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|5 июля 2013 года.
Grabovski slams Carlyle after Leaf exit: Calls coach '(expletive) idiot' after learning contract bought out on eve of wedding day // Toronto Star
Mikhail Grabovski could be trembling with fury on Friday, the day he is to be married.
He certainly was on Thursday night.
In an interview with TSN, hours after learning that the Maple Leafs had bought out the final four years of his contract on the eve of his wedding day, the 29-year old centre unloaded his feelings in an expletive-filled rant - and one of his primary targets was coach Randy Carlyle.
"Of course I feel (expletive) sad ... I played (expletive) five years here. I'm supposed to feel upset about that. I loved it (here). ... Toronto fans are the best fans in the world."
An obviously emotional Grabovski felt Carlyle wrongly lost confidence in him. Grabovski, the club's No. 2 centre, saw a drop-off in production this season, and as a result less ice time.
"I play in the (expletive) KHK, I make lots of ( expletive) points and what's going to happen. ... He (Carlyle) makes me (expletive) play on the fourth line and he put me in the playoffs on the fourth line and third line again," Grabovski told TSN.
"Yeah, I don't score goals. I need to work more about that. I know that. But if you feel support from your coach ... I don't feel any support from this (expletive) idiot."
Grabovski's value to the Leafs declined this season even as the team broke its nine-year playoff drought. Toronto earned that post-season berth despite Grabovski, their second-line centre, having one of his most unproductive seasons. If the Leafs can achieve a playoff spot with obvious weaknesses at centre, there is a greater chance to increase their playoff fortunes by upgrading on Grabovski.
And that appears to be a major part of the Leafs' plan as the NHL free-agency period opens Friday.
As teams entered the free-for-all that is the open market for NHL players, the Leafs' depth chart was thin at centre. With Grabovski gone, and Tyler Bozak testing the free-agent waters, Toronto has holes at centre on its top two lines.
That could all change by the end of the weekend. Recently acquired Dave Bolland could be the second-line pivot, depending on whether the Leafs grab a free-agent centre or trade for one.
It's apparent now that Grabovski's $27-million contract - signed while Brian Burke was GM - was not money current GM Dave Nonis was comfortable having on the books. Nonis now has financial room to deal with Bozak, if a deal is there, or to entertain a number of possible upgrades.
Thanks to the compliance buyout on Grabovski, and another earlier this week on Mike Komisarek, the Leafs opened up $24.5 million in cap space. They have 11 roster spots to fill, and the club's current $41-million payroll is the second lowest in the NHL, which is key since the cap falls about $6 million to $64.3 million for the upcoming season.
Grabovski exits with four years remaining on a five-year, $27.5-million contract that saw an average annual cap hit of $5.5 million. He will be paid just under $1.8 million a year over the next eight years by the Leafs as part of his contract (which does not count against the cap).
In a statement, Nonis said, "I would like to thank Mikhail for his contributions with the Leafs over the past five seasons. This was not an easy decision to make as Mikhail made numerous contributions to our hockey club. This is a roster move that will give us salary-cap flexibility moving forward."