On Monday, former Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski was placed on injured reserve by the New York Islanders and the news isn’t great.
Following a successful 2013-14 campaign as the Caps’ elusive second-line center, Grabovski chose to sign a four-year, $20 million contract with the New York Islanders. Grabovski was concussed twice last season bringing his concussion total to three during his tenure with the Isles.
Grabovski failed his physical last Friday. On Monday, he was placed on IR retroactive to March 16 of last season. Since Grabovski isn’t even cleared to skate, his recovery seems far from imminent.
#Isles Injury Update: Mikhail Grabovski has been placed on the team’s IR list with an upper body injury (retroactive to 3/16/16).
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 26, 2016
Despite his success with the Caps, Grabovski has yet to perform at the same level with the Islanders. Last season, he posted 25 points in 58 games. Grabovski has never played a full 82-game season in the NHL, and concussions have more than likely hampered his play in recent years.
Grabovski’s cap hit remains unchanged since the Islanders elected not to place him on LTIR.
#Isles clarify Grabovski is a non-roster injury designation. Means nothing as far as cap hit, which stays on the books.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) September 26, 2016
The frequency and severity of Grabovski’s concussions could jeopardize his career, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
Mikhail Grabovski went through the physical and neurological exams on Thursday and was not cleared by the medical staff to return to the ice due to concussion symptoms. Grabovski hasn’t played since March 15 and his career is in doubt.
Grabovski suffered his first concussion, the result of a heavy hit by John Scott, in October 2014. The Hockey News reports that “later in the season another blow caused the Islanders winger to be sidelined for another 27 games, including the first four games of New York’s post-season run.”
Grabovski’s next head injury occurred in February of this year. Eric Nystrom (formerly of the Nashville Predators) laid out Grabovski, who left the game.
Although the Islanders haven’t commented on Grabovski’s future with the team, Grabovski’s concussion history certainly raises questions about his ability to safely return to the game. We’ll be hoping for the best.
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