Four for Friday: Kovalchuk, Colborne, Gunnarsson and Franson

368

It’s been an incredibly interesting first week of free agency for the Toronto Maple Leafs and around the NHL.  Here’s four thoughts to get you through your Friday.

Kovalchuk’s retirement a blessing for the Devils

Ilya Kovalchuk shocked the world Thursday when the Russian superstar announced his retirement at the tender age of 30.  In doing so, Kovalchuk will be leaving $77-million on the table over the next 12 seasons.  But he also might save the New Jersey Devils.

A couple years back, I made my opinion on Kovalchuk’s contract fairly clear.  It was cap circumvention then, and it still looks of it now.  With only three years burnt off his contract, the Devils will carry a surprisingly fortuitous cap benefit recapture penalty of only $250,000 until the year 2025.  But as the venerable James Mirtle pointed out, Kovalchuk’s early exit from the NHL will benefit the Devils extraordinarily over the course of the next decade.

 

Given the incredibly unstable financial situation in New Jersey, Kovalchuk’s departure truly couldn’t have come at a better time from management’s perspective.   I don’t want to say that Devils’ GM Lou Lamoriello pushed Kovalchuk out the door, but he’s probably going to be paying the movers.  Lamoriello is nothing if not shrewd, and had to see the potential calamity facing the team had Kovalchuk stayed a few more seasons.  It’s incredibly interesting that the bulk of Kovalchuk’s salary – $56-million – was to be paid out over the next five seasons.

The off-ice viability of the New Jersey Devils will be stronger in the future without Kovalchuk.  When you’re hemorrhaging money, it’s good to cut $11-million in payroll for fiscal ‘14.  The on-ice product will be more viable for the next 12 years they’ll barely notice the effect of the cap benefit recapture penalty.

Certainly, the Devils are a weaker team today without their best player.  They’ll also forfeit their first round pick next season as a part of the cap circumvention from signing Kovalchuk just three seasons ago.  So they’ll serve as a cautionary tale about long-term deals, and they’ll probably miss out on a top-10 pick.  But it could have been a lot worse, all things considered.

Colborne contract makes a ton of sense

In perhaps his most (only?) prudent move so far this offseason, Leafs GM Dave Nonis re-signed Joe Colborne to a modest one-year contract worth $600,000 on Wednesday.  With about $10-million and change left in cap space and more than a couple roster spots to fill – and hefty raises pending for Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson and Carl Gunnarsson – the Leafs needed to get some bodies on the cheap.

Colborne, a first round pick in 2008, has had a decidedly checkered professional hockey career.  Once a top prospect and the jewel of the Kaberle trade, Colborne has never truly lived up to his promise since coming to Toronto.  Just two seasons ago, he was considered a potential second line centre and a blue chip future.  Today, he’s a guy who’s tallied 97 points in 150 career games for the Toronto Marlies.  While he’s hardly a has-been at only 23, it’s looking more and more likely that Colborne won’t be the big, skilled centre the team has been looking for.

Amusingly, due to the contract type, this deal is actually nearly a 1000% raise his previous AHL salary.  But for the Leafs, this is a ‘show me’ deal.  Due to the restraints of the falling cap, you can bet Colborne will be stick with the team through camp to fight it out with the pugilists for time on the fourth line.  And it could be his last stand in Toronto.

Under the Gunnarsson

The other bit of Leaf news from the week was that Carl Gunnarsson has elected to go to salary arbitration with the Maple Leafs.  This was an incredibly smart move by Gunnarsson’s camp, if only for the nuanced rules of the CBA.  As a part of the salary arbitration process, the player can only be signed to a one or two-year contract.  This is exactly what Gunnarsson’s agent wants.

Gunnarsson is a bit of weird case as a restricted free agent, because he’s a late 1986 birth.  Had he been conceived just a few months earlier, he would have become a UFA on July 5.  Alas, he’s still chained to the rules of RFAs, and likely doesn’t like what the Leafs are offering him.

My best guess is that the Leafs would like to sign Gunnarsson to a deal similar to that of Roman Polak’s in St. Louis.  The Leafs would LOVE to keep Gunnarsson in the fold for 4-5 years at around $2.75-million a season.  For what he provides to the penalty kill and defensive zone, that’s a steal of a deal for the Buds.

By going to arbitration, the Leafs would only be able to eat into one year of Gunnarsson’s UFA eligibility, and he’d finally be able to see what the market would bear for his talents in either 2014 or 2015.  He’ll be 28 at the oldest, and should his offensive game grow, could command a much larger salary than Polak’s.  This is simply smart business, and a part of the transactional nature of professional athletics.

Before you sling fiery comments on his twitter, just remember: don’t hate the player, hate the CBA.

Why Franson didn’t choose arbitration

A corollary to the above section on Gunnarsson, Cody Franson opted to forego salary arbitration this week.  His reason? Another wrinkle in the CBA as it pertains to the arbitration process.

When a player elects for salary arbitration, the team is given the choice of whether they want to offer a 1 or 2-year deal to the player.  (The inverse is true when its club elected).  So in Franson’s case, he’s only 25 years old; two seasons away from UFA eligibility.  The Leafs would almost certainly elect for a 1-year deal, so they could retain Franson’s rights as a restricted free agent for one more year in 2014.  Franson would also be unable to sign an offer sheet prior to arbitration, losing him leverage in negotiations.

So by foregoing arbitration, Franson has as much freedom as his status allows.  His side is probably much more interested in a much higher dollar amount than the Leafs want to pay.  I’d guess he’s more interested in the type of deal Roman Josi and Slava Voynov signed with the Nashville Predators and Los Angeles Kings (respectively).  There’s no doubting that Franson is an offensive talent, but he’s nowhere in the realm of those two.  Franson may be a $4-million a year guy if he continues to finish in the top ten in scoring for defenders (as he did in 2013).  But he’s certainly not a guy the Leafs should think to lock up for 6-7 years at that number.

  • Dink

    oh

  • Bernier_The_Boats

    Sure hope we can lock Gunner and Franson up at a reasonable rate.  Franson has had a tough run in his tenure with the leafs to date, so I hope he doesn’t get lowballed to badly by NONO..

  • Mind Bomb

    Good morning Folks !!!

    • Burtonboy

      Mind Bomb Morning MB

      • Mind Bomb

        Burtonboy Mind Bomb  Morning BB. Beautiful weekend coming in my area. Beers BBQ Beaches. I am betting because I am busy this weekend 2 of are RFA’s sign so I cant talk about em.

        LOL

        • Burtonboy

          Mind Bomb Burtonboy Go enjoy your weekend . More important this time of yr .

        • Mind Bomb

          Burtonboy Mind Bomb Well if I am ordered to I guess I have to :)
          P

        • .JVR.

          Mind Bomb
          That’s exactly what happened with the Bernier trade and a bit further back, the Phaneuf trade.

          Was poolside for the Bernier one and found out about the Phaneuf trade when I got to work.
          Also, I was driving down the road with my wife, when the Burke firing was announced.  Can’t quite remember where we were heading though.

  • Zep2

    Bernier_The_Boats  Yeah I hope they give Franson some term . He has 1st PP talent . He has some work to do on his defensive game but that has been improving.
    Id hate to loose him over a pissing match

    • Bernier_The_Boats

      Zep2 Bernier_The_Boats I hear you…defensive zone coverage is sketchy at times, but he is a big body who is coming into his own.  If I were Nonis I would set him up for 3 years at 3 mil/per…or in that ballpark.

    • Burtonboy

      Zep2 Bernier_The_Boats These agents and players are well aware of the limitations the cap places on management . There won’t be a pissing match . It more a matter of finding the deal that’s best for both sides within the constraints of the cap.

      • Bernier_The_Boats

        Burtonboy Zep2  I hope so BB, but I wonder how negotiations work behind the scenes….With the mistreatment of Franson in the past within the Leafs organization, I don’t know whether a conversation such as, “we’ve got a tight cap this year Cody, so we want you to take a million less than you are hoping for, but don’t worry. The cap will loosen up in a couple years, so hang in there and we’ll re-up you on the next one”.
        A player who has not been wronged by the organization might bite on that, but I doubt that Franson wants to hear that type of negotiation. Your thoughts?

        • Burtonboy

          Bernier_The_Boats Burtonboy Zep2 Most likely Cody has little to do with the negotiations only to get updates from his agent . These guys all know this is a business and they are well aware the cap has gone down . You just do the best you can

        • Bernier_The_Boats

          -Keon- Not contratually, but he sat more than he should have, and wasted basically a full year in the press box.  None of that was related to his skill…I’m assuming that was a “Wilson” thing, but still with the leafs.

        • Bernier_The_Boats

          Burtonboy Bernier_The_Boats Zep2 I hope you are right.  I would hate to lose him.

        • Zep2

          -Keon- He was benched by RW , and pilloried by Leaf fans , particularlily on this site for having the balls to complain about it.
          Sign this guy, on D. next to Rielly/ Gardiner, he has the best offensive chops in the organization

        • Burtonboy

          Bernier_The_Boats Burtonboy Zep2 We won’t . Franson wants to be a Leaf and Carlyle is really starting to trust him so there is little reason for them not to come to some sort of deal that works for both sides

        • Mind Bomb

          Zep2 -Keon-  I remember Zep, his dad even started Piping off

        • Mind Bomb

          -Keon-  Yes but now he has brought it, and is looking to get paid . If you challenge someone to step up, and he does, you better be prepared to reward him

        • Knights2Leafs

          -Keon- 
          The only thing that’s well documented is the face palm treatment RWilson gave to Franson and others such as Kadri.

        • Mind Bomb

          -Keon-  Yes but your selling low then. Tough call really

    • Bernier_The_Boats

      -Keon- I totally agree with that mentality @keon…

  • B_Leaf

    In arbitration I would expect Gunnarsson gets very close to $3M. The Leafs take it for two years, by then Rielly should be knocking on the door having completed one year in the AHL.

    • Burtonboy

      B_Leaf So you anticipate Rielly is two yrs away from playing in the NHL ?

      • B_Leaf

        Burtonboy B_Leaf 
        Yes, I think it is almost for sure he goes back to junior this year even though he would be better suited for the AHL, but that isn’t an option. Next year he would have to be good enough to play top four, basically be better than Gunnarsson or Gardiner and I don’t see that. So yes two years. If he is doing really well in a year and a half he might get the call allowing Gunnar to drop in the line-up or be moved at the TDL for assets.

        • Burtonboy

          B_Leaf Burtonboy Sure doesn’t seem like mannagement are thinking along those line . Comments like it ” it might not be any help for Morgan to play against 16 17 yr olds for another yr ” seem to indicate they believe he is much closer

        • Bernier_The_Boats

          Burtonboy B_Leaf I wonder if he will be able to slot into the top 4…I guess his instincts and hockey IQ are off the charts.  He weighs over 200 lbs.  I know it might be a stretch but crazier things have happenned…I can’t wait to find out.

        • Burtonboy

          Bernier_The_Boats Burtonboy B_Leaf No way to know for sure . Another factor that could go against Rielly is his cap hit which is high at 1.7.

        • Tommy Cat

          Burtonboy Bernier_The_Boats B_Leaf If the Leafs are able to get Gunnar at a reasonable rate and Rielly is ready then Gunnar becomes a valuable trade asset heading into the first few weeks of the season and teams have evulated what they have and what they need.

        • Cameron19

          Burtonboy Bernier_The_Boats B_Leaf His cap hit will only be 925K though – everything beyond that will go on the bonus cushion.

        • Burtonboy

          Cameron19 Burtonboy Bernier_The_Boats B_Leaf Now you will have to explain the bonus cushion because I haven’t looked into that side of it at all.

        • Cameron19

          Burtonboy Cameron19 Bernier_The_Boats B_Leaf 

          Basically it’s like a side pot.  It’s how the Wings and Bruins are making Alfie and Iginla contracts work, which makes sense for them, since they don’t have any ELC’s to really take advantage of.  Base salary is all that ever counts towards the cap for a player. With top ELC’s like Rielly, it’s usually just the max 925K, but on capgeek you can just toggle to salary to check.

          The overage on their cap hit, or their potential bonuses, just go on the bonus cushion, which can be up to something like 7% of the cap.  Any bonuses achieved over this year’s cap of 64.3 million, will be deducted from that team’s cap ceiling the following year. But since rookies rarely achieve their bonuses, it almost never matters.  The only time it ever did in a meaningful way, was when the Hawks won the Cup the first time, and Toews and Kane both maxed their bonuses, and Chicago had way less space to use the following year as a result.

        • Burtonboy

          Cameron19 Burtonboy Bernier_The_Boats B_Leaf Well that makes it a bit more palatable. Might see Rielly after all

        • Cameron19

          Burtonboy Cameron19 Bernier_The_Boats B_Leaf If you look at the Bruins, they could be taking a huge risk with that Iginla deal. Basically, they got him for just 1.8 million guaranteed on the cap this year, but if he hits all his bonuses, and their injuriies pile up this year, they could end up being with a cap 4.2 million lower than the ceiling next year…..

        • B_Leaf

          Cameron19 Burtonboy Bernier_The_Boats B_Leaf 
          Rielly was in no way off the charts in his significant AHL stint this spring. He wasn’t horrible or anything but neither was he above average. Obviously at his age and development curve that is OK. While I agree he won’t get much help from jr, but if he plays in the 6 or 7 role and participates in practice will that be better? It is honestly a tough call. I don’t think he is better than Gunnar and Gards at this time and Fraser is a lock on left side bottom pair. So it is a catch 22…back to jr. or practices with Leafs…either way he is not playing top four, and probably wont for at least 18 months.

        • B_Leaf

          Cameron19 Burtonboy Bernier_The_Boats 
          Did anyone think Rielly showed well this spring in the AHL?

        • Burtonboy

          B_Leaf Cameron19 Burtonboy Bernier_The_Boats We will see what happens in camp . I’m not making any predictions one way or another . To definitively say he is going back to Jr which some people have made is a bold statement and people can look very foolish if he does make the team.

        • Cameron19

          B_Leaf Cameron19 Burtonboy Bernier_The_Boats Well, some thought he was underwhelming, but I suspect Eakins probably wasn’t counting on him for much, either.

        • .JVR.

          Burtonboy
          How much of that is bonus money though?
          His cap hit is probably alot closer to the league minimum, as any bonuses reached go against the cap for the following season.

        • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

          B_Leaf Cameron19 Burtonboy Bernier_The_Boats Eakins thought he was great.

        • B_Leaf

          DeclanK B_Leaf Cameron19 Burtonboy Bernier_The_Boats 
          Great for an 18 year old or great overall. What I saw I think he must have meant as an 18/19 year old

      • Zep2

        Burtonboy B_Leaf Next year at the latest. He gets a 9 game look this year. If he turns heads, he makes the squad this year  and spends a 4  weeks with the WJ  team. No one in the org. thinks junior is a good option

    • Dink

      B_Leaf hopefully 6 million can land the 2 defensemen, then on to Nazem

      • B_Leaf

        @Dink B_Leaf 
        We have to leave some space for Fraser too.

        • Dink

          B_Leaf eek

      • Bernier_The_Boats

        @Dink B_Leaf What kind of money/term do you think Kadri will get?

        • Dink

          Bernier_The_Boats B_Leaf I was thinking 3.25

  • Mind Bomb

    Good morning Michael, I am somewhat confused by this coment : There’s no doubting that Franson is an offensive talent, but he’s nowhere in the realm of those two. 
    Now, I admit I do not get to watch Josi at all and limited Voynov, But from what I have seen and reviewing the final standings, I am left wondering why he is nowhere close to them ?

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?season=20122013&gameType=2&team=&position=D&country=&status=&viewName=summary

    Sincerely
    MB

    • Zep2

      Mind Bomb  As the season progressed, Fransons game got stronger as Carlyles confidence grew in him. He started the season in the pressbox again didnt he.
      By game 7, his offensive game was beyond just the big shot. He was making great passes, jumping into rushes a la Gardiner and going to the front of the net .
      A full season playing 1st PP with Gardiner and then maybe we can revisit the Josi/Voynov argument

      • Mind Bomb

        Zep2 Mind Bomb   He did get better as he was given ice time, not sat on the Bench :) He was a decent player in Nash. Wilson is an Idiot

      • Jantz

        Well said.He also was alot more physical in the Playoffs. This year will be very telling as to whether he can elevate his physical game during the regular season.

  • Dink

    I am starting to think Holzer is likely to be dealt

    • Jay_Berg

      For what? A 7th round pick?

      • Dink

        Jay_Berg lol probably anything

        • Cameron19

          @Dink Jay_Berg Holzer is quality depth. I don’t see him being tossed away for just anything.

    • Zep2

      @Dink Playing Holzer on the 1st pairing was lunacy. Worse than using Kostka IMHO 
      He was thrown to the wolves. Carlyle/ Noni may have turned a a useful bottom pair guy into chickens hit

  • MaxwellHowe

    So many of the deicsion left to the Leafs hinge on the fate of Liles.  If his contract can be traded, the Leafs will have no difficulty signing the RFAs.  Course the Leafs might have to retain some salary.
    If Franson / Gardiner play as they did in the playoffs, if Gunnar has a full healthy season and Blacker/Granberg/Reilly show real progress – I believe this may be Phaneuf’s last season with the Leafs.  The Leafs will want to keep him, but not for $6 million + per season.  And I’m not so sure he will be willing to take a cut

    • Greg Fenton

      MaxwellHowe I don’t think Phaneuf is going anywhere unless Carlyle wants him gone, which there is no indication of. He is their best D-man (even in the playoffs), their best goal scorer and one of their best point producers from the blue line, and the captain. They’ll pay him and keep him around.

      • mcloki

        Greg Fenton MaxwellHowe and it’ll on;y cost them 3 million in cap to keep them both. The Leafs get that back from Tucker and Artmstrong. Especially if this team build upon their success. Who’d want to leave a resurgent Toronto.

        • Greg Fenton

          mcloki Greg Fenton MaxwellHowe I think it will cost a bit more then that. Its funny, the same people who seem to over rate Kessel’s play are also the people who want to under pay him……Also they on’y get 2 million from Tucker and Armstrong. The issue next year ist hey only have about 26 million coming off the books and a lot of key players, who will be getting raises, to resign. Even if they are able to keep everyone (and I don’t think it will that difficult), there won’t be room for improvements. 
          Its more a question of, should they be locking into this group, not are they able too/do they have to the cap space too.

      • MaxwellHowe

        Greg Fenton MaxwellHowe Phanuef has worked his ass off and he has been an important part of the team.  But he has certain glaring weaknesses – he is not very mobile and he does not impress with his ability to carry or pass the puck.  I’m going to be very interested to see how negotiations proceed thru the next year.

        • Greg Fenton

          MaxwellHowe Greg Fenton I would his decision making and overall defensive ability on that list of weaknesses as well. But he is still their best D-man, their #1, their captain, their #1 minute eater etc….

        • MaxwellHowe

          Greg Fenton MaxwellHowe Thats why I prefaced my initial remark by saying Phaneuf’s position with the Leafs depends on the progress of Franson/Gardiner/Gunnarsson and the up and comers.  He may be the Leafs best dman this year and next.  But how long beyond that will he hold that title?  Long enough to justify big money for a long term?

        • Greg Fenton

          MaxwellHowe Greg Fenton I don’t think it does. I think he’ll be kept regardless. Sure in 5 years he might not be their best D-man, but a team can’t make ever decision based on 5 years down the road and/or on “spec” of their other players. 
          Personally, I wouldn’t resign him (but i wouldn’t lock up this core group but Nonis appears to be doing so) but I think Nonis and Carlyle and Lieweke will.

  • Burtonboy

    JVR just said Kessel is a really funny guy and the fans never see that side of him. That’s why they all love teasing and chirping him

    • dlb eh

      Burtonboy 
      and why Bozak is in love with him

  • mcloki

    Morning gents. A bright beautiful day here in Toronto. Now start the dog days of summer, July 15th till August 15th, Not much news, lots of BBQ recipes. SHould be fun.
    I don’t even care about these RFA’s, they’ll all get signed. the question is fir how much. but at the end of the day who cares as long as they wear Blue and white.
    Have a great day.

  • Dink

    My favorite baseball teams, Jays and Nats (expos) both stink, wtf

    • mcloki

      @Dink Who cares it’s baseball. we need another summer sport. My vote goes to Womens beach volleyball.

      • Dink

        mcloki lol…ok

      • colino17

        mcloki seconded

    • MaxwellHowe

      @Dink Choose new favorite teams.  My Expos are dead.

  • dlb eh

    Thanks for explaining those salary arbitration scenarios.  Nice to know.
    Saying that, Gunnar @ 2.75 is a fair contract, not a steal.

    • Loric76

      dlb eh So Gunnar @ 2.75-3.00 AAV for 1-2 years, and Franson at 3.00 to 3.50 AAV for 3-4 years and we’re golden.  That leaves 3.50 – 4.75 AAV for Kadri, which is more than enough to get this done.

      • Dink

        Loric76 dlb eh Fraser?

        • Cartsy

          @Dink Loric76 dlb eh He could be the odd man out unless Liles is dealt

        • Loric76

          @Dink Loric76 dlb eh lol forgot about him.  Ok 3.5-4.75 for Kadri and Fraser.  Fraser gets around 750 or he can walk.  As much as I like him, if any of the 4 are deemed expendable it’s him.

        • B_Leaf

          Loric76 dlb eh 
          Fraser gets a minimum of $1M  in my opinion, he logged a lot of minutes, had pretty much a flawless season, provided strength and real time protection for his goalie and team.

        • mcloki

          B_Leaf Loric76 dlb eh Fraser deserves the mil. I think he just wants teh one way contract. Nonis wants the flexibility. I don’t know why they just don’t have every player on a 2 way contract?

      • dlb eh

        Loric76 dlb eh 
        i’m fine picking one and letting the other go, seeing what we have in the kids then making a decision in the next year how to put together the winner.  it’s a two year timeline i think we’re on right now.  Liles is an asset who can build himself back up, aslo.
        i think it’s prudent to not be afraid to sacrifice Gunnar or Franson to give the others a chance to show us if they’re replacements or upgrades or downgrades, saving the cap dollars for something else and gaining other assets in the proccess.
        Franson is the tougher player to replace.  i wonder what Gunnar would mean to Granberg.  and if the money makes sense, though…

        • Greg Fenton

          dlb eh Loric76 But your job won’t be on the line if the Leafs let Gunnerson or Franson go and none of the prospects they have are ready or they are busts etc… which leaves a hole on the defense and they miss the playoffs.

      • Jantz

        That would be great for Gunnarson and Franson.  I still don’t see Kadri getting anymore than 3-3.5.

  • Dink

    Lou might love it, but I have to think NHL is really pissed at Kovalchuk decision

  • Wendelbuiltmyhotrod

    Seriously…..the (only?) prudent move that the Leafs made???? And you guys complain about the mainstream media????So let me get this straight….you don’t think re-signing Bozak was a prudent move? Best face off man on the team, gives 100% all of the time, mst likely took less money than what he could get on the market to stay here…..and keep Garbageovski would have been the more “prudent move”???? He FLOATED (sulked/pouted) for almost the entire season….and then showed his true classless colrs upon his dsimissal…..I’ve been reading posts on this site since it’s inception….and I have just started to post myself because I can’t take the lunacy anymore…..BOZAK is part of this teams core and we should all be thankful he decided to re-sign here…period.

    • MaxwellHowe

      Wendelbuiltmyhotrod Calling the Bozak signing “prudent” is the highest praise possible.  It certainly wasn’t “inspiring” or “exciting” or “earth shattering”.  Personally, I would describe his signing  as “settling”.

      • mcloki

        MaxwellHowe Wendelbuiltmyhotrod Bozak is good and the price we paid was good. Settling is a bit harsh.

    • mcloki

      Wendelbuiltmyhotrod welcome aboard. MAke sure you turn off e-mail notification in the settings, get an avatar, and keep posting. Have a great one.

    • twitting_sg

      Wendelbuiltmyhotrod Bozak was only signed to keep Kessel happy. he barely won 1 face off more than Grabo every 4 games. despite playing with the best Leaf offensive players, scored at 2nd/3rd line clip and is a defensive liability. Grabo gave his all and had more to give than Bozak ever will.

  • Cameron19

    No where in the realm of Josi and Voynov?  That’s stretching it a bit, don’t you think?

    • Cameron19

      TheCanucksnaphook Cameron19 I understand Josi a little bit.  He did play top minutes last year, but, next to Shea Weber, and the team took a big step back.  He’s probably a second pairing D, just like Franson should be.  Although he is much younger, so sure, give him the edge – but ‘not in the same realm’, is a bit ridiculous.

      Voynov was basically the defensive Kadri this year – lots of sheltered and offensive minutes while Scuderi/Doughty/Regehr ate up the top assignments.  Very similar role to Franson but with more minutes.  Having said that, he also had fewer points than Franson.  Again, age on his side, but not by that much….

      • Cameron19

        TheCanucksnaphook Cameron19 I’ve said 3.5 for Franson and 3.0 for Gunnar, but I could see both numbers being a little higher (as high as 4 for Franson), or a little lower, depending on how ruthless Nonis is.  I just really think we should stop pissing in Franson’s corn flakes though.  He’s been grossly mishandled here since day 1 – just work something out with him quickly.

  • Tommy Cat

    Yaknowwhat I can see him getting that for sure.  Maybe not into 4 but very close to it.

    • Cameron19

      -Keon- Played increasingly difficult competition though and finished the year on the second pairing – and probably could have been there sooner.  Voynov doesn’t play oppositions’ best either….

  • alanrodney

    Is it true if a team has two players that are signed through salary arbitration that said team received an extra compliance buyout?

    • MaxwellHowe

      TheCanucksnaphook alanrodney Even Cameron wasn’t sure.  So I don’t like our chances.

  • Area49th

    Yaknowwhat I think you have to retire, you can’t just quit

  • Cameron19

    So on the ice the Devils became a much worse team, but off the ice, they were just saved by Kovalchuk leaving 77 million on the table and going home.  I suspect we probably haven’t seen the last of Kovalchuk.  Has there been talk that Luongo and Vancouver will also attempt to ‘mutually terminate’ their contractual obligations to one another…?

    • Tommy Cat

      Cameron19 Then Lack is their # 1?  That’ll be funny.

      • MaxwellHowe

        Tommy Cat Cameron19 Lack.  The headlines write themselves.

  • Tommy Cat

    TheCanucksnaphook Yaknowwhat So if he goes back to Mother Russia and in two or three years decides Io try the NHL again do the Devils still own his rights?

    • Dink

      Tommy Cat TheCanucksnaphook Yaknowwhat If I was NHL, I would ban a return…set a precedent

    • Dink

      Yaknowwhat Tommy Cat TheCanucksnaphook I bet it will be, but only if he (or anyone)does play over there

    • Tommy Cat

      @Dink Yaknowwhat Tommy Cat TheCanucksnaphook I thought there was transfer agreements etc in place between the NHL and the KHL.  Guys in the KHL all seem to have an NHL out built into their KHL contracts.  I don’t think NJ fought too hard to keep him.

    • Dink

      Tommy Cat Yaknowwhat TheCanucksnaphook Kovalchuk was probably hoping they would buy him out, get real rich and go to Russia

    • Cameron19

      Tommy Cat Yaknowwhat TheCanucksnaphook They obviously wanted him gone.  His contract was crippling their organization.

    • Tommy Cat

      Cameron19 Tommy Cat Yaknowwhat TheCanucksnaphook Like every one of those massive long term cap circumventing deals.

    • Cameron19

      Yaknowwhat Cameron19 Tommy Cat TheCanucksnaphook And he would have also made his organization a lot less appealing to join.

    • Cameron19

      Yaknowwhat Cameron19 Tommy Cat TheCanucksnaphook They could not afford to replace him anyways. They’re being operated by the NHL right now, and the league had to step in for bounced checks to players.

    • Tommy Cat

      Yaknowwhat Cameron19 Tommy Cat TheCanucksnaphook You would think they were trying for first overall except they lost it and they traded this year’s first pick too.

  • Archie Vanlanda

    I got a good laugh out of this. I think it explains Kovy’s thinking pretty well. http://i.imgur.com/pPtgI0p.jpg

    • Tommy Cat

      TheCanucksnaphook Archie Vanlanda I feel a bit sory for him.  Seems to be melting down a bit.  Like MJ and Brit etc.

      • mcloki

        Tommy Cat TheCanucksnaphook Archie Vanlanda Canada’s own Lindsay Lohan.

  • Cameron19

    Yaknowwhat I’m pretty sure the answer is yes.  McKenzie was tweeting yesterday that Luongo could do the same thing and then just sign elsewhere – not even take a year off.  He just wouldn’t retire, he would just agree to “mutually terminate” the contract.  However, he thinks that’s unlikely, because Luongo probably won’t leave all that money on the table, whereas Kovy is going to make even more money in the KHL, Luongo won’t be so fortunate.

    • Burtonboy

      Cameron19 Yaknowwhat He can only return is all 29 other team agree to it . That was mentioned by McKenzie yesterday

      • Dink

        Burtonboy Cameron19 Yaknowwhat and they won’t

    • Cameron19

      Yaknowwhat Cameron19 Yes, and now apparently, what Bboy is saying, if all the other teams agree to it too. In Kovalchuk’s case, why wouldn’t they agree if he’s just going to the KHL anyways, but Tampa might have a thing or two to say if Luongo plans on terminating so he can just sign with the Panthers.

    • Burtonboy

      Cameron19 Yaknowwhat Agree to bring him back Cam

    • Cameron19

      Yaknowwhat Cameron19 This has been happening for years, it’s just never happened with a player with a big contract before…

    • Dink

      Cameron19 Yaknowwhat If they have russian players, why would they let him back and show the other russian players a way to do the same thing?

    • Faalcon

      Yaknowwhat Cameron19 Probably it is a function of the Collective bargaining agreement as The NHL/Owners is a party and Players union is the other party.

    • Cameron19

      @Dink Cameron19 Yaknowwhat You’re making it sound like Kovalchuk is getting away with something.  He just left 77 million on the table.  He wanted to leave, and his contract was killing the team.  Lou has wanted that contract washed since the moment he was forced to sign it.

    • Cameron19

      Yaknowwhat Cameron19 Like I said, this has been happening for years – like a decade. In fact, this is exactly what Jagr did. Both the player and the team want out of his situation, so the player agrees to give up the money and the team agrees to tear up the contractual obligations, and the player buggers off to another league.  It just happened two weeks ago with Sergei Kostitsyn.

    • Cameron19

      Yaknowwhat Cameron19 Again, this has been in place for years and no one has ever used it like that.  The only player that might stand to benefit from this is Luongo, and even then, it’s unlikely as it would likely mean taking a massive reduction in pay.

    • Cameron19

      Yaknowwhat Cameron19 No, the player cannot decide that by himself.  The team must also agree.

    • Burtonboy

      Cameron19 Yaknowwhat All 29 other teams have to allow the player to return . This is not going to be an issue

    • Cameron19

      Yaknowwhat Cameron19 I think they did.  They could not wait to dump that contract.

    • distant rumblings

      Yaknowwhat Cameron19 Now when Tim Thomas decided to take a year off his rights were retained by the Bruins who then traded him to NYI who wanted the salary to meet the cap minimum … has anything changed in the new CBA or does the original team just retain the rights to a player who foregoes his contract obligations?

    • Cameron19

      distant rumblings Yaknowwhat Cameron19 Thomas was an entirely different situation.  He was a 35+ contract, so no matter what he had done, the cap would have stayed with the Bruins.  He didn’t agree to terminate his contract, he just didn’t show up to honor it. As far as I understand, no one owns Kovalchuk’s rights now.

  • Dink

    I am not hip on arbitration, but do they (can they) award a player more than twice his previous salary? 
    Anything over 3 million is doubling Gunnerson’s salary plus…

    • Tommy Cat

      TheCanucksnaphook Isn’t it just two choices?  The players submission and the teams?

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Yaknowwhat Man, he left 77 million on the table here.  Think he probably just wanted to get out of Jersey and regretted signing there.

  • Dink

    Yaknowwhat TheCanucksnaphook I will show him where to piss if he pays me

  • MaxwellHowe

    Yaknowwhat Needs a whopping first.  Ah, if only Keyshawn Johnson has caught him that day.  He certainly wouldn’t have been able to walk on the Blackhawk emblem.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/NHLBruins
    Bruins have signed Patrice Bergeron to an eight-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season. Read release: http://t.co/0tLxHqwRJV ^BB

    • Tommy Cat

      -Keon- That was a good guess.

    • Burtonboy

      -Keon- Kind of deal we need to work on for Kessel and others

      • mcloki

        Burtonboy -Keon- Long term deals will help with the cap hit on both Phaneuf and Kessel.

    • mcloki

      -Keon- worth every penny. Hate him because he’s a Bruin. Respect him because he’s a fantastic player.

  • WatsonB

    Theres talks that kovulchuk could sign for as much as 15 million a year in the KHL. Thats a hefty raise, even from what hes making right now.

  • mcloki

    TheCanucksnaphook Yaknowwhat That’s just going to happen moer and more. The KHL is going to develop into a European NHL and the competition for talent is going to become huge. You’re already seeing North American talent get drown over there. And if the NHL expands to 32 teams. How weak is the talent pool going to be in North America.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/DaleEArnold
    Patrice Bergeron extension done — 8 years, 52 million, 6.5 million annual cap hit.

    • Cameron19

      Burtonboy Would be nice to get Kessel in this range.

      • Burtonboy

        Cameron19 Burtonboy just posted the same thing below lol

        • daniel marois

          Burtonboy Cameron19 
          Kessel will be gunning for more than $6.5 per yr.

        • mcloki

          daniel marois Burtonboy Cameron19 but his cap average could possibly be around there. Especially if he signs an 8 year contract.

        • daniel marois

          mcloki daniel marois Burtonboy Cameron19 
          Gotcha.  Makes sense.  Me thinks Nonis/Poulin want to wait for the RFA landscape to settle before dealing with Kessel/Phaneuf situation.

        • Cameron19

          daniel marois mcloki Burtonboy Cameron19 Although it might put things into perspective for young players if a guy like Kessel takes a more modest figure like 6.5 – even if it is over 8 years.

        • mcloki

          Cameron19 daniel marois mcloki Burtonboy I just hope the Leafs get the balance right. If the top guys take too much money if hurts their 4th line. If the top guys see that and take a small piece then they can build a winner. The Leafs are closer to that that 2 years ago. It took a while but this team is shaping up. I’m surprised they haven’t tried to sign up Roberts as their nutrition coach.

      • Black_Hawk

        Cameron19 Burtonboy would be awesome

  • MaxwellHowe

    Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook Yaknowwhat 
    Jersey does seem to have become the destination of last resort.  Parise, Clarkson, now Kovalchuk have departed.  Clowe and Ryder go there because they have no where else to go (plus Newark has direct flights to St. John’s)

  • Cameron19

    WatsonB No doubt, but I don’t think he’s leaving because of the money – that was on the table in the KHL when he signed the deal in the first place.  The team is just getting worse, and older, and having a hard time making payments to their players, so….

  • daniel marois

    TheCanucksnaphook -Keon- 
    But with less than $10 mil to spend on RFAs like Kadri, Franson and Gunner – what money will they have left to sign another RFA whose team walked away from his arb award?

  • Area49th

    Per https://twitter.com/capgeek, after Bergeron deal https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Bruins&src=hash have $57,779,643 committed to 15 players in 2014-15. Chiarelli betting on cap going up

  • Cameron19

    What did we think of the Perron deal the Oilers swung? Missed out on that conversation….

    • MaxwellHowe

      Cameron19 An erstwhile effort to appear to be doing something

      • MaxwellHowe

        Cameron19 earnest effort

        • Cameron19

          MaxwellHowe Cameron19 Yea, I don’t really get it.  Perron is just more of the same for them.  I guess they’re just trying to add someone who has been around a little longer, but I would have expected more if I was going to give up on the size and speed of Paajarvi.

        • MaxwellHowe

          Cameron19 MaxwellHowe No one up there seems willing to take a chance and make a bold move.

        • leafmealone

          Cameron19 MaxwellHowe I think it was about getting players who were used to a “winning environment” to support the kids on the lineup who’ve lived in an atmosphere of losing-and badly-for too long.

    • Black_Hawk

      Cameron19 nice move for both teams but i like it for the oilers

  • Bobsyouruncle

    Did we get Kovalchuk yet?

    • wiski

      Bobsyouruncle Now you know why we moved Grabo 😉

      • Bobsyouruncle

        wiski Bobsyouruncle I already know why we had to move Grabo. Want to hear why?   ; )

        • wiski

          Bobsyouruncle wiski I’m good. lol

  • wiski

    Good info Michael, especially on Franson.

  • Tommy Cat

    MaxwellHowe Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook Yaknowwhat I wouldn’t be surprisd to see their buddy Danny signing there as well.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/kevin_mcgran
    Kadri on contract talks: going good. some work still to be done. We’re talking. That’s the main thing. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23leafs&src=hash
    https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/355698047512100866
    Kadri says it’s tough to see MacArthur, Frattin, Scrivens leave, ‘but I do feel like we upgraded’

    • wiski

      Burtonboy Maybe should of kept that one to him self

      • Pent_House

        wiski Burtonboy He’s talking real shit though haha

        • wiski

          Pent_House wiski Burtonboy He might get trolled by Frats and Scrivy for that one.

        • Pent_House

          wiski Pent_House Burtonboy I doubt he cares Polak lol he’s going to be killing some Leaf scoring records for the next 15 years, while Fratts ends up a 2nd liner at best.

    • wiski

      Burtonboyhttps://twitter.com/Hope_Smokehttps://twitter.com/Hope_Smoke/status/355702180356952064
      So everyone hated Grabo? RT https://twitter.com/markhmasters: Kadri says it’s tough to see MacArthur, Frattin, Scrivens leave, ‘but I do feel like we upgraded’

      • Bobsyouruncle

        wiski Burtonboywiski Burtonboy Kadri obviously realized that Bozak wasn’t an upgrade on Grabo. : )

        • wiski

          Bobsyouruncle  My reply  https://twitter.com/wiski199https://twitter.com/wiski199/status/355702962942771203
          https://twitter.com/Hope_Smoke https://twitter.com/markhmasters Or Grabo wasn’t upgraded? 😉

      • Uncle Otis

        wiski 
        hmmmmmm…forget someone?
        Probably not. 😉

    • darthNihilus

      Burtonboy Hahahaha Kadri never mentioned Grabbo in his list of people that are tough to see leave. Is there anyone on the Leafs who actually liked Grabbo and was sorry to see him leave? Cause’ so far not a single Leaf has said a word about Grabbo leaving in public, not even his best buddy Kulemin.

      • Cameron19

        darthNihilus Burtonboy Pretty sure it’s just the way the question was phrased to him.  Knights2Leafs told us a few weeks ago that Kadri really liked Grabo’s game and had good things to say about him.

        • wiski

          Cameron19 darthNihilus Less damning here
          http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=427566

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/355702979262808065
    Kadri on possibly playing bt Lupul & Clarkson: ‘Hopefully they’ll be doing the dirty work & I can get them the puck’

    • MaxwellHowe

      wiski I know he meant well, but Nazem is not Wayne Gretzky.  Christ, even Sidney Crosby does some “dirty work”

      • wiski

        MaxwellHowe  A little foot in mouth disease today. lol

        • mcloki

          wiski MaxwellHowe Don’t parse this too much. Everyone turns into a Kremlinologist with every tweet or phrase from a guy.

        • wiski

          mcloki wiski MaxwellHoweIf you ever get a flat tire, take a picture of it on your phone so for future reference you can use it as a valid excuse.

        • mcloki

          wiski mcloki MaxwellHowe Explain that? What’s it referencing?

        • wiski

          mcloki wiski MaxwellHowe Just a tip, but you work from home don’t ya?

        • mcloki

          wiski mcloki MaxwellHowe yes. I still don’t get the reference.

      • dlb eh

        MaxwellHowe wiski 
        maybe he meant that he hoped he could live to his end of the bargain, and get them some rewards for their expected hard work

    • Uncle Otis

      wiski 
      I think he reversed that sentence midstream..do the dirty work to “who” the puck? lol

      • Pent_House

        Uncle Otis wiski I don’t know how all you guys interpreted that message so negatively….he’s obviously pointing to the positives of having two power forwards on the wings, and recovering pucks in the corners and then him setting them up for goals. Lmao this is what we want people. Of course he’s going to do some dirty work too….. sometimes you guys are wacky hahah

        • Uncle Otis

          Pent_House 
          I think he meant to say get me the puck…makes a little more sense
          Roll with it..Naz would 😉

        • Pent_House

          Uncle Otis Pent_House No he’s a play-maker, he meant getting them the puck in scoring position.  He meant do the dirty work, get me the puck, and i’ll get you the puck after in the right spot. He just skipped over the middle part there, which is assumed.

        • Uncle Otis

          Pent_House 
          Thank-you for the interpretation…you speak good Naz :)

        • Pent_House

          Uncle Otis Pent_House 4 years at UoT in Kadrian studies will do that for you

        • wiski

          Pent_House Uncle Otis Or you smoke the same coosh 😉

        • Pent_House

          wiski Pent_House Uncle Otis What do you think I was doing in the back of the class-room? 😉

        • MaxwellHowe

          Pent_House Uncle Otis wiski I think he meant well too, but Nazem doesn’t really have a gift for PR

        • wiski

          MaxwellHowe Pent_House Uncle Otis wiski Ph9 taught him everything he knows 😉

  • Pent_House

    Lol at colborne not being as promised. When he`s healthy he`s been a point per game player in the AHL or better. He played almost an entire season hurt…. of course that`s going to bring down your points per game when you can`t even hold your stick.

    • MaxwellHowe

      Pent_House I agree – he hasn’t gotten a fair chance.  And its likely he will be put on a line with a facepuncher or 2.  Shoulda let Bozak walk and put Colborne in as #3 centre.

      • GeorgeCastanza

        MaxwellHowe Pent_House Put up or shut up for Coborne this year. Yeah I reserve to make a final verdict until big Joe gets a proper audition. Needs a good 30+ games with some good linemates.

        • mcloki

          GeorgeCastanza MaxwellHowe Pent_House I was over the Colbourne experiment last year. Trade him for what you can get. He can be a great asset on another team but I don’t know if he even cracks this lineup.

        • Pent_House

          GeorgeCastanza MaxwellHowe Pent_House I don’t get this attitude from everyone with the make or break, put up or shut up stuff. He hasn’t even had the chance to play 25 games yet, I’m pretty sure if he sticks with the team all year that will be a success for the guy.

        • MaxwellHowe

          Pent_House GeorgeCastanza MaxwellHowe yeah, Joe Colborne has never complained, never demanded anything.  Everyone wants better centres but seem unwilling to let one actually develop here.  Kadri got shat upon, and now its Joe’s turn.

    • peterbleafs

      Pent_House Always thought hockey people slot and label players unfairly at times.  Colborne to me is a high end talent.  People take a few injury issues then label a guy.  Really shallow IMO.

      • B_Leaf

        peterbleafs Pent_House 
        Either way Colborne is a depth guy for us right now…he will get ice time when/if there is an injury…but the AHL is a great proving ground too.

        • Pent_House

          B_Leaf peterbleafs Pent_House Depth guy is my view too. He’ll get his chances like you said, over the course of the season, as there will inevitably be injuries.

        • B_Leaf

          Pent_House B_Leaf peterbleafs 
          And his size will be welcomed up the middle.

  • mcloki

    -Keon- 3 mil is nice an conservative. That means right off the bat Toronto would have 5 mil in cap space freed up with the tucker Armstrong buyouts.

    • mcloki

      -Keon- they only have to pay the difference. Kessel resigns or we get a bunch of 1st round picks coming back. I’m in the keeper crowd. He’s a gamer.

  • Pent_House

    I don`t agree on Gunnar either jeez. You think it`s all about him wanting to get to UFA? Maybe he wants to expedite the negotiations. He probably won’t even got to arbitration, he’ll settle out before that, which makes the 1 or 2 year arb award irrelevant. Poor article here.

    • dlb eh

      Pent_House 
      poor article or poor opinion from the author?
      unless the information was wrong, i learned something, and i can still draw my own conclusions.

    • Alec Brownscombe

      Pent_House What are you talking about, man? Jesus.
      Of course they’re negotiating to settle for a long term deal. The reason why he filed for arbitration is because, should they not agree on terms, he would be getting his awarded salary on a contract that would bridge him to UFA.
      Franson didn’t elect for arbitration because the Leafs would’ve chosen the one year deal and he would’ve still been an RFA and in this position again.
      You’ve managed to take an interesting bit of knowledge as it pertains to player-elected salary arbitration and become offended by it. Amazing.

      • Uncle Otis

        Alec Brownscombe
        Haha..I think somebody pissed on PH’s pierogis 😉

  • Uncle Otis

    I think Kadri needs PR to run some interference for him ala Ranger
    No questions for Naz after smoke break 😉

  • J_hardt

    I know he has some injury history, but If bergeron at 6’2 age 27 with –  60-70 points per season, 60% faceoff wins, a selke award winner in 2011-2012, selke nominee 2012-2013, gold medal winner with team canada in 2010, and first line center of a stanley cup winning team, gets 6.5 million x 8 years … I think that should set a good precedent for kessel, no?

    • MaxwellHowe

      J_hardt Agreed.  But it never works out that way.  Besides, scorers are sexy and get more oney and more chicks.  Just the way of the world.

    • Uncle Otis

      J_hardt 
      It’s a good argument, but I think we’re dreaming if we think Kessel signs at that figure.
      Need to add a million me thinks..or maybe more.
      Wonder who Phil has an agent?

      • J_hardt

        Uncle Otis J_hardt yeah I think you’re right in that 6.5 does seem just a tad to low. I think you just need to add the extra 500,000 to get a nice ring to the number. I think kessel’s agent could call it a win @ 7 mil for 8 years.

        • Irishfanman

          J_hardt Uncle Otis Wade Arnott is Phils agent…don’t know much about his style of negotiating.

        • Xxxxxnew

          J_hardt Uncle Otis They can cover Kessel’s raise wth the $2 million they wont have to pay out to Tucker and Armstrong next season.

        • J_hardt

          Irishfanman J_hardt Uncle Otis Apparently he’s also schenn’s, doughty’s, and parise’s agent. Fuck.

        • B_Leaf

          Xxxxxnew J_hardt Uncle Otis 
          Part of that is going to Liles buy out…speculation…but the cap is going up anyway…almost guaranteed.

        • Xxxxxnew

          B_Leaf Xxxxxnew J_hardt Uncle Otis Could happen, tho I’m still hoping there’ll be a team out there that would take him off our hands.

        • B_Leaf

          Xxxxxnew B_Leaf J_hardt Uncle Otis 
          But even then we likely retain salary…ideally he retires and signs in Russia…lol

        • Uncle Otis

          Irishfanman 
          Thanks…cant be any worse than Newport methinks

        • Xxxxxnew

          B_Leaf Xxxxxnew J_hardt Uncle Otis It will be interesting to see how much the cap goes up. New and improved CBC contract will have an impact for one thing.

        • Greg Fenton

          Xxxxxnew J_hardt Uncle Otis Kessel is going to get more then 7.4 million

        • Greg Fenton

          B_Leaf Xxxxxnew J_hardt Uncle Otis If the cap goes up, so will Kessel’s asking price.

        • Dink

          J_hardt Uncle Otis 60 million, 8 years

        • Greg Fenton

          Irishfanman J_hardt Uncle Otis If he was Kessels agent when he was in Boston, he helped his client force a trade to get the money he wanted……

      • J_hardt

        J_hardt I think dion resigns at the same number as well if kessel gets 7. Sort of a suter, parise type scenario, where we lock up our two big stars for the next decade.

        • Greg Fenton

          J_hardt Maybe, but not for 7 million each. Parise and Suter average out to 8.5 million each if you cut off the last 3 “cap reducing” years. 
          why would Kessel and Phaneuf (espically Kessel) sign for so much less then he could get as a UFA?

        • Greg Fenton

          J_hardt Also, from the Leafs perspective, are these really two guys worth committing too long term?

        • Bobsyouruncle

          Greg Fenton J_hardt Not sure how you did that but canceling the last 3 years leaves 10 years $94M. $9.4M per (minus part of $2M salary for this shortened season)

        • wiski

          Greg Fenton J_hardthttps://twitter.com/GlobeKPDhttps://twitter.com/GlobeKPD/status/355727131151581185
          Chiarelli notes Bergeron could have received significantly more in open market.

    • B_Leaf

      J_hardt 
      I definitely agree with this sentiment. It could be argued Bergeron is a better all around player. Kessel has really done better lately but still has a few warts. Honestly not dumping on him just being truthful. But 8 years at 6.5M in the new cap seems fair. The term definitely brings the hit down, and so it should. I would be happy moving forward with Kessel at that figure. IMO he is still getting better. Sign him now. If we win the cup this year the price will go up.

      • Greg Fenton

        B_Leaf J_hardt How would 6.5 million a year be fair for Kessel? Giroux just reuped for 8.275. Why would Kessel almost 2 million less then that when their production comparable? 
        If Kessel hits the UFA market, how much do you think some team(s) would be willing to throw at him?

        • J_hardt

          Greg Fenton B_Leaf J_hardt Fair point, but you could say the same for bergeron. If he hadn’t extended with the bruins he could have gotten a lot more as a UFA.

        • Greg Fenton

          J_hardt Greg Fenton B_Leaf GIroux probably would have gotten more as well. 
          If Kessel decides to test hte market he’d probably get over 9 million a season. He isn’t going to take 2.5-3 million less to stay with the Leafs. 
          Remember Kessel is a player who forced a trade because he wasn’t going paid what he wanted in Boston. From his past, I don’t think we can/should say he is a “home town discount’ type of player.

        • Cameron19

          Greg Fenton J_hardt B_Leaf Will you just stop with this nonsense reasoning and wait to see what happens? Giroux would not have got more on the open market.  Holmgren just gives players whatever they want because he moves them before he pays them anyways.

        • MaxwellHowe

          Greg Fenton J_hardt B_Leaf Kessel ain’t gettin’ 9 million on the open market.

        • Greg Fenton

          Cameron19 Greg Fenton J_hardt B_Leaf A 26 year old #1 center who had (obviously it would dpeend on how he does in 2013-2014) a 93 point season wouldn’t have gotten more then 8.25 (average) as a UFA? LMAO. 
          If he hit hte UFA market teams would have been tripping over themselves to offer him 8.5-9, maybe to get him. Every team without a #1 center would have been knocking his door. 
          If you really think Kessel is the kind of forward the Leafs can build a winning team around, why is it you don’t think he should be or will be paid as such?

        • Cameron19

          Greg Fenton Cameron19 J_hardt B_Leaf Because I think he enjoys being the center piece of the team and doesn’t want to watch it deconstructed in order to make slightly more than he could by going elsewhere.

        • Greg Fenton

          MaxwellHowe Greg Fenton J_hardt B_Leaf If has another point-per-game season (or close too) teams will be trying to out bid each other for him. 
          Clarkson got 5.25, and he apparently had higher offers from other teams. He is a 2nd or 3rd line forward who had 30 goals once and has never had 50 points in a year. You don’t think a younger, much more productive, much more proven Kessel would get 9 million dollar offers?

        • Greg Fenton

          Cameron19 Greg Fenton J_hardt B_Leaf Really, the shy guy who doesn’t like the media spot like likes being the center of a team? 
          Maybe Kessel does take a home town discount, but the only example we have Kessel dealing with this situation certainly wouldn’t indicate that he is that kinda guy. If he was, he’d still be a Bruin. And if he chooses to go to anothe rteam, whyw ould he care if the Leafs are deconstructed or not? He didn’t care what happened to Bruins when he left to make slightly more money.

        • Black_Hawk

          Greg Fenton B_Leaf J_hardt Giroux is also a center

        • Cameron19

          Greg Fenton MaxwellHowe J_hardt B_Leaf Not for the entire length of the contract, no.  9 million in peak years, sure, but we will do that as well.  Every team is going to want to bring that cap number down in order to, you know, continue team building.

          Ask yourself this: if a team can offer up 9+ million for full term, what does that say about the quality of the team you’re joining? Yea, like sure Florida could fit that in.  Sure Calgary could do that.  But basically, Kessel would be going somewhere to start over with any team that was just willing to hand out that kind of contract.  None of the contenders are going to give him that money.

        • wiski

          Greg Fenton Cameron19 J_hardt B_Leaf But he was in a hostile environment with Julien in Boston, here he is with friends and has the trust of Randy.

        • Greg Fenton

          Black_Hawk Greg Fenton B_Leaf J_hardt So? Production is production. 
          Its funny. The same people would tell me I’m wrong when I say Kessel isn’t the kind of player you can build around are the same people who don’t want to pay him like one. 
          He will not be a cheap player to resign, if he signs before going to free agency, expect 8 million at the min, probably more. If he and/or his agent want to get every cent they can (like they did in Boston), he could easily ask for/demand 9, maybe more, and find it on the open market.

        • Cameron19

          Greg Fenton Cameron19 J_hardt B_Leaf The Bruins were mistreating him, he was unhappy there, and they were trying to severely underpay him.  If he had accepted the contract they were trying to get him to ink, he would be the most criminally underpaid player in the NHL right now – bar none. No one is saying he’s going to take 6 million to play here, so I don’t know why you always get so worked up about this. 

          And yes, I do think he enjoys being the center of the team. What a lazy, stupid comment it is to point out the fact that he’s “shy” and doesn’t enjoy the media.  He chose to come here knowing it was here.  He lives in Toronto now.  He hosts most of the team functions.  Obviously he enjoys it here.  His agent didn’t even mind showing his cards a little bit and admitting Phil would love to retire a Leaf. So maybe lets just reel in the nonsense a little bit.

        • Black_Hawk

          Greg Fenton Black_Hawk B_Leaf J_hardt i can seriously see that not happening

        • Cameron19

          Greg Fenton Black_Hawk B_Leaf J_hardt 

          Oh Christ, give it a rest man.  Do you really think that paying him 7.5 million dollars means we don’t think he’s an elite player?  Like really, this is what you’re going to try and stand on in this argument…continually? Again, no one is suggesting we pay him like a 3rd liner while trumpeting him as the greatest ever – no matter how much you may want to make it seem that way. 

          Is it so unreasonable to suggest that an elite player who enjoys himself may take some guaranteed signing bonuses, and front-loaded money in order to help his team bring down the cap hit in his 8 year deal?

        • Greg Fenton

          Cameron19 Greg Fenton J_hardt B_Leaf So he forces he was out of Boston over 2 million or so right? Yet people on here expect him to sign for 6.5 or 7 when he could potentially get 2 million more then that on the UFA market?
          Either you think Kessel is a guy you can build a team around and accept that the Leafs will have to pay him as such, or you admit he isn’t that kind of player and hope he doesn’t demand franchise player money. 
          Oh, a player/agent said the player likes it in city. Well, certainly means a lot.

        • Cameron19

          Greg Fenton Cameron19 J_hardt B_Leaf Tell you what – you worry about it, and the rest of us will just carry on not caring what your opinion is.

        • Black_Hawk

          Greg Fenton Cameron19 J_hardt B_Leaf think it was more than 2M  for him to leave BOS. Just didnt like the environment there anymore. I mean Julian benched him in the playoffs even though he was PPG

        • Greg Fenton

          Cameron19 Greg Fenton Black_Hawk B_Leaf J_hardt If you think he a franchise player, on par with the bes tin the league, why don’t you think he will be/should be/deseves to be/wants to be paid like one? Giroux isn’t even among the top 5 centers in the NHL but you think Kessel should make less then him? 
          And the Giroux contract does drop at the end, and its still over 8 million a year.

        • mcloki

          Cameron19 Greg Fenton MaxwellHowe J_hardt B_Leaf Easier said. So Kessel is going ot go to a team that doesn’t protect him with the likes of Orr and MacLaren. Ya. He loves those days. Remember how he used to get pushed around. Didn’t happen so much last year did it.

        • Greg Fenton

          Black_Hawk Greg Fenton Cameron19 J_hardt B_Leaf He got Bunched for 3 games a year before he left Boston. Do you really think he forced a trade over that?

        • Black_Hawk

          Greg Fenton Black_Hawk Cameron19 J_hardt B_Leaf that and no positive feed back

        • MaxwellHowe

          Greg Fenton MaxwellHowe J_hardt B_Leaf if the Leafs thought he wanted that much, he would be traded.  Can’t put that kind of money into a player unless he is the foundation of the entire team.  Kessel is a great sniper, but he hasn’t cracked 40 goals and he isn’t knocking people over or getting Selke nominations.

        • Greg Fenton

          MaxwellHowe Greg Fenton J_hardt B_Leaf I don’t think he is a “foundation” player, but a lot of people on here do (as I said, oddly enough many of the people who want to sign him for 7 million) and his year end stats do support that opinion. 134 points and 57 goals in the last 130 games plus 6 points in 7 playoff games…..(when you a dive a little deeper you find the issues/problems with Kessel, but thats another issue)
          Thats what makes the Kessel situation interesting. There is a question if he is worth what the’ll be looking for/able to get.

        • Greg Fenton

          MaxwellHowe Greg Fenton J_hardt B_Leaf I would also wonder if he would even want 8 years (which is susposed to be an advantage for the “home team”). 
          I’m not sure how far a head players tend to look, or specifically how far a head Kessel will be looking, but in 9 years (this year then 8 years after signing the contract) he’ll be 34 years old and either at the end of or past his prime. The contract he’ll be able to command at 34 will probably significantly smaller then the contract he’d be able to demand at 31 or 32. 
          If he decides he’d rather sign a 5 year deal so he can be a UFA again at 32 years old instead of 34, it would take away the Leafs biggest advantage in the contract off they can make him.

        • dlb eh

          Greg Fenton MaxwellHowe J_hardt B_Leaf 
          a player with Kessel’s skills done at 34?  there are no good odds on that to want to take it.

      • Black_Hawk

        B_Leaf J_hardt would love that

    • Greg Fenton

      J_hardt You’re right in that Kessel should be paid in 6.5-7 million (7.5 at the most) range being that he is a 2nd tier player (like Bergeron), not a top tier guy like Crosby or Malkin or Stamkos. 
      However because of how hot Kessel’s hot periods are he’ll be in a position to/able to demand 8-8.5 million, and potentially more if he goes too/threatens to go to free agency.

      • mcloki

        Greg Fenton J_hardt Greg try and factor in a chance to win in these calculations. It’s not always about getting that last dollar on the table.

        • wiski

          mcloki Greg Fenton J_hardt Like Toews and Kane, they took less so they could stay together.

        • Greg Fenton

          mcloki Greg Fenton J_hardt Who says the Leafs give him the best chance to win? In 4 years he has been in the playoffs once. If a chance to win factors in, he’d be better off going back to Boston.

        • mcloki

          wiski mcloki Greg Fenton J_hardt and I’m sure everyone saw that sort of helped Chicago win. Even then they had to rip apart the team to some extent. If Nonis can control contracts a better core team can be had.

        • Greg Fenton

          wiski mcloki Greg Fenton J_hardt And their contracts are up next year, you thin they are going to sign for 7.25 each?

        • mcloki

          Greg Fenton mcloki J_hardt Well I think they will have a great chance to win. The team improved in both talent and expereince over tehis off season and playoff. They are growing together and learning to win. They got a great goalie tandem so that should help win 4-8 more games this season. Hell if they improve in the shootout they could add 20 points to their season total. SO ya I think the Leafs give KEssel a great chance to play deep into the playoffs.

        • Greg Fenton

          mcloki wiski Greg Fenton J_hardt Sure, if he can only pay players a max of 6.5 it would be great. But thats not realistic. 
          While I don’t think Kessel is among the best players int he league, his year end production is among the best players in the league. He’ll want to be paid accordingly. And I can’t blame him. The Penguins are able to ice a team paying Crosby and Malkin 8.7 and 9.5. Why can’t the Leafs figure out how to pay Phaneuf and Kessel?

        • wiski

          Greg Fenton wiski mcloki J_hardt If neither are traded they might, what did Sid and Geno end up at?

        • mcloki

          Greg Fenton mcloki wiski J_hardt
          While I don’t think Kessel is among the best players int he league, his year end production is among the best players in the league.
          Don’t let the basic numbers prove a point. i may not believe Corsi but these number are pretty self evident. 
          And why not Pittsburg. Because players see that the Pitt model is hurting them big time. Wait till the resentment starts in.

        • Greg Fenton

          wiski Greg Fenton mcloki J_hardt Not sure what you mean. Crosby’s cap hit is 8.7, Malkin’s is 9.5 which kicks in in 2014-2015. When they won the cup, both were at 8.7
          I get fans WANTING Kessel and Phaneuf (and every player really) to sign for as little as possible. But you also have to be realistic. If you are going to rank Kessel among the best int he world based on his production, you also have to expect him to be paid as such.

        • wiski

          Greg Fenton wiski mcloki J_hardt I doubt you could trade Kessel and Ph9 for Gino and Sid so I don’t expect to be paying them the same. 😉

        • Greg Fenton

          wiski Greg Fenton mcloki J_hardt I don’t think they’ll get 8.7 and 9.5. I think Kessel will get between 8-8.5 if he just resigns, 9 if he threatens too or goes to free agency. I think Phaneuf will get in the 7-7.5 range. I think Giroux is a great comparable for Kessel, and when the goes up so will that salary (At least a bit). 
          Its just this talk of kessel signing for 7 which is silly.

        • wiski

          Greg Fenton wiski mcloki J_hardt Well Bergeron just took a discount and Kolvi left 77 million on the table, who knows what players want.

        • Greg Fenton

          wiski Greg Fenton mcloki J_hardt Ultimately at the end of hte day, we’ll see. Maybe he shocks everyone and signs and for 6 million a year. 
          I just don’t see anything in Kessel’s past that would indicate he is that kind of player/person and the “market value on him” would be much higher

    • VictorHoyles

      Kessel hasn’t had history of injuries but didn’t he have testicular cancer?  I know that’s a tough one to bring up in negotiations but would be a reality nonetheless.  What if it comes back?

      • MaxwellHowe

        VictorHoyles I don’t think that would be raised.  If he had cancer he would be placed on LTIR until it was dealt with.  Or, heaven forbid, he would have to retire.  But its not like he would be playing with cancer.  I mean, he’s not Mario.

      • Cameron19

        VictorHoyles Non-factor.

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/L_A_theRiverhttps://twitter.com/L_A_theRiver/status/355708635487272961
    How bad it was. “https://twitter.com/darrenrovell: People who tweeted about Sharknado during movie: 111,604. People who tweeted about Jeter yesterday: 64,480”

    • Area49th

      wiski Jeter, trending towards retirement

    • Uncle Otis

      wiski
      Wait ’til you see the sequel… “Scab-icane”
      Scientists clone the ultimate man-child from the genes of Pk Subban and Max Pacioretty.
      The horrifying offspring,numbering thousands,were practicing diving in the St Lawrence river,whereby a chemical reaction forms a bloated cloud of the most noxious air man has known.
      On a direct path to Canada’s most populous city…can this deadly shit storm be stopped?
      Starring Justin Bieber and Drake as the mutants
      Gary Bettman as the Mad Scientist
      Kerry Fraser as the first victim
      and Elisha Cuthbert as the Beaver.

      • Dink

        Uncle Otis wiski I remember a Crablizzard in the 80’s (scratch, scratch)

        • Mind Bomb

          @Dink Uncle Otis wiski  Heroin was Hot, Penny Cylin !

        • Uncle Otis

          @Dink 
          Never sleep with Scab bunnies 😉

        • Dink

          Uncle Otis ’tis a cruel world, but fair

        • wiski

          Uncle Otis made me think of this 

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cr89xbl26g

        • Bobsyouruncle

          @Dink Uncle Otis Doug’s world.   lol

        • Uncle Otis

          wiski 
          hahaha..I remember that.
          Bear>Scabies

      • Dink

        Uncle Otis wiski with a cameo by Clint Howard, Ron’s Brother

        • Uncle Otis

          @Dink 
          …of Gentle Ben fame..I remember it well.
          Growing up sucks eh? lol

  • Area49th

    We could always do a Bruins/Penguins scenario. Everyone gets 8 year contracts

  • Zep2

    Kessel gets 7.5 for 8 years  in TO or 8 for 7 years somewhere else. He is the straw that stirs the drink

    • Black_Hawk

      Zep2 i want it done

  • Cameron19

    -Keon- Of course, the increase might be more like 5 or 6 million….

    • Cameron19

      -Keon- Well, I’ve heard between 67 and 70 million is the guess, so 70 would be a 5-6 million increase.

    • Cameron19

      -Keon- Yea, I think 67 or 68 is probably a more realistic projection, but I was just saying, some have predicted it could be as high as 70 again.  And Mirtle is ultra-conservative on these sorts of things. A lot of the projections can’t even accurately predict the revenues that might be generated by a better division set-up. I think in the coming years you’re going to get Dallas and Colorado back to being something resembling a thriving hockey market.  You’re going to get the snowbirds funding the Florida teams in a more substantial way, etc…

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/355729125178228737
    Broll noticed Poulin & Hughes were watching before trying the spin-o-rama: ‘Feeling confident, last day, may as well try something new’  I thought they were banning these