Will the Leafs trade Grabovski?
There will be lots of trade speculation involving the Leafs until the Feb. 27 NHL deadline, and one player whose name will be in rumours is forward Mikhail Grabovski, who happened to be the best Leaf on Tuesday. Due to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, Grabovski would be an attractive piece on the trade market, and general manager Brian Burke already is getting calls about the 27-year-old.
But Grabovski has developed into a solid performer under coach Ron Wilson and it would be tough to see him go. Plus, trading Nikolai Kulemin’s best friend on the team could kill what fragile resolve Kulemin has now … The Leafs were sloppy in their own end in the first period and were lucky to be down only 1-0. Carl Gunnarsson’s effort to tie up Tavares on the goal was non-existent … No Leaf is faster than Matthew Lombardi, whose quickness was on display on the opening shift of the game. A few strides and Lombardi was back to knock P.A. Parenteau off the puck and take away an Islanders scoring chance … Joey Crabb was the only Leaf in the first period who had a shot on goal other than each member of the Joffrey Lupul-Tyler Bozak-Kessel line.