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Nashville Predators Trade Targets: Mikhail Grabovski

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The Nashville Predators got bigger on the blueline adding Hal Gill on defense, but the need for a scoring forward still remains. Darren Dreger gave us a piece of information on twitter a couple of days ago that certainly got Preds fans talking:

For those unable to see Insider Trading. Offer for [Mikhail] Grabovski is for a 2nd rnd pick and prospect. Could get more. Still hope to re-sign him.

Mikhail Grabovski

#84 / Center / Toronto Maple Leafs



Jan 31, 1984

2011 - Mikhail Grabovski 53 18 21 39 5 16 4 0 1 119

So should the Predators go after the Toronto center?

What Grabovski would bring to the Nashville Predators

Grabovski, obviously, would bring that scoring touch that the Predators need to make a serious run at the Stanley Cup. He's not a pure scorer like a Steven Stamkos, but would add another consistent scorer to the Predators' current crop.

Grabovski also gets matched up defensively with opposing teams' top forward lines and, as Seth noted on twitter, could play on Nashville's first line and play the defensive style that Barry Trotz demands.

Oh yeah, but there was also that incident with countryman and would-be-teammate Sergei Kostitsyn:

Contract Situation

Grabovski is in the last year of a deal that has him making a meager $3,100,000 with a manageable cap hit of $2,900,000. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

James Mirtle speculates that his new deal could be somewhere in the $5,000,000 mark:

The No. 1 comparable I've seen referenced these days is Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens, who is making $5-million a season on a six-year deal that started last season.

(A few other names are those of David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron, both with the Bruins and both making relatively similar money to Plekanec.)

That puts Grabovski in the $4.5-million to $5.5-million range and likely means Burke will have to move out another body to free up that kind of raise.

If Grabovski were awarded a contract in that range, it would certainly give Predators management room to sign him along with Weber and Suter to long-term deals, should the Preds make a move for him.

What he might cost in trade

Dreger reported that GM Brian Burke was asking for a second round pick and a prospect, but Pension Plan Puppets thinks that might be just a negotiating tactic to sign him to a long term deal in Toronto:

The other thing is that Brian Burke leaks things to the media. It's possible that this is all part of the negotiation process and that if he's only worth a 2nd rounder that Grabovski's agent will tell him to take a smaller deal. For right now we need to hope that's the case: it's hard to see the Leafs making the playoffs this year without Grabovski and even harder to see it next season.

Poile has publicly stated that Nashville's first round pick is available. Would a 1st and someone like Jonathon Blum be enough to get Grabo in Gold?