Grabovski buyout gives Leafs options

On the day Mikhail Grabovski officially takes himself off the open market, the former Toronto Maple Leafs centre is also likely to become a NHL free agent.

What a turn of events.

The Leafs placed Grabovski on unconditional waivers Thursday with the intention of using a compliance buyout on him if he clears Friday – which just happens to be the day the 29-year-old will marry his longtime girlfriend in Toronto, according to agent Gary Greenstin.

Of course, there is a chance another team plucks Grabovski off the waiver wire, although with $21.5 million and four years remaining on his contract that appeared unlikely.

Grabovski signed that big extension in March 2012 when Brian Burke was still the Leafs general manager. It was also just days after Randy Carlyle had taken over as coach and he never seemed to have as much faith in the Belarussian as predecessor Ron Wilson did.