Washington has found its second line center – former Leaf Mikhail Grabovski.
Fantasy Impact – Grabovski is a heck of a center who will bounce back in a huge way this season. He wasn’t in the right role to succeed in Toronto last year, and found a way to be productive despite playing brutally tough minutes (doing the dirty work for Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri, essentially). He’s skilled, quick, and surprisingly gritty. And he fills a major need for Washington, who were entering the season without a true second line center after losing Mike Ribeiro to free agency.
The Capitals get – as mentioned above, Grabovski is a proven top-six point producer who can contribute positively in many areas. He’s quick and a really well-rounded offensive player, and he can also go up against the top opposing lines. Toronto misused him last season, and he will have plenty of motivation (not only to prove them wrong, but to earn a big pay day as he is on just a one-year deal) this season in Washington.
Not only is Grabovski a really good player, but he’s a lot of fun to watch, too. He may not be as good as Ribeiro is/was from a pure offensive standpoint, but he’s arguably a better overall hockey player.
Fantasy Players Impacted – this is probably the best possible fit for Grabovski. The Capitals have two really good second line wingers (Martin Erat, a strong two-way possession winger, and Troy Brouwer, a big sniper with great hands around the net), and they now have one of the better second offensive units in hockey.
This move bumps Mathieu Perreault down to line four (or the press box), and Brooks Laich down to line three. It hurts Laich’s offensive potential for this season, but his game is really well-suited for a grinding, third line type of role (especially alongside similar players like Jason Chimera and Joel Ward).
Potential Line Combos: