Panic. . .Or Not
The recent signing of Mikhail Grabovski by the Leafs to a five-year, $27.5 million deal has created a firestorm of debate over whether it was a good deal.
On the side of those who believe its a bad deal, there was the accusation that GM Brian Burke panicked after the trade deadline because of the performance of his team and tried to make a splash with the signing.
Interesting theory. Just wrong.
Remember the visit of Burke to the Leaf practice facility in the hours before the deadline that caused a stir after it was caught by Sportsnet cameras? Well, as it turns out, the purpose of that visit was to meet with Grabovski.
The night before, the Leafs had closed the deal on the new contract with Grabovski's agent, but then got the feeling that there was some waffling at the other end. Unwilling to keep Grabovski without the new contract, Burke went to the Mastercard Centre to meet the German-born centre and to find out whether they had a deal or not.
Grabovski said they did. The two men shook on the deal, and Grabovski stayed a Leaf.
So the deal was done before the deadline, not after.
Sort of impacts the theory that it was all about post-deadline panic.