Morning Mashup: Leafs All But Out Of Playoff Picture

Morning Mashup: Leafs All But Out Of Playoff Picture

by -
Maple Leaf fans at Maple Leaf Square

The Toronto Maple Leafs have exited the 2013/2014 season in a slow death spiral, as opposed to the surprising, gut wrenching exit of the 2012/2013 season.

Ardent followers of the team will not find this surprising; the team has some glaring holes, particularly up the middle with one of the weakest center groups in the league, and a steep fall off after Dion Phaneuf in terms of two way defenseman able to defend against top competition. This on top of Dion Phaneuf playing the worst hockey of his Maple Leaf career, and possibly of his NHL career.

Dave Nonis is going to have difficulty acquiring talent  in the off-season in the two areas that every single team covets: number one and number two center men with two-way skill present themselves very infrequently, as well as top pairing defenseman that can play against the best players in the world while still producing points and playing on the powerplay.

Paul Stastny is an unrestricted free agent and checks the top line centerman box — if barely — but adds two-way acumen not seen in the center group and is an upgrade in pretty well every area hockey players are measured. With the much talked about pressure of playing in Toronto, on top of them being further away from being a contender optically, this is when the Toronto Maple Leafs become a hard sell to free agents. Why would he want to come play here? On top of actually acquiring a free agent, the small matter of paying him is going to be an even greater task with burdensome contracts such as David Clarkson’s and Tim Gleason’s getting in the way of making it fit under the cap.

The only other two-way center men that appears to be available would be Ryan Kesler, and he would have to waive his no trade contract to come and play in Toronto. Again, these players are not stupid and see sports highlights, hear commentary, and when you’re losing in Toronto, no one wants to play here. (Please see: Reimer, April for more details). The other question, obviously, is if going after a 30-year-old centerman with some recent injury history is getting away from going after young talent and building the core of the group using the same age bracket.

It isn’t hard to see who would be going the other way to Vancouver; Kadri’s best years are going to be right in front of him statistically (24, 25, 26), but you also have to question if you can win a championship with him. It would definitely reek of old regimes of Toronto Maple Leafs management to trade a young player before his best years, but by the same token is he the right player for this team right now? Almost all people would lean towards not moving him, but if you were to acquire one — or both — of the above-mentioned centerman,  you would go from a team comprised of players of similar skill sets that can’t win a board or one-on-one battle to save their life with limited defensive acumen to a topline two-way center men with defensive acumen, both above 50% on the face-off dot, and both with a bit more “heaviness” to their game. It would completely change the entire dynamic of the team, and by playing proper, two-way hockey, the puck will be on your stick more (possession) and allow your offensive players to shine by doing so. The Leafs can score without having the puck more than any other team in the league, but what if the same offensive players had the puck on their stick in middle-of-the-puck type of possession numbers? Or better than middle of the pack?

Having said all this, I would be remiss not to mention the coaching changes required in Toronto. Many thousands of words have been typed out here at Maple Leafs Hot Stove over Randy Carlyle’s offensive, neutral, and defensive zone systems, which are the main reasons that Toronto is on pace to be outshot at levels not seen since expansion. Randy Carlyle has staunchly stood by his system, which in the defensive zone focuses on outnumbering men in the corner, collapsing the forwards down tightly with the defenseman, and generally making coverage look like a Tyke hockey practice. Of note, Don Cherry highlighted Dion Phaneuf “running around in his own zone”, on Coaches Corner. The sad part is that he was playing how he’s been asked to play; he does this every game, against all the top players; it looks bad and it’s hard to watch, but he’s doing what he’s told. Jonathan Bernier has expressed shock in interviews about how there are regularly two defenseman the corners, and commented that at every level of hockey — especially with the Los Angeles Kings —he has always been used to having one defenceman in front of the net, at all times. The Maple Leafs are coached to do this and it goes against what any other coach in the league would do. As alluded to on “Hotstove Tonight,” coaching staff from another team said that the Maple leafs are very hard to scout because “they don’t even have a system”. Certainly damning stuff for Carlyle and the coaching staff (Dave Farrish, Scott Gordon, Greg Cronin and Chris Dennis).

Randy Carlyle’s systems, combined with horrible roster decisions, have almost certainly ended his tenure here in Toronto. Obvious, easy decisions based on common sense — and typically backed up with statistics — are tossed aside, and only when other teams force his hand is he making the correct roster decisions (Bruins ECQF, Lightning this year, Bruins this year).

Past performance is generally best predictor of future behaviour and Dave Nonis has a checkered past of bizarre decisions, combined with inaction (earning him the nickname No-No). His signature move in Toronto was rumoured to be a Tim Leiweke’s proxy trade, and he confirmed this in his lengthy, intriguing interview with Strombo.

That leaves Dave Nonis’ signature move right now as signing David Clarkson to a seven-year deal at $5.2 million; easily the worst contract signing in the almost 100-year-old franchises history.

To look for a certain transaction, use the search field at the top right of the table. 

Dave Nonis Transactions as Maple Leafs GM

2013-01-13Maple LeafsCody Fransonre-signed restricted free agent to a 1-year contract
2013-01-13Maple LeafsMike Mottau signed unrestricted free agent to a 1-year, two way contract
2013-01-16Maple LeafsGreg Scott (b)waived
2013-01-16Maple LeafsKeith Aucoinwaived
2013-01-16Maple LeafsMike Mottauwaived
2013-01-16Maple LeafsRyan Hamiltonwaived
2013-01-16Maple Leafs2014 fourth round pick (?-?)Matthew Lombarditrade with Coyotes
2013-01-17Maple LeafsTim Connollywaived
2013-01-20Maple LeafsJoffrey Lupulre-signed to a 5-year contract extension through 2017-18
2013-01-31Maple LeafsFrazer McLarenclaimed off waivers (from Sharks)
2013-03-04Maple Leafs 2014 conditional pick (third round if Oilers qualify for 2013 playoffs, else fourth round) (?-?)Mike Brown (S.)trade with Oilers
2013-03-04Maple LeafsJosh Leivosigned 2011 third round pick to a 3-year entry level contract
2013-03-05Maple LeafsKorbinian Holzerre-signed to a 2-year contract extension through 2014-15
2013-03-14Maple LeafsKevin MarshallNicolas Deschampstrade with Capitals
2013-03-15Maple Leafs Ryan Lasch, 2014 seventh round pick (?-?)David Steckel / Dave Steckeltrade with Ducks
2013-03-19Maple LeafsGarret Sparkssigned 2011 seventh round pick to a 3-year entry level contract
2013-03-19Maple LeafsTom Nilssonsigned 2011 fourth round pick to a 3-year entry level contract
2013-03-20Maple LeafsMike Komisarekwaived
2013-04-02Maple LeafsDrew MacIntyresigned free agent to a 1-year contract
2013-04-03Maple LeafsAndrew MacWilliamsigned to a 2-year entry level contract
2013-04-03Maple LeafsRyan O'Byrne2014 fourth round pick (?-?)trade with Avalanche
2013-06-13Maple LeafsColton Orrre-signed to a 2-year contract
2013-06-13Maple LeafsDrew MacIntyre re-signed to a 1-year, two way contract
2013-06-23Maple Leafsrights to Jonathan Bernier Ben Scrivens, Matt Frattin, 2014 or 2015 (Maple Leafs option) second round pick (?-?)trade with Kings
2013-06-24Maple LeafsJonathan Bernier team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent
2013-06-24Maple LeafsJonathan Bernier team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent
2013-06-29Maple LeafsCarl Gunnarsson team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent
2013-06-29Maple LeafsCody Franson team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent
2013-06-29Maple LeafsFrazer McLaren team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent
2013-06-29Maple LeafsJoe Colborne team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent
2013-06-29Maple LeafsMark Fraser team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent
2013-06-29Maple LeafsNazem Kadri team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent
2013-06-30Maple LeafsAndreas Johnsonseventh round pick (#202 overall)
2013-06-30Maple LeafsAntoine Bibeausixth round pick (#172 overall)
2013-06-30Maple LeafsCarter Verhaeghethird round pick (#82 overall)
2013-06-30Maple LeafsFabrice Herzogfifth round pick (#142 overall)
2013-06-30Maple LeafsFrederik Gauthierfirst round pick (#21 overall)
2013-06-30Maple LeafsDave Bolland 2013 second round pick (#51-Carl Dahlstrom), 2013 fourth round pick (#117-Fredrik Bergvik), 2014 fourth round pick (?-?)trade with Blackhawks
2013-07-01Maple LeafsLeo Komarov signed with European team, Dynamo Moscow-KHL
2013-07-02Maple LeafsMike Komisarekreleased (team bought out contract)
2013-07-04Maple LeafsMikhail Grabovskiwaived
2013-07-04Maple LeafsMikhail Grabovskireleased (team bought out contract)
2013-07-05Maple LeafsGreg Scott (b)player became an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsJussi Rynnasplayer became an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsMark Owuya team declined to tender qualifying offer, making player an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsMichael Kostka / Mike Kostkaplayer became an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsRyan O'Byrneplayer became an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsSimon Gysbersplayer became an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsTim Connollyplayer became an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsTyler Brenner team declined to tender qualifying offer, making player an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsFrazer McLarenre-signed restricted free agent to a 2-year contract
2013-07-05Maple LeafsJonathan Bernierre-signed restricted free agent to a 2-year contract
2013-07-05Maple LeafsKevin Marshallre-signed restricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsClarke MacArthurplayer became an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsMike Mottauplayer became an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsRyan Hamiltonplayer became an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsTyler Bozakplayer became an unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsDavid Clarksonsigned unrestricted free agent to a 7-year contract
2013-07-05Maple LeafsT.J. Brennansigned unrestricted free agent to a 1-year contract
2013-07-05Maple LeafsTrevor Smithsigned unrestricted free agent
2013-07-05Maple LeafsTyler Bozakre-signed unrestricted free agent to a 5-year contract
2013-07-10Maple LeafsMike Zigomanissigned with the Rochester Americans (AHL)
2013-07-10Maple LeafsJoe Colbornere-signed restricted free agent to a 1-year contract
2013-07-10Maple LeafsTroy Bodiesigned unrestricted free agent to a 1-year contract
2013-07-19Maple LeafsChristopher Gibsonsigned free agent to a 3-year entry level contract
2013-07-22Maple LeafsCarl Gunnarssonre-signed restricted free agent to a 3-year contract
2013-07-24Maple LeafsChris Dennispromoted to assistant coach
2013-07-24Maple LeafsPaul Rangersigned unrestricted free agent to a 1-year contract
2013-07-25Maple LeafsDave Nonisre-signed as GM to a 5-year contract extension
2013-07-25Maple LeafsDavid Nonisre-signed as GM to a 5-year contract extension
2013-07-30Maple LeafsMark Fraserre-signed restricted free agent to a 1-year contract
2013-07-30Maple LeafsSpencer Abbottre-signed restricted free agent to a 1-year contract extension
2013-09-06Maple LeafsMason Raymondinvited unrestricted free agent to training camp
2013-09-10Maple LeafsDylan Yeoinvited to training camp
2013-09-10Maple LeafsKevin Raineinvited to training camp
2013-09-10Maple LeafsNazem Kadrire-signed restricted free agent to a 2-year contract
2013-09-10Maple LeafsRyan Rupertinvited to training camp
2013-09-10Maple LeafsTrevor Murphyinvited to training camp
2013-09-10Maple LeafsZachary Yuen / Zach Yueninvited to training camp
2013-09-11Maple LeafsMatt Rupertinvited to training camp
2013-09-13Maple LeafsMatt Rupertreleased (CBS)
2013-09-13Maple LeafsTrevor Murphyreleased (CBS)
2013-09-21Maple LeafsKevin Marshallwaived
2013-09-23Maple LeafsMason Raymondsigned unrestricted free agent to a 1-year contract
2013-09-26Maple LeafsCody Fransonre-signed restricted free agent to a 1-year contract
2013-09-28Maple Leafs2014 conditional round pick (third round if Colborne scores 10 goals or 35 points during 2013ð14 season and if Flames qualify for 2014 playoffs, else fourth round) (?-?)Joe Colbornetrade with Flames
2013-09-29Maple LeafsDrew MacIntyrewaived
2013-09-29Maple LeafsJohn-Michael Lileswaived
2013-09-29Maple LeafsKorbinian Holzerwaived
2013-09-29Maple LeafsT.J. Brennanwaived
2013-09-29Maple LeafsTrevor Smithwaived
2013-09-29Maple LeafsTroy Bodiewaived
2013-10-01Maple LeafsPhil Kesselre-signed to an 8-year contract extension
2013-11-06Maple LeafsJerred Smithsonsigned unrestricted free agent to a 1-year contract
2013-11-16Maple LeafsPeter Holland, Brad StaubitzJesse Blacker, 2014 conditional round pick (second round if Holland plays 25 games with Maple Leafs in 2013-14, else third round) (?-?), 2014 seventh round pick (?-?)trade with Ducks
2013-11-19Maple LeafsMatthew Finnsigned second round pick to a 3-year entry level contract
2013-11-22Maple LeafsConnor Brownsigned 2012 sixth round pick to a 3-year entry level contract
2013-11-27Maple LeafsFrederik Gauthiersigned 2013 first round pick to a 3-year entry level contract
2013-12-04Maple LeafsJerred Smithsonwaived
2013-12-31Maple LeafsDion Phaneufre-signed to a 7-year contract extension
2014-01-01Maple LeafsTim GleasonJohn-Michael Liles, rights to Dennis Robertsontrade with Hurricanes
2014-01-22Maple LeafsBrandon KozunAndrew Crescenzitrade with Kings
2014-01-31Maple LeafsCameron Abney, rights to Teemu HartikainenMark Frasertrade with Oilers
2014-03-03Maple LeafsFrazer McLarenwaived
2014-03-04Maple LeafsTrevor Smithwaived
2014-03-25Maple LeafsEric Knodelsigned with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) to a professional try-out contract
2014-03-25Maple LeafsEric Knodelsigned to a 1-year entry level contract
2014-04-02Maple LeafsCarter Verhaeghesigned with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) to an amateur try-out contract
2014-04-02Maple LeafsCarter Verhaeghesigned 2013 third round pick to a 3-year entry level contract
Dave Nonis Transactions, Trades, Signings, Draft Picks as Maple Leafs GM

When Brian Burke was being interviewed for the position of GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dave Nonis also interviewed for the job and was deemed unfit to run the team. He now runs the team.

Leaf Links (if you dare)

odd man rush
odd man rush

RC is lost have no idea what he is doing how a coach in the most important game of the season  dress 11 forwards with 2 of them injured and should not have dressed anyway (Bolland ,Lupul he as no clue . He's scared to use the young players its a young man's game so dress them . GOODBYE RC YOU ARE DONE WITH COACHING IN THE NHL !!!


@odd man rush  Odd that we would get a coach that's more comfortable with veterans while we had a young and growing team. Although, I'm sure if Burke were still around that he would have given Carlyle a better team to work with than this year's travesty. I don't care if 29 other teams wanted Clarkson, surely Nonis should have known that this wasn't a team that was in need of wingers. We have the best right winger in the world on our top line and Nonis goes and adds another winger instead of giving us another top 6 C and a top pairing dman. I want Nonis to get fired before Carlyle truth be told.


One thing about bringing down forwards to swarm is that we're working their forwards harder but their D are left open to sun bathe at the points.  Let's do the math.  There are usually 12 forwards and 6 defense on a team.  Where do you think we should target to wear them down?

Sandwich them at the blue line and they'll make mistakes giving us odd man opportunities.  If we swarm down low, the only way we can get the puck back is down low which is not a danger zone for them, lots of time for them to retreat.


@Shafty @ingy56I wonder if he writes.... reads.....giggles..... and posts or he writes and shares with a bunch of ppl and asks if he should send it?????


Murph: for a young player with huge potential and a low cap hit, something has to go back the other way. While I like your deal price, it would seem too lite. I think someone like Naz or Kulie or Luups would have to be in the mix.


Canuck: I had suggested Naz for Couturier earlier today but no responders . Could add Franson too.

DeclanK moderator

@CanuckUKinToronto @MaxwellHowe  Hey, Couturier was always my guy. Fairly certain when he was getting 20pts / season on the 4th line as a 19 year old, I was harping that he was a top 6 guy in the making, already having the defensive side of the game completely figured out. BTW: It was Guy Boucher whom he mentored him and who tought him how to play like that. He made a 'good' Flyers team out of camp as an 18 year old and hasn't looked back.

Cameron gets credit for Stastny (which Berger read and then started spreading) and O'Reilly. I think he was onto the situation in Colorado before most others were.


But the price would be high which is why I include Naz.

DeclanK moderator

@Waiting4LSC  They are pretty well in love with Coots there now. He was available last year, but I think they've figured out he's bordering on elite defensively and has untapped offensive talent that will come to the fore later. I'd overpay for him at this stage. Just turned 21, is tasked with shutting down the best players in the league, and does it with aplomb, and was just shy of a 100pts/year player in the Q. He's no plug.

DeclanK moderator


Seems crazy to go all in with a guy with a stat line like this, but he's 21 and been in the league for 3 years. Very determined on the puck and has a lot of growing to do, still.


Good weekend for me.  Visitors, so no Leafs last night, last hockey game this morning, driving around in the summer car on a beautiful sunny afternoon and squash late this afternoon.  It's amazing how a being away from it for 48 hours gets the stress levels down.  It makes reading some of the comments below fun - I really liked the one about getting rid of all our centers and start the rebuild around Peter Holland.  I look forward to an interesting summer of chats on here and to seeing what next year's team looks like.



lol - and I don't mean to knock him.  Once again, Randy's magic touch means we have a number of decent prospects that remain untried and untested - Holland, D'Amigo, Ashton. Heck, even Brennan and Holzer.


@CanuckUKinToronto Did you notice their top line talents numbers as well?

All the teams with 100+ point seasons.  Their top 6 offensive producers are pretty much all double digit + players



For way too many years our GA is near the bottom of the pack.  We are going nowhere until that's fixed. Thanks for the swarm memories Randy.


@CanuckUKinToronto   I agree that is important but we need to reduce GA across all lines as well.  Obviously a coaching adjustment helps in that but I believe there is more to it than just that.


Leaving aside the dream targets like a Peter Stasney or Tavares or Staal, are there any realistic strong #2 or #3 centres around the league you guys would target?  I think the Isles are deep enough at centre that they could be convinced to trade a Frans Neilsen or rock Nelson.  I dream the Leafs make a big pitch for Ryan Strome, but I ain't holding my breathe.  Neilsen, in particular, would greatly strengthen the Leafs at C.


So herzog played today for the Marlies eh. Did anyone get to see how he looked? I'm scouting Finn and Rupert tonight. Lol


We want this kid if he's avail. 2way centre man who's been compared to ror


3-0 clb so far. Lol


Yup the beauty of recall button. Lol


Yup. Just turned on the storm vs knights game. Might aswell watch our prospects and potential draft picks


Stone Cold! Stone Cold!


I heard that the habs are leading the league in blocked shots....imagine that?...the small..gutless habs ...with Carey Price behind them...leading the league in blocked shots....I wonder where we rank?


They play very well positionally.


Might reduce your shots allowed totals though...we could use that right?


@Yaknowwhat  thought blocked shots were like hits you only get them because you don't have the puck :)


What a shitty way to end the season. I had some pretty high hopes for this year... hopefully No-No gets his head out of his ass and makes some good moves. Not necessarily feasible but heres what id like to see.

A new Coach! Gunnar-Gone, Gleason-Gone, Franson-Gone

Dion - A legit #2 shutdown Dman please!

Gardiner - A capable stay at home guy (gunnar 2.0)

Rielly- Ranger

(one of the marlies)

1st line stays the same for better or worse

Lupul-Kadri-Clarkson(he gets 20 games next year before i write him off)



I like kadri and i dont like trading young players with his skill but if he landed us kesler id make that deal.

Lupul-Kesler-clarkson could be a dominant 2nd line on just about any team in the league (assuming clarkson becomes himself again).

It would be nice to upgrade bozak but i just dont see it happening.

anyways time to dust off the clubs!


Kessler says he won't go to a Canadian team.

clark sittler
clark sittler

Does anyone know what draft picks we have this year?. I know we traded some and received  some thru trade.


I think we are only missing our 2nd and have we have (2) 5ths and (2) 6ths??.


Watched the Eakins video...thanks Bb....maybe this is over simplifying things...but every team scouts and knows what system the other team is playing right? If thats the case why not look at the top 6-8 most successful teams.....figure out which team best represents your roster and is most similar...and start using that system? If a team is having actual proven success in the league with a certain system why not replicate it?


@Yaknowwhat Happens all the time . Teams tend to emulate the top teams and copy whats obviously successful . Except of course in Toronto . Eakins adapted ... I keep hearing Carlyle say he would like to play like the Blues or the Hawks but I don't see any progress towards that with the Leafs  


Its just amazing how organized some other teams can look and how unorganized we look....carlyle cant possibly be this stupid can he?