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Visa issues delay Grabovski from joining Capitals

Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 3:52 PM | Dan Rosen  - NHL.com Senior Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski was not able to report to training camp on time because he is in Toronto awaiting his Visa issues to be resolved.

The Capitals are hoping Grabovski will be able to report to Kettler Capitals Iceplex for training camp as soon as possible, but there is no timetable as to when he will.

"I'll let you know when we know," Capitals general manager George McPhee said. "I can't seem to put a finger on what's going on up there, but hopefully that's another day or so at the most."

Washington signed Grabovski to a one-year, $3 million contract last month and has him pegged as Mike Ribeiro's replacement as the center on the second line. The Toronto Maple Leafs bought out the final four years of his contract in early July, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Grabovski had 16 points in 48 games for the Maple Leafs last season, but he was put into a checking role and clashed with coach Randy Carlyle. He had career highs in goals (29), assists (29) and points (58) while with the Maple Leafs in 2010-11.

"He fits into our puzzle," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "I talked to him about that. Obviously it's a shame he's not here yet. We don't want to put too much pressure on him, but I'm sure he's very motivated. He's not happy with what happened to him at the end of the year and we're just looking for him to play good hockey for us."

The Capitals are also banking on Grabovski giving them more speed down the middle.

"We've got a lot of speed on the wings, but last year I don't think we had a whole lot of pure speed up the middle. He'll bring that," forward Brooks Laich said. "He's a guy that goes to the gritty areas. He's not shy. And from everything I've heard about him he's a guy who really wants to win, really wants to be part of something. We're looking forward to having him, can't wait until he gets here."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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