Grabovski Upset About Being Health Scratch, Left Early To Meet His Agent In LA



    This move will certainly not endear Mr. Grabovski to Guy Carbonneau or his teammates for that matter. I was a little bit surprised to see Grabovski as a health scratch with Mathieu Dandenault in his place but let’s be realistic, he was bounced around and physically overmatched against the Sharks on Monday…….but wasn’t everybody for that matter!!!

    There is no questioning Grabovski’s skill set……..the guy can fly, is a good playmaker and handle the puck really well………it’s his small stature, inability to win battles along the boards and go to the center of the ice that needs to change or improve.

    Yes, he was ripping up the AHL with 18 points (G-8 A-10) in 7 games before he was recalled by the Habs but how many players succeed at that level and never transfer that success to the NHL……quite a few!!!

    I still think Grabovski has an NHL future but he needs to get physically stronger and work through his frustration of not playing one game. It definitely leaves a bad taste in a hockey player’s or fan’s mouth when a player abandons his team for self serving reasons. It’s an unnecessary distraction for the team during a crucial period of the season. Let’s just hope this is a lesson learned and water under the bridge for young Mr. Grabovski……..maybe he should talk to Josh Gorges about being patience and making the most of his playing time/opportunities… certainly worked for Gorges!!!!


    1. A power struggle that pits an unproven player against a coach and general manager of a winning team never favors the player. Lesson learned Mikhail.

      That will be the extent of my criticism for this incident. If Grabovski continues to be a distraction, then I’ll gladly go further. I rarely agree with Benoit Brunet and today was no exception. I thought that he was way over the top in conveying his disgust regarding Grabovski.

      Grabovski definitely has talent. He has blistering speed, good hands and is very creative with the puck. Reportedly, he was one of four elements coveted by Waddell in the counter proposal for Hossa at the trade deadline. The knock on Mikhail has been that he is too easy to knock off the puck. I noticed some improvement since his recall from Hamilton as he was skating through checks and playing a more aggressive forechecking game. He also has the ability to draw penalties.

      As Habster pointed out, Grabovski was hit in the Sharks game but certainly wasn’t alone. Grabovski, who gives away significant size to Latendresse, wins far more battles for the puck than Guillaume. Mikhail is also much better in his own zone. (I acknowledge that they play different positions but while Grabovski is criticized, Latendresse seems to be excused for the same or worse performance.)

      So what about the patience issue? Gorges is a great example of how working hard while waiting for a chance has paid off. But hasn’t Grabovski been patient too? After a good training camp, many expected that Grabovski had secured a place with the Canadiens. Yet, he spent the majority of the season in Hamilton and even with the Canadiens has been a healthy scratch 15 times already this season. It seems that the 16th time was the last straw for Mikhail.

      I don’t mind the attitude of a player who wants to play and thinks that he can contribute. He just must keep his temper in check until he proves himself.

      I think that Carbonneau has to share the blame for this incident. In a previous post, I asked what effect Carbo’s decision to stubbornly continue to dress players who were not performing (Latendresse) would have on team chemistry. I think I have my answer.

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