I just posted a comment on Killer Sundin's fanpost 'Farewell Grabbo, Farewell Passion' that I'm expanding into my own fan-post.
Obviously, a lot of us are still really surprised and disappointed with our team, the Leafs, waiving Mikhail Grabovski (a fan-favourite player for his on-ice energy, electrifying play-making, and that unforgettable spin-o-rama in the shoot-out).
I haven't read too much as to WHY the Leafs chose to make this move, which leads me to do some speculating. I can't stress enough that this is pure speculation and a humble fan’s opinions.
Maybe there’s more going on with Grabbo than meets the eye. He made the headlines in 2009 for getting into a fight with Jason Blake (a teammate at the time) during a practice. That’s bad sportsmanship on the part of both players to say the least. Perhaps this was just a flare of passion, but maybe it showcased a trend. Now, within a couple of hours of being waived, he knocks the coach in the press. I’d be upset too if I was in his position, but you’ll find most players on the move usually bite their lip. Grabbo should have just left things with his Twitter statement to the fans. Instead, he lets it be known to the league through his press-interview that he has no qualms with throwing insults at his former team (via his insulting the coach).
Professional sports teams don’t like when players talk-trash about their organization (current or former) to the press. If this ‘I know best’ attitude is part of Grabbo’s personality, then maybe management sees him as trying to put the ‘I’ in ‘team.’ In my opinion, his decision to insult the coach could even hurt his chances at landing a quality opportunity on a quality team.
Carlyle may be a jerk, or a coach who lauds ‘pre-lockout hockey,’ or an egomaniac, but…. he’s still the coach (through no fault of the players!). If the bulk of the team is towing the line, but Grabbo is in the corner pouting/complaining etc., then I can understand management saying ‘look, you’re a great player, but you’re pulling down morale, stirring up mutinous emotions/behavior, and aren’t listening to authority. We’ve got to cut you loose.’
I am NOT saying I agree with management, but if ANY of what I’m speculating is true…. I can ‘understand.’
It is unlikely that the team will respond much to Mikhail’s comments, and even a thorough sportswriter such as James Mirtle might not be privy to all of the ‘behind the scenes,’ actions and conversations between players and management. So… we may never know. Maybe management just didn't like his contract.
A final note: I am neither a fan of Coach Carlyle’s style, nor do I approve of management’s obsession with thinning talent while bulking up on thugs.