Kadri’s in the house.. What now?

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Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Training camp opens today (physicals/media day), and one half of the dark cloud lurking over this awesome time of year in Leafland has been cleared up and squared away.

I can only see one potential “but” in yesterday’s good-value Kadri contract. An Adam Henrique or James van Riemsdyk contract (long term at a little over $4 million) might be the type of contract we wish we snagged Nazem on down the road. There’s no knowing if Kadri would be amenable to locking himself in long term at that low of a figure, however, and in the short term, with the cap dropping and the Leafs working with limited space, this 2-year bridge deal at sub-$3 million makes a ton of sense.

Kudos to Nonis on sticking to his guns here (and I mean really sticking to his guns), as this is a good deal in both salary and term. I wondered if Kadri would accept something like $2.9 million but agree to only a one-year term, sort of as a “see you for the big bucks this time next year” kind of thing. That the next Kadri re-up is staggered from the pending Phaneuf, Kessel and Gardiner (potentially Kulemin and Bolland as well) contracts, at a very cap friendly figure, is good news going forward, alleviating what could’ve been more added stress next off season.

Now let’s look into the roster options and cap space as it pertains to the Cody Franson situation. The Kadri contract is a relief, but the Leafs are not out of the woods yet.

The Leafs currently sit with $1,996,000 in cap space, if you include Trevor Smith and Korbinian Holzer in order to fill out a 22 man roster. Drop Holzer and Smith and you’re at $3.33 million with a bare minimum 20-man roster. That means the Leafs have $3.33 million to sign Franson and to fit in an extra forward. That last part is optional, but it seems that with two enforcers carrying 13 would be the wise thing to do. If the Leafs can convince Franson to take $2.5 million, a doubling of his salary from last season, they would have about $833,000 to either leave as wiggle room or to carry their 13th forward. $2.5 million seems a little ambitious, however.

Depending on how the competition plays out in camp, the Leafs could bury up to $925,000 in the minors with, say, Liles or Fraser going down, and carry only 6 defencemen (this is not ideal; the Leafs routinely carried eight last season). This also assumes Joe Colborne makes the team. It would be handy if he did, because Colborne’s $600,000 cap hit is the fourth lowest of any of the 46 players currently under contract with the organization. The perks of offering Colborne that one-way contract is the great value the Leafs should get if he’s playing on the big club.

It’s no mystery why Morgan Rielly has been checking out the Leafs’ capgeek page. There’s no getting around it; Rielly is going to have to wow the socks off of Leafs brass and force their hand on a demotion (burying a contract like Liles’) or a trade to include him on the big club this season.

All of these storylines and more will play out in the coming days and weeks. Hallelujah, hockey season is upon us.

  • wiski

    congrats buddy..:))!

  • Great Dane

    Taking about trading Liles.
    I wouldn’t be surprised that inside a couple of months would see a trade a package of Liles and Reimer to Flames. If Bernier grabs the goal then this scenario is very likely.

    Flames only have Ramo and Joey McD in goal and their defense is not great.
    But what could Flames actually offer.

  • Wardus

    GREAT DEAL!!!!  Thanks Kadri!!! :)  Don’t worry, if you play like you can, you’ll get paid next time around.

  • Savo43

    If we demote Liles, Smith, Ranger, and Holzer now, we’ll have over 5.183 mill to sign both Franson (2.9m), Raymond (900k) while recalling Blacker (870k), and Brennan (600k) for the 6th and 7th spots. We’d only have 73k left on the cap but our roster would be lookin pretty dangerous. 

    JVR-Bozak-Kessel
    Lupul-Kadri-Clarkson
    Raymond-Bolland-Kulemin
    McClement-Colborne-Orr
    McLaren

    Gunnarsson-Phaneuf
    Gardiner-Franson
    Fraser-Blacker
    Brennan

    Bernier/Reimer

    Cap Space = $73,333 

    Now, if Franson signs for 2.5, we won’t need to demote Ranger, but tbh i like the idea of Blacker making the club over him anyways, start developing another right handed dman. With Ranger we have 5 (6 including Brennan) left handed defensemen. Thats borderline ridiculous.

  • Great Dane

    Savo43 Nonis just need to move Liles and we would be in great shape.
    Add Ranger and that is a pretty good line-up for the coming season.
    To be honest we only need to get past 1st October, then injuries will take care of the cap problem. Unfortunately.

  • Great Dane

    Regarding Mason Raymond on the high-lights of his goals last season did anyone notices the same as I did:
    MR scores on the power play or off the rush. Putting Raymond on a line with Bolland and Kulimin to pressure the other teams top line would be a good option.
    Blazing speed to capitalize on mistakes with Gardiner and Franson dishing outlet passes seems like to good formula  to me.

  • Savo43

    Great Dane Thank you Daner, glad somebody can see past the whole, “him being a Canuck” thing.

  • TMLConnor

    Savo43 Yeah good point, but ranger was a pretty highly coveted signing, I havent seen a whole lot of him, but from his previous stats he could surprise a lot of us.

  • Optimustic

    Great Dane Yup, I noticed that.  I also noticed the same thing on the highlight reel when we acquired Matt Lombardi.  It didn’t work out so well at the time.   Not saying it won’t work out this time, but I’m taking the wait and see approach for now.

  • Gene

    Great Dane Gardiner and Franson wouldn’t be my first choice to play against top lines.

  • http://twitter.com/jmckelvie RielledUp

    Optimustic Great Dane The thing is about Lombardi is that he costed the Leafs 3.5 million and was on a team that lacked a lot of physical play. Looking at the team now,  after Frattin and MacA leaving, there seems to seems to be a lack of speed. Raymond at <1 million should fit in perfectly.

  • http://twitter.com/jmckelvie RielledUp

    Raymond was my buddies favorite player when he was with the Canucks. I’m tempted get a a Raymond knock off jersey just to rub it in (if he makes the team).

  • Burtonboy

    Went to bed early last night kinda frustrated with everything leafs. Today will be a much more satisfying day to say the least. Hopefully Franson inks a contract today

  • Zep2

    Morning guys. Great to see Kadri in camp. Franson is an important piece going forward. As the series against Boston progressed he just got stronger and stronger .  Nonis needs to get this figured out and get him signed and in camp.

  • Burtonboy

    Zep2 Yep the job is only half done yet

  • Zep2

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-beat/shoalts-bernier-gives-leafs-fans-genuine-cause-for-hope/article14237974/#dashboard/follows/
    High praise for Bernier

  • Zep2

    Burtonboy Zep2 Are they on the ice today,BB or is it medicals and the like

  • Knights2Leafs

    Savo43 
    Difference between Blacker and Ranger is only $130K.  For that I keep Ranger up for now.

  • Burtonboy

    Zep2 Burtonboy Just medicals and interviews I think . Not sure what on ice testing they will be doing if any

  • Knights2Leafs

    RielledUp Optimustic
    I question the lack of speed on the forwards and I notice you didn’t mention Grabo who was likely the fastest guy we lost.  
    On the dman side we are distinctly quicker with Gardiner and Ranger replacing Kostka, Holzer and Komisarek.
    Not to mention that if Bernier really is a better puck handler that will help in getting the puck to the dmen in a better position to move quickly.
    P.S.  I still love Reimer and did I mention that in addition to not being slower and perhaps faster overall as a team we are bigger and tougher.

  • Mind Bomb

    Morning Guys, I wake up to a Kadri Signing, pretty cool. Now any news on Franson ?

  • Knights2Leafs

    Burtonboy 
    LOL – I was in a tense mediation till just after 6:30, started to read comments then fell asleep by 8:45.  Very happy to wake up today for a lot of reasons.

  • Burtonboy

    Knights2Leafs RielledUp Optimustic Have we really slowed that much though ? Bolland has some wheels as you well know and Clarkson isn’t that bad. I doubt we will even notice the difference

  • Uncle Otis

    Mind Bomb
    Nice way to start the day… eh Bomber?
    I woke up to this dumbass…cant cure stupid! 😛

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb Morning MB . All I got to say is phewwwwwwwwwwwwww thankfully that’s resolved

  • Mind Bomb

    Burtonboy Mind Bomb  No doubt bro. We need him ready to go, He will be the Difference in finishing 3/4 in our division, or winning it :)

  • Mind Bomb

    Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Dear lord dude, here’s your sign ! lol 
    And Morning O

  • Knights2Leafs

    Zep2 
    Yes but Shoalts is saying Bernier nails down the number 1 spot by the end of October. I’ll believe it when I see it.  Give Reimer some damn respect.
    Shoalts is also saying we are “thin” on defense without Franson and him not being signed is a “dark cloud”.  Firstly I see Franson being signed.  Secondly while we are better with Cody than without we have so much depth on D that it is not make or break.  Ranger can fill in on the top 4 and we have Brennan, Blacker and potentially Rielly to play with Fraser.
    I do not believe the sky is falling just yet.

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb Burtonboy Not having Kadri would have thrown to many things out of whack. Bolland moving up to 2 nd line . McClement centering 3rd line and not having a shutdown line of Mcl ,Bolland and Kulie intact would have been an issue for sure

  • Knights2Leafs

    Burtonboy
    We can pretend all we like that we could have gotten by without Kadri but I really see him being our true 1C even if he’s playing with those bums Lupul and Clarkson.  None of our other centers is even close to a 1C.
    Although I understand Bobsyouruncle sees Bozak as our break out player of the year. : )

  • Mind Bomb

    CanuckUKinToronto Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Dint even think of That Nuck lol

  • Dink

    Is it just me or is inviting 59 players to camp rather silly?

  • Uncle Otis

    CanuckUKinToronto
    BrianBurkeIsBringingSexyBack?
    Ewww lol

  • Knights2Leafs

    Burtonboy
    I really would like to see Colborne get a chance.  He may not have Frattin’s speed (or Raymonds) but he is not slow and his size gives him a distinct advantage on the forechecking side of things.

  • Mind Bomb

    Uncle Otis CanuckUKinToronto Hahhaha

  • Uncle Otis

    Mind Bomb Uncle Otis 
    Don’t usually start my day with a lousy news rag,but we were in lockdown yesterday from two armed robbers on the loose
    Keystone Cops up here said they have “eluded us”
    You essentially have to turn yourself in for Barrie OPP to get their man

  • Burtonboy

    Knights2Leafs Burtonboy At least he has a bonifie chance in this camp. Its his to go after . Just because Raymond has a PTO doesn’t mean he will get the job given to him like some seem to think.

  • Burtonboy

    @Dink LA has just as many and I think the Red wings do as well

  • Knights2Leafs

    CanuckUKinToronto 
    A guy like Gauthier first gets to play against older players in the rookie tournament and then gets to participate with the big boys at training camp. IMHO this is a huge stepping stone for him to step into the Q this year flying.

  • LeafsGuru

    CanuckUKinToronto I wonder what McClement will get on his next deal, I think its safe to say we all want him on this team I hope signs an extension mid season.

  • Dink

    Burtonboy seems silly to me…need time for other things
    Anyone heard/read anything from Carlyle all summer?

  • Mind Bomb

    Uncle Otis Mind Bomb haha an Excuse to stay in a talk hockey, 
    Ratz !

  • The_Irv

    It is a lot of players…. I’m sure they will trim it down rather quickly though

  • Uncle Otis

    Mind Bomb
    I was on the outside looking in…couldn’t get home!
    Kids were in school lockdown..they had every cop from Central Ontario on perimeter it seemed.
    Choppers in the sky,dogs on the ground..and this morning I heard…. they simply gave up!
    Made for an interesting sleep last night

  • mcloki

    Morning Gents. If you could just turn your heads and cough.

  • The_Irv

    MR is also known to play on the PK as well. It is a bargain if we sign him for under 1M. Even if it just becomes a depth signing and he sits in the press box while Colborne plays and develops. Playoff teams need depth, so we could use MR at that price tag.
    Obviously only if we have cap space lol…

  • Uncle Otis

    mcloki 
    If I could bend over and find my joint it would be even better 😉

  • MaxwellHowe

    mcloki Mornin.  Looks like Nonis is 2-3 steps from achieving the near impossible.  Beefed up the roster and lowered overall salary at the same time.  Of course, he received a little assistance from the compliance buyouts.

  • Knights2Leafs

    @Dink
    I believe he was enrolled in Ron Wilson’s summer coaching camp.

  • Knights2Leafs

    The_Irv 
    I have no objection to the depth sigining; just the cap constraints that may mean Raymond signs for a year delaying the development of a guy like Colborne and D’Amigo.
    We have this great system to draw on and I’d rather see internal advancements.  If we can do both, all the better.