By Adam Proteau
If I told you the Toronto Maple Leafs’ best all-around player last season was a five-foot-11, sublimely skilled forward tough (and some might say bull-headed) enough to absorb huge hits from Zdeno Chara and come back the same night to score the game-winner, you’d be forgiven for fantasizing that former captain Doug Gilmour had come back for one more kick at the NHL can.
However, the aforementioned player isn’t the man once hailed as ‘Killer.’ Rather, it’s centre Mikhail Grabovski — a Belarusian born in Germany and apparently raised by a pack of very fast skaters — who has shown himself to be deadly on the ice.
And for the Leafs to make the playoffs, they’ll need the 27-year-old to at least replicate the 29-goal, 58-point totals he posted last season.
But it would be nice to see Torontonians embrace Grabovski’s talent and spirit a little more than they do at present.