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
@Cartsy interesting approach but of course the players actually have to sign the offer sheets as well. How many picks would that cost us if it actually worked?
@Jay_Berg I think the first scenario is quite possible (TB) Too much though to move 1 spot.
@Jay_Berg MacKinnon plays wing, so you would have to imagine that they'd want to pair him with Duchene.
@Jay_Berg no way would I give up Gardiner to go from Drouin to MacKinnon.
@Jay_Berg To be honest I am kinda worried about trading for Vinnie to buy him out. He is not worth 10 million a year but if Tampa gets him back for say 5 he is still a better center right now than anything we have and they are in our division.
@Jay_Berg When/where did this alleged Tampa rumour surface?
@Jay_Berg If MacKinnon truly is the second coming of Crosby then the 3rd and Gardiner would not be too much. When's the last time we've had someone of his pedigree? It would hurt us short term however, especially since we finally made the playoffs.
@Savo43 I love the trades, but if we're making those trades and intend to make the playoffs next year we have to add some D, be it via UFA or trade. Pursue guys like Scuderi, Hamhuis, Robidas, persuade Ranger, etc. No way would we make the playoffs with that D. Maybe even try to trade Strome in a package for Yandle.
@Savo43 I like VERY much! However, I do feel that we might be not giving up quite enough for the other teams to bite. Especially with the NYI having to take Komisarek...even for one year. I think for these to work, our own first and second may need to be in play...which I have no problem with considering we are trading up. BUT.....your ideas are certainly not over the top crazy. Teams are desperate to rid contracts and this might work.
@Savo43 Is Drouin so much better then Barkov that you would pick him even though Barkov could be the centre we have wanted for a long time?
@B_Leaf http://www.capgeek.com/cap-calculator/roster/20537 heres mine =)
@B_Leaf Bozak at 4.8 mil ?......really
@ingy56 @rustynail @Jay_Berg I'm glad people are finally seeing how beneficial these deals would be to the teams the Leafs are "robbing". These would be extremely risky deals. In the case of the Tampa deal, we'd really be absolutely counting on Drouin being a superstar to make up for what we lose. I know in the lead-up to the draft people tend to see it as a slam dunk that he will be, but the reality is that even in the top 5 pick range, there are a helluva lot of guys who aren't even stars...