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Grabner 'outworks' Tavares at NHL Store

by Brian Compton / NHL.com

From the moment he found out he'd be facing John Tavares in a competition at the NHL Store Powered by Reebok, Michael Grabner knew he would be victorious.

The Calder Trophy finalist squeaked past his New York Islanders teammate Thursday afternoon in a skills competition that saw the pair attempt to sell T-shirts to consumers, as well as folding shirts and pressing their names and numbers on Isles' sweaters.

One thing Tavares learned after the competition, though -- Grabner had previous experience.

"It was a little rigged, but my first job was working in a hockey store ... I was 14," the speedy Austrian winger said afterwards. "I was used to talking to customers and printing shirts and stuff like that. I'm one-up on Johnny to start the year. It's 1-0 and that's all that matters right now."

Not surprisingly, Tavares first earned his paycheck on the ice. He wasn't pleased in dropping the competition to Grabner, but he was humble in defeat.

"My first job was working for a goalie school," Tavares said. "It was definitely a lot easier than this. I think it was a little bit rigged, but I'll let Mike take this one."

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