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
SO most important question. Which 5 rookies get an invite to camp.
my picks. Rielly, Percy, Leivo, Biggs, Raine, McWilliams.
This move has the added benefit (from the perspective of Nonis) of putting further pressure on Kadri and Franson to sign before camp - because if Raymond impresses, he will get a contract, and those 2 will be looking at an ever shrinking pot of $.
Good Morning Gents......nothing wrong with a little healthy competition.....Raymond still has to make the team. Nothing wrong with another speedster on the team and added depth on the wing.,......if he's a fit and comes cheap.....if not, no harm, no foul as he won't make the team if he's not a fit.
I can see how Raymond could be beneficial but i think i would much rather have D'Amigo playing for the Leafs this year if he earns the spot. He has the speed and i think hes grittier. I like the idea of bringing in the young guys from the farm if theyre ready. It promotes the idea with the kids that if you earn it, you will play for the Leafs.
MacWilliam's stock when up another notch in my eyes last night . Sending a message that you don't fuck with our goaltender or anyone else for that matter is huge in my books
This from a Canuck's fan. The guy's a moderator over at HF.
"There's a lot to like about Mason Raymond. He's got terrific wheels, he's decent with the puck, he's solid in the shootout. He is also a savvy defensive player and a PK stalwart. For those wondering if he can play a third line, two-way role, the answer is a resounding yes. That is, in fact, where is he best suited.
The issue with Raymond in Vancouver has been expectations and consistency, especially since that 25-goal campaign. He will periodically have a game where he is a dominating presence and you wonder where the heck that came from. Those games are often book-ended by long stretches of being snake-bitten offensively.
Given that expectations were that he would be a consistent top-six scorer in Vancouver, this obviously drove a lot of our fans around the bend where he was concerned. But even when he wasn't scoring, he was a solid contributor on the PK. He can be a useful forward. I'd say on anything less than $2m/season, you guys are getting a very strong deal.
One other nitpick - he doesn't show particularly well in the playoffs. He has trouble fighting through the grit. He has had a couple of noteable performances in the past, but it's much like his regular season performance - one incredible playoff game, surrounded by games where he is very below average.
Anyway - I'm a fan who liked Raymond, but also knew that it was time for both he and the Canucks to move on. I hope he pans out in Toronto. I'll repeat that if he signs a deal for $2m/year or less and is cast in a third line role, you guys will be thrilled with him."
Never have been fond of Raymond, just another small waterbug that often ends up accomplishing nothing on the ice. However...last nights game.
Sad to say our rookies are not as good as Ottawas. Ottawa consistently outplayed our guys and as the game went on they just took over, more and more. They have a group of very high quality forwards with Pageau, Stone both playing excellently.
Our D was weak I thought except for Percy who once again was very solid. Our forwards all worked hard but all appear to be solid 3rd line quality guys. It was just a rookie game but impressions are made there.
Anyways, there are more things in life to be thinking about than rookie game performances.
Cox indicates that Raymond should sign for less than a million.
Nonis drafted Raymond, so I don't believe that he is playing games with him.
If MR can get back to 20 goals and complete the line with Bolland and Kulemin, the Leaf should be able to run 3 lines that can all score.
That plan doesn't sound too bad.
This guy has blazing speed and and under rated wrist shot, if his back is 100 % he could be a 20 goal scorer with Bolland and Kulemin providing a safety net, he is also an excellent penalty killer, his speed is scary.
If you like funny TV then I strongly suggest you check out a show called, QI (quite interesting) Its a panel show from England with Stephen Fry who is the smartest funnies person on the planet and his side kick (old side kick was Dr. House) Alan Davis. Check it out on the youtube. After a game like tonights, we need a good laugh.
People seem to be jumping the gun with this Raymond business. It's just a tryout. We may just let him go after camp.
If anything we may have done this to "increase competition" (or perceived competition) at training camp given that our forward roster is pretty much set outside of maybe a 4th line winger spot.
love the hate on the kids showed against ottawa today....the battle of Ontario was starting to be revived over the last year or so
Obviously all depends on how Raymond looks.
But moving out Liles, getting the RFAs signed, and bringing in Raymond fills out the lineup pretty nicely.
Dunno if that first move is possible. Probably would already be done if it was.
@CanuckUKinToronto Anything under 900k works because in effect it can't harm the cap.
Either A) someone with a higher hit (ex: Kule) gets traded to make room, or B) he gets demoted and the hit doesn't stay
@mcloki Reilly, Ross, Percy, Finn and Leivo
@mcloki Hey no Fair, you picked 6 :)
@Mind Bomb morning Gents. MB. So this week it should all start to gel. Nice hearing nothing from either Kadri or Fransons camp all weekend. Maybe they are talking. Can't wait till Sunday.
@Mind Bomb Right back at ya MB :)
@Dan39 Cap space and its not costing anything to find out if he's worth a contract
@LeafsForLife D'Amico will get his chance he just has some more competition now. Its a win win . Jerry beats out Raymond then he deserves the spot. If he doesn't then that likely means Raymond played well.
@Burtonboy I'm watching them all on PVR so didn't get to the Ottawa game yet.
However, against Pittsburgh, you gotta love the game that Devane played. Policing the ice all night. Dominated his fight after getting cut, showed good balance and patience although admittedly against a smaller guy. He raised my hopes for his upcoming season. Win.
Broll, on the other hand, who I was singing his praises all off-season, nearly got himself Duirzynskied. It was a larger foe than Devane took on and he does get style points for the bucket toss but he gave up a superior grip early and then got wild. Memories of Colton Orr. Loss.
@Komas Taberle Just learning of this, my thoughts were the same. He would do an excellent job on a line with Kulemin and Bolland.
@Dangle_My_Berries Thats good, because they showed fuck all else. Awful hockey game. Not that I get upset about a rookie game, but that was awful to watch. What was the final? I turned it off after 6-2.
@Alec Brownscombe I could see Burke "suggesting" to Feaster that he take on the Liles contract but force the Leafs to add a prospect. Something along the lines of Liles+Blacker+pick for Nemisz. After all, he seems to love making those kinds of trades.
@Alec Brownscombe Yea it's in the early stages of becoming an issue.
@mcloki My Picks, Reilly, Percy, Leivo, Biggs, Granberg
@-Keon- I can see Joe being packaged with Liles to clear some cap space.
Hope he signs cheap, and we get Kadri & Franson back in the fold and send Holzer & Smith down to Marlies.
So we have 6.6M to sign 3 guys and play with 22 guys.
Mason 900k and Kadri and Franson 2.6 each, that leaves 500k for emergency call ups.
@-Keon- interesting that Raymond would agree to attend a camp for a team that has no way of signing him.....thats why I think Nonis may have made some promises. It would have made more sense for Raymond to take a PTO with the Islanders or another team that has cap room.
@-Keon- replaces the old whipping boy that went to Ottawa lol
@Dangle_My_Berries @theacs1966 It's not hyperbole to say that no one wearing a Leaf jersey played well in the third. They were all truly fucking awful. I did like in the first 40 the play of Yuen, Biggs, the twins, Gauthier and Percy. I know a lot of people are in love with Granberg, but he's not ready, and probably should go right to Marlies camp. About the only D that has a shot are Riley and Percy.