The New York Islanders have traded winger Michael Grabner to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Taylor Beck, Matt Finn, Christopher Gibson, Tom Nilsson and Carter Verhaeghe.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Grabner, who turns 28 in October, is a speedy forward who can play either wing and is a former 30-goal scorer. Unfortunately, that 30-goal season was in 2010-11 and he hasn’t come close to reaching those numbers since. He was limited by injuries to only 34 games last season. He’s in the final season of his contract with a cap hit of $3 million while earning $5 million in actual salary.
For the Islanders, this is a straightforward salary dump. They ship out a winger who no longer fit into their future plans in return for five players who can provide some depth to their farm team. Of the players they acquired, only Beck has NHL experience.
For the Leafs, they acquire a serviceable player who will have this coming season to audition for a new contract. The Leafs also shed some contracts, perhaps to make room for Devin Setoguchi, Brad Boyes and Curtis Glencross (who are on tryout offers) if they earn roster spots in training camp.