The Toronto Maple Leafs bought out Mikhail Grabovski on Thursday, ending the center’s five-year run with the team.
The move gave the Leafs some financial relief under the NHL’s new salary cap regulations, but whatever explanation they gave to Grabovski clearly did not sit well with the 29-year-old.
Grabovski made his feelings known about Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle in an interview with TSN’s Jonas Siegel on Thursday, and he held nothing back.
“I play in the [expletive] Russian KHL, I make lots of [expletive] points and what’s going to happen? He makes me [expletive] play on the fourth line and he put me in the playoffs on the fourth line and third line again,” Grabovski said. “Yeah, I don’t score goals. I need to work more about that. I know that. But if you feel support from your coach [you’ll find success]. I don’t feel any support from this [expletive] idiot.”
Wow. Tell us how you really feel, Mikhail.
After posting 50-plus-point totals in each of the past two seasons, Grabovski’s production plummeted this year. He managed just nine goals and seven assists in 48 games for the Leafs, a drop that may be contributed to Carlyle’s decision to play him in a more defensive role. But even after his frustrating campaign, which ended when Toronto blew a three-goal third-period lead to the Bruins in Game 7 of the Leafs’ first playoff series in nearly a decade, Grabovski was not eager to leave.
“Of course I feel [expletive] sad,” he said. “I played [expletive] five years here. I’m supposed to feel upset about that. I loved it [here]. Toronto fans are one of the best fans in the world.”
Grabovski had four years left on his contract, having just signed a five-year extension prior to the season. The Leafs will pay him $14.3 million over the next eight years.