Michael Grabner was placed on waivers by the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday for the purpose of buying out his contract.
Grabner, a forward who turns 33 on Monday, scored 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in 46 games this season. He scored three goals in nine games during the postseason, helping the Coyotes defeat the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers before losing to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference First Round.
“This was simply a hockey decision,” Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said. “Michael is an incredible person and a beloved teammate. He is the consummate professional and we appreciate everything he’s done for the Coyotes organization. We wish him and his family all the best in the future.”
Grabner had one season remaining on the three-year contract he signed with Arizona on July 1, 2018. Should he clear waivers, he will be able to sign with any team when NHL free agency opens Oct. 9.
The native of Villach, Austria, has scored at least 20 goals in four of his 11 NHL seasons, including an NHL career-high 34 with the New York Islanders in 2010-11, when he was a finalist in voting for the Calder Trophy as the League’s top rookie. He scored 27 goals for the New York Rangers in 2016-17 and matched that total playing for the Rangers and New Jersey Devils in 2017-18.
Grabner, one of the fastest skaters in the NHL, has scored 276 points (175 goals, 101 assists) in 640 regular-season games with the Coyotes, Devils, Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Islanders and Vancouver Canucks, who selected him with the No. 14 pick in the 2006 NHL Draft. He has scored 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 40 Stanley Cup Playoff games.