Leafs invite winger Mason Raymond to camp

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A testament both to a sinking cap ceiling and a fall in the player’s stock, former 25 goal scorer in 2009-10 Mason Raymond went without a contract offer this summer (or at least, he went without one he was willing to sign). The GM who drafted him in the second round in 2005 (Nonis) has invited him to Leafs training camp on a Professional Tryout Agreement.

What we know Raymond can bring is speed, in spades. He’s an elite skater. I know this just from catching a few West Coast HNIC broadcasts and from playing the EA Sports NHL franchise for several years. He would certainly fit the speedy identity of the club if signed. Raymond has a nice wrist shot to go along with the speed, making him dangerous off the rush, but he has been criticized for going ice cold for extended spells and for drifting into long spells of perimeter play. Raymond has also admitted he’ll likely never be the player he once was after breaking his back in a brutal hit in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.

In his best season, ‘MayRay’ played with Ryan Kesler for his 25-goal 2009-10 campaign and the pair combined on a very effective second line for the Canucks. The left winger fell back into third line minutes (15 min/game) in the three seasons since, but has regularly received second unit powerplay time (2 minutes/game), where he scored 4 of his 10 goals last season.

Even knowing Raymond has the injury residuals and that he fell out of favour with Vancouver, it seems odd that a player with 10 goals in the shortened season, a 17-goal pace, and 22 points, a 39-point pace over a full season, would be unable to secure himself a one-year contract on the cheap for the upcoming year. Perhaps Raymond is choosing to take this route, rather than sign the perceived low ball offers coming his way, hoping to prove himself worthy of a one year deal earning him something closer to his expected pay range.

An interesting hypothetical to entertain is if Raymond were to really impress Leaf brass in camp. With limited cap space already plus Franson and Kadri hopefully soon to sign, can the Leafs even wedge him in if they wanted to?

The Leafs did lose some wing depth this off-season with MacArthur walking, Komarov returning to Russia and Frattin being traded. There’s no harm in a camp invite on its own (assuming it’s not a precursor to another move, and that Franson and Kadri are signed), so it seems like a worthwhile flyer to take.

Every Goal, 2012-13: Mason Raymond

  • dlb eh

    interesting, but not the kind of player i think we need.  unless he comes cheap.  then i’m happy to have his speed in the lineup.  if he’s worth more, who do we miss out on?  no harm inviting him to camp, though.  interesting.  someone on here was thinking it would be a good idea…can’t remember who (wasn’t me).

  • wiski

    dlb eh Seems to be a few of these PTO invites lately, flyers invited Hal Gill

  • Optimustic

    dlb eh This move doesn’t do much to excite me either.   I see it as another Matt Lombardi acquisition.

  • wiski

    Optimustic dlb eh So we turn him into a second rounder

  • Burtonboy

    Nothing new to report on Kadri/Franson negotiations according to Dave Nonis.

  • JMAC17

    Had a feeling we would be in on Raymond.
    Maybe Kulie gets moved to sign Naz and Franson, sign Raymond to play the 3rd line?

  • dlb eh

    Optimustic dlb eh 
    yeah.  i don’t know much about him, but he never sounds like a “Carlyle” type when we do hear about him.  he has speed and potential to score, sure…but if he loses puck battles and isn’t a gritty defensive player, or a good forechecker who throws some hits and causes some disturbance out there.  well.  we better be 10 for 10 in the shootout!

  • wiski

    Nonis says he called Raymond’s agent a month ago to express interest. Sez 27 year old will “give Carlyle options”. Unlikely to cost much.

  • wiski

    Leafs GM Dave Nonis on Morgan Rielly

  • dlb eh

    wiski 
    he’d be a good little water bug for practice, to simulate chasing those stinkin’ habs around.  like the rabbit in the greyhound race

  • .JVR.

    I hope not

  • dlb eh

    wiski 
    wtf is tout?  that’s like tweet but it’s tout.  this world’s going to self destruct.

  • sniperstar

    JMAC17 I’d like to have both Raymond and Kulemin on that 3rd line while moving out Liles. 
    Pushes McClement to the 4th line and Colborne to the wing on the 4th line and only have one of Orr or McClaren in at anytime.
    JVR – Bozie – Kessel
    Lupul – Kadri – Clarkson
    Raymond – Bolland – Kulemin
    Colborne – McClement – Orr/McClaren

  • dlb eh

    Yaknowwhat 
    or it’s just a move to see if we can keep the Marlies on the Marlies before they’re really ready to come up.  i like Colbourne coming up.  i’m not sold on anyone else until camp happens.  Raymond is, i suppose, just more competition for now.

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    Seems odd to let MacArthur go than go after a player like Raymond…

  • wiski

    dlb eh wiski Short video like vine of Nonis saying they saw enough of Reilly in game one

  • dlb eh

    JMAC17 
    problem in substituting Raymond for Kulemin is obvious.  we need to close games out and protect the lead.  special teams, like the PK, need more than a couple reliable guys.
    we could really use another Kuli, not one less.  but his contract is one of the ones that could move and free us up for a more, i agree.  but at what cost to wins?

  • DWCMLHS

    It’s just a tryout, not a signing. He’ll come cheap if we do sign him, though. And that should only happen if he looks better than enough other guys in camp to be worth a contract.

  • TOHockeyNut

    I don’t see Raymond as a bad depth signing for the right price.
    We are not too deep on left wing and could use someone who could play up and down the line up. An injury to JVR or  Lupul and we would be in trouble on the left side. 
    I just don’t see how Nonis is going to fit this in under the cap without moving Liles.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Ruthless Nonis….Raymond is coming to camp to ratchet up the pressure on Kadri to sign….Nonis is a cold hard killa in contract talks and I love it!

  • sniperstar

    I like this. I was actually looking at tsn’s top 30 FA’s or whatever and there are some decent players left that I wouldn’t mind the Leafs taking a waiver on. Damien Brunner is one guy I loved to watch in the few Red Wings games I saw last year.

  • Burtonboy

    wiski If he reached out over a month ago you have to really wonder what Kind of offers are actually on the table for Kadri and Franson. Where in jesus is the cap space going to come from?

  • Cameron19

    My guess is that Nonis is doing Raymond a favor here, and giving him a chance to shine so he can earn a contract elsewhere.  I don’t see him stealing a spot here unless he’s willing to play for like 600K.

  • wiski

    Burtonboy wiski I think we’ll finally see some movement once camp starts and teams see what they have.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Refresh page for all his goals from this year.

  • Cameron19

    TOHockeyNut I like him if he comes cheap, but there are certain cap implications to be considered.  Part of our strategy for resigning Franson and Kadri revolves around running a 21 man roster.  Can’t see who we would cut to keep Raymond.

  • TOHockeyNut

    Yaknowwhat That would be exchanging depth on one wing for the other.
    Would you trade Kulemin for Raymond?

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    That makes sense, lets hope that’s the case. Don’t see him fitting in with this team. Boston manhandled those canucks in their series, we don’t need any pieces from that team

  • dlb eh

    Cameron19 
    we don’t talk about HBO enough.  maybe the sell is partly the exposure, plus the chance to actually make the Maple Leafs and play.
    maybe that’s something Naz and Franson should think about…wait…maybe their contract situations are all about ramping up the drama for the show.
    get your popcorn ready!

  • Cameron19

    sniperstar JMAC17 May have to subject McLaren to waivers to make this signing happen. I like the line-up though.

  • wiski

    Raymond is a nice replacement for Frattin. Leafs can’t afford Raymond without cutting ties with someone else though

  • dlb eh

    DeclanK
    yay. more stuff.  (seriously)

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    I don’t see him displacing Kessel, JVR, Lupul and Clarkson in the top 6 (obviously). Maybe he’d be good in injury relief to one of the top 6 wingers. I don’t see how he would play with Bolland and Kulemin. Curious to see how it works.

  • wiski

    Tyler Seguin desperately trying not to tweet “no Romo” right now.

  • Cameron19

    Apparently Kessel’s desired figure for his next contract is 8.5 million.  I’m guessing the Leafs counter with 7.5 million, and they settle on 8.

  • dlb eh

    Cameron19 
    if that’s true and it ends up 8 years at 8.5 i’m still satisfied

  • Burtonboy

    Cameron19 I’m not sure if I would put much faith in the report . It surfaced from a Boston writer

  • Burtonboy

    Leafs GM Nonis on Raymond: ‘He’s only 27 … great foot-speed, which will give Randy more options’

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Dangle_My_Berries 
    If I’m not mistaken, Nonis doesn’t do the contract talks with RFAs.  I think Poulin does.

  • dlb eh

    DeclanK 
    “gives Carlyle options” could mean he plays 6 minutes a night on a 4th line with Colbourne, McClemment, Orr, McLaren … and gets shuffled up to any scoring line at any time when he’s playing well, if someone isn’t, if someone gets hurt, whatever.
    i don’t know.  can the kid play defensively?  is he brave?  other than fast, what the hell is he?  can’t hurt to find out eh

  • wiski

    Dave Nonis on Mason Raymond: I know Mason quite well. He’s an NHL forward. He scored 25 goals in this league. He’s 27. Got great foot speed

  • Burtonboy

    More Nonis on Raymond: We’ll see if he’s a fit. he’s a quality person and a pretty good player. He’s lookung for a chance to prove himself.

  • dlb eh

    the beauty of signing Clarkson, a tough guy who can play a regular shift and play two-ways, is perhaps Carlyle can fit in a speedster like Raymond and still find players to fill all the roles he has in mind since he can sit one of the other tough guys without feeling we’ll suddenly get pushed around.

  • Burtonboy

    Nonis on why Rielly scratched in last two games of rookie tourney: ‘We saw enough in Game 1′; wanted to give others a shot to impress

  • wiski

    Nonis asked if anything new on Kadri, Franson: ‘Not at this point’

  • Nikhil Daljeet

    DeclanK 
    I could see him fitting in pretty well with Bolland and Kulemin (although I like McClement in that slot too). 
    He’s fast and very good defensively.  Tenacious backchecker and the type of north south player that can get you into the other team’s zone pretty effortlessly. Also could create some offense for that line just with his speed alone

  • wiski

    Big winner among Leafs prospects this week appears to be Stuart Percy; Nonis says 2011 1st rounder took his game to the next level

  • DWCMLHS

    I really wish I wasn’t all caught up on Breaking Bad yet. I miss being able to watch episodes back-to-back. Having to wait a week to see what happens next is going to be painful.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    in the tweets josh rimer put out it seemed like Raymond had his eye on making the team….dunno what Nonis promised him, but it sounds like he could be on the team if camp goes well, dont ask me how though

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Burtonboy Cameron19 
    Well, if it’s true that Kessel won’t negotiate during the season, I sure hope he gets extended PDQ.