Grabovski in a sticky situation

In the minds of Maple Leafs management, this is not a question of moving a player whose contract expires at the end of the season just to get some sort of return for the future.

The goal remains to make playoffs this season. Dealing away the team’s third leading scorer in Grabovski just to get help for down the road doesn’t do anything to bring them closer to achieving that goal.

This is not a team like Columbus that is attempting to rebuild from the ground up. If the Leafs are to deal Grabovski, the ideal swap would bring them back a player or players who could help immediately.

It has been suggested that Burke thinks he can get the aforementioned selection bumped up from a second to a first in the reported offer that includes a prospect. But, as one Leaf executive described it on Friday, any deal involving a draft pick(s) and/or prospect would have to “blow us away.”

Meanwhile coach Ron Wilson is confident that Grabovski, 28, will be re-signed. Grabovski’s pending free agent status has caused numbers from $5 million to $5.4 million to be thrown around, a significant bump from the $2.9 million he’s making now.

The difference between what Grabovski SHOULD make and what he WILL make remains debatable. All Wilson knows is that all this trade speculation grinds on the nerves of all concerned, including a player he thinks (and hopes) will be a Leaf for a long time.

“It probably is,” Wilson said on Friday. “It’s tough for a coach to go through too, because, over the last two years, he consistently has been one of our better forwards.

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