Belarussian interview with Mikhail Grabovski

Editor's Note: Glove tap to koopa kid for tracking down this interview with Mikhail Grabovski. There are some hilarious answers as well as some very revealing ones about the current climate of the team.

I haven't seen this posted anywhere on here, forgive me if it has. Check out the broken translations. Hat tips go to Belarus from HFboards for the post and colonel_korn on SAS for the relay: 

Mikhail Grabovski: Maybe he got his license suspended?

- When during preseason you were able to finds the back of the net, but at the start of regular season you were in scoring drought from Minsk it looked like "eternal bad luck". Did you dwell on it?
- Absolutely no. There is nothing eternal in life and so is bad luck. I waited it out. When you're being trusted it's easier to deal with temporal difficulties. And they trust me in Toronto.

- Is this the biggest difference between Ron Wilson and Guy Charbonneau?
- No, there are others. Ron is more experienced than Guy, he has brought his team to the Stanley Cup final. Also, he has different approach towards players: in Montreal our relationships were strictly businesslike. Here in Toronto coach takes an interest in his players life besides hockey, can have heart-to-heart talk with you and it prepossesses you. Finally, what's also nice is that Wilson - proponent of euro style of hockey. I have no idea where it comes from, but being a North American he allows us to improvise more. Oh and I already said about the trust.

- They trust you so much that it looks they pick players "for Grabovski" now, and not cover holes with you as it was before.
- Perhaps. But this is normal because i'm playing center. Recently looks like coached found optimal blend of our line - Kulemin and Hagman playing wings. Before Kolya (Kulemin) recovered from his injury they constantly shuffled my partners. Now burst of our line's offensive production I directly link to Kulemin's complete recovery.

- Especially "burst" goes along with your "fondness" towards Carolina. Four goals in two games in three days - it's big. Where such a love for Hurricanes comes from?
- How you can not love them if the name of the city is female's name. (Grabs laughs)

- Wait a sec... I hear some romantic notes. So, very soon we should discover you're no longer promising single.
- Oh, come on... Let's agree: you haven't asked - I haven't answerd, ok? Let's talk hockey only.

- As you wish. Then shed some light on if it was possible for you to wind up in Toronto's farm club during your drought?
- Impossible. The contract was put in the way that they could only trade me to some other NHL team. I've got enough of two way agreements. I've had a dilemma this summer: whether I play in the NHL or I come back to play in Russia.

- To put it this way one must be confident about what he can do.
- I've never had any problems with that. Always felt there is nothing extraterrestrial for me in the NHL and I could play some good hockey here. I now I think I'm proving this.

- Oh you're sure do. From now on You can only improve uour previous, even though modest personal record.
- Yes, but I'm more happy about my other record. My seventeen-twenty minutes a game - this is what I craved. Now, when I have it what else do I need?

- Well, how about comfort in life for example.
- I'm perfectly fine. I always liked Toronto as a city and Toronto as an NHL club. And these are not regular words and not regular due to management. I said it before, when playing for Montreal and Hamilton. There is a friendly team climate in Toronto. It is so encouraging: I feel myself as I felt before in Neftehimik (Russia). Look, it's very reminiscent of what I've had there: experienced coach, young team, complete trust.

- You can tell me whatever you want, but I won't believe Saturday's game against Canadiens was regular game for you.
- Of course it was a special game for me. But not because I hold grudge against my former team. It's the opposite, I made my first steps in the NHL playing with them and only for that I'm grateful to my former teammates and Gi Charbonneau. But I've had the same satisfaction from victory as if it was any other game, except that we lost to them one month ago 1:6 and it has strengthen it a bit.

- Ok, now let's talk about the most important: what was between you and Sergei? Was his charge a surprise for you?
- Oh, and there you go... Why all reporters, whether it's in Canada or back home have clung to this episode? Right in that game Kostopolus sent our player Van Rynn to hospital for more than a week. But, I feel like no one talks about this really unpleasant moment comparing to our trash talk.

- Illegal hits are common in the NHL. But clash of two out of total four countrymen in the NHL we couldn't leave unnoticed. Why would Sergei charged into you so viciously?
- It was hit like any other hit and I don't hold grudge for Sergei. It's NHL - anything happens here. But why he's mad at me, I don't understand. Maybe, he got his driver license suspended, maybe he has problems with his girlfriend - I don't know. But there is no my fault in his problems.

- One of the versions says you've said something to him. What was that?
- I don't remember exactly, but it was regular trash talk as it happens in cases like that. I told him to look at the scoreboard and said he was too young to fight me. Andrei (his older brother) didn't want to sort out our relationship as he's older and controls himself. But if someone so eager to engage into fist talk, we can always meet after season end in Minsk.

- Another thing you've said is the "I have no friends in Montreal". Also, some say Ponikarovski translated it the wrong way.
- I doubt it. Alexei's English is very good to be it this way. Other thing is reporters interpreted my words incorrectly: I meant I have no friends among opposing team on ice.

- Why you're using partners to translate it for you? Your English is not so good?
- Not so bad, but it's not ideal either. When one on one I speak decent, but right after game you colleagues surrounded me and I had to ask for my teammate's help.

- I guess you spend more time with Russian speaking guys after hockey games.
- And it's a wrong guess. This is a beauty of Toronto - they don't have team divided in groups by some features. We're all together. And it's good as my English is getting better because, for example, during road games I share the hotel room with Dominic Moore.

- By the way we're not disturbing him now with our conversation? It's 1am in the morning.
- No, it's ok. He went to visit his local relatives.

- You shouldn't feel yourself lonely in Toronto also because, If I'm not mistaken, here is the biggest Belorussian population in Canada. They have even Belorussian church.
- Seriously? I didn't know. I've heard they have many Ukrainians here, but I haven't met Belorussians so far. And I don't feel lonely at all. I have my relatives in Toronto too. My dad's cousin lives here. He's is my guide to the city.

- So, I see you're feel yourself comfortable here. What do you see in your future?
- Fight for the playoff berth. They don't demand it here right away as we're building new team. I hope to contribute. The more I contribute - the better. is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of