Grabovski had four years remaining on a contract that would have paid him $21.5 million and cost the Maple Leafs $5.5 million per season against the NHL salary cap. This would be the second of two compliance buyouts allowed to the Maple Leafs, who also used one on defenseman Mike Komisarek.
After scoring 52 goals in the previous two seasons combined before signing a five-year, $27 million contract extension, Grabovski had nine goals and 16 points in 48 games for Toronto last season.
"I would like to thank Mikhail for his contributions with the Leafs over the past five seasons," Toronto general manager Dave Nonis said. "This was not an easy decision to make as Mikhail made numerous contributions to our hockey club. This is a roster move that will give us salary cap flexibility moving forward."
Grabovski was second among Maple Leafs forwards in Corsi relative to the quality of competition he faced, which is a strong indicator he was one of the team's best players at possessing the puck at even strength. He also had the worst PDO among Toronto forwards, which measures shooting percentage and save percentage when he is on the ice -- a low number can be an indicator of bad luck.
Nashville Predators defenseman Hal Gill, New Jersey Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg and Colorado defenseman Greg Zanon also were placed on unconditional waivers Thursday, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.