Islanders Summer Report Card: Mikhail Grabovski

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NHL: New York Islanders at Carolina Hurricanes

Mikhail Grabovski

Season: 51 GP – 9 G – 10 A – 19 PTS – 8 PIM – +3

Career: 476 GP – 116 G – 155 A – 271 PTS – 279 PIM – +2

Contract: 5mm cap hit through 2017-2018 (UFA)

2014-2015 Season Recap:

What can you say about Mikhail Grabovski‘s first season as an Islander other than frustrating. When Garth Snow signed the veteran playmaker, along with his best friend Nikolay Kulemin, fans looked forward to a puck possessing center who was a pest on defense and can contribute to the score sheet. And that’s what Grabovski brought to the table; that is on days he was not sidelined by injuries. It was a season plagued by maladies for Grabovski that only allowed him to play 51 games due to a series of “upper body injuries”.

What Went Right:

While healthy, Grabovski’s hard work, hustle and defensive prowess made him a very rewarding player to have on the ice. Grabovski is a jack of all trades making it easy to put him on the ice for even strength, power play and penalty kill duties. He had no problem meshing with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo with the man advantage and on the shorthanded unit he possessed the puck, picked pockets and did an outstanding job keeping the puck out of the Islanders net.

What Went Wrong:

It all started just four games into the season when the Islanders met the San Jose Sharks. Grabovski took a big, clean hit from 6’8″, 260 pound John Scott and was forced to leave the ice. It was later reported that he had avoided a concussion, but would be out indefinitely. One night after Grabovski passed a concussion test, he woke up with concussion-like symptoms and would later be placed on the injured reserve. Later in the year, Grabovski took another big hit from the Nashville Predators forward, Eric Nystrom- son of Islanders legend, Bobby Nystrom, causing him to return to the injured reserved. Grabovski’s concussions caused him to miss a total of 31 games this past season, and the penalty kill certainly took a hit from the loss.

2015-2016 Outlook:

If Grabovski can stay healthy, he could be the Islanders second line center between Brock Nelson and Kuliman. He can also be utilized on the wing if need be, as we all know head coach, Jack Capuano likes to shake up the lines, giving Nelson a chance to play his natural center position. The Islanders assistant coach, Doug Weight, should see his unit’s penalty kill numbers go up if Grabovski can avoid another stint on the injured reserve.

Jay’s Grade: B-

How would you rate Mikail Grabovski’s 2014-2015 season? Does he deserve more credit for the games he did play? Or does he deserve less credit for missing so much time on the ice? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

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