Mikhail Grabovski hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2015-16 season, spending all of last year on long-term injured reserve with continued post-concussion symptoms, but as Nick Cotsonika of NHL.com reports he’s in Las Vegas today for his medical and maintains his desire to play. His agent, Gary Greenstein, told Cotsonika that Grabovski is “very positive.” The 33-year old forward was selected by the Golden Knights in the expansion draft after receiving a first-round pick from the New York Islanders, but few thought he’d ever suit up for the team.
At one point in his career, Grabovski was a dynamic center that could drive play offensively and hold his own in the defensive end (despite what some detractors might say) but hasn’t played more than 60 games in a single NHL season since 2011-12. For a team that will likely have trouble scoring goals, his addition could provide some depth down the middle and another presence for the powerplay.
All of this is just hope from Grabovski’s side at this point, as he’ll need to pass the medical and then convince head coach Gerard Gallant that he’s ready to compete in the NHL once again, but we have seen things like this before. Clarke MacArthur returned to the Ottawa Senators late last season after nearly a full season off with similar issues, and was a big contributor in the playoffs. Perhaps Grabovski can do the same, even if it doesn’t come at the start of the season.