Florida Panthers Need To Be Targeting Free Agent Mikhail Grabovski

By Randy Holt
Mikhail Grabovski
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

To this point in the summer, the Florida Panthers haven’t done much of anything to improve their team that finished at the bottom of the league standings, and towards the bottom of the league in nearly every statistical category, in 2013. But there is still an opportunity for them to make a splash out on the market.

Dale Tallon has made it clear that the Panthers weren’t going to be major players in free agency, despite some glaring needs, and some veteran players out on the market that could fit those needs. However, one veteran forward that is still out there on the market that could make an impact for this team.

That forward is Mikhail Grabovski, who was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs just before the free agent signing period got underway. He’s going to find a job very easily, it’s just a matter of finding the right suitor. There would certainly appear to be a match between the two sides.

The Panthers could use a top six center with offensive upside. Grabovski certainly fits that bill. Don’t read into his offensive numbers from 2013. That was a matter of being incorrectly utilized by the coaching staff in Toronto. Now with something to prove after being bought out, Grabovski would be a terrific fit.

He’s a center capable of playing in the middle of the top line, or the second line. He’ll win half of his draws and put up 20 or so goals, and he’s assisted on at least 25 goals in each of the last four seasons, prior to 2013. He won’t kill penalties, but can be an asset with the man advantage.

Grabovski isn’t a superstar center, by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s a very capable guy in the middle of the top six. The Panthers need that type of presence in their lineup. They need to be going after Grabovski, who could probably be had for a decent price after being bought out.

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