Game Review: Game #75, Flyers 4 vs. Leafs 2

Photo: NHLI via Getty Images

Anyone following this team in earnest over the last two seasons is familiar with a number of this young group’s faults. One is their propensity to elevate their game to a different level – at the very last possible moment. The shortened season was better in this respect, as a team that the hockey world thought little of went out every night with the goal of proving themselves. This culminated in a showdown with the Bruins in the playoffs, wherein the team’s speed, determination, and some miraculous goaltending propelled the series to seven games.

Fast forward to this season. A group of young Leafs have forced the aforementioned hockey world to take them seriously. Predictions varied this time – but many saw this club as a playoff threat with upside. Is it possible that the mere act of making the playoffs was enough for this group to rest just a little too easily on their laurels?

Certainly, it’s not a defining trait of the team, as some of their best players in Kessel and Phaneuf are rarely short on effort. But one needs to look no further than Joffrey Lupul’s game as this losing streak has progressed to witness this characteristic in action. Lupul, who is counted on to be one of this club’s very best forwards, has only recently began moving his legs and driving the net with the intensity that we know he can bring. As others have mused this season, this is an area where the Leafs miss players such as MacArthur, Grabovski and Komarov. While not the offensive talent that Lupul is, these three gave 100% each shift (pardon the cliché) and defined the fast, determined game that propelled the Leafs to success last season.

For a lot of 2013-2014, Toronto has made do with elite first line scoring, elite goaltending, and a mishmash of mediocre across the rest of the board. With their backs against the wall tonight, it was time for the Leafs as a whole to put up or shut up. No more hockey platitudes – just win.

1st Period

Entering a notoriously hostile building with an ongoing tendency to cough up early goals? Yeah, to literally nobody’s surprise, the Leafs continued this trend (despite an admittedly energetic start to the game). Firstly, Cody Franson looked as cumbersome as ever in his attempts to hold the offensive line and took a penalty in the process. This was followed by a soft tripping call on Kulemin to put Toronto down two men early. To make matters worse, McClement was inexplicably thrown out of the circle on the ensuing draw. The result – Dion Phaneuf’s first ever NHL faceoff. Salivating at the opportunity, Philadelphia’s potent power play wasted no time in capitalizing. The recently demoted/motivated Lecavalier fired a one timer past Bernier and thus began another night of playing from behind.

Halfway through what turned out to be a respectable first period for the Leafs, Kadri made a nice play to set up a trailing Gunnarson. Gunnarson, who has come on as strong offensively in recent months as we’ve ever seen, put it in the net. Unfortunately, an eager Lupul bumped into Mason as he drove the crease. This was one that usually would not be called goalie interference, but served to nullify Gunnarson’s goal on this occasion. Otherwise, Toronto’s best chance of the period was a frantic scramble at the end of first on the powerplay. The stimulus for this chance: the now rare Dion Phaneuf shot from the right side.

2nd Period

Bozak and JVR epitomized Toronto’s quick strike offense with their goal just four seconds into the second. They embarrassed Couturier and Timonen respectively as they darted up the ice right off the faceoff. They burned the two Flyers with their speed and Bozak fed it to JVR who fired it home to tie it up.

With the fast paced game of these two squads on display tonight, one can only imagine the chaos that might have been had Reimer been in net. Contrarily, Bernier was his usual calming self, with Philadelphia’s only goal of the period being a powerplay deflection. Hartnell got his stick on a Timonen wrister, as the Flyers powerplay cashed in again. In a rare turn of events, Toronto finished the second leading in shots as the importance of this game went directly to the players’ legs and sticks.

3rd Period

With the desperation factor at a season-high, the Leafs came out hungry in the third. After some tenacious puck work, Kulemin found Phaneuf from behind the net. Despite a golden opportunity, the captain was shut down by Mason. As it goes in Leafland, JVR subsequently tried an ill-advised cross-ice pass that wound up on the wrong player’s stick. Claude Giroux raced in unimpeded on the wing and fired a laser in off the bar over Bernier to make it 3-1.

Thankfully, this tally was soon returned in kind. A strong shift from the Bolland line saw Clarkson launch the puck at the net a few times (something noticeably lacking in his game this year). Bolland went to retrieve Clarkson’s rebound from the corner, only to be hauled down, drawing a penalty. However, it would never make it to the man advantage, as the puck found it’s way back to Bolland with an extra attacker on and a yawning cage in front of him. 3-2 for the Flyers.

With the phrase “too little too late” possibly becoming the epitaph for this season, Philadelphia quenched Toronto’s fire with their fourth of the night. A bobbled puck by Phaneuf lead to Simmonds hounding the disc off of an unaware Kadri in the slot. The Ontario native drove it home and that was all she wrote for the night. A late powerplay went for naught and Phaneuf took out some of his frustration on Jake Voracek with a tussle in the corner.

This was a knockout blow to the Leafs’ playoff hopes. The staggering Leafs will have to win at least six of their last seven games to have a real chance at the postseason this year. Hard to believe.

Fenwick chart for 2014-03-28 Maple Leafs 2 at Flyers 4

EV fenwick chart for 2014-03-28 Maple Leafs 2 at Flyers 4

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Philadelphia Flyers

Steve Mason (31-17-6)W34320.94159:56:00
Braydon Coburn0023:49-110003100
Sean Couturier0019:25-1101091100
Claude Giroux1216:0912012101100
Nicklas Grossmann0021:30110005401
Adam Hall0014:15000320201
Scott Hartnell1115:33124002100
Vincent Lecavalier1013:32030433011
Andrew MacDonald0119:52002001201
Tye McGinn008:13010002000
Michael Raffl0014:54010011001
Matt Read0019:46-110001210
Zac Rinaldo0111:32-100005110
Luke Schenn0015:50000005111
Brayden Schenn0010:52030541000
Wayne Simmonds1012:03020002000
Mark Streit0021:14110001000
Kimmo Timonen0215:59-140001102
Jakub Voracek0015:36162000030


Jonathan Bernier (25-18-7)L29250.86258:45:00
Troy Bodie004:58020001020
Dave Bolland1011:33122651000
Tyler Bozak0122:2601012151110
David Clarkson0010:21120006000
Cody Franson0022:00102006010
Jake Gardiner0124:31:00240001401
Tim Gleason0014:25-100001300
Carl Gunnarsson0017:08022004101
Nazem Kadri0016:55022652001
Phil Kessel0022:39010000110
Nikolai Kulemin0012:05-112003000
Joffrey Lupul0016:57-120004200
Jay McClement009:32000582200
Colton Orr004:26010002000
Dion Phaneuf0021:17-234015200
Mason Raymond0116:56140001010
Morgan Rielly0020:44010003011
James van Riemsdyk1024:31:00060001303
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Philadelphia Flyers

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Nikhil has been writing for MLHS since the site launched in 2008. He misses talking about Mats Sundin and is currently entrenched in enemy territory (Boston) pursuing a doctoral degree. Contact Nikhil here:
  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Meh!!  Onwards and upwards.

  • wiski

    Poor Randy look at those bags under his eyes.

  • Abby Leafs

    Time for some of the Marlies to play

  • Jay31

    Bernier looks obviously injured. Sit the poor guy, he has had to deal with enough rubber this season. 

    #tanknation (because I sure as hell don’t see this group going 6-1 to make it)

  • Jay31

    Abby Leafs  Agreed, get some of the kids up so we can see how they do at the NHL level.

    Would love to see any of Leivo, Mckegg, or Abbott

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Jay31 Abby Leafs  
    I want another look see at D’Amigo.

  • Yan28

    Wow…… On a positive note Maflies won today and the Raptors clinched a playoff spot.

  • Abby Leafs

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Jay31Abby Leafs
    or Ashton, Biggs instead of Orr, even Carrick who’s a little shit disturbing player. Let’s bring in some energy in the bottom 6

  • tucker2corson

    fuck this team is gonna fucking kill me.. this is actually one of the only drafts ive seen where there are 5 top line centremen type players avaliable…. if these fucks play this way in desperation i hope we lose em all.. pick up a solid top 10 pick… ritchie, ho-sang, jake virtanen and solid d man hayden fluery will prob be in our reach… seen them all play… ho sand is a faster kadri… higher skill level with out the abrasive quality…nick ritchie is an agressive power forward who does what he wants ….

  • Great Dane

    Just for the record the Leafs are down to 19.8% chance of making the playoff.  Losing to Detroit tonight in regulation would get the chance down to less than 10%.  Detroit didn’t play Friday, so I really don’t like our chances on a back-to-back.

    The current version of the Leafs runs around like 5 headless chicken in front of a goalie. IT IS NOT A TEAM ANYMORE.

    This season is done and it is time for spring cleaning. That start with moving out Carlyle and the entire coaching staff. With 7 games left it doesn’t really matter who is behind the bench.

    Reimer should be moved – I always liked him but RC really managed to destroy his confidence.

    On defense Franson and Gleason should be moved.

    Up front it is a bit more tricky. JVR and Kessel are the only ones that are safe. I would even mover Kadri for the right return. Bozak was done OK on the top line but in the long run he is still only a stand-in. 
    Time to use some Marlies, they at least would be fightning for a roster spot. Get Komorov and Hartikainen back in the NHL and roll four lines that can play hockey.

    Leiweke and Nonis now have to show that it is their team and use the financial power that they have at their disposal.

  • Great Dane

    To be honest I actually think that this team is beyond “Wilson bad” and that with a better roster.

  • Yan28

    Great Dane Franson, is a total Dud. There’s no way he’s back, that would be absolutely ludicrous if he is. Gleason came back to Earth, was impressive for a while when he first joined us.

  • lilgrnmen17

    Surely Carlyle is done, I just don’t think this guy is the right coach for this team. The roster seems largely set for the foreseeable future, so let’s get a coach with a philosophy that matches the talents and personalities.

  • The Toronto Maple Leaf

    If Vancouver passes us we get 9th overall. I know there is a very small chance of winning the lottery, but is there a chance we could move up a few spots? I forget how this works.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    The good news is we are still at 80 points with Detroit (who we play tonight), Washington (plays Boston today),  and Columbus (plays Carolina tonight) all crucial games as far as the Leafs are concerned not only in the points race but due to all these teams having 2 games in hand. 

    With our inability to muster any points in the last 7 games we have also made ourselves vulnerable to losing a spot to NJ who are 4 points back with 2 games in hand.

    Leafs pretty much need to run the table otherwise we have a pretty good chance of picking 10th at the draft. 
    How’s that for a surprise ending. F@CK

  • DylanJ

    If I am Nonis….taking into account  past performance and trajectory based on this year and recent trends…..this is
    how I see our roster going forward:

    BERNIER – looks like we have a starter

    KESSEL is a beast, he obviously stays. 
    BOZAK is smart and nifty, 
    JVR is big, fast, creative super high pedigree. All under 30 
     ….So far, so good

    KADRI  is still young, has some grit and finesse which is a unique blend. He can stay for now, but if the right package came along in which we could get an Elite all around defensemen to replace Phaneuf or something, Kadri would be a great chip and I wouldn’t hesitate

    LUPUL is good but also often injured and I think his value right now is probably as high as its ever going to be. Was saying this in preseason. He’s on a downward trajectory IMO, his body is older than his years. If possible to move him for a decent return, I do it
    CLARKSON  nobodys going to take a sniff at him now, so we just have to cross our fingers and hope the NJ Clarkson finds his form in Toronto. I heard a sickening quote on the radio, it was from a scout who knows Clarkson or something — said in NJ everyone could see he was a gritty, determined, focused on winning kind of guy. Now they can see he’s a completely different person….. “waving at friends in the crowd” and shit like that…. one has to hope this year can be a mulligan given his suspension/injuries etc. All we can do is hope and see

    KULEMIN  I love him. He’s perfect for around 3mil or less.  One of the few Leafs I regularly see OUT MUSCLING his opponent. Him and KOMOROV in the bottom six is a nice punch. Goes without saying, Leo has an open door to this team for 2.5$ or less

    RAYMOND   Thanks for all the goals but meh, see ya. Felt the same way about MacArthur and even he was a little grittier. Just too invisible, too often.
    BOLLAND – People were saying “oh he won’t be the same for a long while” after the tendon injury, and I agreed, but I think its fair to say he’s looking pretty good again already. He threw several bone crunching hits in his first game back, scored tonight, coach always has kind words about him, just seems like an absolute gamer. Sign him

     Bodie, Orr, McLaren, Holland, Ashton, Reimer — dont consider them part of the core anymore

  • Shift_Disturber1

    The Toronto Maple Leaf   Vancouver and NJ would have to pass us for us to end up picking 10th.

    It’s unlikely that Win, Nash, Ott, Car, Cal, NYI, FLA, Edm, Buf pass us.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    7 games left. Hopefully Phil can snatch 4 more G’s to hit 40 and JVR can pop 1 more G and 1 more A to go 30/30.

    I know individual stats blah blah but I want to see it happen.

  • DylanJ

    As for defense:
    PHANEUF – I am probably one of the remaining few to not hate on Phaneuf, but man its getting difficult. That slow, awkward attempt at catching the puck tonight on Simmonds’ goal was mortifying. Last game, horrific. He’s been pretty good for the majority of the season, but I can’t help notice the correlation between how poor his game has been lately, and how the team has followed suit exactly… IF they miss the playoffs, they’re going in the wrong direction, maybe the leader can be partially to blame here on this huge collapse.  I think he’s expendable, to whoever wants him, but only when Reilly is old enough to take on the role or replaced in a trade.
    GUNNAR – I got some issues with Gunnar. But for his cap hit, and his familiarity with the team, I think he’s worth keeping until better personnel is brought in on defence. He can stay for now
    REILLY – Future captain. He stays.
    GARDINER – Our defense needs 

    RANGER – Can stay on the cheap for awhile but unless he really continues his recent upward trajectory going into training camp, not part of long term plans

    FRANSON – big and sometimes good on PP but gotta go. Just too shitty defensively, and with Phaneuf/Reilly/Gardiner here his points can be replaced. Also maybe its just me but seems like he’s got a weak attitude

  • Shift_Disturber1

    DylanJ   Gunnar is our Bozak on D. Not  necessarily the right guy for what he’s asked to do but, does pretty well in the spot he’s asked to fill.

    Phaneuf has to be hurt. I know he’s never been the quickest but he really seems slow and hesitant.

    Rielly goes nowhere and Gardiner has been really good when it was needed most seemingly. 

    I thought Ranger came along nicely. Unbelievable how strong this guy is on the boards. His man never seems to get away from him there.

    Franson…….yeah disappointing in a lot of areas

  • Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs

    I think the answer about our D is pretty easy to fathom out.
    Phaneuf is a two way guy who is expected to score
    Franson is also a two way guy who is expected to score.
    Rielly is too young to fully appreciate how to stop a seasoned forward but his ability to move forward is celebrated
    Gardiner also young and is barely a year ahead of Rielly in NHL development but is also expected to get forward
    Ranger has also a history of getting his name on the scoresheet
    Liles (now gone) was also brought in to add a scoring touch.

    So the stay at homes.
    Gleason was a forgotten man at Carolina and not been given that much of a prominant role.
    Gunnarsson, slow, clumsy and very slow in starting a match, takes a good 5 minutes every period to get going but gets minutes where at best hes a 3rd liner. imo.

    In leaf land, now and historically, a d-man is measured more on his scoring prowess rather than his ability to stop a scorer. No team has won the stanley cup in the modern era with 4-5 offensively keen d-men on their roster. Yes there has been the Charas and Doughties (who are a step better in all parts of their game) but those teams had a solid core of d-first guys. If you get two job d-men they will always revert to pushing forward first because for a scoring d-man thats where the money lies. A puck mover would make a good 1.5 – 2.5 million a year more. You’d be a fool not to grab that money.

    What Nonis needs to do is cash in on these players. Think positional need rather than value. Its no good holding pat because of lack of value when season after season is wasted and others careers suffer because of it. And for christ sake get a veteran stay at home guy who knows the ropes NOT a promising youngster who will take 5-7 years to develop.

  • The Toronto Maple Leaf

    Shift_Disturber1 The Toronto Maple Leaf  New Jersey lost their pick, so right now we are at 10 not 11.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    The Toronto Maple Leaf Shift_Disturber1Oh that’s right they pick 30th this year

  • Shift_Disturber1

    The Toronto Maple Leaf Shift_Disturber1Vancouver still has to pass us  for us to hit 10th as the 9 teams I mentioned above are behind everyone.

  • The Toronto Maple Leaf

    Shift_Disturber1 The Toronto Maple Leaf  Whoops you’re right. #tanknation

  • Shift_Disturber1

    The Toronto Maple Leaf Shift_Disturber1 Pretty sad either way LOL

  • Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs

    Im wondering if it would be a good idea to put Gardiner on the wing. Just to use his skating ability and beef up the minutes of a 4th line which with Orrs 2 minutes a game is a woeful use of money per minutes played. Realistically Orr is paid more than Kessel. I do believe in the need for a pugilist, Im not a soft hockey fan but I would like to see more from a forth line. Spend this year keeping Gardiner skating and develop his attacking game and develop Riellys defensive game. Next year role reversal. If we arent going to trade one we should look at other ways to develop them. Saying that Phaneuf is signed forever on a huge deal so is utterly untradeable and with us (Im glad to say) for years to come so will there ever be space for Phaneuf Rielly and Gardiner to be on the same roster anyway?
    Its a royal mess thats for sure.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    4 Leafs D in the top 60 for points from D in the NHL all in the 31-60 area
    37th Phaneuf  73GP 31pts  +8
    45th Franson  72GP 29pts  -15
    53rd Gardiner 73GP 26pts -2
    60th Rielly       66GP 25pts -15 (large portion of minuses racked up very early in the season)

  • Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs

    Carlyle was Burkes signing and probably was better suited for a Burke team. I believe Wilson was paid to take on a rebuild job knowing damn well his career win stats would take a solid hit. Compensation for taking on a undesirable job. 
    Im wondering with all the razzmatazz of Nonis the NAME hunter, never really develloped a team, that Wilson wouldnt be a better fit for his style of hockey.
    Im more of a believer of the Burke Carlyle way but Rogered and BellEnd would never ask Burke back so Carlyle is no good for Nonis the yes-man.
    Sure bye bye Carlyle – shame but thats what happens when dick heads take over hockey teams and get too involved. Let the hockey men make hockey decisions and the owners pick up the money.

  • Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs

    Thats my point.
    30 teams and in the top 60 if it was an even distribution we should have 2 not 4. And alot of the season we had Liles that didnt get the minutes but it would certainly have been expected that he would have been in that top 60.
    So our mantra is to outscore the opposition? 5-4 wins, 6-5 wins etc Its not the safest way of making the play offs especially if you havent really got that many elite skaters on the forward line.
    Maybe Im the wrong guy to be a Leaf fan, maybe prime TV hockey is what is wanted in Leaf land but Im more of a guy that believes if you don’t concede you don’t lose. But if you score 5 you can be beaten by an infinate number of scores.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    I ship Franson out. and keep Phaneuf, Gardiner and Rielly (obviously). That’s your offense from the D. I play them each with a rock solid defensive d-man and bring in a Marlie 7th d-man.

    I also give Phaneuf more equal zone starts and give Gardiner and Rielly a little more D-zone starts as they can move the puck up and out of our end at will (generally speaking)

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs Shift_Disturber1Nope I agree. See above

  • Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs

    I agree Franson has to go. I expected more from a 6ft5 Nashville prospect and really thought he was one that would develop into a decent hard hitting stay at home guy – and I think Burkie did as well. But years of playing on a mediocre team gave Franson some sort of bravery and make him believe he was something he wasnt a puck mover. A season with some decent momentum has turned him into a two job d-man jack of all trades master of none pushing for a lucrative contract where non should be forthcoming.
    Hes the odd man out.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs Shift_Disturber1Yeah I think Gardiner and Rielly offer more of what we need.  The defensive side of their games is coming. I can’t see anyway that keeping Franson over any of those guys is favourable and we need the other 3 D to be defensive to balance things out

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Top 6 is pretty much signed/locked in for next year (and in 5 out of 6 cases the next 4 min.)

    Opportunity to completely overhaul the bottom 6 and reel in some cap flexibility in the process

  • traNsplantEdneWfie

    I expect RC to be gone after this season so why not let him go now and find out if many of these problems are coach related? At least a new coach would get a few games in for Nonis to study.

  • Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs

    I was thinking today whether there was a possibility to offload Clarkson to NJ if we retain some of the money. They know he works for them, so no bedding in time and we get rid of a white elefant.
    Something along the lines of Clarkson and we retain 33% of his money for Gelinas. Then I think we would have a tradeable asset in Gardiner because I cant see how we could even cope with going forward with Phaneuf Riley and Gardiner, 2 maybe but 3? One isnt really going to develop on the 3rd pairing and to pair with each other or with Phaneuf is defensive suicide.

  • Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs

    You make it sound as if decent coaches are queuing up to take the Leafs job. I mean alot of people on here wanted Dalas Eakins to take the job over Carlyle and look what that plum has done. If no defensive awareness in the top 6 and no decent defence and ever changing goal tenders but non a real legit No1 guy with years of experience – ooops, oh shit – we’re Edmonton.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs Shift_Disturber1Clarkson is here for a while . I don’t realistically see any way around that.

    I’m not worried about those 3 on D. It may be a future issue and may not. If one of Gardiner or Rielly evolves to a top pairing guy then Phaneuf turns back to the more defensive guy on that pairing. Cost and postion wise they become 3 of your top 4 and you are back filling the other positions with $ appropriate options

  • lilgrnmen17

    Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs traNsplantEdneWfie  So your philosophy is no one wants the job, which seems highly unlikely, so let’s keep RC?

  • traNsplantEdneWfie

    Are we in the playoffs with this coach? We could just let someone (anyone) be the interim for now.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Good morning MLHS…….sigh* : (

  • daniel marois


    Can we just start targeting this team for a top 10 pick in the draft?  Right now they would have the 11th-overall pick.   Let the sliding begin!!

  • Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs

    lilgrnmen17 Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafstraNsplantEdneWfie 
    I say there isnt many out there that could do a better job and with a decent philosophy that arent in better jobs available. Carlyle like Wilson before him had the unenviable task of polishing a turd to get diamonds.
    We have 1 elite skater on the top 6 who has no defensive awareness and a 1 decent power forward. We have no 4th line and no steady (for whatever reason) 3rd line, new 2 guys every year. We have 4 or 5 puck  movers on defence and always seem to be playing 2 or 3 youngsters with less than a years NHL experience each. We also change goal tenders every year so even the youngsters dont have a decent platform to work from.
    How is that a recipe for a coach to do a decent job. Where is our franchise player coming from.
    I said Nonis was a donkey for standing pat at the trade deadline and got ridiculed on here for wanting a huge expensive trade to jump start a sinking ship. This whole farce is no surprise to me.
    Nonis out before Carlyle.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    traNsplantEdneWfie That would mean they (management) have thrown in the towel on this season and even though it looks bleak they are in the fight.

  • Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs

    How is the coach different from last years play off coach that nearly killed off Boston.
    What is different is the some of the playing personell and they have ALL failed. Isnt that the GM whos responsible for that.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    daniel marois Dangle_My_Berries  depressing as it is we are still in a race. Our own stupid mistakes are doing us in each game…..this team just isnt playing anywhere near their potential

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs traNsplantEdneWfieSure, I think it’s safe to say it is clearly on everyone

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Dangle_My_Berries daniel marois  That is what pisses me off. Yes i expected a battle to the end for a playoff spot. A “battle”  in the sense that they would be playing well and fighting there way to spot. Not this. I really didn’t get the feeling they fought for much this year.

  • Burtonboy

    It isn’t over yet and for the fans and players sake I hope they can pull a rabbit out of a hat however unlikely that may seem . However that may well be the worse thing that could happen to this club right now. It would only post postpone the inevitable  . Not that Carlyle is completely to blame here ( He is the biggest part of the overall problem ) because there are numerous players who should be looking in the mirror right now .  Not much doubt in my mind Carlyle is gone if they miss.( Thank God). As for players. once he cans Carlyle he can start to change the make up of this team.

    I would trade Franson’s rights .
    I would let Raymond walk 
    I would only re-sign Bolland if he signs for 4 mil or less  . Anything more is too risky.
    I would re-sign Kuli but again not for more then 3 mil 
    I would try to trade Gleason if possible 
    I would re- sign Jay McCLement but again only at the right price 
    Reimer will likely be demanding a trade anyway so he’s gone as well.

    Now for the big shake up . I would definetly be looking to acquire Shea Weber and I’m be willing to include Kadri and Lupul in the deal to get it done . I didn’t think Nashville would let him go but after a season like that had they desperately need top 6 forwards and they might to open to something like this . They have Josi and Jones along with a pretty solid defensive core to fall back on. Fuck I would throw in Gleason and a defensive prospect along with Kadri and Lupul to get it done .