Things have been eerily silent for the Washington Capitals this summer. They haven’t made any additions to the club, with the buyout of Jeff Schultz and the departure of Mike Ribeiro being the only reasons that anyone has even looked in their direction this summer.
The latter situation there has left the Capitals with something of a vacancy right in the middle of their second line. Ribeiro came to Washington last summer via trade and had a brilliant season for the Caps, departing for big money during free agency. Which has left the Capitals to roll with Brooks Laich as a no. 2 center.
There are worse situations that the Caps could be in than having a guy like Laich as their no. 2 guy in the middle. He’s a solid two-way player and can put up some points, even if he isn’t the most offensively skilled player. While he’s a serviceable guy as a second line center, it’s hard to ignore the availability of a better option out on the free agent market.
Mikhail Grabovski is still without a contract after he was bought out by Toronto. We don’t know who he has talked to at this point, or what type of deal he’s looking for. But this might be an opportunity that the Capitals simply cannot afford to pass up, as he’d be a perfect fit.
Grabovski is coming off of a pretty terrible year with the Toronto Maple Leafs, at least by his standards, but that’s not necessarily his fault. He was criminally misused by the coaching staff of the Leafs, logging time as a third line center and playing more of a defensive role, for reasons beyond anyone’s ability to explain.
Prior to that season, Grabovski had posted back-to-back seasons of at least 50 points, including at least 20 goal in each. He’s not a big guy in the middle, but he plays a decent two-way game, is very talented offensively, and will win over half of his draws. Can’t ask for much more out of a 2C.
The Capitals should be all over trying to sign Grabovski at this point in the summer. With the money he’s taking home in the buyout, money shouldn’t be as much of an issue. He’d be a terrific fit and would allow Laich to slot in as a 3C, or perhaps play out on the wing. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for Washington.