Waiver Wired: Isles pick Grabner off waivers
GM Garth Snow of the New York Islanders, who has been able to find some diamonds in the rough, is at it again.
After the Florida Panthers shocked the hockey community at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by trading Keith Ballard for a first round draft pick, Steve Bernier and Michael Grabner, it seemed as if Dale Tallon was already placing his stamp of approval on the team he now runs.
Of course, the training camps and preseason were barely on the radar at that point in time.
As we prepare to enter the official start of the 2010-11 NHL season, one team has already suffered quite the unfortunate scenario.
The New York Islanders were bit with the injury bug early this year as Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo and recently, Rob Schremp have all been effected.
With a few holes to plug in the line up, Snow and company found an ideal candidate who can likely skate, knowing he has to truly prove himself (in similar fashion to Schremp), in a top six role.
Michael Grabner will be joining the New York Islanders and likely find a home for at least the rest of this season.
Unable to perform to the potential behind being a first round pick, Grabner has spent most of his young career playing for the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League. In 180 AHL games played, Grabner registered 68 goals and added 42 assists for a total of 110 points.
Grabner’s game is all speed as his skating is one of his strongest skills, and let’s not leave out the fact that he does have very good hands. His speed helps him find openings on the ice that create space thus leading to scoring opportunities.
The Canucks, due to the amazing balanced attack that featured six players who were able to pot 25 or more goals, left Grabner without a full time role and in order to keep him developing correctly, he found the AHL route to last four seasons. Then he was traded to Florida, where it seemed all but certain that he would land a top six role with the organization. Unfortunately for Grabner, such was not the case.
Now, after being waived by the Panthers, the Islanders will hope that Grabner is tired of the AHL scene and prepared to show his worth on the ice with the big club in New York.
And as Denise Karl of Hockeybuzz.com points out, today is Grabner’s birthday. Well, Happy Birthday youngster, this could be the best birthday present of your entire existence.
Will this be another steal by the Islanders? Can Grabner pot 20 goals as a full time NHL forward or will he wind up in the dog house of Scott Gordon prior to the return of Rob Schremp?
There are still questions that remain to be answered but within a few days time, all will be put to rest.
Best of luck to Grabner this season as he will truly need to find chemistry and become a consistent player at the top level.