Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mikhail Grabovsky, The Flying Mullet

Montreal Canadiens' Mikhail Grabovsky

A quick Google news search will show that Mikhail Grabovsky has been drawing plenty of superlatives for his play during the Montreal Canadiens' rookie camp, including an article in the Hamilton Spectator that all but drools over the prospect of Grabovsky ending up with the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal's AHL affiliate) this season-- calling Grabovsky "the human highlight reel":

The 22-year-old Belarusian center was dropping jaws at an NHL rookie tournament at the Ricoh Centre over the weekend.

"With him and others we should have in Hamilton, I think it will be an exciting season," said Michael Andlauer, the Bulldogs owner.

Even the usually restrained Bulldogs' head coach Don Lever called Grabovsky "very impressive. If we have him, he should be an instant fan favorite."

This young man, if he does not vault immediately to the Montreal Canadiens, will put bums in seats and promptly lift them out.

"He's a little like Pavel Bure we like to say," said center Kyle Chipchura, who finished last season with the Bulldogs. "He's fun to watch."

And while even Lever gushes at his offensive skills, the coach says he needs plenty of work on the defensive side.

And that's usually what separates a gifted newcomer from the NHL.

Grabovksi, who speaks almost no English, talks loudly with his feet and hands, though. He leads Montreal rookie scoring with four points. In a 6-5 loss to the Toronto Maple Leaf rookies Friday, he had two goals and an assist and he picked up an assist in a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers.

Presumably when Grabovsky does make it to the NHL with the Canadiens, according to a Montreal Gazette article he could end up playing on an all-Belarussian line with brothers Sergei Kostitsyn (who has so far been acting as Grabovsky's translator) and Andrei Kostitsyn.

A report in Sport Express includes a quote from Montreal assistant coach Kirk Mueller, praising Grabovsky's speed and willingness to take a hit. Sport Express also says that Grabovsky has been given the nickname "The Flying Mullet", a name that "reflects the quality of his play as well as his hair-do."

Make way for The Flying Mullet!