The off season has officially begun after a karmic conclusion to the Stanley Cup Finals last night (eat shit, Bruins). The compliance buyout period will begin Thursday followed by the draft on Sunday.
After the jump, let’s (roughly) project the Leafs cap situation headed into the 2013 off season.
[table “143” not found /]
* = RFA after 2013-14 season; ** = UFA after 2013-14 season
- This of course assumes neither MacArthur or Bozak are being re-signed. Also assumes fellow UFAs Ryan O’Byrne and Mike Kostka are walking as well.
- Note that there’s only 10 forwards listed there, and only 6 defencemen when the team will carry 7.
- Seems to me that using the other compliance buyout on Liles’ $3.9 million might be worthwhile, if he can’t be traded. The cap will begin to rise again in 2014-15, so why save one if we need the space now? I doubt Liles will serve as anything more than a 5th or 6th guy with Carlyle at the helm, and Franson and Gunnarsson are due up for raises on the back end. Cap space grows to nearly 12 million with Liles off the books.
- I’m not advocating for the re-signing of McLaren with Orr already signed. Nonis said he wants there to be space for some Marlies to compete, so there isn’t a whole lot of sense in it. I figured I may as well plug him in as a placeholder, cap wise.
Onto the links…
- Jonathan Bernier has been qualified and set to become an RFA on July 5.
- Dave Poulin interviews about the Bernier/Frattin deal.
- Sober Second Thoughts: Cam Charron still doesn’t like the Bernier deal. Best summed up: If we isolate the deal and weigh out a Cost-Benefit analysis, it suggests the Leafs come out ahead. From a positional need standpoint, I’m not so sure.
- Watch a man shriek as the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. This is nothing. This is how I reacted to the Leafs winning Game 2 in the Bruins series.
- Relive the thrilling finish to the final game of the 2012-13 season. It wasn’t a 4-1 lead but it did cost them the Cup.
- What would you give up to get into the top three of this year’s draft? From VLM.
Getting the cap space back from the Armstrong and Tucker buyouts will cover a good chunk of the raises Phaneuf and Kessel will get on the cap. This whole thing is fucking overblown. It'll get done.
@Greg Fenton stop pushing your extremely ignorant opinion of Kessel and sidetracking threads if you want to keep participating.
For anyone who listened to Dave Nonis @430 on TSN radio, he talked very adamantly about the need to improve the team down the middle. Even though he mentioned re-signing Bozak as possibility, it doesn't amount to an improvement.
He said "you either trade for a centreman or get lucky." Need to target teams willing to move a current #1C or potential #1C. The way he reiterated how important having a dominant centre leading the team tells me he'd be willing to move some major pieces to fill that hole (speculate however you want).
Now, what would it take to get Matt Duchene, Joe Pavelski, or a centre from St. Louis? Otherwise trade options are non-existant...
Gunnarsson isn't getting you a #1C, so one of Gardiner, Phaneuf, Reilly, or Franson must go. Unless, Gunnarsson + Colborne + 1st for Duchene+ or Pavelski+....Just spitballin' here, but there really are few options for a necessary upgrade at C.
Dion is making $5.5 million this upcoming season. What makes people think he's going to want over $7 million a year on his new deal? That's a huge raise.
Carolina is offering their first overall pick. Here's the last fifth overall picks not including Leaf picks.
Ryan Strome, Niño Niederreiter, Brayden Schenn, Luke Schenn, Karl Alzner, Carey Price, Blake Wheeler, Thomas Vanek, Ryan Whitney, Stanislov Chitov, Raffi Torres, Tim Connolley.
Okay, enough of talking about how much Phaneuf and Kessel suck. It's so awful having a top 10 D in the league and a top 7 scorer. Lets trade them for some prospects and be done with them.
@Alec Brownscombe I think they'll both get cap hits in the 7 million range, meaning we need approx. 2.1 million in additional cap. We'll have to give them max term to get cap hits that low, but that's the price you pay.
@Alec Brownscombe Plus trades. plus cap going up. You any need possibly 3 million in cap to reup Kessel and Phaneuf. Their agents aren;t dumb.
@Loric76 Do the advance stats say to? lol
@reversethecurse67 Pavelski has been playing RW for 2 years now. Even when he was a center, he was never a top tier one - more of a fill in. Great player, but not who I would get excited about.
If we had to move one key piece, I would pick Kessel to move for a 1C. It would be easier to surround Duchene and Kadri with quality wingers than it will be to replace Phaneuf or whoever else you have to trade to get Kessel his center.
Worth moving Gunnar and 21st for the 5th? Phil Kessel was not a Leafs pick but he was #5 overall and he is a STAR. This is a deep draft. If one team from 1-4 picks off the mark, you have a shot at one of McKinnon, Jones, Barkov, or Drouin. All have chances to be impact players, and the other top 10s are not too shabby.
This is a year I try and get top 10.
Gunnar can be replaced IMO and does not set us back drastically. Does a package like that get us the 5th overall?
@Xxxxxnew Nothing worth moving a current star over...
@Cameron19 Every year it's like he gets another "show me" contract....and every year he shows enough, but maybe not enough to warrant a long-term deal?
@Cameron19 Doesn't want to sell his UFA eligibility?
@Cameron19 Can't believe he agree to that.
@Cameron19 Lets get rid of Kadri too. And why hasnt Rielly made the team yet?
@Cameron19 fuck you , clown !!!!! lolol
@Cameron19 Hard to keep up with who moves to which position. Also don't know who currently slots in at Centre on the Blues, because it seems they have an overabundance of quality Centres.
Would you really rather trade Kessel over Reilly? Don't you think he provides a dynamic that is unreplaceable internally, and considering his very healthy play (contrary to say, Lupul - who has had bad luck, granted), would possibly be too sideways of a move?
Is the advantage of Duchene more pronounced by trading Reilly over Kessel? I think so...Does that mean Phaneuf or Reimer should be traded? No...but, unlike you, i think the decision for trade is between Gardiner and Reilly
@Cameron19 kessel is not going anywhere!
@The_Irv How about Grabovski and Reimer for Byfuglien of Winnipeg. There is an upgrade on Defense, and than trade Phaneuf for Duchenne from Colorado or Gunnerson for as HIGH a pick as you go get. This way you can sign two centers
@The_Irv No way, IMO. I guess the under-valuing of Gunnar continues.
@Cameron19 I might...MIGHT,,,be willing to move a star like Kessel for one of the Top 3 in this year's draft. But none of the ones after that are sure things. So why would anyone?
You're insane. We should be adding more good players, not shipping off the ones we already have. And how many players in the league do you think should be considered "great"? Because Phaneuf is a top-15 Dman and Kessel a top-10 right winger in a 30-team league. That's pretty "great" to me.
@Cameron19 what was the percentage of 1st rounders that actually play a single nhl game ????
@Greg Fenton @Cameron19 @Alec Brownscombe Boston wanted to severely short-change him to the tune of 3.75 million though. Kessel strikes me just the opposite. I think if he wasn't loyal, he would have wanted out of this shit show long ago. I mean, staying here means dealing with "fans" like you. How much more loyal can you get?
@Greg Fenton @mcloki @Alec Brownscombe Signing UFAs at the start of a CBA will be a huge plus for us long term though. Even getting Kessel for 8 will end up being a bargain when the cap his 90+ million near the end of that deal. It worked the same way in the last CBA. Teams who locked their guys up early were in good shape. Then other teams tried to replicate that by circumventing the cap.
@Greg Fenton @Alec Brownscombe I would agree on most counts, but not with Kessel and Phaneuf. You will never get equal value back in a trade, and what they bring to the team is virtually irreplaceable.
Grabovski was a tough situation that likely came to fruition because of Burke's tenuous position. Letting Grabovski go would have been a signal to our stars that we aren't interested in competing now. And to attract talent, you can't just do things the Edmonton way - you have to try and win. Tanking doesn't work.
@reversethecurse67 @Cameron19 I would do it, I just don't know if the Leafs would. They drafted this kid with very high hopes, and having an elite back-end is probably more important than having elite forwards.
@reversethecurse67 @Cameron19 It just makes more sense for both teams. Colorado doesn't need to be paying Kessel his next big contract for years while the team is rebuilding.
They need D, and trading Reilly for a 22-year old #1C Matt Duchene would be in line with trading youth for youth for the Leafs.
@Cameron19 This is only based on the sorely obvious point that we have a glaring need at #1C, which Nonis took careful mention to point out today, and that the upgrade would very likely be by trade. He did not mention a glaring need on D, just room for improvement. Gunnarsson can the hold the fort on D better than any internal or FA option can do at #1C.
Which is why:
To Col: Reilly and 3rd
To Tor: Duchene
otherwise, i really have no idea how we could get an adequate #1C
@Cameron19 To me, it simply comes down to the fact that by trading Kessel over Gardiner/Reilly, neither of whom are as established as Kessel, it would by nature set us back further.
We're hoping to build momentum off of last year's playoffs, not stifle it. I know its a balance, but if Gardiner is projected as your top pairing D in the future, then replacing Reilly would mean replacing a #3D, which isn't necessarily as difficult, especially when you have a few years.
That way, in the short-term you can ice:
Gunnar - Phaneuf
Gardiner - Franson
And in the long-term, you have the option of keeping Gunnarsson or signing a replacement for him or a 2nd pairing D if Gardiner becomes that.
Otherwise, you're banking on the glory days being when and if Reilly becomes that "star", when we already have the elite talent currently on the roster to build on and "go for it."
@reversethecurse67 @Cameron19 It's just that no one ever trades good D, and if they do, you have to overpay significantly, usually to the point that its detrimental (ie. Neal for Goligoski). So moving Gardiner or Rielly would not be ideal for me. But yes, admittedly, my hopes for Rielly are VERY high.
If my hypothetical situation came true, we'd be looking at this:
J.V.R. - Duchene - Clarkson
Lupul - Kadri - Kulemin
MacA - Grabovski - Colborne
We aren't as dynamic offensively, for sure. But we can still score. But once you can pull off a trade for a star winger, than you can bump your other guys down a peg, and suddenly you have a very complete top 9.
@Cameron19 I share your belief that Kessel can be replaced externally, but unless you're calling Reilly a star top pairing D, then a player "a notch below what Reilly will project as" to me is just as viable.
In considering who to move, you get a few years to replace what Reilly "would have become." Whereas, for there to be linear improvement, replacing Kessel would have to happen by start of the season. You buy yourself time....(is why trading Reilly or Gardiner is my choice)
Star wingers a notch below Kessel become available pretty consistently though. For example, you might be able to trade a few picks and prospects for a guy like Chris Stewart. And later you might be able to nab a guy like Kane after he sufficiently pisses off the Jets. Bobby Ryan is always on the market. Any one of these guys, plus Duchene, with Rielly still in the mix, is an upgrade on just Kessel.
I don't think I'm under-valuing Gunnar. Has he been dependable yes, but he is not a difference maker. Personally I would take MOST, not all obviously of the top 5picks xxxxnew posted, before taking Gunnar.
People have differing opinions on players, I feel Gunnar is a support player and not even close to a difference maker. It's silly how people accuse of under valuing a player because they feel certain other returns are better than the current player.
I think it's a fair value for Gunnar, I don't think many teams would offer a top ten pick for Gunnar... Just my opinion. If you think Gunnar is valued at something better than a top 10 pick then that is your opinion. I would disagree.
@Greg Fenton @Cameron19 @newkb Clearly they do not. They could just ice a better overall D rather than relying on one behemoth. They came within a hair of beating the team that had Chara, and that's without Rielly, and with guys like Gardiner, Franson, and Kadri at the low-end of their development arcs.
@Greg Fenton @Cameron19 @newkb Phaneuf is the highest scoring defender of the last 8 years. Kessel and Lupul are PPG forwards in a league where only 5-10 guys can do that. Kadri looks like he will join that crew. And all of Gardiner, Rielly and Bernier could easily become those types of pieces.
You know, there are many ways to win. It doesn't have to be the Crosby model. Yes, Boston has Chara, but other than that, they have a collection of many players who contribute.
J.V.R. - 2nd overall
Kessel - 5th overall
Rielly - 5th overall
Kadri - 7th overall
Lupul - 7th overall
Phaneuf - 9th overall
Bernier - 11th overall
Gardiner - 16th overall
Colborne - 17th overall
In fact, we have more highly drafted talent than any team in the league. According to your standards, we should be golden.
@Greg Fenton @Cameron19 @theacs1966 @newkb @DWCMLHS Not all the time though. This is one year, and a bad one to use for this stat. Go check last year's stats. Outside of Crosby and Malkin, there aren't many who are as consistent as Kessel. On a year by year basis, you know what you're getting from him.
In the end, this is still just nonsense though, because we were winning games, and Kessel was serving other key functions for us when he was "slumping" with his 4, 5, 1 and 4 fewer points than these elite guys. He wasn't hurting us. He was still helping the team. Only in the 2nd half, he performed better than all of them. It all balanced out.
I do feel bad that you can only appreciate things in relation to other players. I see those stats posted, and I see, "wow, Kessel out produced Toews on the season". You apparently see the same thing but say "Yea, but Toews had 1 more point in the first half of the year!"
While obviously Malkin is a better player than Kessel, surely you can also see that he's in a far better situation to produce, even when he's not on his 'A' game, right? I mean, when you're ALWAYS on the ice with some combination of Crosby, Neal, Letang, Kunitz, Martin and later Iginla, don't you think he probably gets a few more "consistency" points just for showing up. Pretty VAST difference to what Kessel - and most stars, really - have had to work with.
@theacs1966 @Greg Fenton @newkb @Cameron19 @DWCMLHS Why are we even giving this nonsense the time of day? When Kessel "slumped" at the start of this season, he was playing fantastic hockey. He was electric. Hitting posts, back-checking like a maniac. Setting up plays that weren't being connected. He became such a focal point for the opposition that it really allowed our depth lines to come alive in looser coverage. Then when that well dried up, Kessel came alive and dominated for 24 games.
@DWCMLHS There are exactly 3 great players. We should continue to remove all good players who want to be paid until we have only the 3 greats.
There was a study a few years ago and the guy who did it limited the idea of "making it" to 500 games played, as opposed to those who are up and down for a few seasons. Under those terms 63% of first rounders make it, 25% of second rounders and just 12% below that.