The Calgary Flames have been relatively quiet this summer, with the exception of a couple of solid additions via trade. But they’ve made no secret of their desire to add a center, most likely on the free agent market. Despite the availability of some center depth on the market, however, they have yet to make a move for one.
Perhaps they’re waiting on Mikhail Grabovski. The former Toronto center isn’t expected to sign with a team until August, but would make sense as a candidate for the Flames’ vacancy in the middle, in more than one way. That’s assuming he’s interested in signing with a rebuilding project.
We don’t know what type of deal Grabovski is looking for. But with the buyout he received from Toronto, he doesn’t necessarily need a large contract. One has to wonder if he’d be interested in signing a short-term deal, though, if it came with a team like the Flames. Such a deal could have multiple benefits.
Grabovski is coming off what was quite possibly the worst season of his career. That’s not necessarily has fault, as he was horribly utilized by the coaching staff in Toronto. And front offices likely know that, which is teams won’t shy away from signing the center. But it could impact the type of money he sees as a free agent.
Which is why signing with the Flames could make some sense, as a short term signing. The Flames are a team in rebuilding mode, looking to get younger. Signing Grabovski to a one-year deal could allow them to flip him at the trade deadline for some young assets, if he has a strong first half of the year. For Grabovski, it’s a chance to increase value and perhaps get a larger deal next summer from a different club.
It makes sense, if the Flames were in a complete and total rebuild, which has yet to be acknowledged by Jay Feaster. It’ll be interesting to see if they try this approach, or if they look to an alternative out on the market. But there is plenty of sense in a potential short-term deal for Grabovski with the Flames.