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A Scout’s Argument Against Signing Michael Grabner



Credit: NHL

Earlier today, the Arizona Coyotes announced that they were buying out left winger Michael Grabner.

Grabner, a four-time 20-goal scorer, is known as a penalty-killing speed merchant. Since 2010, the 32-year-old’s 22 short-handed goals are second in the NHL only to Brad Marchand.

So why have the Coyotes bought out Grabner? Has the 32-year-old speedster lost a step? And would the 6-foot-1 winger be a good fit for the San Jose Sharks?

San Jose Hockey Now asked a scout some of these questions.

The good news?

“He can still skate,” the scout offered. “He does have enough left in the tank.”

Otherwise, however, this scout wasn’t a fan.

“He’s a specialty player. Fourth-line guy who can kill penalties. But he’s soft and doesn’t battle and doesn’t have finish,” the scout said. “He’s a Band-Aid player. He has one or two years left.”

Grabner sounds very limited. As an illustration of that, 18.5 percent of Grabner’s ice-time was short-handed, which led Arizona forwards.

However his skill-set — speed and penalty killing — are elite. So despite this scout’s warnings, should the San Jose Sharks take a shot?

For the right cost and term, say $1.5 million for one year, you have to think about it. Grabner’s speed could be a different and winning ingredient for a theoretically slower Sharks squad.

It’ll be dependent on whether or not the veteran fits new San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner’s systemic changes. While Grabner is a PK specialist first, you can’t have somebody out there who’s hurting you or holding you back 5-on-5. When Grabner’s not racing in on an opposing netminder for a breakaway, what value does he have?

It’s worth noting too that the San Jose Sharks have a ton of likely fourth-line forwards: Joel Kellman, Alexander True, Fredrik Handemark, Noah Gregor, Dylan Gambrell, Joachim Blichfeld, and Marcus Sorensen.

UFAs Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Melker Karlsson, and Stefan Noesen are also closer to fourth-line forwards than top-nine too.

So while Grabner offers a premium skill, he would be another fourth-line forward for a top-heavy group that has too many fourth-liners, not enough clear third-liners.

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Gary To

Love his speed but I agree that’s it’s no for signing him for me. Sharks should have a bunch of young kids who (even though might not get as many breakaways) can do his job.


This might be interesting. He could shine on PK, with Madden on the bench. The question is his desire. Seems he only plays well in New York. Lol

david barnard

i get a Boedker vibe about this. not saying they’re stylistically the same or anything. just get a sense the Sharks would regret it. Sharks were enamored with his speed as well.

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