When he gets the opportunity, Mikhail Grabovski can do some incredible things with the puck. Unfortunately, he didn't get a lot of opportunities under Randy Carlyle, and after a rough season in which he scored just 16 points, the Toronto Maple Leafs made the decision to buy Grabovski out.
Later that same day, knowing his time in Toronto was at an end after five years, Grabovski went anything but quietly, blasting Randy Carlyle as a "stupid coach" in an expletive-filled rant for the ages.
"I play in the [expletive] Russian KHL, I make lots of [expletive] points and what's going to happen? He make me [expletive] play on the fourth line and he put me in the playoffs on the fourth line and third line again," Grabovski spewed. "Yeah, I don't score goals. I need to work more about that. I know that. But if you feel support from your coach [you'll find success]. I don't feel any support from this [expletive] idiot."
[...] "Wilson [expletive] pushed me same hard as this," Grabovski said, months of frustration finally bubbling to the surface, "but don't be an [expletive] with me. If you don't like something tell [expletive] right away, don't put me on the bench, healthy scratch [me] or something. Don't put me on a [expletive] third line and then [expletive] play me six minutes in a game."
It's no secret that Grabovski never meshed with Randy Carlyle. The centre earned his five-year, $27.5 million extension under Ron Wilson, who relied on Grabovski to produce offence.
But four days before that lucrative contract was finalized, circumstances changed. Wilson was let go, and Carlyle was brought in to replace him. Grabovski's role was altered significantly. Suddenly, he was used primarily to prevent offense, deployed mostly in the defensive zone, matched up against other teams' top lines and playing a checking role that isn't particularly conducive to scoring chances. Unsurprisingly, his production dried up.
Grabovski held his tongue for much of the year, but the buyout was the last straw.
Incredibly, while Grabovski admitted he was "sad", these quotes don't come from a man at his lowest.
"I'm [expletive] happy right now," he told TSN.