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Patience Is A Virtue

by Greg Millen / Toronto Maple Leafs

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In today’s world we want to fast track and rush young athletes to get ahead. Professional sports are often guilty of this. Most general managers in the National Hockey League do not have the time to wait for players.  It’s a results business. Managers’ jobs are on the line and many owners need to win immediately.  Because of this, the long-term success of a player can be affected. 

Mikhail Grabovski is an excellent example of an organization not willing to wait for a player to develop.  It hasn’t been an easy journey for Grabovski.  Let’s look at his history the last few seasons.

Grabovski was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2004 draft -150th overall. Things did not go well for Grabovski as a Canadien. In January 2007 in his first professional season, he played three games before being sent down to the Hamilton Bulldogs, Montreal’s American Hockey League team.

Next season he started the year with the Habs and played with them until early March when he then became a healthy scratch. Frustrated by the move he left the team to speak with his agent in Los Angeles. Of course controversy surrounded his decision to leave the team. From that day on his days were numbered in Montreal. In the end I would assume the Canadiens felt he wasn’t going to be a 30-goal contributor in the NHL or they never would have traded him.

Although there are many variables always to consider one could assume that Montreal gave up on Grabovski a little too early. All young people develop at different stages both on and off the ice.  As for Grabovski his game has matured. He is a much more constant contributor on the ice and it looks like he will be around the 30-goal range this season. Off the ice he is now a proud father with added responsibilities.

Having patience with players is always difficult for management and fans alike. So many players require more time to develop. Many teams are not willing to hang in with a player during their difficult times.  

Grabovski is a great example.

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Perhaps history tells you that a little patience is in order.
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