While many of his Maple Leaf teammates have been working out at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke for the past three weeks, centre Mikhail Grabovski and last season's linemate Nicolai Kulemin have been skating and training hard in sunny California with several other NHL players.

Grabovski, 27, had some interesting things to say to Russian reporter Dmitry Chesnokov in a recent interview for Yahoo Sports.

He doesn't have very good memories of Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara from last year but getting his bell rung last season by the bruising rearguard probably made him a better player.

"I think he has made me faster, he made me pay more attention to hits, to be more manoeuvrable," Grabovski said.

He suffered a mild concussion but insists he recovered quickly with no lasting effects.

Grabovski scored 29 goals in 81 games last season and expects to become more of a sniper this year, hoping to score 39 or 49 goals. He's also not concerned about new Leaf Matthew Lombardi taking some of his ice time if the former Nashville Predator is fully recovered from a concussion that sidelined him for most of last season.