Home Morning Mashup Wednesday Morning Mashup: Squeeze

Wednesday Morning Mashup: Squeeze

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By my estimation, the Leafs have 10 forwards, 4 defencemen and 2 goaltenders (after dropping the expected Marlies-bound players from their capgeek page) signed with about $10.95 million in cap space available. RFAs Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson, Carl Gunnarsson, Mark Fraser and Joe Colborne still left to sign.

We’ll see if Nonis can finesse the remaining RFAs in under the cap at better deals than he got on Bernier (who, after giving up assets for him in a trade, Nonis must have feared paying even more than 2.9 for through an offer sheet). If we were to be conservative and put Kadri and Franson at $3 million even, Gunnarsson at $2.5m, Joe Colborne and Mark Fraser at $925k apiece, the Leafs might be able to just fit it all under. But those are pretty conservative figures and leave little wiggle room as is, so Nonis may need to make a space-clearing measure (most obvious option being moving John Michael Liles, perhaps retaining a little salary in order to do it).

Interestingly, if the Leafs had let Bozak go and bought out Liles with the compliance buyout instead of Grabovski, they would have an extra 2.575 million in space with which to get these deals done. That said, while I’m of the opinion that Bozak over Grabo was a downgrade in the hockey talent department, it is too soon to say if the Leafs mismanaged the cap or saved on cap space by keeping Bozak and buying out Grabovski (as opposed to Liles). After the season he had, Grabovski didn’t seem tradable at $5.5 million and Liles may well be. Let’s see how it plays out.

A few links..

Don Cherry is not a Bozak fan
Worth thinking about: as Bozak came out of the NCAA, Don Cherry may think he’s one of those Americans Wilson and Burke brought in. But seriously, this is telling. Sidenote: I don’t think the Grabovski/Bozak thing should be pitted as a debate of advanced stats crunchers vs. traditional game watchers. I’ve always been an eyeballs-first kind of guy and there’s really no question Grabo is the better player. The other side of the argument (pro-Bozak) seems to mostly involve sentiments that Grabovski wasn’t a good fit here anymore, not meant for/happy in the checking line role, not a good match next to Kessel, and usurped by Kadri for the second scoring line center position… not that he wasn’t the more talented player.

Not Advanced Stats – Grabovski is still the better player
From Cam Charron.

Where does Joe Colborne fit now?
I say with the big club as a winger to start. Lots of patience for this player.

Blue Chip Prospects’ take on the Leafs Off-Season So Far

Jim Hughes interview from day one of Leafs prospect camp. See also: Morgan Rielly, Tyler Biggs, Andreas Johnson.

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. Contact him at [email protected]
708 comments
Eye of the Tiger
Eye of the Tiger

CAPGEEK.COM USER GENERATED ROSTER
My Custom Lineup
FORWARDS
Joffrey Lupul ($5.250m) / Tyler Bozak ($4.200m) / Phil Kessel ($5.400m)
James Van Riemsdyk ($4.250m) / Nazem Kadri ($2.751m) / David Clarkson ($5.250m)
Joe Colborne ($0.600m) / Dave Bolland ($3.375m) / Nikolai Kulemin ($2.800m)
Frazer McLaren ($0.700m) / Jay McClement ($1.500m) / Colton Orr ($0.925m)
David Broll ($0.591m) /
DEFENSEMEN
Dion Phaneuf ($6.500m) / Carl Gunnarsson ($2.500m)
Jake Gardiner ($1.117m) / John-Michael Liles ($3.875m)
Cody Franson ($2.800m) / Mark Fraser ($0.925m)
T.J. Brennan ($0.600m)
GOALTENDERS
Jonathan Bernier ($2.900m)
James Reimer ($1.800m)
OTHER
Buyout: Darcy Tucker ($1.000m)
Buyout: Colby Armstrong ($1.000m)
RETAINED SALARY TRANSACTIONS (0.778% of upper limit)
Matt Frattin ($0.437m—0.5%) Ben Scrivens ($0.062m—0.1%)
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $63,108,000; BONUSES: $300,000
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $1,492,000

hoogy
hoogy

This past season it was Kadri that passed Grabovski to center the second line, Kadri started out on the third line and showed a lot of offense so was moved to second line center. It is not all Carlyle's fault that Grabovski is no longer there. Grabo let it be know right after the buyout became public that he had no use for Carlyle. Grabo does not know his place and he had that issue with Montreal as well. Good hockey player, but not so good at picking his spots to speak his mind. His issue with Carlyle did not happen overnight and to just be in Grabovski's corner does not deal with an ongoing issue with  Grabbo.

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

Blues have traded David Perron to the Oilers 

Eye of the Tiger
Eye of the Tiger

Move Broll and Colborne in and out according to opponent.  Bangers like Broll, Fraser, McLaren, Clarkson and Orr should keep the yahoo at bay,

leafmealone
leafmealone

@Burtonboy If that's true, then I think the Oilers overpaid. Or else they really have given up on Paajarvi.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

I think The leafs coaching staff believed Grabbo could help the team as the go-to guy for neutralizing the opposition's top forwards while providing some offensive punch in that role. Many players would see that as a challenge and an opportunity to help the team. It's not like he was asked to go out and play the trap. Unfortunately, coupled with his illness this year, he didn't flourish in that role and seemed to take the job as a slap in the face.

B_Leaf
B_Leaf

@wiski 

Hughes has been high on MacWilliams for at least a couple of years now

B_Leaf
B_Leaf

@-Keon- 

Biggs will take some time. He seems to be more of a complimentary guy rather than the lead right now...they want him to take ownership...we will see.

Kouba
Kouba

Not sure about that. Alzner is much more defensive d man. Franson has offensive leverage.

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@leafsince93 @Burtonboy Sure, unless Franson decides he wants to factor his offensive production into his contract. 

McDonagh has produced similar numbers over a short time period, why wouldn't Franson want similar money to him? 

Pent_House
Pent_House

@Burtonboy @Pent_House He's washed up. Declined hard this year, and over last two seasons he couldn't stay healthy. It was time to move on. 

Pent_House
Pent_House

@wiski @-Keon- Biggs and Broll are in the same age group, both going to be 1st year Marlies full-time. Shouldn't be any discrepancy in experience there. 

wiski
wiski

@-Keon- This was Brolls third camp might have something to do with it.