Agent: Capitals and Mikhail Grabovski have begun talks on contract extension

January 11

(Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Mikhail Grabovski has proven to be quite the valuable addition for the Capitals this season and according to his agent, the team is in the early stages of discussing a possible contract extension for the veteran center.

“Why not?” Grabovski’s agent, Gary Greenstin said Saturday morning at the Capitals’ Arlington practice facility when asked if the center would like to stay in Washington. “Depends on the management. Coach likes him, we just begin talking about future contract. It’s not easy process. It will take some time I believe.”

Grabovski, 29, signed a one-year, $3 million contract with Washington in late August after he was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier in the summer. The speedy playmaker was looking for a new start, the Capitals another talented player to slot in the depth chart down the middle behind Nicklas Backstrom.

So far, the scenario has worked for both player and team. Grabovski has recorded 12 goals and 32 points in 42 games and, as he’s grown more familiar with the Capitals’ system, seen his ice time and role steadily increase.

Grabovski has played on each of the top three lines and is currently working on the first with Alex Ovechkin and Eric Fehr. Regardless of whom he plays with, Grabovski has managed to help his linemates excel as well and he’s been on the ice for 57.7 percent of Washington’s five-on-five goals.

If the Capitals, who were only able to begin negotiations as of Jan. 1 according to the collective bargaining agreement, can lock Grabovski up long term it would provide stability at center for a team that has conducted annual searches for a number two pivot every offseason since 2009.

Certainly, though, if Grabovski can continue his successful season he would be a highly sought after commodity as an unrestricted free agent this summer. But Greenstin indicated that security with a team and in a city is important for Grabovski and his family and that jumping from one team to another isn’t ideal.

“He’s comfortable here. Good coaching staff, he fits here very well but Grabo is very talented center. He’s able to play in lot of organization the same role. He’s a first-two liner, he reads the game very well but we’ll see what’s happening,” Greenstin said. “Most likely he’ll stay here.”

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