The Leafs announced the resigning of Colton Orr and Drew MacIntyre yesterday.
Orr played 44 of 48 regular season games with the Leafs before dressing for all seven playoffs games. For his efforts, he’s getting a 2-year deal worth 1.85M total. His 925K salary is the most you can make while still being able to be buried if waived and sent to the AHL under the new CBA.
This past season Orr led the league in penalty minutes and was second in fighting majors. According to hockeyfights.com’s ratings, he won nine of those 14 fights.
Of the players who finished top 10 in fighting majors this year, only Orr, Parros and Konopka are over 30 years old (Orr turned 31 this year), so it’s fair to wonder how much longer he’ll be able to serve this role. He did lose his last three fights of the season.
The Leafs also have RFAs Mark Fraser and Frazer McLaren, who both finished in the top 10 in fighting majors as well.
Throughout the season, the Leafs played both Orr and McLaren at the same time on the fourth line, and although they weren’t much of a factor either way – they didn’t get scored on a ton, even though they did get dominated frequently — playing both for an 82 game season this time around could present more problems.
McLaren is an RFA right now so we don’t know what direction they’re going to go with him, but Orr and McLaren both averaged less than seven minutes of ice time per night, and that happening over an 82 game season will take a toll on the top nine having to be overplayed after a while.
So the question becomes, will the Leafs only play one enforcer per game moving forward? The original assumption was that Leo Komarov would also play on the fourth line along with McClement and one of Orr or McLaren, but that’s no longer an option.
Claude Loiselle was on TSN radio yesterday and did speak to being confident that the Leafs could replace Komarov. As a guy who killed penalties, played almost 14 minutes a night, and played both wings plus a little center, he can’t reasonably be replaced by reverting back to dressing two enforcers.
The Leafs do have Jerry D’Amigo and Carter Ashton in the system chomping at the bit to play on the Leafs. Both are 21 years old and have played penalty killing and defensive roles on the Marlies for the last year. You have to figure the odds are that one of those two will round out the fourth line with McClement and Orr at this point.
If you look at Toronto’s division, almost every team has an enforcer: Boston has Thornton, Buffalo has Scott, Ottawa has Kassian, Florida has Parros, Tampa Bay has Crombeen and while neither Montreal or Detroit have pure enforcers, they do have White, Prust and Tootoo between them.
We can debate the use of enforcers until our faces go blue, but we always knew Carlyle was going to have at least one around. Now it’s a matter of if it’s going to be one or two, and how much they’re going to factor into things.
Leafs sign Drew MacIntyre
Not to be forgotten, the Leafs also locked up starting Marlies goalie Drew MacIntyre to a one year, two-way deal. He’s turning 30 this month, but he was a rock for the Marlies last season and was one of the main reasons for their success.
He’s a good goalie, has had some success in Toronto, and is a good veteran to have in the organization to hopefully mentor Garret Sparks.
Stabilizing the goaltending position in the minors allows players to develop in an easier environment in which mistakes don’t always lead to goals against. The Marlies are going to be a young team with players such as McKegg, Ross, Biggs, Carrick, Leivo, Broll, Crescenzi, MacWilliams, Percy and Granberg all vying for spots on the team. Having some stability in net will be helpful.
Kadri, Colborne, Franson, Fraser and Gunnarsson are all still RFAs while MacArthur, Bozak, Kostka and O’Byrne are pending UFAs. With the draft and free agency under a month away, things are only going to get more interesting.
Tampa rumour started with the Chicago blogger (Jaekel) , but Asst. GM , Claude Loiselle did mention that kind of scenario on Dave Nalyor's show as well.
What do you guys think of this scenario? Larry Brooks mentioned the idea in one of his articles, and although it's a very radical move, it sounds intriguing none the less. I posted a similar idea on VLM a few weeks back.
Could a team such as the Leafs submit an offer sheet to one of, or both of Shattenkirk and/or Stewart for say 5 mill and after/assuming Armstrong matches, subsequently submit an offer sheet for Pietrangelo around 7-8 mill putting the Blues in a bind? I am not saying this will ever happen, but how good would a top pairing of Phanuef and Pietrangelo look in the blue and white?
Here's an interesting thought for you guys. I'm not advocating this, just thought its an interesting scenario.
Assuming the leafs believe that MacKinnon is the next elite centre (ie Stamkos) how would you feel if this played out:
The leafs end up going through with the rumoured deal with Tampa. Meaning we acquire the 3rd overall pick to buy out Vinnie while giving up relatively minimal assets in return.
Then Nonis trades the 3rd overall + Gardiner for the 1st overall pick giving is MacKinnon.
Streep price to move up 2 spots but you know it would need to take a lot for any team to trade a #1 overall. Especially when there is a franchise centre at play. Works out for the Avs though since they could take Drouin 3rd overall to have an elite winger to play with Duchene.
Not sure how I'd feel. Thoughts?
In my little dream world:
Vinny Lecavalier (buyout)
Draft Subban (2nd round)
Extras: McLaren, D'amigo, Ashton
Futures: Domi, Leivo, Biggs, D'amigo, Ashton, Toninato,
Graduates: Drouin, Strome, Kadri
Futures: Rielly, Subban, Finn, Percy, Nilsson, MacWilliam
Graduates: Granberg, Blacker, Gardiner
Extras: Liles, Holzer, Kostka
Futures: Sparks, Owuya
Your 2013-14 Toronto Maple Leafs...lol
Just finished watch Grapes on with The Hockeycentral boys. He is TV magic. very funny interview, and such a natural.
I think when we look at our team we are ready in net. A solid starter, and a solid back up who can start if needed...great cap hit.
We are ready on the wings...we have tremendous fire power, speed, size, hitting, variety, etc. We may add Clarkson which gives a little more sandpaper and cycle...that would be good. Even without Clarkson and Komarov gone I still think we are solid provided we get healthy seasons from Lupul and Frattin this time around. Who knows maybe Kulemin finds his scoring. JVR is still improving, lots to like here.
On D we have a very decent top five emerging in Phaneuf, Gunnarsson, Gardiner, Franson and Fraser. We have the parts or could make a deal to fill out the 6 and 7 spots.
This brings us to the center position...a much discussed issue here and around all corners of Leaf Nation. I have never been afraid to be critical of Leaf players, even Leaf stars if I felt it was warranted. I would have booed Larry Murphy out of town, but thought Bryan McCabe was treated poorly for his fine work here. I loved Doug Gilmour but have little feeling for Mats Sundin...IMO the most over rated Leaf of all time (that is another story). Focusing on our centers I understand there is an opportunity for Leaf management to make change if they want to. Bozak is UFA, and Grabovski can be bought out. However I like our centers. I like our collective strength up the middle. Please hear me out.
Tyler Bozak is a hard working player with good wheels and a good engine. He is committed defensively and does his best to add offense. I am not sure that Bozak gets better than what he is, but I am also not sure that he doesn't. Either way you get a guy who does a lot of things right. On a team like ours that is great at converting chances he is a good match...I hope he realizes that too.
The guy I really want to talk about is Grabovski. I am absolutely aware that Grabs had probably his worst NHL season this year, although he contributed some big time intangibles in the playoffs. The problem with trading or buying out Grabovski is that you let a guy walk who has such incredible potential. Maybe Mikhail is just dealing with a stomach ailment, lost weight and strength and played poorly. Maybe his role compounded the problem. Whatever the case, a healthy strong Mikhail Grabovski is exactly, I mean exactly what this team needs. When on his game he is one of the best possession centers in the league...he led the NHL for two years in Corsi. He is normally (not last year) a fantastic puck winner. He is great in all zones, he can check, carry, pass, and score. He shows tremendous courage...a point that should not be underestimated in the Boston series...without Grabovski showing the way I honestly wonder if we find the courage to come back like we did in that series until 2 minutes to go in game seven. Now Grabovski may not improve from last year, which is why we should save one of our buyouts. But I think when you consider the rewards of what he can bring we should commit all of next year to him to see if we can get the real Grabovski to stand up.
We have an emerging Kadri bursting on to the scene, and a real steady MacClement who can move around the lineup very effectively. Kadri should get lots of PP time...he is a great PP player.
IF IF IF we get Bozak back and he plays as good or better than this year, and we get back the real Grabovski, and we get back an improved Kadri, and a steady JMac...I really believe this team can be a contender. I don't see a viable option that gives us as good of a chance to win this year coming. We have good team depth with some prospects on the ready too.
I would really like to see this same group given another chance while being one year older and hopefully a few players returned to top form.
So what does the MacIntyre signing mean for the other Marlie goalies? What becomes of Rynnas and Owuya? I believe Rynnas is a UFA no? And if Sparks makes the Marlies then Owuya is ECHL bound?
Breaking News! Red Wings sign Drew Miller 1.35/year for 3 years!
It seems like our top five D are set...Phaneuf, Gunnar, Gards, Franson, and Fraser. Ideally I think we could use some size in our sixth guy and some variety in our seventh guy. Our options are bring in a new guy, sign Ranger, or promote from within. We have Blacker, Holzer, maybe Kostka, Granberg, MacWilliam, Percy, and Rielly who could get a handful of games before a final decision. I really wouldn't rule out any of those players for different reasons.
Blacker: Seasoned in AHL, good mobility, decent size, could use a little more time though.
Holzer: He might surprise a few people now that he has his feet wet in the bigs. He actually needs to get a little tougher in my opinion...but I am one of the few that liked this guy...one of my favorite moments this season was his bone crunching hit on Krejci in the first game we played them this year.
Kostka: Again with a season under him he should be better. Could be an ideal number seven guy.
Granberg: Has great size and played well in WC. He is basically an unknown to us, so he could surprise. We have had D men come over and surprise before...Markov, Gunnarsson, and Kaberle.
MacWilliam: He may be a ways away, but he may also surprise. If Carlyle wants more grit, toughness, and size maybe he sticks.
Percy: Highly unlikely he jumps up but he thinks the game well and that may be what we look for.
Rielly: If no one elevates their game through rookie camp, training camp, preseason, then look for Rielly to get his nine games to show his stuff.
Have I missed anyone? Thaoughts??
Next year should be a fun year to watch Leaf prospects develop. We will have a ton of young Marlies brought in or others who will see expanded roles there like Ross, McKegg, Broll, Biggs, Leivo, MacWilliams, Granberg, and Sparks. Meanwhile in college we will be able to track Toninato and Cameranesi who are progressing well. In junior we will have this years picks along with Rielly and a hopefully healthy Finn. In Europe we have Nilson. Obviously after the obvious interest we have in Rielly, I think the players who I will be curious the most about are Leivo jumping to the A, and Toninato jumping to college. Some scouts are very high on Finn as well, so it would be interesting to see him bounce back.
So Florida Panthers season tickets are $7/game ($300), come with parking, a free jersey, and 4 concert tickets. what
I thought that Orr had a pretty good year for us. In game seven the Bruins clearly decided they were going to play a violent game and the refs let them. In the first period when Chara tried to break JVR's neck with his stick being used like a vice...it was behind the play but the ref was standing and staring at it from 8 feet away. There was no call and from that point forward the Bruins did what they wanted with no calls. To Orr's credit in the third period after more Bruins violence on the Leafs he faced up Chara in the corner after he hit him...Chara didn't want to dance...this is where Orr made a mistake...the sheriff doesn't ask if it's OK to make an arrest. It would be hard to imagine Orr getting an extra two after everything let go by Chara, Kelly and company. Even if the scum refs had of given Orr an extra two it would have been good mojo for the Leafs...and our PK was strong.
Thanks for the write up Anthony. I actually think the MacIntyre signing may help the Leafs more going forward. A vet stable goalie will be so valuable for the young Marlies and Sparks
Mac scored two damn big goals against the Bruins does that mean we resign him for a nice healthy raise?
Kind of of off topic question but if we say signed McLaren to a 2 year deal at league minimum and the league minimum goes up next year as we know it will does he get a raise next year or does he get paid below the league minimum next season.
I've never seen this two enforcer thing as an issue. We have lots of guys who can slide between the Marlies and the Leafs now - guys like Ashton, D'Amigo, Biggs, Leivo. These guys can all go up and down as injuries occur, so there's no need to make room for them. And even if over time, McLaren and Orr get beaten into the 13th and 14th roster spots by more talented guys, what's the harm in having them there, just in-case?
McLaren will almost certainly be resigned.