PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 31: Mikhail Grabovski #84 of the Toronto Maple Leafs waits for the face off to begin a power play against the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 31, 2012 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Grabovski had two goals and an assist as Toronto dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to Pittsburgh. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
I’m trying to remember exactly when, but at some point in this space last season I asked if Grabovski had become a top-10 NHL center. As I recall, some said yes but others thought that was a bit Leafcentric-sounding and not realistic, given the number of truly elite centers that there are in the league.Former NHL coach Marc Crawford seemed to suggest last night on TSN that Grabovski was now in that elite group. I’m not sure if that’s the case. I guess it depends on what we mean by elite, eh? (We sure didn’t think so six weeks ago, when Grabbo seemed to be trying hard, but was not making much happen through the first 30 or so games of the current season…)Heck, now the guy may be named the NHL Player of the Month for January (a made-up award in this modern-era, but what the heck, people seem to pay attention to these things) and he clearly has been a big part of any success the Leafs have had in recent weeks. So, you’ve all watched him play—where does he fit in the pantheon of NHL frontline centers?.................
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