The Maple Leafs have signed former Toronto Marlie and Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Paul Ranger to a one-year, $1,000,000 NHL contract. With Paul Ranger added to the mix, a cap clearing measure will surely have to follow, at least eventually, with Franson, Kadri and Fraser left to re-sign and only 6 or so million in cap space remaining.
Ranger was a top-4 calibre guy for the Tampa Bay Lightning prior to taking a three-year leave from the game at the start of the 2009-10 season. A big, strong-skating two-way rearguard with a big left handed shot, Ranger actually played a good deal of time on Tampa’s top-2 pairing. In 2007-08 and 2008-09, Paul Ranger averaged 25:13 and 24:30 in time on ice respectively. John Tortorella, Ranger’s head coach when he broke the league as a rookie, described his first-pass as one of the best in the league already.
After his lengthy leave for mysterious personal reasons, Ranger started working his way back into the game by coaching the Whitby Wildcats bantam team and signed with the Marlies last season on an AHL contract, with the word that he was interested in playing in the AHL only at that time. He appears ready to take a run at an NHL job. At this point it would be a reach to rely on him to play a top 4 role, but it could be something he plays his way back into. My preference was to pay him as a 5-6 depth option, having no clue where his game stands at the NHL level currently. At a million dollar cap hit, this seems like a very worthwhile flyer to take.
It’s a commendable little high-reward, low-risk move by Nonis. Worst case, Ranger is demoted to the AHL and he either gets claimed on waivers or the Leafs have to eat $75,000 on the cap to have him as an injury replacement/depth option on the Marlies ($1,000,000 cap hit – $925,000 in bury-able salary). Best case, they have a steal of a deal on a player who works his way back into a top 4 role at the NHL level.
Paul Ranger was NHL calibre in the AHL last season. Said he wanted one full year with Marlies before deciding on return to NHL #Leafs
— Kyle Cicerella (@KyleTheReporter) July 24, 2013
Ranger takes out Malkin in his Lightning days:
An example of his big shot from last season with the Marlies:
Good morning guys. The new morning round table is up: http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/07/25/thursday-morning-leafs-round-table-the-xxii-winter-olympiad/
@Aaron Chan Morning Aaron
You know when we look at a team like the Islander and laugh when they think they will be much better and compete when we as outside fans known what will happen. Same with Calgary. We know they will suck because it's obvious but the media produces so much hype that their fans get brainwashed and think they will be good.
This is how I feel when I hear you guys talking about the blue Jays. I stopped watching years ago and caring. It's sad but the truth is they will probably never be very good again unless they get lucky. No players want to come here in their prime and play. It's sad but true. Back in 2004 was probably the last time I watched them religiously. Stop getting so worked up over losses and just enjoy the games. That's the only advice I can give. It's so bad now I could barley tell you any player on the roster.
@Jordan29 In Britain we call this game rounders and it is a girl's game.
@Jordan29 they really are pathetic
Is the Leafs blue line getting overcrowded.
Liles for Matt Martin as KT suggests would make the Leafs a tough bunch to handle.
I just hope Franson isnt the odd man out. if he is, Nonis better make out like a bandit
@Zep2 Martin would be sweet . You could do without one of Orr or McLaren then for sure
@Zep2 Morning Zep
@Dan39 Anyone who dared mess with us would be absolutely brutalized.
Good morning boys and girls!
This is the team I would like to see.
It includes Leafs trading Liles to NYI for Matt Martin, saving 2.3 M in cap space and then signing Fraser, Franson and Kadri.
JVR Bozak Kessel
Lupul Kadri Carkson
Martin Bolland Kulemin
McLaren McClement Orr
Definite playoff team and will do some damage when it gets there.
@Komas Taberle Morning Komas
@Komas Taberle You think Snow will actually pull the trigger on a trade? He's one hard mofo to deal with
Ranger can get reacquainted with Bobby Ryan a little more often now...
The only problem with our D right now that I see is that we have five lefties. But Phaneuf plays the right side anyway so it's not a huge issue. I expect our number seven guy is going to be Holzer and he is a right shot. As long as another of our guys like Ranger can play the right side we should be fine. Some D have trouble switching others seem to be fine. I love the mix they have right now.
As for the young guys, I think Blacker needs another year playing top four on the Marlies. Granberg needs time (months, a year...) to adjust to NA ice. Rielly is probably still two years away at least (see exhibit Kadri), Percy probably needs two years in AHL before we know what we got. Finn and Nilson are at least a couple years away, although I think Finn could surprise if he ever gets healthy. Andrew MacWilliam is well seasoned from NCAA but he needs at least one year to adjust to the longer schedule, and then we will have to see where his game is at. Not all these guys will make it, maybe only a few. But the beauty is we have enough legit guys we are almost guaranteed at least a few make it. We have a solid top six, and we have a solid cupboard full of different types of prospects. The guys we have now are going to be tough to knock out, so our young guys are going to get lots of time to develop...this is good. Also the depth is good if injuries happen. Generally speaking though I cant see any of our young D really breaking into the squad for a couple years unless they really impress.
Well Blacker and Granberg will likely be on call if there are injuries. But for guys taken in the second round or later they are not in anyway behind in their development...especially for defencemen. Blacker really has to show he can play a full AHL season in a top four role and essentially dominate or at least excel in that role before he can be looked at to play meaningful minutes in the NHL. Granberg is a bit of a unknown, but he will need to adjust to NA ice and the style, our coaching, and the schedule. He may hit the ground running, but then he still needs to be better than what we have.
With Rielly and the others, they need time to play with pros. I don't see Rielly being kept on this year, so he has to go back to jr. Then he will probably need a year in the AHL. This is pretty typical, even for a fifth overall dman.
I guess it would all depend on the return for Dion. But the way I see our team is that hopefully we have a window open right now for contending for the cup. We have five significant young players with excellent pedigree that could still improve their games a lot...Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri, JVR, Jonathan Bernier, and Coddy Franson. There are others who could be added there, even Kessel or Reimer who are 25 or under. There are other role players who excell and we have a real solid group of young vets like Lupul, Clarkson, Phaneuf, Bolland, Kulemin, and Bozak.
If we believe we are contenders than I just see it highly unlikely we would ever deal Dion. He is still relatively young and probably entering his most effective years over the next 4 years or so.
Blacker has 2 almost full seasons in the AHL and as I recall was well reviewed by Dallas. Granberg is a year younger and lacks experience on the small ice. Unless he comes in and dominates, I see Blacker as the first call up. Bear in mind that any player called up will not be called upon to play top 4. Blacker is a good blend of puck moving and physical play.
These goals remind me of how good Bozak is capable of being.
Cant shake the feeling that he's ready to take the next step. He plays with some of the best wingers in the game (can't hurt), and did make VAST improvements in all areas of his game last season both offensively, and defensively. Not sure how one could hate his work ethic, he's always hustling. On the offensive end when he doesnt have the puck, he's friggin elusive out there and knows how to get past defenders into scoring areas which makes him an easy pass target, he has the hands and agility to beat defenders one on one but he's been known to force the puck to Kessel too soon (very fixable imo). If you watch the goal he scores against Carolina, you see him win a foot race going to the net after juking the defender, and scoring a tap in. When he realizes he's capable of doing that with the puck, we could see a 4.2m$ version of Tyler Bozak.
Seriously after looking at those goals he scores, all of them are because he has quick hands, and gets to the scoring areas and is composed in tight. He's alot more valuable to our team, and alot better than most on here give credit. 31st in the league in shooting percentage is a good indicator he has some potential imo.
@Savo43 I still remember his first NHL goal against Philly, completely undresses the defender and goes top shelf.
Bozak has some good hands...and yes I think he is still figuring our how good he can be offensively. But a big part of why he is valuable to us is because he is very responsible defensively. He does the heavy lifting defensively on his line. Ironically the better Kessel and JVR become defensively the more Bozak is likely to commit to offense. Fortunately it looks like Kessel and JVR are improving defensively. Bozak has the odd bad game, he's human, but most nights he plays according to the game situation. If we really need a goal, he is one of our clutch guys. If we need a PK he can do that. If we need to hold a lead he often does that well. He plays a lot of key minutes for RC. I personally never had doubt that he wouldn't be back...said it on here lots. And yes I think he can still improve although I like what he brings already. Those goals are all nice snipes.