It was fun to be back at the arena again to see all of the familiar faces and some of the new ones. The Leafs were split into two teams/practice squads (Team A and Team B, very creative) that took over the ice on the Leafs rink and the Marlies rink.
Maple Leafs Training Camp Roster 2013Latest Cuts: Stuart Percy, Andrew MacWilliam reassigned to Marlies.
|* Indicates rookie tournament attendee|
|34||James Reimer||G||45||Jonathan Bernier||G|
|3||Dion Phaneuf||D||12||Mason Raymond||F|
|11||Jay McClement||F||21||James van Riemsdyk||F|
|15||Paul Ranger||D||22||Joe Colborne||F|
|26||John-Michael Liles||D||23||Trevor Smith||F|
|38||Frazer McLaren||F||36||Carl Gunnarsson||D|
|41||Nikolai Kulemin||F||51||Jake Gardiner||D|
|43||Nazem Kadri||F||55||Korbinian Holzer||D|
It is a big task to try and watch any given player due to the sheer number (59 individuals at camp) of skaters, but I tried my best. I wanted to focus on the newest additions and the ones who were trying to make the team.
The practice started with drills and then progressed to an organized scrimmage that stopped the shift every 20 seconds (dictated by the irritating horn on the score clock). While I was trying to watch the new guys, it was very evident that Phil Kessel is absolutely flying. His puck skills (undressed Bozak at one point) were incredible and skating is second to very few in the NHL.
I am sure most of you want to know about Jonathan Bernier, Mason Raymond, and Paul Ranger. So without further rambling, here we go. Bernier was solid. His movements are incredibly poised and under control. During the second scrimmage, I am not sure he let in a goal the entire time he was on the ice. Up/Downs are so very quick, he makes it all look very effortless. Mason Raymond is a roadrunner on the ice. Absolutely one of the fastest guys on an already quick team (caveat: I said similar about Lombardi last camp). Onto Paul Ranger, who was simple and effective in what I saw, but certainly didn’t stand out in any real regard. That is a good thing in an NHL defenceman, and I cannot wait to see more from him tomorrow.
Team B, as they are known, didn’t have the same intensity and pace that Team A did. I’m not sure why; maybe they are less talented as a group or just young, but there was a noticeable drop off in play from rink to rink.
While the hockey was fast paced, it had a few solid hits today. The first one was Mark Fraser stepping into Bradley Ross just inside the blue line. Ross got up looking pissed but realized it was Fraser, and skated to the bench with a smile on his face. Good choice. Next up was a solid battle between David Clarkson and Kevin Marshall. It was behind the net along the boards, and I thought it just may escalate to a fight; sadly, it wasn’t to be. Finally, at the end of scrimmage, Carter Ashton stepped into Dion Phaneuf in the middle of the ice. Dion wasn’t pleased but just hopped back up and continued his shift.
I had a great chat with Paul Hendrick again today, who is always engaging. We got to talk hockey for a solid 20 minutes during one of the scrimmages. He has excellent insight to the team personnel and genuinely loves hockey. New favourite media members are Jonas Siegel and Caroline Cameron from SportsNet. I think even Big Daddy smiled in my general direction today. The security lady told me where the muffins and coffee were and to “help myself,” but I prefer the Dallas Eakins style with veggies and fruits.
Sorry if this has been a huge rambling run-on sentence. My mind is spinning at this point from all of that action crammed into three hours of fun.
Thanks for reading, and see you all tomorrow.
Morning Mashup: Kadri, Hodgson on opposite sides of RFA spectrum: http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/09/13/morning-mashup-kadri-hodgson-on-opposite-signs-of-rfa-spectrum/
New blog up
Siegel is saying that if Franson signs a 2 year deal and the plays better than expected the parties can just tear up the contract and renegotiate a longer term deal. Can they do that?
If no one offer sheeted Subban, the Leafs hav e no reason to worry about Franson. Especially with the salary cap crunch. And now Carolina is off the table as a possible offer sheeter.
FRANSON UPDATE http://www.tsn.ca/toronto/blogs/jonas_siegel/?id=431746
Franson update http://www.tsn.ca/toronto/blogs/jonas_siegel/?id=431746
@-Keon- It's irrelevant. Leafs will match no matter what. Nonis has shown in the past that he's willing to bury contracts. Franson was a straight up stud in the playoffs down the stretch. I'm not convinced he'll never be better than a 3-4. He looked like Pronger-Lite in the playoffs. The kid is huge, has great offensive instinct, a great shot, and is learning to use his body more and more. The kid's a solid 3D right now, but he still has room to grow.
@-Keon- I don't get why people categorize Franson as a "middle of the pack" type player. He lead Leaf defensmen is points in both the regular season and play-offs(second on team for playoff points with 6 in 7 games) and was a plus player doing so while playing mostly second pairing minutes. He has great size and reach, a great point shot with a sick release that often requires no wind-up. He simply plays the game right! Get real Nonis. Get this figured out.
If a team offer sheeted for a 1 year contract, of say $3.25M wouldn't that team only give up a 2nd.
If the offer sheet was accepted by Franson, then 3 things could happen:
1) TO doesn't match and gets a 2nd
2) TO matches and is pissed off
3) TO and offering team work out a better trade for Toronto in the time TO has to decide.
For a guy like Franson, this seems like a low risk to the offering team.
@-Keon- Like I said, if soupcan wasn't shown an offer sheet, i cna't see how, particuarly in today's cap climate, anyone sends one to Franson
I am willing to bet Feaster Beaster has called NoNo to "discuss"
Leafs are in a jam should they offer in the mid/high threes
There's always Q..and nobody's feeling sorry for you :)
@TheCanucksnaphook Nonis needs to take care of the here and now and work out a plan while the season progresses. Anything can happen thru the year. Keon's right - insisting on 2-3 years only makes sense if Nonis wants to trade Franson. I say sign him to $3million for 1 year and, if he plays well, start working on an extension after the New Year.
@TheCanucksnaphook Nonis doesn't want contracts for 5 d men expiring next yr. I'm guessing that's the issue.
Well one difference has become very apparent this summer between Nonis and his predecessor Burkie
Nonis is a major hard ass in negotiations without fear of alienating players.
Franson must be kicking himself for not going to arbitration
Because every situation is different...
Franson more affordable at high threes,with much upside and and the Leafs will be in tough to match
Very tempting for many but the old boyz network has limited much of this to near zero.
I still say Calgary would have interest
All depends on the talking head(s)
Jeff Blair vs Steve Simmons?
Too close to call....but leave your window down ;)
Since it's part of their profession I always assume those idiot reporters should know more than me. Turns out I'm the idiot for giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Then he implied poorly, because he distinctly said "tear up" and the clear inference from that is the 2nd year is cancelled.
To see if they can force TO to go with option 3. If they can't afford Franson at $3.25 this year and with him having more arbitration rights next year, Nonis may feel he has to move Franson and keep Liles. That's why.
Burkie will be on the phone(2nd line) working his dumping magic
Franson's age,contract and upward development fits the Flames perfectly
Because no one os'ed him and he relented/caved
Agreed,but Soupcan would have got near twice Franson's salary
That's the biggest difference.
Yeah, but that's why them offersheet him at $3.25M with a handshake deal to extend in January. Another 4 years at $4.25M.
Burkie will lose his shit if they do :)
We're talking Feaster( and Burkie) here
I say they might gamble...look at the ROR debacle
(but with Burke..prefer to trade)
@Uncle Otis Is Calgary willing to give us a 1st in their situation ? I kinda doubt it.
@Murph2417 @Mitch92 @theacs1966 @Loric76 @CanuckUKinToronto @Burtonboy @TheCanucksnaphook They've done nothing but treat him like shit since he got here. Fucking get it done, whatever it takes, the time to play chicken ended 2 days ago. He'll still be an RFA and you could get a lot in trade for him if he is signed.
Give me your address and I'll come over and kiss you in addition to the like I've give you!!!!
@theacs1966 @Loric76 @CanuckUKinToronto @Burtonboy @TheCanucksnaphook If Franson is only being offered 2.5 it's no wonder why he is only willing to sign for 1 year! On the open market he would easily command 4.5 million a year for 4 or 5 years. I still think Nonis's handling of Franson is a black mark on his GM record.