photo by thescore
In the 2010/2011 season, Michael Grabner managed to put up 34 goals as a rookie. Following that season, hoping to lock Grabner up at a cheap price assuming the 30 goals would be a regular for him, the Islanders signed him to a 5 year deal worth 15 million dollars.
However, since signing the contract Grabner has only hit the 20 goal plateau once and is on pace to come up short of that goal total yet again this season. While he does have other elements to his game that make him a valuable commodity because of his lack of production his name has began to surface as someone who could potentially be moved in the right deal.
While the NHL is shutdown now for the Olympics, Grabner hasn't been able to have any sort of rest as he has joined teammate Thomas Vanek in Sochi competing on behalf of team Austria. Thus far in the tournament, Grabner is second among all players in points only to Phil Kessel of team USA. Grabner has managed 5 goals in the tournament including a hat trick in his teams first game and he added an assist in there as well. These stats are coming in just three games played. Those 5 goals are more then half the amount that he has had for the Islanders in 56 games this season.
With his superior play thus far in the tournament, it has caused some fans to begin asking if Grabner could possibly be returning to the form that we saw when he scored 34 goals as a rookie in the 10/11 season. Having Grabner return to rookie form would do wonders for the Islanders as they search for some secondary scoring.
While I understand fans thinking like that about Grabner, I wouldn't get my hopes up just yet. After watching the guy and his inconsistencies for over two seasons, I need more then a couple tournament games to show me that he is back to being the player that earned himself the 5 year contract he currently has.