He was dangled at the Draft, shopped during the Summer, but it was on the eve of training camp when Garth Snow found a taker for Michael Grabner. The 27 year old Austrian was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for five players – forward Taylor Beck is the most experienced of the five players the Leafs unloaded. Beck, 24, played parts of three seasons with the Predators. Also coming in the deal are center Carter Verhaeghe, a 20-year-old prospect that played with both Ryan Strome and Joshua Ho-Sang on the OHL’s Niagara Ice Dogs, defensemen Tom Nilsson, 22, and Matt Finn, 21, and AHL goaltender Chris Gibson, 22.
2015-16 is Grabner’s final year on a five-year 15 million dollar contract he signed after a 34 goal rookie season with the Islanders in 2010-11 after being claimed off waivers from the Florida Panthers. Known for his breakaway speed and colorful personality off the ice and on social media, Grabner, a solid penalty killer, had issues staying healthy last season, registering just 13 points (8-5) in 34 games and was a healthy scratch in 5 of the 7 games vs Washington in the postseason.
The Isles quickly signed former Devils F Steve Bernier to a one-year deal worth $750,000 to fill the depth void left by Grabner’s departure.
Here’s a look back of some of Grabner’s best moments on Long Island
Top 5 Goals of the 2010-2011 Rookie Season
Michael Grabner 14.0 Fastest Skater Challenge (NHL Skills Competition 2011)
2013 Opening Night Goals vs New Jersey Devils
Michael Grabner Scores Two SHG’s in 48 seconds vs Maple Leafs
Scores a breakaway OT winner against Winnipeg Jets in 2014