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
|2013-01-13||Maple Leafs||Cody Franson||re-signed restricted free agent to a 1-year contract|
|2013-01-13||Maple Leafs||Mike Mottau||signed unrestricted free agent to a 1-year, two way contract|
|2013-01-16||Maple Leafs||Greg Scott (b)||waived|
|2013-01-16||Maple Leafs||Keith Aucoin||waived|
|2013-01-16||Maple Leafs||Mike Mottau||waived|
|2013-01-16||Maple Leafs||Ryan Hamilton||waived|
|2013-01-16||Maple Leafs||2014 fourth round pick (?-?)||Matthew Lombardi||trade with Coyotes|
|2013-01-17||Maple Leafs||Tim Connolly||waived|
|2013-01-20||Maple Leafs||Joffrey Lupul||re-signed to a 5-year contract extension through 2017-18|
|2013-01-31||Maple Leafs||Frazer McLaren||claimed off waivers (from Sharks)|
|2013-03-04||Maple Leafs||2014 conditional pick (third round if Oilers qualify for 2013 playoffs, else fourth round) (?-?)||Mike Brown (S.)||trade with Oilers|
|2013-03-04||Maple Leafs||Josh Leivo||signed 2011 third round pick to a 3-year entry level contract|
|2013-03-05||Maple Leafs||Korbinian Holzer||re-signed to a 2-year contract extension through 2014-15|
|2013-03-14||Maple Leafs||Kevin Marshall||Nicolas Deschamps||trade with Capitals|
|2013-03-15||Maple Leafs||Ryan Lasch, 2014 seventh round pick (?-?)||David Steckel / Dave Steckel||trade with Ducks|
|2013-03-19||Maple Leafs||Garret Sparks||signed 2011 seventh round pick to a 3-year entry level contract|
|2013-03-19||Maple Leafs||Tom Nilsson||signed 2011 fourth round pick to a 3-year entry level contract|
|2013-03-20||Maple Leafs||Mike Komisarek||waived|
|2013-04-02||Maple Leafs||Drew MacIntyre||signed free agent to a 1-year contract|
|2013-04-03||Maple Leafs||Andrew MacWilliam||signed to a 2-year entry level contract|
|2013-04-03||Maple Leafs||Ryan O'Byrne||2014 fourth round pick (?-?)||trade with Avalanche|
|2013-06-13||Maple Leafs||Colton Orr||re-signed to a 2-year contract|
|2013-06-13||Maple Leafs||Drew MacIntyre||re-signed to a 1-year, two way contract|
|2013-06-23||Maple Leafs||rights to Jonathan Bernier||Ben Scrivens, Matt Frattin, 2014 or 2015 (Maple Leafs option) second round pick (?-?)||trade with Kings|
|2013-06-24||Maple Leafs||Jonathan Bernier||team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent|
|2013-06-24||Maple Leafs||Jonathan Bernier||team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent|
|2013-06-29||Maple Leafs||Carl Gunnarsson||team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent|
|2013-06-29||Maple Leafs||Cody Franson||team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent|
|2013-06-29||Maple Leafs||Frazer McLaren||team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent|
|2013-06-29||Maple Leafs||Joe Colborne||team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent|
|2013-06-29||Maple Leafs||Mark Fraser||team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent|
|2013-06-29||Maple Leafs||Nazem Kadri||team tendered qualifying offer, making player a restricted free agent|
|2013-06-30||Maple Leafs||Andreas Johnson||seventh round pick (#202 overall)|
|2013-06-30||Maple Leafs||Antoine Bibeau||sixth round pick (#172 overall)|
|2013-06-30||Maple Leafs||Carter Verhaeghe||third round pick (#82 overall)|
|2013-06-30||Maple Leafs||Fabrice Herzog||fifth round pick (#142 overall)|
|2013-06-30||Maple Leafs||Frederik Gauthier||first round pick (#21 overall)|
|2013-06-30||Maple Leafs||Dave Bolland||2013 second round pick (#51-Carl Dahlstrom), 2013 fourth round pick (#117-Fredrik Bergvik), 2014 fourth round pick (?-?)||trade with Blackhawks|
|2013-07-01||Maple Leafs||Leo Komarov||signed with European team, Dynamo Moscow-KHL|
|2013-07-02||Maple Leafs||Mike Komisarek||released (team bought out contract)|
|2013-07-04||Maple Leafs||Mikhail Grabovski||waived|
|2013-07-04||Maple Leafs||Mikhail Grabovski||released (team bought out contract)|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Greg Scott (b)||player became an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Jussi Rynnas||player became an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Mark Owuya||team declined to tender qualifying offer, making player an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Michael Kostka / Mike Kostka||player became an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Ryan O'Byrne||player became an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Simon Gysbers||player became an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Tim Connolly||player became an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Tyler Brenner||team declined to tender qualifying offer, making player an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Frazer McLaren||re-signed restricted free agent to a 2-year contract|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Jonathan Bernier||re-signed restricted free agent to a 2-year contract|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Kevin Marshall||re-signed restricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Clarke MacArthur||player became an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Mike Mottau||player became an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Ryan Hamilton||player became an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Tyler Bozak||player became an unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||David Clarkson||signed unrestricted free agent to a 7-year contract|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||T.J. Brennan||signed unrestricted free agent to a 1-year contract|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Trevor Smith||signed unrestricted free agent|
|2013-07-05||Maple Leafs||Tyler Bozak||re-signed unrestricted free agent to a 5-year contract|
|2013-07-10||Maple Leafs||Mike Zigomanis||signed with the Rochester Americans (AHL)|
|2013-07-10||Maple Leafs||Joe Colborne||re-signed restricted free agent to a 1-year contract|
|2013-07-10||Maple Leafs||Troy Bodie||signed unrestricted free agent to a 1-year contract|
|2013-07-19||Maple Leafs||Christopher Gibson||signed free agent to a 3-year entry level contract|
|2013-07-22||Maple Leafs||Carl Gunnarsson||re-signed restricted free agent to a 3-year contract|
|2013-07-24||Maple Leafs||Chris Dennis||promoted to assistant coach|
|2013-07-24||Maple Leafs||Paul Ranger||signed unrestricted free agent to a 1-year contract|
|2013-07-25||Maple Leafs||Dave Nonis||re-signed as GM to a 5-year contract extension|
|2013-07-25||Maple Leafs||David Nonis||re-signed as GM to a 5-year contract extension|
|2013-07-30||Maple Leafs||Mark Fraser||re-signed restricted free agent to a 1-year contract|
|2013-07-30||Maple Leafs||Spencer Abbott||re-signed restricted free agent to a 1-year contract extension|
|2013-09-06||Maple Leafs||Mason Raymond||invited unrestricted free agent to training camp|
|2013-09-10||Maple Leafs||Dylan Yeo||invited to training camp|
|2013-09-10||Maple Leafs||Kevin Raine||invited to training camp|
|2013-09-10||Maple Leafs||Nazem Kadri||re-signed restricted free agent to a 2-year contract|
|2013-09-10||Maple Leafs||Ryan Rupert||invited to training camp|
|2013-09-10||Maple Leafs||Trevor Murphy||invited to training camp|
|2013-09-10||Maple Leafs||Zachary Yuen / Zach Yuen||invited to training camp|
|2013-09-11||Maple Leafs||Matt Rupert||invited to training camp|
|2013-09-13||Maple Leafs||Matt Rupert||released (CBS)|
|2013-09-13||Maple Leafs||Trevor Murphy||released (CBS)|
|2013-09-21||Maple Leafs||Kevin Marshall||waived|
|2013-09-23||Maple Leafs||Mason Raymond||signed unrestricted free agent to a 1-year contract|
|2013-09-26||Maple Leafs||Cody Franson||re-signed restricted free agent to a 1-year contract|
|2013-09-28||Maple Leafs||2014 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 Colborne||trade with Flames|
|2013-09-29||Maple Leafs||Drew MacIntyre||waived|
|2013-09-29||Maple Leafs||John-Michael Liles||waived|
|2013-09-29||Maple Leafs||Korbinian Holzer||waived|
|2013-09-29||Maple Leafs||T.J. Brennan||waived|
|2013-09-29||Maple Leafs||Trevor Smith||waived|
|2013-09-29||Maple Leafs||Troy Bodie||waived|
|2013-10-01||Maple Leafs||Phil Kessel||re-signed to an 8-year contract extension|
|2013-11-06||Maple Leafs||Jerred Smithson||signed unrestricted free agent to a 1-year contract|
|2013-11-16||Maple Leafs||Peter Holland, Brad Staubitz||Jesse 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|
|2013-11-19||Maple Leafs||Matthew Finn||signed second round pick to a 3-year entry level contract|
|2013-11-22||Maple Leafs||Connor Brown||signed 2012 sixth round pick to a 3-year entry level contract|
|2013-11-27||Maple Leafs||Frederik Gauthier||signed 2013 first round pick to a 3-year entry level contract|
|2013-12-04||Maple Leafs||Jerred Smithson||waived|
|2013-12-31||Maple Leafs||Dion Phaneuf||re-signed to a 7-year contract extension|
|2014-01-01||Maple Leafs||Tim Gleason||John-Michael Liles, rights to Dennis Robertson||trade with Hurricanes|
|2014-01-22||Maple Leafs||Brandon Kozun||Andrew Crescenzi||trade with Kings|
|2014-01-31||Maple Leafs||Cameron Abney, rights to Teemu Hartikainen||Mark Fraser||trade with Oilers|
|2014-03-03||Maple Leafs||Frazer McLaren||waived|
|2014-03-04||Maple Leafs||Trevor Smith||waived|
|2014-03-25||Maple Leafs||Eric Knodel||signed with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) to a professional try-out contract|
|2014-03-25||Maple Leafs||Eric Knodel||signed to a 1-year entry level contract|
|2014-04-02||Maple Leafs||Carter Verhaeghe||signed with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) to an amateur try-out contract|
|2014-04-02||Maple Leafs||Carter Verhaeghe||signed 2013 third round pick to a 3-year entry level contract|
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)
- Leafs Fail to Win A Must Win: Jets 4, Leafs 2 (PPP)
- Randy Carlyle – Jets Post Game (MLHS)
- Loss to Jets crushes Maple Leafs’ playoff hopes (TorSun)
- Maple Leafs feel wrath of fans after loss to Jets in home finale (TorSun)
- Leafs are still alive in the standings, but look dead on the ice (TorSun)
- Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf in Leafs doghouse vs. Jets (TorStar)
- Leafs Postgame: Losenipeg (TLN)
- Game Review: Game #79, Toronto Maple Leafs 2 vs Winnipeg Jets 4 (MLHS)
- Maple Leafs’ Franson says season has been ‘average’ (TorSun)
- Toronto Maple Leafs decrease already slim playoff chances with loss to Winnipeg Jets (NP)
- Mirtle: Leafs playoff hopes all but toast after lacklustre loss to Jets (G&M/Mirtle)
- Re-signing Bolland should be Leafs’ top off-season priority (LOL TorSun)
- The top forwards in the NHL today (Hockey Writers)
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.
New thread. Been up a while. Just noticed in my twitter feed.
@ingy56 Ha ha, that's classic!
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.
@CanuckUKinToronto Price tag : One Morgan Rielly
@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.
@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.
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.
@CanuckUKinToronto Carlyle doesn't play bottom six.
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.
@MaxwellHowe The Peter Stastny dream ended for me a couple of decades ago...
So herzog played today for the Marlies eh. Did anyone get to see how he looked? I'm scouting Finn and Rupert tonight. Lol
@4evrblue did he retire?
Yup. Just turned on the storm vs knights game. Might aswell watch our prospects and potential draft picks
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?
@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)
(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!
@Xxxxxnew exactly so screw him
Does anyone know what draft picks we have this year?. I know we traded some and received some thru trade.
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?
@Yaknowwhat Anaheim says yes.