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Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski waits for a face-off against the Buffalo Sabres during the second period of their NHL preseason game in Toronto September 27, 2010.

MIKE CASSESE/REUTERS

One year into his new contract, the Mikhail Grabovski era is over in Toronto.

The Toronto Maple Leafs placed Grabovski on unconditional waivers on Thursday in preparation to buy him out, which will make the veteran centre an unrestricted free agent in time for the opening of free agency on Friday at noon.

Grabovski had four years remaining on his contract at a $5.5-million cap hit. His compliance buyout will cost $14.33-million but will not count against the Leafs cap.

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The move opens the door for Toronto to re-sign Tyler Bozak and add another player such as winger David Clarkson in free agency.

"I would like to thank Mikhail for his contributions with the Leafs over the past five seasons," Leafs GM Dave Nonis said in a statement. "This was not an easy decision to make as Mikhail made numerous contributions to our hockey club. This is a roster move that will give us salary cap flexibility moving forward."

The Leafs had previously bought out the contract of defenceman Mike Komisarek, meaning they have used their two allotted compliance buyouts.

The two buyouts leave Toronto with more than $24-million in cap space, the second most of any team in the NHL.

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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