead the league in shorthanded tallies. As a matter of fact, since he entered the league in 2009-10, only Brad Marchand has more shorthanded goals than Grabner (27 to 22), and The Rat has done so in 151 more games.

To think that Arizona bought him out of his $3.75M salary and $3.35M cap hit despite this and his three post-season goals this year has me thinking the team is going to go through yet another rebuild instead of trying to win meaningful hockey games in 2020-21.

He, on the other hand, should find a good half dozen suitors for his services, although he may have to take a one-year deal this year to fit under the salary cap and earn another three-year deal next off-season. If the Montréal Canadiens didn't already have Paul Byron who fits his exact description, I'd make it a bigger point that he has already worn their colours with the WHL's Spokane Chiefs, as can be attested from card #419 from In The Game's 2005-06 Heroes And Prospects set:
He signed it in blue sharpie during his time with the New York Rangers (2016-18). He has also briefly played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks, who had selected him 14th overall at the 2006 draft. He represents Austria internationally, including the 2009 Olympic Qualifiers (5 goals in 3 games) and 2014 Olympics, where he scored a hat trick against Team Finland. His 5 total goals tied Team USA's Phil Kessel for the tournament lead in Sochi.

No comments:

Post a Comment