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UFA of the Day: Michael Grabner

Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 06: Michael Grabner #40 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Detroit Red Wings at the Air Canada Centre on November 6, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Every day until June 30, we’ll write about a pending unrestricted free agent. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Michael Grabner

We wrote yesterday about a speedy forward in Darren Helm. Well, here’s another one. Grabner is one of the fastest skaters in the NHL. And at 28 years old, he’s still got his wheels.

What he hasn’t had the past few seasons is much success scoring. Just nine goals in 80 games in 2015-16 for the Maple Leafs. In reality, he hasn’t been much of a threat since 2010-11 and 2011-12, when he scored 34 and 20 times, respectively, for the Islanders.

On the bright side, at least he managed to stay healthy last year. That should help his cause when he goes to market, after injuries piled up during the end of his time with the Isles. So too should his 12 career shorthanded goals, the 25th most among active NHLers, tied with Ryan Kesler.

“He’s really good on our PK and that’s been a big part of our success there as of late,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said in November. “He’s a leader in that area, he understands what needs to be done and has done a real nice job for us.”

Toronto, despite finishing with the worst record in the NHL, had the 13th-best penalty killing.

According to the New York Post, the Rangers are expected to be in contact with Grabner about a new deal. Their PK ranked 26th last season, and management may feel more speed could held solve their puck-moving issues.

Grabner’s expiring contract was for five years with a cap hit of $3 million.

Click here for all our 2016 UFA profiles.