With the bulk of the storm over, where do the Leafs stand?

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Some will argue the Leafs have gotten better over the last few weeks, others will say they’ve gotten worse; the only thing we know for sure is that they’re noticeably different.

Out go Mikhail Grabovski, Clarke MacArthur, Leo Komarov, Matt Frattin, Ryan O’Byrne, Mike Kostka, and Ben Scrivens. In come Dave Bolland, David Clarkson, TJ Brennan and Jonathon Bernier (along with a few new Marlies – Colborne? D’Amigo? Blacker? Ashton?) .

So what do we make of all this? The best way to look at it is to break it down piece by piece.

Forwards: Bozak over Grabovski, Clarkson over MacArthur

The most controversial move of course was buying out Mikhail Grabovski and the remaining four years of his contract that counted for 5.5M against the cap each season. Since Bozak resigned, the Leafs effectively replaced Grabovski with Bolland and deemed Bozak to be a better fit in their top six forward group than Grabovski.

While Bolland probably isn’t a better overall center than Grabovski, it’s pretty reasonable to say that Bolland is a better shutdown center than Grabovski. With the Hawks, Bolland played that role regularly and was particularly effective in the shutdown role when they won the Cup in 2010. It’s a role that the affectionately nicknamed “rat” enjoys and has excelled at, whereas Grabovski put up with the role but made it pretty [expletive] clear he didn’t like that assignment once he was bought out. It might not be a massive upgrade, and Bolland has been hampered by injuries in recent years and will need to regain his old form to make this justifiable, but it should be an upgrade.

The second part to buying out Grabovski was that they deemed him to be a worse fit in their top six than Bozak. Now, Bozak is two years younger and 6’1 to Grabovski’s 5’11, but Grabovski has 125 points in the last three years to Bozak’s 107. Of course, Bozak also played with the Leafs only elite player throughout that time in Phil Kessel, while Grabovski played with good players too in MacArthur and Kulemin but neither are nearly as good as Kessel offensively.

Unfortunately Grabovski never had a real opportunity to center Kessel over an extended period of time so we don’t have a good gauge of how they would have played together. Frankly though, it’s curious that neither Wilson nor Carlyle ever seriously tried them out together.

Bozak’s point totals aren’t very impressive when you consider that Kessel has 198 in the same last three seasons, but the Leafs must think that Kessel is going to produce regardless and he is still playing with a high-end talent and legitimate 30-goal threat in JVR. To Bozak’s credit, he has been trending upward in points the last few years going from 32 points to 47 and he was on pace for a prorated 50 points in 2013, but that might be the upper limit of his ceiling.

Of interest is the fact that Bozak has only played 238 games, which is roughly three full regular season’s worth of hockey. I bring this up because the fourth season is usually a player’s big breakout season; according to this 2012 article, “In the fourth year, 24 percent of players see an increase in the offensive numbers by 25 percent.” (More on that here should you be interested).

I don’t think I would consider Bozak’s next season truly he’s fourth since he’s seen enough time in the last four seasons, but that doesn’t mean the Leafs brass doesn’t. He also has a good shot which he doesn’t use nearly enough, two basic factors in his consistently high shooting percentage and why he’s good in the shootout with his hesitate and shoot move. That’s worth noting. More than anything, he’s 27 so the Leafs must think there’s still room for him to improve.

At any rate, Bolland is in, Grabovski is out, and Bozak stays.

The next thing the Leafs have done is bet on Clarkson as an improvement over MacArthur. Clarkson has 45 goals in the last two years compared to MacArthur’s 28, but MacArthur has a career high 62 point season while Clarkson has maxed out at 46 points thus far in his career. MacArthur’s also a year younger and signed a relatively modest 2-year, $6.5M deal in comparison to Clarkson’s 7 year, $35.75M deal.

There’s really no doubt that Clarkson’s deal is outrageous, but I also don’t doubt that he’s a better player than MacArthur right now. Clarkson is excellent at cycling the puck and winning battles – two things the Leafs seriously lacked last year — he’s a good goal scorer who charges the net well, and he adds a noted physical element to the top six group. (I don’t know why some people think he kills penalties though, he’s played less than five minutes total shorthanded over the last three years combined).

This leaves the Leafs with a top six of JVR-Bozak-Kessel and Lupul-Kadri-Clarkson, which are two legitimate scoring lines. The opposition will have to pick which line to focus on and the other one should be able to thrive in the easier match-up.

However, the Leafs are also going to run Bozak and Kadri as their top two centers, which really pales in comparison to the three top teams in their division who run Datsyuk-Weiss, Bergeron-Krejci and Spezza-Turris. If Bolland doesn’t do a phenomenal job of shutting down each top line, the Leafs will be in trouble.

We also have to remember that the Leafs made the playoffs last season with the equivalent of a 75-point center in Kadri (that’s what his numbers would have prorated to), and I don’t think he’s doing that again, at least not this season. Yes, Lupul playing the full season should even that out a little, but Lupul has to prove he can stay healthy.

The Leafs do have an excellent group of top four wingers – maybe the best overall group of top four wingers in their division — and that will help mitigate the difference in calibre of centers, but good teams are built down the middle and the off-season moves still don’t put the Leafs in the upper echelon of the league there.

New depth options

Finally, the Leafs have to replace Matt Frattin and Leo Komarov on forward and since they haven’t brought in anyone and are tight against the cap with RFAs left to resign, I’ll just assume they will be replaced by Marlies.

Komarov had a penalty killing and physical energy role for the Leafs which Jerry D’Amigo should be able to fill at least adequately. D’Amigo has played in a shutdown role for the Marlies for a few years now and has been one of their main penalty killers on a unit that’s been among the best annually, so he deserves an opportunity with the big club. Based on everything we know he should be able to slide in almost seamlessly, although the Leafs do lose some physicality here. While Komarov was a really effective player, nobody was about to confuse him with a 40-point forward in the making; yes, the Leafs lose out on him, but they haven’t really hurt their scoring depth and D’Amigo should be able to penalty kill just as well and even chip in on offense here and there.

Replacing Frattin is a little trickier, though. Frattin has 15 goals and 28 points in 82 games so far in his career, and even though he’s already 25 he has a great shot, is fast, and is built like a truck. Losing him isn’t the be all and end all, but he was a guy you could feel reasonably comfortable putting in the top six once injuries hit, he didn’t hurt the Leafs defensively, plus he was physical at times.

The logical replacement in the Leafs system is Joe Colborne. Depending on what the Leafs do, he could play wing with Bolland and Kulemin or he could center the fourth line while McClement plays wing on the shutdown line. For those of you who don’t know, Colborne did start off in college on the wing so the position isn’t exactly foreign to him, although he has primarily been a center with the Marlies. Colborne came on strong with the Marlies once the lockout lifted and didn’t look out of place with the Leafs even though he didn’t record a point. At some point they have to throw him in the fire and see if he can handle the heat, and this opening provides that opportunity. Maybe Colborne won’t be as good as Frattin this year or ever, but he has all the tools and is 6’5. He needs to get that opportunity to work his way up the line-up eventually, and at 23 years old this should be his time.

Defense and Goaltending

On defense the Leafs haven’t really changed, but there is room for improvement internally. Carl Gunnarsson played hurt all year with a hip injury and could be at least marginally better if he’s fully healthy (there are a few goals I can think of that might have occurred due to playing hurt). Jake Gardiner played only 12 regular season games for the Leafs last season, but if he plays anywhere near the level he was at in the playoffs he’s a legitimate top four defenseman. Cody Franson should also be bumped up to the top four and that helps as well; replacing Kostka in the top four with Franson should be a big upgrade.

The final pairing is completely up in the air right now because we don’t know even know who will be in the mix for that spot other than T.J Brennan (Liles is still a trade candidate in my eyes). Last year the Leafs ran Fraser-Franson there before eventually promoting them, and they were effective in the third pairing role. Frankly, if the Leafs create a pairing just as good as or better than they were last season I’ll be surprised, but having Gardiner and Franson in the top four full-time should make a helpful difference.

The truth is the Leafs will have a lot of young players vying for those final spots on the Leafs defense in Rielly, Granberg, Blacker and even Percy, then you factor in that all of Liles, Fraser, Brennan and Holzer could be in the mix and it might just make more sense to let them battle it out and see who emerges.

Nonis did say during his press conference that, “This is going to be an ongoing process over the next 12 to 24 months to try to put together a team that hopefully has the chance to try to do something special.” This would seem like a logical time to tryout some of these defensemen; there will be rough patches, but the Leafs will come out ahead long-term this way and it seems to be the likely course of action at this point.

In net, Bernier represents an upgrade over Scrivens as the back-up, but the bigger question is – will the Leafs get the same calibre of goaltending next season as last? Reimer was a legitimate top 10 goalie last year and it doesn’t really matter if he does it again or Bernier steps up to do it, but the Leafs will need that kind of goaltending once again to be successful.

At the end of the day, the main players responsible for the Leafs making the playoffs last season are all returning. They’ve lost some depth and will need some young Marlies to step up, but they have upgraded their shutdown center and Clarkson should form as good of a second line as any alongside Kadri and Lupul even though he is overpaid over too long of a term.

They’ve essentially found players that better fit their system and jettisoned some good hockey players to do it, which I think will be an interesting case study into whether a GM should acquire the best players overall or the players that best fit the system. The Leafs obviously must view themselves as a better team than they were before, but I understand both sides of these arguments and think there’s a rather large grey area.

The Leafs are in a really top heavy division next season as Detroit, Boston, and Ottawa all look excellent on paper. I think that leaves the Leafs battling it out with the Habs for that final spot as of right now, but there’s still time for things to change.

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Anthony Petrielli has been at MLHS since 2011. He is known for his weekly "Leafs Notebook" feature, and also writes specific analysis pieces. You can contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @APetrielli.
  • Loric76

    Thanks Anthony, another great article

  • MaxwellHowe

    That was an excellent read for a dreary Monday monring. 
    IMO, shoulda kept Grabo, let Bozak walk and bought out Liles.  Leafs would have an extra $2.5 million below the cap right now.  I’m not sure Liles is tradable – you would think it would have been done by now.
    On Gunnarson, I wonder if the Leafs are concerned that his hip problem will be a permanent issue.  Not going to sign a guy to a $2-3 million dollar contract if it is.  Right?

    • Burtonboy

      MaxwellHowe Well we should be concerned about JVR who has had the same issues with his hip I guess 
      http://www.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2012-06-14/james-van-riemsdyk-philadelphia-flyers-no-torn-labrum-surgery

      • Komas Taberle

        Burtonboy MaxwellHowe Almost 60%of all professional hockey players have hip concerns at one point in their career it is a very common injury. As long as the injury is not degenerative there are no worries.

        • Burtonboy

          Komas Taberle Burtonboy MaxwellHowe It even has a name “hockey hip”

        • Loric76

          Komas Taberle Burtonboy MaxwellHowe do the symptoms include excessive partying and douchebaggery?

        • ProfessorRance

          Loric76 Komas Taberle Burtonboy MaxwellHowe Lol Seguins.

  • Komas Taberle

    Good morning all, great article Anthony.
    I believe the Leafs have significantly improved, Bernier will be a top 5 goalie in 2 years, he is that good. Bozak is a good player, not a #1 centre but he works on the #1 line and that line was a great goalscoring line. The real change is what Clarkson brings, with him and Lupul and Kadri forming a potent 2nd line it allows the Leafs to drop Kulemin to a 3rd line where he will form an absolutely killer line with Bolland and McClement. This has all the right peole in all the right places and I would put our top 3 lines against anyone. Now we have to work on the defence and we will be a playoff team again this year.

    • Burtonboy

      Komas Taberle Morning folks . Anthony makes a good point about our defense . We have a group of defensive prospects who are dammed close to making the jump to the NHL. From the sounds of what Nonis is saying they have a 1- 2 yr window before they expect the team to be really competitive . Might be the best time to rotate some of these kids into the line upand let them grow at the NHL evel.  I’m thinking Blacker and maybe Granberg with Rielly knocking on the door not long after . I’m actually very excited about our defense and what it could become in a year or two

      • Komas Taberle

        Burtonboy Komas Taberle We will see soon BB, if Granberg can play on the small ice like he did at the worlds he will be an automatic in the line up, the guy was one of the reasons Sweden won that tourney.

        • Burtonboy

          Komas Taberle Burtonboy My feeling is Granberg and Blacker could make the jump thsi year with Reilly and Percy not all that far behind. Even if he does make the team its going to be hard getting Reilly into the line up.His cap hit is 1.7 mil

        • Komas Taberle

          Burtonboy Komas Taberle Yeah, Liles has to be moved, this year for Rielly to even get a sniff at the line up, I think next year is when he breaks through, not because of lack of talent but the year missed by the knee injury, he will be that much better next year.

        • Burtonboy

          Komas Taberle Burtonboy I still keep hearing management were extremely pleased and surprised at how quickly he adapted to the AHL. He’s at the prospect camp so we will see how he does with that .

        • Dink

          Burtonboy Komas Taberle lot of rookies…I think Carlyle will shun that

        • Burtonboy

          @Dink Burtonboy Komas Taberle Never said he would make it and its probably not very likely . BTW Carlyle has no issue putting rooks in the lineup as long as they earn it .

        • Dink

          Burtonboy Komas Taberle that’s good
          Granberg gets a lot of nods here but does anyone really know if he is any good?

        • Burtonboy

          @Dink Burtonboy Komas Taberle Boy if the WC were any indication he’s going to be very good

        • Dink

          Burtonboy Komas Taberle I don’t get those on TV here so I never saw him, but that is great to know

      • Loric76

        Burtonboy Komas Taberle Wonder what our D will look like two years from now?
        Phaneuf – Gardiner
        Reilly – Franson
        Percy – Granberg
        Blacker

        • Loric76

          Burtonboy Komas Taberle one old fart and a bunch of rookies lol.  RC would shit.

        • Burtonboy

          Loric76 Burtonboy Komas Taberle Could very easily be . Fuck we have Nellson ,Finn ,MacWilliam and Loov as well . Lots of trade chips me thinks lol

        • HHT

          Burtonboy Loric76 Komas Taberle The Loov machine lol great name

    • KenBreadner

      Komas Taberle I really, really want to believe Bernier is that good. But I have been burned so many times by the promise of goaltending saviours and I don’t want to be Bernier’d again. We’ve been through this and through this, but if I’m James Reimer I’m demanding a trade to anywhere that people actually pay attention. Because Nonis acted very much as if the goaltending sucked last year…  
      I look at Clarkson and aside from money that’s going to rub some of his team-mates the wrong way and term which rubs EVERYBODY the wrong way, I like the pick-up. I haven’t paid overmuch attention to Clarkson in the past; reviewing videos I see an exciting player there who should click with Kadri. If, of course, he doesn’t get hurt. His stye of play does seem to produce injuries.  
      On D–yeah, to me and many here it was obvious this was our top area of concern and T.J. Brennan ain’t gonna cut it. We need a minute muncher. And being as we’re going to be scraping the cap right quick, he’s going to have to come cheap.

      • Komas Taberle

        KenBreadner Komas Taberle Holser and Smith will go to Marlies for sure that wives us 12. 75M in cap space to sign our UFAs
        950k one way to Fraser, 3.5M to Franson. 3M to kadri and Gunnarson and 1M to Colborne… done! and we still have 1.25M left over.

      • MaxwellHowe

        KenBreadner Komas Taberle You seem to grant the players quite the entitlements.  Reimer can demand to be traded because another goalie was obtained?  Clarkson’s money may rub the other players the wrong way?  The TML are not babysitting children here.  Those players are paid plenty and are expected to deliver – end of story.

        • Komas Taberle

          MaxwellHowe KenBreadner Komas Taberle Team mates don’t care how much another team mate makes, the more money he gets the more money you get, Bernier is a better goalie and always will be, you will see when he suits up, he is world class, and like I said we will have 1.25M and Liles 3.8 = 5.2M give or take 1 0r 2 hundred thousand to get a nice D,am if and when we trade Liles, Nonis and Loiselle know what they are doing.
          Ciao guys off to Montreal!

        • KenBreadner

          Komas Taberle MaxwellHowe KenBreadner Players do care what other players get, why else do you think Bozak demanded so much $? Bernier makes more than Reimer, ergo Bernier’s the starter. He has less NHL experience than Reimer does and stats that are at least comparable, and you are far from the only person suggesting he’s worlds better. I’m skeptical.

        • KenBreadner

          MaxwellHowe KenBreadner Komas Taberle What does Reimer have to do to be a #1 goalie? Score goals? He was quite miffed and surprised when Bernier was acquired and he has every right to be. Forget about the money. Suppose you excel at whatever it is you do and in response, your manager says “we’ve brought in somebody with less experience than you, and we’re paying him more.” The assumption you would make is that (a) this person is taking your job and (b) the job you did was totally unappreciated.  Isn’t it? Wouldn’t you want to work some place where people actually noticed the good job you do?

        • Komas Taberle

          KenBreadner MaxwellHowe Komas Taberle Sports is competetive if you can’t compete you will lose, I dont’ care about Reimers feelings all i care about is having the best goalie possible in net for the Leafs.

  • Optimustic

    Thanks Anthony,  I always enjoy your articles.   I agree with MaxwellHowe  ,  but I don’t think we’re a lot better or worse than last year.    I was hoping to upgrade our 1C and top 2 or 4D to make the difference from being a playoff team to being a cup contending team.  Guess I’ll have to wait till next year eh?

  • Burtonboy

    Good article Anthony . Cap management played a huge part in the decision to go with Bozak over Grabo imo.

    • MaxwellHowe

      Burtonboy How does cap managament have anything to do with it though?  The Leafs didn’t need to waste a compliance buyout on Bozak – Nonis could just have chosen not to sign him.  Then buy out Liles.  Take out Liles and Bozak and the Leafs save 8 million.  Grabo is a saving of 5.5 million.

      • Burtonboy

        MaxwellHowe Burtonboy Thing is they wanted Bozak not Grabo. They got Bozie for 4.2 whereas Grabo was 5.5 . That a 1.3 mil saving at that position . The need every freakin dollar they can find to get the rest of the roster filled out and the RFA’s signed

  • phaneufoundlander

    I most definitely think we are better. Bernier in place of Scrivens? no brainer there…Clarkson over MacAthur? In a heartbeat….Bolland for Grabo, not so much , but Bolland plays a different style and will shut the down oppositions top lines, so its a win as well. Bolland and Clarkson will inject a level of intensity and grit that we haven’t had since Roberts and Tucker….and I still think Nonis has another trade up his sleeve for the center position. Leafs are better….

    • Komas Taberle

      phaneufoundlander Also the fact that supposedly Grabo told Carlyle not to play him in certain situations, lends itself to thinking he wasn’t right for this team.

      • rustynail

        Komas Taberle phaneufoundlander supposedly being the operative word

    • Dink

      phaneufoundlander Definitely better, just need that one defenceman…but it will take some horse trading

  • Mind Bomb

    Good morning Folks, mondays ROCK!

    • phaneufoundlander

      Mind Bomb Damn right, any day you wake up is a good day bro…cuz if not you’d be dead ! :)

      • Mind Bomb

        phaneufoundlander Mind Bomb  100 percent, its just I prefer waking up in the afternoon :)

  • Dink

    Isn’t this the same topic, only different?

    • Burtonboy

      @Dink Have a better idea lol

      • Dink

        Burtonboy Maybe rating the teams in the northeast now or eastern conference …but I digress

        • Mind Bomb

          @Dink Burtonboy  Thats not a bad idea DK, it seams the our division went on an Arms Race. With all our main competition making moves
          Detroit, boston, Ottawa, Mtl. 
          Where do we stand ? 
          1st place bro, I will leave it to the writers to explain how :)

        • Burtonboy

          Mind Bomb Burtonboy Good Idea but there’s along way to go before the lineups are settled. Would make for some good reading and discussion around training camp time though

        • Dink

          Burtonboy Mind Bomb Well let’s “steer” away from it until then (Seguin Segue) 
          lol

        • Burtonboy

          @Dink Burtonboy Mind Bomb Haha good one

        • Mind Bomb

          @Dink Burtonboy Mind Bomb Hahha

        • Mind Bomb

          Burtonboy Mind Bomb Aye, cant wait bro, I am really excited for this year, Just get our RFA’s signed and drop the dam puck lol

  • borjesundin

    Anthony – great article. Totally balanced approach. A lot better than Alec’s buzz kill article criticizing the Leaf moves.

    • Loric76

      borjesundin be nice to Alec, he’s had a rough few days lol

    • Bobsyouruncle

      borjesundin After reading comments complaining about Alec’s article I went back and read it. (having gone straight to the comments first). I was surprised to find that it wasn’t the hatchet job or “buzz kill” that some seemed to see. I’m not going live a fantasy view over the summer as to how this team will do. We’ll see what happens in the fall. I don’t have a problem with the players brought in but mostly with Carlyle’s penchant for rendering useful players useless and weakening our depth with no return.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/aaronward_nhl
    Expect the New York Rangers to announce Ryan McDonagh’s 6 year extension today. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23TSN&src=hashhttps://twitter.com/search?q=%23TSN&src=hash

  • phaneufoundlander

    Yaknowwhat Bang on my man!

  • Savo43

    Is Stalberg still out there?

    • Burtonboy

      Savo43 Believe he signed with Nashville

      • Area49th

        Burtonboy Savo43 Yes, he’s exiled to nashville

  • Area49th

    Yaknowwhat Still some tinkering to be done, but a young team and needs to learn from past mistakes. Deprogramming from Wilson is nearly complete

    • Greg Fenton

      Area49th Yaknowwhat The Leafs aren’t young enough to be in “still learning from past mistakes” stage. Crosby, Letang, Malkin, Fleury, Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, Kopitar, Doughty, Brown, Quick, Carter, Richards etc…. all players in the same age range as Kessel, Phaneuf, Lupul,van Riemsdyk, Franson, Reimer, Bozak, Kulemin, Gunnerson etc… (Really, only Kadri and Gardiner are younger, even then only by a year or so) and they’ve all won cups. 
      The group here isn’t in a young and developing and learning stage. If they don’t win, its only because they aren’t good enough.

      • Komas Taberle

        Greg Fenton Area49th Yaknowwhat Youngest team in the league!

      • Greg Fenton

        Komas Taberle Greg Fenton Area49th Yaknowwhat You have to understand how average is calculated. Its a lack of older players that keeps that average low with the Leafs.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/FAN590
    Coming up at 8:40 the newest https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leaf&src=hash and https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Toronto&src=hash boy David Clarkson will join https://twitter.com/search?q=%23BradyandLang&src=hash !!!

  • TOHockeyNut

    IMO Upgrades on the forwards have been made in certain areas, but depth has been sacrificed for it.  McCarthur, Frattin ans Komarov out and only Clarkson in. 
    We will need Colborne or others being promoted to really step up and prove that they can really contribute at the NHL level or if we get a couple long term injuries in our top 6 I don’t see us being in the race.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Anyone else’s home page all scrambled up? The formatting is all screwed up on mine. Cleared the cache, but still the same.

    • Mind Bomb

      ingy56  Mine is Ingy, I just thought it was Alec getting back at everyone for dis’in his blog :)

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        Mind Bomb ingy56 Ok, cool…thought maybe I had an issue here but every other page I’ve loaded up this morning is fine.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Well….at least Don Cherry is estatic.

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/farwell590https://twitter.com/farwell590/status/354222113441320965
    Don Cherry tells https://twitter.com/search?q=%23SN590&src=hash Leafs are “lucky to have” David Clarkson, threatens to kiss him on upcoming episode of Coach’s Corner. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23BradyandLang&src=hash

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/farwell590https://twitter.com/farwell590/status/354222445437259778
    Clarkson talks about being “Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em” fan in his youth, refers to Cherry as “Mr. Cherry.” Think we’ll call Clarkson “Mr. Manners.”

  • Faalcon

    Good article Anthony. Let’s hope for the best. I my opinion, Carlyle has put his faith in  Bozak and we will find out when the season is about 20 games old whether this faith is justified or misplaced. That will largely define the season. Of course, Bernier is  a definite upgrade and should help us. I hope Clarkson bring it and we will find out.

    • Bobsyouruncle

      Faalcon Yeah, hopefully all this “chemistry” between Bozak and Kessel doesn’t translate into another 40+ point season for Bozak.

  • mcloki

    Morning Gents. Good article Anthony. Balanced and realistic. I think the Leafs have improved themselves at 2 positions. Goal and wing. my concern is center. Bozak is great but we know he can’t carry the load as 1C.  I’m a bit worried on D. I know over the next few weeks our collective panties will be in a knot over our RFA signings. Franson needs to get resigned and so does Fraser. Our D is going to be better next year simply because they have had a year of Carlyle telling them how to play. Overall i think the Leafs will be solid but they are in a tough division. Detroit is the wild card. How do they transition to playing Eastern teams. 
    Anyways enjoy summer people. It won’t start to get interesting till Labour Day.

    • Mind Bomb

      mcloki Morning MC, a little time to de-stress before a new season :)

    • rustynail

      mcloki unless there is a trade before then. :)

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    https://twitter.com/NYP_Brooksiehttps://twitter.com/NYP_Brooksie/status/354226932189110272
    McDonagh’s deal worth $4.7M per for 6 years. Fair number, very fair for Rangers…

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    https://twitter.com/NYP_Brooksiehttps://twitter.com/NYP_Brooksie/status/354228627472252929
    Rangers able to buy out two years of McDonagh’s prospective unrestricted free agency under deal.

    • Cameron19

      ingy56 About 7-7.5 million or so left to sign Stepan and Hagelin.

  • T_Ry

    Morning guys; solid article, Anthony.
    Beg your pardon if it’s already been brought up, but I’ve noticed several people over the past few days deciding that Carlyle is stupid, because Grabo says so.  I like Grabo’s heart and hustle, but I also recall that when the Habs made him a healthy scratch, he bailed on the team mid-game and flew down to LA to meet with his agent; he was traded shortly thereafter.  His complaints about RC suggest to me that his attitude hasn’t changed much in terms of “I don’t like the coach’s decision, so he’s a big stupidhead”…so is it possible that not having him in the dressing room is a positive thing?

    • Greg Fenton

      T_Ry He also got into several fights with team mates. 
      I’ve never really been a fan, good use of a buy-out.

      • Bobsyouruncle

        Greg Fenton T_Ry Absolute waste of a free buyout. No other way to look at it.

        • mcloki

          Bobsyouruncle Greg Fenton T_Ry if they could of traded him they would have, don’t you think.

        • Greg Fenton

          Bobsyouruncle Greg Fenton T_Ry Sure there is. Ignoring an potential benefits of removing him from the locker room, they got rid of an overpaid player who the coach didn’t want on his team. That’s a good use of a buy-out.

        • Bobsyouruncle

          mcloki Bobsyouruncle Greg Fenton T_Ry What I think is Carlyle needlessly destroyed all value Grabovski had during this past season.

        • Bobsyouruncle

          Greg Fenton Bobsyouruncle T_Ry Like I said complete waste no other way to look at it. Dress it up however you want.

        • Greg Fenton

          Bobsyouruncle Greg Fenton T_Ry Good moves aren’t wastes. Paying him 5.5 million was the waste.

        • T_Ry

          mcloki Bobsyouruncle Greg Fenton T_Ry I think Nonis even said that his salary made him untradeable – maybe not in so few words.

        • T_Ry

          Bobsyouruncle Greg Fenton T_Ry The real issue was signing him to that contract in the first place…I liked Grabo, but not at $5.5M.  With the cap going down, that was a lot of money that was badly needed to improve the team.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          T_Ry Bobsyouruncle Greg Fenton I remember a lot of posters on here that thought when Grabo’s deal was signed he was going to be a bargain in a few seasons. Context is important, when the deal was signed the cap was high and before the lockout. Grabo’s production was at it’s zenith too. Times change, conditions change and coaches and managers change. I really don’t see the problem with the move.

        • Cameron19

          T_Ry Bobsyouruncle Greg Fenton We were in a really precarious situation at that point, that most fans will be quick to forget.  Burke had a choice at that moment – he could show that he was committed to the plan and bring Grabovski back into the fold, perhaps by overpaying – or he could deal him (at the time, the teams’ second best forward) for a pick, and basically tell Kessel and Phaneuf we’re undergoing ‘another retool’. He was trying to sell his team on the notion that the collapse that season was just a blip, and trading key pieces of the roster would have likely caused his star players to start thinking beyond the Maple Leafs. 

          And of course, the cap was expected to rise to 75 million by this coming season – with another 11+ million in cap space, is anyone concerned that Grabo’s overpaid by a million?

        • T_Ry

          Cameron19 T_Ry Bobsyouruncle Greg Fenton That’s true enough; like Ingy said, it’s all context.  But I disagree that dumping Grabovski at the time (don’t forget Burke said he could get a 1st-rounder for him) would’ve signaled another retool…trading your 2nd-line centre shouldn’t mean the death of your plan.

        • Greg Fenton

          Cameron19 T_Ry Bobsyouruncle Greg Fenton I didn’t like the contract from the day it was announced. 
          And letting Grabovski go,then, doesn’t mean they are retooling or anything. It a move that says “we won’t over pay and put ourselfs in a bad position”. How is that not a competitive move for the team? The message sent might very well have “Burke is committed to winning, even if it means moving a player he’d rather keep instead of overpaying him”.

        • Cameron19

          ingy56 I think many of the critical crowd would have felt it was smarter to just leave spot vacant and see what options arise than replace the spot with an overpaid Bozak. And if you were going to do that, than why not wait a year to buy out Grabovski and see if you could get something for him after a season of playing in the top six, and with the cap back on the rise…?

          But it’s done, and I’m pleased with the make-up of the team going forward.  After crunching the numbers, as long as the cap continues to rise, I think we should be okay. I think long-term, this team literally has only one vacancy, and it’s the 1C spot.  Short term, we need a veteran D who can play tough minutes, and I would look to add another star-caliber winger if that option presents itself. Long term, Rielly, Franson, Gardiner, Phaneuf, Granberg and Gunnar should make an elite, modern, mobile D, and the net is totally set.

        • Cameron19

          Greg Fenton Cameron19 T_Ry Bobsyouruncle For any other team, that would be true.  For Toronto, the move would have put us in a heightened state of damage control. As it was, Dreger was trying very hard to push the idea that Kessel “couldn’t wait to leave”.

        • Bobsyouruncle

          T_Ry mcloki Bobsyouruncle Greg Fenton And you don’t see how Carlyle’s misuse of Grabovski was a huge contributor to that. Grabovski with Kessel for just a couple of months could have got us a late 1st. No way Grabovski couldn’t have put up numbers in Bozak’s position.  
          And if Bozak is so great defensively as claimed, no way he shouldn’t have been able to work shutdown for a couple of months. As a team we could have so easily had better assets and still have one compliance buyout left.

        • Greg Fenton

          Cameron19 Greg Fenton T_Ry Bobsyouruncle It woul dhave been true about the Leafs as well. Burke liked Grabovski, over valued him and over paid him. Simple as that.

        • Cameron19

          Bobsyouruncle T_Ry mcloki Greg Fenton Not only that, it would have substantially lowered Bozak’s market value.  We could have a 3.25 million dollar Bozak right now, and an additional 1st round pick.

        • T_Ry

          Cameron19 ingy56 I was hoping they’d take the year and re-examine Grabo as well, but the cap dropping kind of put their balls in a salad-shooter/vice-grip/juice-maker.
          I also agree that the team looks good going forward.  Don’t quite understand the wrist-slitting going on over at PPP; even if you don’t think the team has improved, I don’t see how you can spin these moves as the death of hope.

        • Bobsyouruncle

          Cameron19 Bobsyouruncle T_Ry mcloki Greg Fenton Yeah. I was thinking that too. Bozak playing where he belongs would have made it harder for him to get the deal he did. Carlyle’s practically running the show and he’s no GM.

        • Cameron19

          T_Ry Cameron19 ingy56 Yea, some of the stuff that has gone down isn’t the way I would have handled things, but I can still admit that the final product is probably a better roster, or at the very least, one more tailored to what the coach is trying to do. And as much as I’m not really a huge Carlyle fan, I do agree that he needs to be happy with the guys he has to work with – so if that means satisfying his idiotic xenophobia, than so be it, I guess…

        • rustynail

          Cameron19 Bobsyouruncle T_Ry mcloki Greg Fenton and would we have made the playoffs?

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Cameron19 ingy56 At the time of the buyout, I was sure Nonis had a move in his back pocket ready to unveil once the deadline passed. Nonis confirmed that no such deal was in place and it was a risk he took. So, basically I believe it came down to the fact that the coach wasn’t comfortable with Grabo for reasons that have been hinted at but nobody knows for sure, and that Nonis wanted the cap freedom to sign players he felt were integral to the team. I wish the season would start already so this doesn’t get over-analyzed to death. This is a better team today in my opinion. Could things have been done differently? Always.

        • Bobsyouruncle

          rustynail Cameron19 Bobsyouruncle T_Ry mcloki Greg Fenton We would have made the play-offs with Jordan’s girlfriend coaching. And she thinks icing is when the Zamboni comes out.   lol

        • Mitch_S2

          Cameron19 ingy56 I really don’t us going after a number 1 center given the Bozak contract. Bozak is clearly going to be into an offensive second/third line role for the next 5 years, whereas Bolland will clean up behind him. 
           Kadri doesn’t fit in anywhere else other than the number 1 spot, something he likely isn’t that far from. IT’s not like he wasn’t playing agaisnt top lines at the end of the year.

        • NotInsane

          Bobsyouruncle rustynail Cameron19 T_Ry mcloki Greg Fenton 
          You keep making counter-factual statements.  They can never be proved nor disproved.

  • wendelsfist

    I don’t get these fans hoping the leafs fails so MLSE fires Nonis/Randy and they can be happy.  Not only will does MLSE not care about their feelings but why would any fan wish their team to fail?

    • NotInsane

      wendelsfist 
      There are a great many fans who think they know better than real GMs.  They’d rather be right than watch the Leafs win. I blame the cult of advanced stats but it could just be plain old arrogance.

    • mcloki

      wendelsfist They aren’t fans Wendel. Just ignore them. Their mind isn’t going to be converted because all they want is the conflict that arguing with Leaf fans bring. Ignoring them cuts off their air and they wither and die.

      • NotInsane

        mcloki wendelsfist 
        haha, I’m pretty sure Cam Charron is an open Canucks fan.  He writes about the Leafs for exposure to a wider audience.

  • Wook

    Thanks for that Anthony, we could always count on you as the voice of reason.
    I wonder how people would have reacted if Grabo was traded for Bolland instead. Sure, this was never going to happen, especially given Grabo’s cap hit (5.5) versus that of Handzus (1.0). I have a feeling that while many would think that we should have gotten more back, some would see that Bolland would play an important, and more fitting, role for us and perhaps not be as emotionally charged.
    The majority did not want to see Bozak back, however, if Grabo wasn’t bought out and traded away instead, perhaps folks would not be as quick in labelling his signing as the end of all the good things Burke had built.
    Clarkson is overpaid for too long as you have said, but this was the price to get him as UFA. He will be great for us in the short term as he fills a role that we desperately need (perhaps more so than a bona fide 1C). We shall face the consequences of the term, however, Clarkson could prove useful for us longer than most are betting.
    This team makes better sense as a unit, Gunnar is as good a 2D as Bozak is 1C, hopefully, we’ll improve both positions in the near future.

    • Greg Fenton

      Gilbey93 Wook I don’t think its hate for Bozak but disapointment that he couldn’t be improved on.

      • NotInsane

        Greg Fenton Gilbey93 Wook 
        That’s a very fair sentiment.  Sometimes last year I got bored of Bozak and perhaps BOOOOOOO-zaked him

    • Area49th

      Wook While not a Bozak fan, I don’t hate him. Just do not believe he is a 1C earning 1C money, he came in at a not disgusting price ,so I can live with this

      • Wook

        Area49th Wook I really do believe (hoping anyway) that Bozak could be upgraded by trade in the near future. He has proven to be an adequate filler for the 1C role for the time being. Lets be honest here, no one truly thinks that we are built to challenge the cup this year (hoping anyway). I’ve accepted the the top six as is, lets see what happens.

      • Wook

        Gilbey93 Area49th Wook Toews and Handzus vs Bozak and Kadri. Both teams have strong wingers. I think we will be okay for the time being.

    • Wook

      Gilbey93 Wook I don’t think it is necessarily a direct hate against Bozak. It is more the role he is filling, as talks of Stastny and others alike got people excited. Many of us, including myself, had already said good bye to Bozak. Having him back probably seemed worse than it actually is.

  • NotInsane

    Great article.  
    There’s no mystery why Kessel and Grabovski never play together: they both like to carry the puck.  That’s why they never play together (or ever will).  As Kevin McGran writes “there’s only one puck”.  
    This is where advanced stats get you nowhere; they are incapable of capturing the nuances of the game.

    • Greg Fenton

      NotInsane Good players figure out how to play together.
      Grabovski didnt play with Kessel because Carlyle didn’t want Grabovski on his #1 line.

      • NotInsane

        Greg Fenton NotInsane 
        Maybe Grabovski isn’t a good player then?  It’s not like they were never on the ice together.  It just doesn’t work.  Two coaches and three seasons together is sample size enough

      • Ducky22

        Gilbey93 The reason he showed up in the playoffs is because injury forced Carlyle to play him more.

    • oednep

      NotInsane actually that would be a stat called zone entries

      • NotInsane

        oednep NotInsane 
        That captures the rush.  What about possession time after an o-zone faceoff win?  or what about when Bozak/JVR come over the line and dish off to Kessel?  Or is this a line stat instead of an individual stat?

        • oednep

          NotInsane oednep zone entries measure who carries the puck into the offensive zone. as for o-zone possession time that would be corsi again.

        • oednep

          i’m not an expert on this subject. i’m trying to understand it myself

        • NotInsane

          oednep NotInsane 
          hahaha, Corsi.  Go count your shots against and for.  What a pathetic measure.  Just because its predictable doesn’t make it accurate.  See Leafs season 2012-2013

        • NotInsane

          oednep 
          Fair enough. I actually use stats everyday: I’m a PhD candidate.  
          Take them with a pinch of salt.  It’s a lot easier to calculate than interpret these metrics

        • oednep

          NotInsane oednep that’s the whole point of statistics. you can’t make a 100% prediction, you just try and get close to it

        • oednep

          NotInsane oednep sorry your reply came in before mine

    • Cameron19

      NotInsane Except this is kind of a misnomer about Grabovski’s game.  When he was at his best, MacArthur was carrying the puck and making the decisions, he was the trigger man, and Kulemin was the garbage man.

  • Ducky22

    LN-093 Grabo did not loose his scoring touch, he had it taken away from him.  Put Bozak on a line with Orr and Komorov and I bet his numbers would be worse?!?

    • NotInsane

      LN-093 Gilbey93 
      I suspect you are right, LN-093.  Grabo didn’t have any finish last year.  The rumours about a stomach ailment and bad linemates or poor zone starts makes things more confusing but he simply didn’t score. .

  • Area49th

    Maybe Grabo’s chemistry with 1st line was just not there, sometimes a player just does not fit. No matter how much we like him. GM does what he has to

    • Wook

      Area49th I would have liked to see Grabo get a fair shake as the 1C. The fact that Nonis claimed that it was his job to lose just before he was bought out indicates to me that the final decision on his buyout came at the last minute. Anyhow, Bozak it is.

    • Area49th

      From the amount he complained after the buyout, he could have been a dressing room cancer. We don’t know everything.

      • T_Ry

        LN-093 Area49th I thought that was odd too…but it could be nothing but poor planning.  Or maybe Grabo’s wife hates Elisha.  Bridezillas be crazy.

      • Bobsyouruncle

        LN-093 Area49th From when Burke was negotiating Grabowski’s contract.  
        “Getting rid of Grabovski could shake up a tight dressing room where he’s well liked. Few Leafs work as hard as he does and the Leafs would dearly miss his on-ice energy. Grabovski absolutely loves playing in Toronto. He’s got a young family and would like to find a way to make his contract work for him and the Leafs.”

  • Area49th

    CapGeek ‏@capgeek https://twitter.com/capgeek/status/354234998896852993
    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NHL&src=hash https://twitter.com/search?q=%23SJSharks&src=hash are around $400K over the cap with 13F, 7D and 2G on their projected roster

    • Cameron19

      Area49th Probably just run a 22 man roster and count on Havlat going on LTIR before long…

      • Burtonboy

        Cameron19 Area49th I can see some battles with PA if teams start running 21/22 man rosters

        • Mind Bomb

          Burtonboy Cameron19 Area49th Aye but we are gonna be one of the teams that will probably run that BB

        • Cameron19

          Mind Bomb Burtonboy Cameron19 Area49th I think we’ll be okay as long as we can dump Liles.  Easy to ice a 23 man roster at that point.

        • Mind Bomb

          Cameron19 Mind Bomb Burtonboy Area49th IF we dump Liles Cam ! lol someone has to take em !

        • Cameron19

          Mind Bomb Cameron19 Burtonboy Area49th In a worst case scenario, I would pay someone to take him.  Really hoping the Isles will take him, and that he’ll waive to go there.

        • Mind Bomb

          Cameron19 Mind Bomb Burtonboy Area49th  We are going to need to Cam, our RFA’s are gonna cost more than people expect, see bernier.

  • peterbleafs

    Grabo is gone forget about it.  His departing shots indicate he is not flexible in his contribution and offloaded the blame on Carlyle, well we all saw how often he would lose the puck in the offensive zone.  He brought it on himself.  And he does not fit alongside Kessel, wrong style and kadri was #2…none of that was going to change so Grabo is out.
    Im happy with Bozak back, and now it is up to Kadri to dislodge him from the 1C role.

    • Bobsyouruncle

      peterbleafs Again the point IS NOT that Grabovski is gone, but that Carlyle wasted an asset unnecessarily.

      • leafscapguru

        Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs if he was such an asset he would have been signed already

        • Dink

          leafscapguru Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs not just this guy

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          LN-093 leafscapguru Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs Easy, contract and term. Why claim him when you could sign him cheaper and with less term?

        • Cameron19

          LN-093 leafscapguru Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs Man, you guys just refuse to understand this, don’t you?  Grabovski had his value driven into the ground by Carlyle. Plus it’s just common sense – if they know you’re getting bought out, why not just wait and offer the terms you like?

        • Ducky22

          LN-093 leafscapguru Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs because the cap went down and everyone needs to shed.

        • leafscapguru

          ingy56 LN-093 leafscapguru Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs so end story is he wasn’t an asset to be traded then. plus he also had a limited no trade clause

        • Cameron19

          @Ducky22 LN-093 leafscapguru Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs And even then, Kypreos said there were a few teams strongly considering it, perhaps figuring they were the type of teams he wouldn’t sign with as a UFA.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          leafscapguru ingy56 LN-093 Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs Pretty much. Nonis said he tried to arrange a deal, even holding salary, and no dice.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          LN-093 ingy56 leafscapguru Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs Probably because nobody is mistaking him for Jonathan Toews. If a team gets him at their price great, if they lose out they move on.

        • Cameron19

          LN-093 ingy56 leafscapguru Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs lol, Surely you can understand a player can be an asset and that their contract can be a hinder still, right?  I mean, no one would have traded anything for Lecavalier.  In fact, they would have demanded 2-4 additional assets come back with him because he had such horrendous negative value due to contract.  But as a UFA, half the league was interested.

        • Ducky22

          leafscapguru The guy got married on Friday, probably in Bali or some place with his new wife.

        • Cameron19

          LN-093 Cameron19 ingy56 leafscapguru Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs Of course they did. But that doesn’t mean he’s not an asset.  Holy crap.  He’s going to play for another team and score 50 points – end of story.

        • leafscapguru

          ingy56 leafscapguru LN-093 Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs  put it this way with the way Kardi had played last year Grabo had to be put down to a 3rd line role. would you rather have seen Kadri there I think not, Bozak wasn’t going anywhere off the first line winning faceoffs was his role.  Grabo sucked last year period. plus 2 coaches and still he could never hit that 1st line this wasn’t just Carlye this was all grabo not being good enough

        • Bobsyouruncle

          leafscapguru Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs Most players we’re able to get a deal done because they had time to talk to teams and work on one. Not to compare the players but because Lecavalier knew he was getting bought out, he knew where he was signing before Grabs even knew he was getting bought out.    
          Suggesting a player should have a deal in place less than 24 hours after being told of the buyout is ludicrous and not something any of us would have been able to accomplish in his place.   
          Most players had a week to work on a deal. Most players didn’t have some of their possible options gone by the time they found out they were even in the hunt for a new contract. And most players didn’t have their perceived value trashed by their coach in their previous season.

        • Mind Bomb

          Bobsyouruncle leafscapguru peterbleafs Good luck Bob, I said the same thing and no one wanted to accept that :)

      • NotInsane

        Bobsyouruncle peterbleafs 
        Don’t understand your comment about wasting an asset.  Grabo out; Bozak/Clarkson in.  I don’t see why you pay 5.5m and let him take up a roster spot hoping that his asset  value goes up.  And it’d have to go up a lot to make 5.5m look like a deal.
        The only waste was in 2012 when they could have traded Grabo for a 1st round pick.

    • MaxwellHowe

      peterbleafs Given the projected top 6 the Leafs will have, it may not be neceesary to say who is #1 C and #2 C.  Two good scoring lines, playing time adjusted based on the opposition and who is hot at any particular moment.  Likely see a bit of mix and matching between those top two lines.

      • peterbleafs

        MaxwellHowe peterbleafs I agree.  IMO lupul Kadri Clarkson is as good as our number one line.  Kadri Lupul are elite, Kessel JVR are elite…

      • NotInsane

        MaxwellHowe peterbleafs 
        Yeah, I say let the chips fall where they may.  It’d be amazing if Colborne took over as Kessel’s center.  But I’ll believe it when I see it!
        I like Kadri on a separate line for more balanced scoring

    • Ducky22

      LN-093 Yeah, keep telling yourself that.  Grabo + MacArthur 110G +15 -vs- Clarkson + Bolland 90G -30 in the last three years.  And which duo do you think had the better supporting cast?

      • Ducky22

        LN-093 Apples and Oranges, keep having that blind faith.

      • ConnorCrisp

        @Ducky22 LN-093 blind leading the blind?

      • NotInsane

        @Ducky22 LN-093 
        Leafs might be less skilled but Grabo + MacA will not hit those numbers again.  They thrived under RW and are getting older

      • Bobsyouruncle

        @Ducky22 LN-093 Hey you forgot Bozniak, MR. super defensive guy. Just forget the -29 the year Grabovski led the team with +14.

    • Bobsyouruncle

      peterbleafs Being happy with “Bozak is back” is a sure sign of PBR.  lol

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/SunDoniBSenators have signed UFA D-man Joe Corvo. You’re hearing it hear first. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23nhl&src=hash https://twitter.com/search?q=%23sens&src=hash

    • Dink

      Burtonboysometimes I think Murrays moves are to prevent Leafs from getting the player…

      • Cameron19

        @Dink Burtonboy Did we really want Joe “Oh No!” Corvo?

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        @Dink Burtonboy Except in this case.

    • ConnorCrisp

      Burtonboy hearing something hear is a pretty pro use of the english language

      • T_Ry

        ConnorCrisp Burtonboy Methinks you’re expecting an awful lot from Don Brennan…when his material makes it to the editor without any bodily fluids on it, they call that “a good day” down at the Ottawa Sun.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          T_Ry ConnorCrisp Burtonboy “Donny Dick”

  • Area49th

    Has anyone talked to Grabovski or has he been rumoured to sign anywhere yet? I have not seen anything

    • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

      Area49th he’s a Honeymooner.

    • Cameron19

      Area49th His agent said he’s had several inquiries and hinted he may sign last night, but nothing yet…

  • Uncle Otis

    So did everybody hug it out this weekend? :)

    • Mind Bomb

      Uncle Otis  Morning O, real men dont Hug P

      • Uncle Otis

        Mind Bomb 
        Hahaha..morning MB
        Air hug?
        Now that we’re down to complaining simply about the loss of Grabo as “an asset”,it feels like progress
        Cant wait for the boys to hit the ice.

        • Cameron19

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb I’m not even complaining about that, it just is stupid how we always have to turn on a player and completely trash them once they’re no longer Leafs.  Now nobody wants him and he’s useless because we bought him out.  Give me a break….

        • Uncle Otis

          Cameron19 
          I didn’t see may people posting that,and when they do it is often in response to the opposite over evaluation.
          Hyperbole breeds hyperbole.

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb  I am sorry O, my format is Fucked, did you just call Grabo an Ass ? or an Asset ?

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Mind Bomb Uncle Otis MB: Close out and re-load…my page is OK now.

        • Mind Bomb

          ingy56 Mind Bomb Uncle Otis Thanks Ingy

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          a graci-as ? :)
          #Asset

        • Cameron19

          Uncle Otis Cameron19 We do it with everyone, it has nothing to do with the opposite hyperbole. Schenn was garbage an no longer an NHL caliber defender once we traded him, too, and no one by DWC was too upset about that one…

        • NotInsane

          Cameron19 Uncle Otis Mind Bomb 
          I think many play devil’s advocate to the “Grabo is gone so the sky is falling. Ballard has risen from the dead.”  
          Grabo has been very divisive to Leafs Nation.

        • Uncle Otis

          Cameron19 
          There you go again Cam
          Just read what you wrote
          Utter bullshit

        • Cameron19

          LN-093 Cameron19 Uncle Otis Thank you for proving my point. See Otis….

        • bermudaboy

          Cameron19 Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Some folks don’t wait til they leave.

        • Uncle Otis

          Cameron19 
          Had to run..the point is not EVERYBODY feels that way.
          More often than not,if you remember,many people wished Schenn well/thought it was all Ronnie/and that he’d blossom in Philly
          That exactly how I felt…and to some degree it;s happened.
          It’s these broad stroke comments that get me upset Cam..they simply aren’t true

        • wiski

          Uncle Otis Cameron19 I wish komi well cause he can’t hurt us, everyone else is now the enemy 😉

  • Cameron19

    https://twitter.com/NHLexpertpickshttps://twitter.com/NHLexpertpicks/status/354238944503799811
    Grabovski’s agent Gary Greenstin ‘He’s not going back to the https://twitter.com/search?q=%23KHL&src=hash. He wants to return to the ACC and score a goal against the https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash‘.

    • ConnorCrisp

      Cameron19 saw that coming

      • Bobsyouruncle

        LN-093 ConnorCrisp Cameron19 He’ll probably get knocked on his ass while standing in front of the net just after scoring.  lol

    • ProfessorRance

      Cameron19 Now I just don’t like him anymore.

    • elandan

      Cameron19 he wants to return to the acc and get hammered by clarkson.

    • NotInsane

      Cameron19 
      hahaha, thata boy

    • MaxwellHowe

      Cameron19 Perhaps he should have been as determined to score a goal at the ACC for the Leafs

      • Marlies Man

        MaxwellHowe Cameron19 Good point

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        MaxwellHowe Cameron19 …or say he wants to help a team win a Cup?

        • MaxwellHowe

          ingy56 MaxwellHowe Cameron19 yeah – a possible suitor on the west coast is not going to be moved by Grabo’s promise to score a goal in the one game they play at the ACC every year

        • Cameron19

          MaxwellHowe ingy56 Cameron19 Talk that the Capitals have interest.  Lots of Boston fans asking about him on Twitter.

    • phaneufoundlander

      Cameron19 if the leafs still win the game who gives a shit…grow up Grab and move on, you are a fucking millionaire

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    https://twitter.com/scottcwheelerhttps://twitter.com/scottcwheeler/status/354239877602217986
    Defensemen like Granberg and Nilsson are worth keeping an eye on this week.

  • ConnorCrisp

    Grabbos retarded contract made it impossible to negotiate with our slew of RFA’s and next seasons big UFA’s and maintain any sort of leverage.

    • NotInsane

      ConnorCrisp 
      Yeppers.  Grabo’s contract was awful.

      • Ducky22

        NotInsane ConnorCrisp That awful contract just got replaced with Clarksons awful contract.

        • NotInsane

          @Ducky22 NotInsane ConnorCrisp 
          It’s like magic isn’t it?
          But that’s just the nature of the business.  Supply = Demand.  The price of any asset is what the buyer is willing to pay for it.  No one would pay Grabo 5.5m but a few teams would pay Clarkson 5.25m … for now

        • Ducky22

          LN-093 Paying a third line winger the same as a second/first line centre is hard for me.  But in your terms, paying a third line winger 1.1 million more than your first line centre (Bozak) is also very hard to swallow.

        • ConnorCrisp

          Clarkson at 5.2 is a way better compass that our RFA’s and UFA’s to be guided by than Grabbos 5.5 when you look at the players involved imo

        • NotInsane

          @Ducky22 LN-093 
          The salary cap makes everything so much uglier.  I’ll be happy if Clarkson stays healthy and does his hardhat thing on the ice.  If he gets into injury trouble then we’re fucked

        • Ducky22

          LN-093 My terms?  Nonis’s terms and that is what is gibberish.  I am not the one offering contracts.

        • mcloki

          NotInsane LN-093 Same can be said for any player.

        • NotInsane

          mcloki NotInsane LN-093 
          Any that make 5.25m and are signed for multiple years, yes :)

        • phaneufoundlander

          @Ducky22 NotInsane ConnorCrisp good thing we didn’t sign Clowe then, now that’s a ridiculous contract.  Dont worry man, Clarkson will bring it….

        • phaneufoundlander

          LN-093 NotInsane ConnorCrisp In a heart beat..he’s got those fearless wild eyes….I love that

    • Cameron19

      ConnorCrisp This is probably the best point about possible reasons for dumping him.

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        Cameron19 ConnorCrisp You can see a hint of that too in Clarkson’s deal, he earns the same as Lupul on a longer term. There is definitely a structure Nonis is trying to adhere too.

        • Cameron19

          ingy56 Cameron19 ConnorCrisp Yep, Kessel at an upper limit, everyone else at our below Lupul.

        • NotInsane

          Cameron19 ingy56 ConnorCrisp 
          Yep.  From Bozak’s perspective of course he wanted Grabo money.  He had a better year!

        • Cameron19

          NotInsane Cameron19 ingy56 ConnorCrisp But not better than the years that Grabo signed his deal based on.

        • MaxwellHowe

          Cameron19 ingy56 ConnorCrisp Well then Phanuef;s negotiations next year are going to be tangly then.  But I digress, there’s enough to worry about now

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          MaxwellHowe Cameron19 ingy56 ConnorCrisp Don’t go there! LOL

      • NotInsane

        Cameron19 ConnorCrisp  Yes.  It really was a bad contract when you consider ConnorCrisp’s point.  It upset the apple cart

        • Cameron19

          NotInsane Cameron19 ConnorCrisp Yea, but the counter is, when other franchises want to move a bad deal, they put that player in a position to succeed and hope he does so that they can attract a buyer.  Carlyle decided he didn’t like Grabo, and decided to put him in position to fail.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Cameron19 NotInsane ConnorCrisp But isn’t the concept of the team performance more important than ensuring a player looks good so they can get something for him? Carlyle chose the team first. I prefer that.

        • MaxwellHowe

          Cameron19 NotInsane ConnorCrisp Leafs were on the cusp of the playoffs for much of the shortened season, so there wasn’t much leeway for that type of manouvre

        • NotInsane

          Cameron19 NotInsane ConnorCrisp 
          ahhhh, I think a coach’s job is to win games rather than maintain asset values.  Maybe that’s the job when the team is like Oilers with young players but generally a bad team. 
          Carlyle won more (%) than any coach since 2004.  I have nothing bad to write about him.

        • rustynail

          Cameron19 NotInsane ConnorCrisp so Grabo playing pond hockey last season was all because he was on the shut down line and getting mostly defensive zone starts, interesting concept

        • Cameron19

          rustynail Cameron19 NotInsane ConnorCrisp No, he also played poorly.

        • Cameron19

          -Keon- True enough.

        • Bobsyouruncle

          -Keon- Keep pumping out this trash. Carlyle fanboys are lapping  it up.  lol

  • GeorgeCastanza

    I see the Bipolarism continues here this morning.

    • ConnorCrisp

      GeorgeCastanza NO!! I mean.. err.. YES! DAMMIT

    • Mind Bomb

      GeorgeCastanza  Sorry I am catholic P

    • phaneufoundlander

      GeorgeCastanza There is no cure…

  • leafscapguru

    Grabo’s value was trashed one he signed a contract, that was bigger than his worth.  Anyway you look at it he wasn’t worth 5.5mil and every GM in the NHL agreed!!!!  He would have picked up off waivers if he was worth it. I understand ppl are fans but as a business which this is, he was never better than a 2nd line center at best which 5.5mil was a big over payment for. did he have heart YES but he wasn’t winning us the Stanley cup in the end that’s the goal period!

    • NotInsane

      LN-093 leafscapguru 
      Yes, well said.  I’m not trying to trash Grabo as per Uncle Otis’ post but he wasn’t a “difference maker”.  I’m quoting Cox so you can tear me apart and I accept that as fair.

    • phaneufoundlander

      LN-093 leafscapguru Thing is with Grabo guys is he was all heart and determination but very few results.

      • Bobsyouruncle

        phaneufoundlander LN-093 leafscapguru Very few results? Short memory no?  lol

      • phaneufoundlander

        Bobsyouruncle phaneufoundlander LN-093 leafscapguru not really, last season he was brutal, short memory do ya?….just look at the chances he had but could never finish and he’s not that great of play maker either…once and while he might surprise but that’s not good enough for 5.5 mil

      • Cameron19

        phaneufoundlander Bobsyouruncle LN-093 leafscapguru I think his point is that 48 games shouldn’t erase the 4 seasons prior to that….

  • Area49th

    So we still have the Liles situation, trade him for a draft pick or a winger or? Not sure what he is worth at this point

    • Wook

      Area49th If we could recover the second that we had given up for him, that would be a win.

    • rustynail

      Area49th if we dump Liles who is our 2nd PP QB? IMO we only have him and Gards .

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        rustynail Area49th Franson?

        • rustynail

          ingy56 rustynail Area49th he is hardly a QB good at getting pucks through and opening shooting lanes though

        • mcloki

          rustynail ingy56 Area49th good enough. He can learn to QB the thing or OH wait, Put him on with Gardiner. Clarkson in the middle and Kessel and Kadri and watch the points

        • rustynail

          mcloki rustynail ingy56 Area49th pp1 solid no pp2?

        • mcloki

          rustynail mcloki ingy56 Area49th I’d shift PH9 to second unit. Just to rest him a bit. player management. Franson and Gardiner, who won’t be playing 20 minutes will be fresher on PP. Clarkson in front lets him score his goals.  I think Caryles biggest problem this year is getting his guys enough PP time. They can field 2 very good PP units. And with Kadri’s propensity to draw penalties the LEafs could have a great PP.

      • wiski

        rustynail Area49th With Ph9 and franson on the first unit seems Kessels QB’s the PP from the half wall.

        • NotInsane

          wiski rustynail Area49th 
          Depends what you mean by PP QB.  Phaneuf, Franson and Gardiner are all good PP guys.  I think Franson can pass and be a QB and so can Gardiner so that’s two. Phaneuf is more the booming shot.

        • wiski

          NotInsane It looks like all the passes end up with Kessel on the wall and he either moves in for the shot or passes off to the far post or Franson creeping in.

    • NotInsane

      Area49th 
      I think he’ll be with the team.  Puck moving defencemen are always in demand at the trading deadline.  He’ll have value then.
      Personally, I’d rather see him moved so we can bring in a defensive D.

  • wiski

    Good read Anthoney now get back to your vacation 😉 Is there any news on Grabo signing yet, or is he still on his honeymoon?

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/Breeze2Greezehttps://twitter.com/Breeze2Greeze/status/354247943575977984
    Prospect camp this week! Hoping to not room with https://twitter.com/brotherfinner https://twitter.com/search?q=%23donewithhim&src=hash https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Excited&src=hash

  • Marlies Man

    Peruse at own discretion. More advanced stats junk. I feel stupider having read this.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/learned-elegy-joffrey-lupul-views-advanced-hockey-stats-131435216.html

    • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

      Marlies Man My IQ can’t afford to take the hit…pass. Thanks though.

      • NotInsane

        ingy56 Marlies Man 
        That was a terrible article.  CORSI is not a definitive measure of a player’s ability and this guy is just a dick: yes the Leafs made horrible choices ten years ago.  Those people are loooooonnnggggg gone as are the owners.

      • Mind Bomb

        ingy56 Marlies Man Hahhah Ingy

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Mind Bomb ingy56 Marlies Man Only so many a man can afford to waste you know.

      • NotInsane

        LN-093 ingy56 Marlies Man 
        Every team has a capologists and statisticians on salary or contract.  I’m sure the Leafs look at CORSI et al.  More information can only be useful when properly interpreted but they are not definitive.

      • mcloki

        LN-093 ingy56 Marlies Man Meh. New realities demand new ideas.

  • Bobsyouruncle

    Gotta say, this place is turning into exactly what Alec predicted. Everyone bending over backwards to now justify whatever Carlyle does/did. A coach who doesn’t help his GM maintain assets will hurt his team in the long run. And we are in it for the long run not just the one or two seasons before Carlyle moves on.

    • rustynail

      Bobsyouruncle and the other side that no matter what it is all RC’s fault

      • Bobsyouruncle

        rustynail Bobsyouruncle I noticed that at one point during the season a lot of you guys who were big “Randy” supporters (BB etc.) last off season were starting to curse him and were ready to throw “Carlyle” off a cliff. Now he back to being Randy again and can do no wrong.

    • mcloki

      Bobsyouruncle It’s natural, WE can’t change the decision now. I for one will not slag Grabo. I loved the guy, thought he played with heart but at the end of the day he’s a tradable commodity. 
      As far as Carlyle “not maintaining assets” Carlyle’s job is on the line. He has to mold 23 players to win hockey games.Because 1 guy doesn’t  want to conform, doesn’t mean anything to Carlyle. 
      The nail that sticks up gets hit by the hammer. Grabo was that nail. And Carlye ultimately holds that hammer.

    • Uncle Otis

      Bobsyouruncle 
      That’s fine…you and he did it for all those years under Burke/Wilson
      Our turn now

      • NotInsane

        Uncle Otis Bobsyouruncle 
        hahaha, the worm has turned.

        • Uncle Otis

          NotInsane 
          I prefer the ones at the bottom of my mescal :)

        • NotInsane

          Uncle Otis NotInsane 
          hahaha, the good doctor would be proud

      • Bobsyouruncle

        Uncle Otis Bobsyouruncle Burke moved this team so much farther ahead with nothing towork with. Can wait to see Carlyle trash all that good work.

        • NotInsane

          Bobsyouruncle Uncle Otis 
          Why so negative?  This is supposed to be fun.  How can the Leafs be any worse than 2005-2011?

        • Uncle Otis

          Bobsyouruncle 
          Loved Burke./hated Wilson
          Says here this combination is much more formidable
          We will know soon

        • Bobsyouruncle

          NotInsane Bobsyouruncle Uncle Otis You can call it whatever you want. I don’t happen to like the way Carlyle turns value into nothing and don’t expect to ever like that.

        • Uncle Otis

          Bobsyouruncle 
          Oh and did you like Ronnie’s methods?..like turning Schenn in to a shadow of what he could have been? Screwing around with Kadri’s head?
          Funny how the same people who feel it’s OK to rip Carlyle DIDNT think the same when we ripped Ronnie
          #highly hypocritical

        • GeorgeCastanza

          Uncle Otis Bobsyouruncle I agree 100% and alluded to the way Kadri was treated by Wilson in an earlier post to this same gentleman *cough*.

        • Cameron19

          Uncle Otis Bobsyouruncle Wilson played the shit out, and loved Schenn for most of his tenure though. That relationship only fell apart in the final year.  As much as I am a fan of Schenn, I have to say he was partly responsible for that, too – just as Grabovski is with his fate.

        • Uncle Otis

          Cameron19 
          Funny how once Schenn got away from Ronnie,he became a better player
          No matter,my point is it seems its only ok to rip on the players/managers that the are deemed worthy of criticism, other wise you are a trouble maker/hater
          It’s the hypocrisy I struggle with

        • Cameron19

          Uncle Otis Cameron19 Hmm, Schenn was bottom pairing until they had 5 defenders on IR.

        • Uncle Otis

          Cameron19 
          And my main point?

        • Cameron19

          Uncle Otis Cameron19 The hypocrisy?  Aren’t both sides guilty of that? I was called a fucking homer idiot for even coming up with reasonable defenses for Wilson – like as little as just providing the actual quotes when people were trying to tell us all the “awful things” he said about Kadri.

        • Uncle Otis

          Cameron19 
          You were in the majority..and it came down from the top.
          Point is,we should be able to debate full on without being disparaged either way.
          Carlyle has gotten us to the playoffs and I like his systems/philosophies far better than Ronnie.
          When I/others would critique Ronnie we were called haters/negative..and that was the good stuff.
          Even stuck up for AndrewR’s opinions..even if I didn’t agree..because I think that discourse should be welcomed.
          That is my point..and I only have to go back a week at Wiski being called on the carpet for taking a shot at Phaneuf
          I think the guy has earned more respect than that for his contributions around here,none small.
          Sooooo…are we allowed to criticize or only the peoples/persons deemed fit?

        • Cameron19

          Uncle Otis Cameron19 With wiski, you kind of came into the argument three quarters the way through.  He had been taking pot shots at the captain constantly trying to draw out that argument.  He was not “called onto the carpet”. 

          I also think it’s a joke if you really believe that Wilson/Burke bashers were the minority. Most people pretty much ate up whatever the media said about them.  Before you get angry at that comment, I do not mean that anyone that was critical of them was drinking media kool-aid.  There were legitimate criticisms, and those were always worth discussing. But the vast majority of fans were uber-negative about the duo, and just regurgitating the latest Sun media drivel.

        • Uncle Otis

          Cameron19 
          Not here they weren’t…and the simple proof was how Andrew R was gang tackled/ran out of town.
          And if Wiski gets called to task,how does a guy like DWC get away with beating the same,annoying drum day in and like a bloody broken record?
          So once again,we have completely different feelings/memories
          I trust mine.

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Cameron19  You can call me names O, disagree with me, its ok its nothing my wife dosen’t do :)
          This aint a chess club

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          I hear ya MB..it just gets to the stupid stage sometimes and we devolve into the same boards we love to hate.

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb 
          Aye, but then we are all friends as soon as someone else picks on our leafs. :)

        • Uncle Otis

          @Mind Bomb
          Very sage Obi-Wan
          The tie that binds indeed..how else could you put up with some of these guys:)

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis  Haha the tie that Binds, better than the shoot out that binds anyways :)
          P

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          Too much cheese does that too :)
          # Howard Hamburglar

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb lol

    • Uncle Otis

      Yaknowwhat 
      Remember Ronnie was the best non Stanley winning coach in the league’s history
      Just ask him..he’ll tell ya.

      • NotInsane

        Uncle Otis Yaknowwhat 
        RW was a rude, unpleasant man who made an unbelievable number of enemies in Toronto.

      • Ducky22

        NotInsane Uncle Otis Yaknowwhat I second that.

    • Ducky22

      YaknowwhatBobsyouruncleNot sure why people think Carlyle is the second coming?  The team was
      relatively the same from 11/12 to 12/13, the difference was in goal. 
      Reimer was not injured.

      • Cameron19

        Yaknowwhat Bobsyouruncle The PK actually just carried on its strong performance from the last 2 months under Wilson into this year.  The personnel also helped probably more than RC himself.  McClement is one of the best PK guys there is.

      • Ducky22

        Yaknowwhat Bobsyouruncle I didn’t say we played the same style, just that the team make up was the same.  Regardless of the style, I believe it was goal tending that got us to the playoffs.

      • Cameron19

        Yaknowwhat Cameron19 Bobsyouruncle Yea, not really.  McClement came to the Leafs and asked for a contract.

      • Bobsyouruncle

        Cameron19 Yaknowwhat Bobsyouruncle You’re wasting your time. Dougy will always refuse to see the obvious if it doesn’t further his transparent attempts to trash Burke. Could have sworn McClement was a Burke signing though.

    • Cameron19

      LN-093 Yaknowwhat Bobsyouruncle Liked his playoff coaching a lot better than his regular season coaching, that’s for sure…

  • Area49th

    I like the fact that we have another guy that goes hard to the net and will disrupt the goalie. Too many times Rask could see the shots.

    • NotInsane

      Area49th 
      Yes, me too.  And I don’t see anyone who can do that consistently in the Marlies.  In this light, the move makes sense.

      • MaxwellHowe

        NotInsane Area49th seems an ideal job for Biggs

        • NotInsane

          MaxwellHowe NotInsane Area49th 
          I don’t think he’s NHL ready yet is he?

        • MaxwellHowe

          NotInsane MaxwellHowe Area49th No, I agree, but he should be in a position to start doing that for the Marlies this year

        • NotInsane

          MaxwellHowe NotInsane Area49th 
          Cool, yeah I think another 1-2 years and then the Marlies can really start supplying the Leafs with valuable players.

  • NotInsane

    So in a shortened 2012-2013 season the Maple Leafs finished 5th place in the Eastern Conference.  Are we making the playoffs in 2013-2014?  
    Teams to beat:  Detroit, Boston, Montreal, Ottawa (and all the rest) plus the cross-over with the former Patrick division.

    • mcloki

      NotInsane I think we beat Montreal and Ottawa. MacA didn’t change Ottawa into a contender. JAgr doesn’t help Montreal out other than jersey sales. Detroit is a wildcard. Remember they played is a pretty weak division. Let’s see how Zetterberg ;likes seeing. Chara, Lucic, Phaneuf, and a rougher tougher Eastern conference. and How is Detroits Goaltending. Also isn’t Columbus in our division now? They look like a darkhorse.

      • NotInsane

        mcloki NotInsane 
        mmmm I don’t think Columbus is in out division are they?  DET, BUF, TOR, MTL, OTT, BOS, FLA, TMB

      • Cameron19

        mcloki NotInsane CLB is in East 2.

        • NotInsane

          Cameron19 mcloki NotInsane 
          ahh! I didn’t know that.  thanks.

        • mcloki

          Cameron19 mcloki NotInsane Yes, so we’ll see them. They look good and will make a run for those two contested playoff spots.

      • mcloki

        Gilbey93 mcloki NotInsane And how did they do last year? Detroit has a great reputation. Toronto is just starting to build theirs.

      • NotInsane

        mcloki Gilbey93 NotInsane 
        Detroit frightens me.  However all good runs must come to an end eventually.  Detroit had to make a run at the end of the season just to make the playoffs last year.  Perhaps those old bones start wearing out

      • mcloki

        NotInsane mcloki Gilbey93 I just think that Detroit is coming into a pretty rough and tumble division. Jury is out on how they adaprt. Maybe they come in and run circles around the Leafs. Or they get run into the ground and Detroit starts looking for their 2013 Probert.

    • MaxwellHowe

      NotInsane Look out for Ottawa.  The Habs are going to slip.  Detroit and Boston will be competitive as usual.  Buffalo, Florida and TB suck and will continue to suck for a while.  
      Leafs should have a reasonbaly good chance to placing well.

      • NotInsane

        MaxwellHowe NotInsane  
        Yes, I don’t trust Ottawa one bit.  I’ve written them off before and been burned.  Someone has to miss this year!  I agree MTL could be the one.  I’m not sold on Detroit but they make me very nervous

        • MaxwellHowe

          NotInsane MaxwellHowe I think Ottawa is going to have a great team – though much depends on Anderson.  And, yes, I think Montreal will suck.  But I hope so every year.  But I look at Price’s performace lat last year and the signing of Briere, and I don’t think they are as good as last year’s standings would suggest.  And, of course, what are the chances Markov plays a second year without injury?

        • NotInsane

          MaxwellHowe NotInsane 
          Yeah Markov is a big question mark as is Carey Price.  If Reimer put up Price numbers he’d be flogged.  
          People have suggested the Leafs only made the playoffs because of a shortened season but I think that applies just as well to the Habs.  They struggled down the stretch.

      • Greg Fenton

        MaxwellHowe NotInsane The Leafs were a lot closer to 8th then 4th last year, its very possible they could slip as well/instead. 
        I think the Leafs will end up being a bubble team, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they end up with one of the bottom 3 playoff spots, or just out of the playoffs.

  • Irishfanman

    Can some of you guys on here give me some advice on what stocks and real estate to invest into in about 3 years from now? Cause lots on here seem to already know for certain  that:
    – Clarkson will be washed up in 3 or 4 years
    – Grabbo will score 50 points again
    – Reimer is angry about Bernier and wants out
    – Bozak will never get 70 points
    – Carlyle has and will continue to diminish value of assets
    – Bolland will have an injury riddled career
    – Kadri will never evolve into a # 1 C
    Get a grip!

    • NotInsane

      Irishfanman 
      Our plans will never survive contact with the enemy

    • wiski

      Irishfanman Coca cola nortel and blackberry oh wait 😉

      • Irishfanman

        wiski Irishfanman lol…

    • mcloki

      Irishfanman apple

      • Irishfanman

        mcloki Irishfanman I was thinking Detroit for real estate

        • mcloki

          Irishfanman mcloki you can buy downtown for real cheap.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Irishfanman mcloki Buyer’s market there.

        • Bobsyouruncle

          ingy56 Irishfanman mcloki Buyer will probably be mugged within 3 days of moving in.

    • Mind Bomb

      Irishfanman You forgot Stajan is returning to the leafs bro !

      • Irishfanman

        Mind Bomb Irishfanman shudder

    • DWCMLHS

      #2, #4 are pretty safe bets.
      I don’t think Reimer is angry, but he did say that it feels as though management doesn’t trust him. And one of Reimer/Bernier will likely be moved within the next year, unless Reimer plays awful and only gets back-up G money on his next deal.
      Clarkson may not be “washed up” in 3-4 years, but his contract is bad, and any bit of regression whatsoever would quickly turn people against him. Grabo got bought-out, and his drop in production wasn’t even his own fault.
      Nonis is getting guys Carlyle likes, so he is less likely to misuse them like he did Grabo. We’ll see, though.
      Bolland does get injured quite often. Likely because of the way he plays. What’s your definition of “injury-riddled”? Missing ~10 games per season? 20?
      Kadri has a chance to be a 1C. I wouldn’t guarantee it, but he certainly has the potential. Has anyone actually said he doesn’t? He’s at least a 2C with 1C potential, IMO.

      • Irishfanman

        DWCMLHS I think your response illustrates that there are many unknowns…yes Bolland has been injured in the past, and because of the way he plays, probably will in the future..I just say lets wait and see where we stand say after 40 games……then be negative if warranted…or positive if warranted.

        • NotInsane

          Irishfanman DWCMLHS 
          Grabo may score 50 pts (likely well in a good spot and no injuries) but he wasn’t going to do that with Toronto.  Bozak just has to do his Bozak thing of winning draws and getting the puck to Kessel and doing whatever else turns Carlyle on.  Doesn’t need 70 pts.  
          Even Nonis admits the Clarkson contract is bad (term) but that was the market price.  I’m less worried about regression than injury with Clarkson.  He just needs to do his thing, work hard and go to the net.  Holmstrom managed to do it until he was 40.   If you don’t buy that argument then he’ll be bought out.  You have to spend money to get nice things

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/CoachsCornerCBChttps://twitter.com/CoachsCornerCBC/status/354252656568582144
    1) My thoughts on the Leafs getting Clarkson and Bolland.. 2 great guys from Mimico. Clarkson led New Jersey in goals, pp goals and gwg’s

    • wiski

      https://twitter.com/CoachsCornerCBChttps://twitter.com/CoachsCornerCBC/status/354252935552696322
      2) had 78 minutes in penalties. He hits, fights, blocks shots and scores goals. Clarkson is a character guy and captain material. Could have

      • wiski

        https://twitter.com/CoachsCornerCBChttps://twitter.com/CoachsCornerCBC/status/354253110698459136
        3) got a lot more money elsewhere but wanted to play in Toronto. Another big thing.. he’s a Stanley Cup winner. Every team would want David

        • wiski

          https://twitter.com/CoachsCornerCBChttps://twitter.com/CoachsCornerCBC/status/354253305578401793
          4) Bolland. He won’t score 30 goals but will play against all the top lines. He’s great on faceffs and always in the other team’s face. Also

        • wiski

          https://twitter.com/CoachsCornerCBChttps://twitter.com/CoachsCornerCBC/status/354253531294859265
          5) A Stanley Cup winner who score the cup clinching goal. Not many guys can say that. Leafs Management used to avoid anybody from Ontario.

        • Marlies Man

          wiski “avoid” … yes b’y.

        • Cameron19

          wiski Ugh, Cherry…I love you, but fuck you say some dumbass things.  Burke drafted more Ontario born players than any other team during his tenure…Don’t let the facts get in the way of your nonsense though…

        • Marlies Man

          All was fine … until that last line. There was no purposeful avoiding of
          Ontario players. More happenstance. What purpose would it serve. Having
          hometown guys on the roster is good for marketing.

        • NotInsane

          Cameron19 wiski 
          yes, that whole argument is dumb.  Burke worked with the U.S. development system so of course he knew American players and prospects better than Canadian.  Cherry usually likes American players so I was surprised.  He hated BB and RW, that’s likely why

        • Cameron19

          NotInsane Cameron19 wiski He loved Burke and hated Wilson, but Wilson tainted his whole view of the organization.  He defended Burke afterwards.

        • wiski

          Cameron19 wiski what made you think he was talking about Burke?

        • Cameron19

          wiski Cameron19 In what situation?

        • wiski

          Cameron19 wiskihttp://www.livefyre.com/profile/15416520/18 minutes ago
          wiski Ugh, Cherry…I love you, but fuck you say some dumbass things.  Burke drafted more Ontario born players than any other team during his tenure…Don’t let the facts get in the way of your nonsense though…

        • Cameron19

          wiski Cameron19 His last comment was:

          “Leafs Management used to avoid anybody from Ontario.”

          Who do you think he was talking about? He railed on Burke for it on Coach’s Corner like 10 times.  Every time it was not factual in the least.

        • wiski

          Cameron19 wiski I took it as pre Burke as Burke started with Kadri?

    • mcloki

      wiski Obviously Don it’s lasted more than 4 hours. You should go see your doctor.

    • Area49th

      wiski Has Don found his new Dougie? or 2

      • NotInsane

        Area49th wiski 
        I thought that was Kadri

  • mcloki

    Anthony. The question that you need to really ask is. 
    As Leaf fans on this board. Are you excited about the prospect that a new season brings. OMG they need so many players Still weak at DWithout a 1 C they never make the playoffs.Lace’em up boys we’re going on a run.

  • Billy-Action

    Here is my two cents worth:
    I really like the moves that Nonis has made so far. He brought in players that excel at the roles that Carlyle needs them to fill. It looks like we’re back to a top 6 bottom 6 set up.
    Reimer might feel unappreciated because Bernier was brought in but he should realize that being hurt every season didn’t help his situation. Nonis did what he had too, to make sure we have depth at goal just in case. And, the competition for the net can only benefit the leafs. Suck it up Reimer.
    Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe we brought in Gilmour at the age of 29 and he became one of the most beloved leafs of all time. That’s why I can’t figure out why everyone is so concerned about a younger Clarkson and his term. Yes, 7 years might be a bit too long but that doesn’t mean he won’t be amazing for this team. I’m very hopeful.
    The addition of Bolland with Kuli and McClement could make one of the best shut down lines in the league with the ability to pot a few goals.
    I loved Grabo but he couldn’t adjust to a role that wasn’t meant for him and the finances didn’t work. I’m sure he’ll find a new home.
    Bozak is a very useful player (for all the reasons we all already know about) and I think the signing was good. He can fill that 1c role until Nonis finds a true 1c. My hope is that Carlyle speak with Bozak and makes him realize that he has two teammates on his line. It’s no wonder he only gets half the points of a true 1c when he only uses half the line. I found it very daunting to see a stat that shows that Bozak didn’t have one primary assist on any JVR goal. (Correct me if I’m wrong) I hope this doesn’t sour JVR as he will be amazing for the leafs.
    If Nonis can do a trade for a number 2d then we are set for the year.
    Rome wasn’t built in a day so more improvements will come down the road.
    I’m worried about our depth but overall I am thrilled about this coming season. I think we are top 3 in our division with only Boston and Detroit a head of us (maybe).
    Go Leafs Go!!!
    (Sorry if this is too long)

    • mcloki

      Billy-Action As MB would say. It’s never to long. 😉

      • mcloki

        LN-093 mcloki Billy-Action I like the Clarkson, Kadri, JVR line much better as well. Just seems like a line that would be an absolute bitch to play against. And not a bad PP lineup.

      • NotInsane

        Gilbey93 mcloki LN-093 Billy-Action 
        Yes, each is the guy that goes to the net.  Better to break them up

    • wiski

      Billy-Action Good post

    • Marlies Man

      Billy-Action On Clarkson, I like that he’s a Leaf. I get your Gilmour point. Obviously, he’s no Gilmour. But he could have a good run in TO and become one of those Leaf ‘legend’ type of guys if all goes well. But I’m not a fan of long-term contracts period. Five would have been long. Four, more like it. Somewhat thankfully, at least the new CBA limits the term to seven years now. We, or some other team, probably would have given him 10 years to get him in the fold if that was still an option.

      • leafscapguru

        Marlies Man Billy-Action i see Clarkson playing more of a Gary Roberts role tuff In the corners and energizing the team great move to get him

      • mcloki

        Marlies Man Billy-Action The second he drapes on the 17 Leaf fans will love him.

    • TonyMonaco

      Billy-Action You are right – great post!  I kept hearing from Carlyle & Nonis on how they had to have players playing out of their comfort zone last year.  It looks like we will have more players doing what the team needs them to do.  On paper & video games we may have went sideways or even took a step back.  On the ice – we improved.
      p.s. thanks Anthony – always the voice of reason.