Pre-UFA Opens

Pre-UFA Opens

If UFA Day is like Christmas, this July we might get the chance to unwrap a few gifts early. At least, hopefully they’re gifts and not 4.5 million pieces of coal for the next 8 years.

The pre-FA negotiation period affords the Leafs the chance to feel out the temperature on certain UFA targets and then, if need be, clear space via the buyout period, which closes tomorrow (July 4) at midnight, or via trade.

The Leafs opened up some cap space yesterday by officially but unsurprisingly buying out Mike Komisarek to save 3.575 million in room (4.5 million – 925k) for the upcoming season. Komisarek’s buried contract was for just one more season at a cap hit of 3.575 million, but the Leafs will need that space if they’re to fill out the roster, be in the bidding for a guy like Clarkson, and then get their glut of RFAs (among them Kadri, Franson, Bernier, Gunnarsson) signed a little later on in the summer.

Dave Nonis has said it is unlikely both compliance buyouts will be used, but he wouldn’t rule it out completely; it likely depends on what they can accomplish in the pre-UFA period over the next few days. Presumably the other candidate for a buyout is John-Michael Liles and his $3,875,000 hit. If he can’t be moved to say, Colorado or NYI (who lost Mark Streit off the back end, bought out DiPietro and are $13 million shy of the cap floor), I wouldn’t have a problem with the decision to buy him out; taking stock of some of the signings across the league, it’s clear a number of GMs are banking on the cap shooting right back up after next season. It may not come to that, though, as the word leaving the Draft was that Nonis is fairly confident he will strike a deal to clear some more space, which is the more ideal scenario as it saves a compliance buyout option for next offseason.

[table “143” not found /]

Italics = My Projection
Includes only 10 forwards and 6 defencemen.

It’s easy to see why Nonis is taking his time with the RFAs (as well as many GMs across the league). It’s a squeeze. Nonis mentioned how it’s been a grind negotiating with players whose agents are still using precedents from a higher cap environment in previous seasons. Across the league many teams are taking their time and pinching their restricted FAs to save on space. I think we may see some of the Leafs’ RFAs sign a bit cheaper than I initially thought.

No links today, but that’s why we share in the comments anyways. Pop ’em in below.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
1019 comments
Reimocerous
Reimocerous

wow I was a little surprised at the Spott signing but I'm not nearly as despondent as many on here are. The sky is most assuredly not falling folks. :)

Kouba
Kouba

I want Vinny...sign Prospal

MikeGartner11
MikeGartner11

Really disappointed in Spott selection, because I had intended on hating him forever after the WJC....oh well, high hopes nows....

Wasn't he an assistant when Kadri played for the rangers?

The Rangers have a very good Jr Hockey program (you may never get knights fan to believe it) Kitchener is a top end organization and I hope we grabbed spott for all the right reasons

Biltmore
Biltmore

A couple thoughts kind of off topic to this thread....

1. I wish the Leafs had taken Locke from Saginaw. I'm jealous of Buffalo, he's going to have either a Steve Sullivan or Martin St Louis career... I haven't consulted the crystal ball about which yet. I just hope Buffalo gives up on him (to Toronto) before he hits stride. 

2. With some of these threads running into thousands of comments, I don't think livefyre, Disqus or any other comment system is structured to handle the workload (kind of like giving Stajan first line minutes). Just wondering if it's ever been considered to go to a forum type system, comments are posted sequentially (maybe 100 to a page) and let the pages run and be easy to follow (and follow up with)... also easier to find your actual posts from previous days/threads. Also, other threads could be started by readers about topics not covered by contributing writers (or maybe that isn't wanted). 

djamon
djamon

Ballard bought out today by the Canucks. He's a lefty, but I watched him a lot in Vancouver and he's not the garbage Vancouver believes he is. Hits like a truck, pretty mobile and a little mean streak. 

Any interest for ~ 2m?

leafmealone
leafmealone

Anyone else find the signing of Spott totally underwhelming or is just me? I just can't believe he was the actual best option they had.

Jordan29
Jordan29

Anything interesting happen this afternoon?

ProfessorRance
ProfessorRance

Just got in from a horseback ride. What's the news other than Spott being unofficially named the Marlies coach?

rustynail
rustynail

Did we actually name Spott as AHL coach?

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

THNKenCampbell: When I look at the list of UFAs in its entirety, what strikes me is how truly uninspiring it is this year. #badcontractscoming

Ensign
Ensign

Hey what's the word on Ranger?

ingy56
ingy56

James Mirtle ‏@mirtle

33s

The Panthers are buying out the last year of Filip Kuba's contract. Will cost them $2.8-million. Add him to the free agent pile.

Dink
Dink

I gotta release the Kracken....later

Savo43
Savo43

Its pretty funny that ppl are upset over the hiring of an ahl coach just because their favorite teams prospect didn't get top line minutes on Team Canada lolll. 99%of you guys don't know anything about the guy outside of that tournament so why waste your breath with such a limited opinion? Give him a chance, accept his faults, and hope for the best for our bright and young future. He's apart of it whether you like it or not, and I'm sure he'll do a fantastic job. He was clearly an ohl coach who didn't know much about the WHL, and Moose Jaws finest lolll.

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

so lets get feeler for what clarskon wants

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

Get Scuderi and partner him with Rielly this year.  Trade Gunnar.

Dink
Dink

The Leafs are basically a good team working to be a very good team...Maybe we shouldn't worry so much about offense and more on defense...

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

Nonis to Spot " Congrats on the Marlies job, just one piece of advice, if you ever sit Rielly again when he plays for the Marlies or do not follow Carlyle's defensive structure your ass is grass, have a nice day"

Cameron19
Cameron19

Steve Spott has resigned as head coach and general manager of the #OHLRangers to take over as head coach of the AHL's Toronto Marlies.

Mitch_S2
Mitch_S2

82 yesterday 97 today....... I wish it was the booze

maple1967leafs
maple1967leafs

Well i finally worked out how to get over 250 with my driver<....I just have to hit it twice :)

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

Personally I think the Leafs are once again fucking up Kadri by not closing a deal with him promptly.  Kadri, I am certain will accept the minimum deal that gets him to UFA then he is outta here. 

Maple Leafs Creed
Maple Leafs Creed

Something tells me we are going to have a disappointing offseason...

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

I would love to see Colborne earn 3C shielded time like Kadri did.  Kadri take over 1C and Bolland handle 2C while McClement takes over 4C. 

LeafsGuru
LeafsGuru

Personally i would rather sign Bozak for 5mil for 5 years and ship out Grabo.  Gives us some insurance if Kardi is a bust for next season. If Kadri does well he gets first line duties and bozak can drop to the second line with the cap going up, 5 mil wont be bad after next season. Worst case scenario trade bozak next season as a second line center to some team he will be a good trade piece

whalz
whalz

is it ever quiet.....should be some specualtion etc, but nothing besides Horton or Crusty

Dangle_My_Berries
Dangle_My_Berries

I personally think Grabo returns to form this season if hes given a chance....hes getting married, he should be healthy, and I think he's proud and wants to redeem himself. 

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

Ottawa is brilliantly positioned for this year.  I see them as capitalizing on getting Horton and another top player. 

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

Someone on here was whining about the buyout rule when the Leafs were so well positioned with cap space...Well Im sorry to disagree but the Leafs are in a shitty cap position to do any big deals this year.  They actually cannot afford to resign Bozak and the cant really afford to have 5 NHL centers under contract as they do now so they have to dump a Grabo just to get the RFAs and have space for some AHLers.

LeafsGuru
LeafsGuru

 Leafs need to package Grabo and a first rounder for Yandle. Phoenix needs a center and needs to hit the cap floor. Throw in Holzer just to make it work (and JML lol)

Dangle_My_Berries
Dangle_My_Berries

Lebrun apparently already knows who Horton is signing with 

Dangle_My_Berries
Dangle_My_Berries

id laugh so hard if Alfie went to Boston, as if I couldn't hate the Bruins more..

maximus_asinus
maximus_asinus

Why has the league not cracked down on teams abusing the LTIR? They are quick to amend other loop holes, why not this one?