Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 8/23/13
May 12, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins forwardDavid Krejci
(46) and Toronto Maple Leafs centerMikhail Grabovski
(84) battle for position during the first period in game six of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Like an oasis in the desert, NHL fans finally found some much-needed offseason news to take their attention off the dog days of summer.
Free-agent forward Mikhail Grabovski has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals worth approximately $3 million, after having his previous five-year, $27.5 million contract extension bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs in July.
Grabovski recorded nine goals and seven assists this past season in Toronto, but will be a nice replacement at center for the Capitals after Mike Ribeiro decamped to Phoenix.
Washington had been relatively quiet this offseason, with their only other notable signing to date being their own RFA D Karl Alzner.
With the addition of Grabovski, the Capitals will likely be among the league leaders in goal scoring again in 2013-14, as they ranked fourth in the league with a 3.04 goals-per-game average this past year. Grabovski has averaged 0.59 regular-season points per game over the course of his career.
While the signing doesn’t by any means guarantee the Capitals the Stanley Cup next season, it allows them to remain a strong offensive team, which has become the club’s hallmark in recent years.
In Case You Missed It
Sound Tigers Release 2013-14 Schedule (Islanders Point Blank)
Top Five Greatest Defensemen in New York Islanders History (Rant Sports)
Around the World: Greatest Swedish Islanders (Isles Optimism)
Islanders Fans: Looking Past the Coliseum (The Hockey Writers)
The Biggest Move for Every NHL Team During the 2013 Offseason (Bleacher Report)
Pittsburgh-Born Saad Savors His Day With Stanley Cup (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Capitals Sign F Grabovski to One-Year Deal (TSN)
Two Minutes For Tweeting
If you haven’t read up on Cal Clutterbuck’s initial impression of Long Island—in his own words, at least—here’s a good interview with the man himself, courtesy of our friends at The Checking Line.
One of the biggest questions for the Islanders during training camp will undoubtedly be whether uber-prospect Ryan Strome performs well enough to warrant a call-up to the NHL. It’s likely to take a phenomenal camp from the kid for him to start the season on the Isles’ roster, but nothing is impossible considering his skill set.
Get your hockey fix—because we know you need it—by watching the replay of Game 2 tonight at 8:00 p.m. EDT. Rumor is, the Isles put on a pretty good show in Pittsburgh that night back in May…
The good news is that Islanders rookies report to camp on Sep. 4, and the rest of the team arrives a week later. Hockey season is coming, slowly but surely.
Now here’s a fearless season prediction that Isles fans can get behind.
As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL offseason coverage and up-to-the-minute Islanders news. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff; we’re always happy to talk hockey.