Why are the poster children of my fancy new blog Alexei Yashin and Mikhail Grabovski?
In this author’s view, they are emblematic of the incongruities between decision making, current results, and post-result hindsight; a theme I’ll be tackling repeatedly along our arduous, though hopefully entertaining journey. For the purpose of this piece the acronym DCH (Decision Making, Current Results, Hindsight) will be used.
The former case, an at-the-time, prime-aged franchise center was acquired by the Islanders GM for nothing more than picks and prospects. What a fox! Truly this is a GM to be spoken of in hushed revered tones. Enter DCH. The pick was used to select a-as fate would have it-franchise center, and the hulking pylon of a defense prospect the Isles gave away decided to become a future Hall of Famer. Naturally by virtue of these obviously unforseeable results, the franchise center the Isles were now tied to was now the object of scorn and ridicule along with the GM who paid dearly for this player’s acquisition.
Yashin continually put up excellent results as an Islander despite the surrounding talent being slowly liquidated as part of behind-the-scenes ownership machinations. Fans, however, had no patience for the Enigmatic Russian™ and his Russian-ness. After guiding the Isles to the playoffs and putting up 50 points in 58 games, his onerous contract was unceremoniously bought out. His name still strikes ire into the hearts of numerous blue and orange faithful. For what reason? DCH
Mikhail Grabovski spent years in Toronto as an undersized (Bela)Russian Enigma™. He posted superlative possession numbers and generated point production by way of his savvy and speed. Similarly to Islanders fans (and perhaps North American sports fans in general), Maple Leafs fans grew weary of Grabovski’s Russian-ness and productivity. Management felt the same way and bought out his contract merely a year after extending the man.
In a twist that shocked nobody, he put up excellent statistics for a Capitals team that snagged him on the cheap and was rewarded with a lengthy contract by the Islanders. A play driving, playmaking center? “Hallelujah!” Isles fans cried…Until “Grabo” began to suffer from the dreaded injury bug. His Eastern European origins were no longer beyond reproach and the at-the-time shrewd signing was quickly reviled. See: DCH
Some might say my blatherings of 140 characters or less are hyperbolic, negative nancy tripe. They’d be right. But they follow anyways so the joke’s on them. The purpose of this lovely new blog is for me to provide to my loyal brand consumers a long-form outlet that they can enjoy while sipping their bleach au lait.
You’ll mainly find sports takes-hot and otherwise-although down the road I expect to do a bit of branching out. Rest assured, sports will always be paramount. Particularly elements of sports that beg extended excoriation.
That being said, however, do not misconstrue this blog as being squarely entrenched in the negative. There will be positive analyses; perhaps even endorsements! It’s all a matter of when events warranting such praise decide to arise from the morass of fail and show themselves.