With President and General Manager Brian Burke having a quiet 2012 free agent frenzy summer and the unlikely possibility of Brian Burke trading for a top line center, not because of his inability to do so, but the pieces may be not quite there for the Toronto Maple Leafs to trade for that coveted top player. With that, I think it would be wise from the Maple Leafs to publicly announce a player on this team to join the top line, who would fit nicely with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul and I think this should be Mikhail Grabovski.
There is really no one else on this team who is worthy of such a spot. Now I know Mikhail Grabovski would be an excellent number two centermen on most other teams. But face the facts, Tim Connolly was brought in last summer to be a temporary number one center on a two year deal and in my opinion he blew, though we a knew he was injury prone anyways. Tyler Bozak has played well with Kessel in recent years, as Bozak would be a nice piece to put on the top line so that Randy Carlyle can have a more balanced attack with Grabovski on another line. The one player who could steal this top line spot is if James van Riemsdyk experiment works with him playing the center position, this former second overall selection could end up being the number one center for years to come.
But the reasoning for naming Mikhail Grabovski as the Toronto Maple Leafs number one center is that Grabovski is Toronto’s most effect two-way forward on this team. I personally do not see Kessel and Lupul has hard, aggressive fore-checkers and as you can see in the above photo (a March 17th game versus the Ottawa Senators) Mikhail Grabovski is willing to go toe-to-toe as well; Grabovski just brings a physical factor I think Kessel and Lupul need. Believe it or not but you’d find that Kessel and Grabovski are a +6 together, while Kessel is a -18 without Mikhail Grabovski.