Yesterday, the New York Rangers pulled the trigger on a buyout many had long since called, literally from the day after the initial signing occurred: “Within a few seasons, Brad Richards will join Drury and Redden as a cap casualty, both of whom had their career reputations damaged by the horrible contracts handed to them by the New York Ranger franchise.”
It was widely known Brad Richards always wanted to go join John Tortorella and play in the Big Apple that summer, but naturally I harken back to Brian Burke’s philosophy against these monstrous back-diving deals that were loophole’d in the last CBA. Should Richards retire before the 2018 season, from 2018 to 2020 the Rangers will be hit with a $5.66 million annual cap penalty due to the new CBA’s recapture clause. Devastating.
It next makes me think about the buyout suicide it would require to expunge the David Clarkson contract. There’s little doubt a player of Clarkson’s ilk (from his Jersey days, anyway) would tick a lot of boxes for Brian Burke in terms of what he likes in a player, but it makes me wonder how Burke approaches that same negotiation. Does he draw the line at 5 years, his self-imposed contractual length limit that applied to all but the elite players of the League? Does he go back to Clarke MacArthur, who was his best-value UFA signing and continues to provide good value for his contract in Ottawa, with an offer when he finds out the term demands of Clarkson’s camp?
By this point these are pretty worthless questions riddled with hindsight bias, but a) it’s not like we have real Leafs news to talk about, and B) at this time of year, there’s relevancy in at least talking about these deals and learning from the history. The Leafs have made so many mistakes on July 1, going back to Blake, Finger, Komisarek, Armstrong, etc. The list winds on, and as much as we can say Burke was onto something with his admonishment of cap-circumventing deals as well as stupid-long term deals in general, it was Burke who signed some of those overpayments. Real solutions exist rarely in the form of big contracts in unrestricted free agency, but it’s certainly the case if management overpays for mediocre talent.
Jonas Siegel had a good quote on this on the radio yesterday: “I look at some of the better clubs in the NHL, and when they do spend on free agency 1) they spend on skill. Look at Marian Hossa for the Blackhawks. On July 1st they signed Hossa to a massive deal. Granted, that could come back to haunt them a little bit, but they got a couple Cups and they paid for skill. If you’re going to pay in free agency, you’ve got to pay for high-end skill. I think one of the problems in Toronto with the Leafs is that they’ve paid average players on good contracts and they’ve paid good players on great contracts. They’re always in a situation where they’re paying for what the player isn’t… It just creates so many problems in the cap era.”
Leafs management shouldn’t let the Clarkson contract make them completely gun shy if there is a legitimate opportunity to dole out big money on an actual high-end talent, but that requires identifying the key difference Siegel is talking about (see: Stastny, Paul vs. Bolland, Dave). The inability to do that has hurt this organization throughout the succession of four straight general managers.
- TSN: Leafs sign Brandon Kozun to a one-year, two-way deal
- TSN1050: Jonas Siegel with a good segment about the Leafs’ upcoming off season
- Leaf Report: Siegel’s piece from a couple of days ago about the need for caution
- Denver Post: Avalanche has Stastny, O’Reilly in plans if the price is right
- ICYMI: Leafs announce 2014 preseason schedule
- Lisa Dillman: No buyout for Mike Richards
- Blueshirt Banter: Yes buyout for Brad Richards
- Puck Daddy: Willie Desjardins rejects Penguins in favour of Canucks?
Fresh sheet of ice up
Here are the biggest strengths and weakness for each prospect that might be available at 8th.(gathered from different sources)
Michael Dal Colle- Strengths: Shot, passing, IQ. Weaknesses: Defensive game.
Nikolaj Ehlers- Strengths: Speed/skating, shot, vision. Weaknesses: Size.
Nick Ritchie- Strengths: Size, shot. Weaknesses: Consistency. Conditioning?
William Nylander- Strengths: Puck handling, speed. Weakness: Strength, board play, looks like Joffrey.
Jake Virtanen- Strengths: Speed, size, shot. Weaknesses: Hockey sense, passing, defensive game.
Brendan Perlini- Strengths: Played like JVR in the first half. Weaknesses: Played like Raymond in the 2nd half.
Haydn Fleury- Strengths: Skating, all around defensive game. Weaknesses: Offensive instincts.
Kevin Fiala- Strengths: All offensive tools - a slap shot. Weaknesses: Strength. Defensive game
Robby Fabbri- Strengths: Skating, wrist shot. Weaknesses: Strength.
My preference in order(without MDC): Ehlers, Nylander, Ritchie, Virtanen, Fleury, Fabbri, Fiala, Perlini
I really wish we would have traded for E johnson when he was available. Hes like the exact guy we are missing at the perfect age
Kadri+Gardiner+Franson+8th overall to Colorado for O'Reilly+Johnson
Andreas Johnson makes the team outta nowhere
I wouldn't do this loll, but we'd have a sick defense.
Just reading through some of the morning comments and lineup suggestions.............there must have been some heavy boozin going on last night.... sweet jesus.... I think I say Komisarek in one lineup
Watching last years goals heres some thoughts
Bolland was much better then I remembered
Phaneuf and Bozak both scored HUGE goals last year at key times
Raymond scored more then I remembered
Gardiner is a beast
The thing about Ehlers that worries me (I'm no expert) is his overzealous celebrations. None of his teammates seem happy for him, may be a shitty team player. BUT he is atleast 1.5x faster than anyone. Anyone have input?
@loomx Dal Colle has got some speed as well.
Fiala is an interesting guy based on how he played with grown men
The guys that seem to be the favourites here would be: Ehlers, Ritchie and Virtanen
One thing I heard recently was Burke quoted, saying he could see as many as 7 players playing the NHL next year........not too bad
@loomx Any ratings on puck pursuit and tenacity? This trait can be useful if we want the puck more often.
@TheCanucksnaphook Just make sure she can't reach it with the arms of your new tractor.
@TheCanucksnaphook Have you checked if the raccoons will okay that deal?
@TheCanucksnaphook Man caves are always legit though. =D
Go for it, a buddy of mine did a barn conversion. complete with 100 inch screen, washroom, bar, pool table and enough room to park 4 cars and all his toys, great times in there.
@TheCanucksnaphook My 2nd thought is that the word hashtag reminds me of hashbrowns. Mmmmm, Hashbrowns.
@TheCanucksnaphook My thoughts are that hashtags don't work on this website phook.
@TheCanucksnaphook Pure Awesome
@TheCanucksnaphook lawn needs a mow, get the fuck back out there brah
@Jordan29 Solid contract too.
@T K O lol
@T K O Heavy boozin lol, even phook had something unusual.
@Jordan29 AND BOWEN MAKES TORONTO HOCKEY FUN.
Ehlers is considered the hardest working player on his team. Early to practice, last to leave. That I like. @leafslunch
@leafslunch Celebrations have nothing to do with being a team player or not.
@leafslunch Sometimes people just enjoy their own success, a little more than others lolol. I wouldn't look too much into it.
@Bruffins I dunno. Phil didn't lead in scaring anyone .
@Bruffins Kessel does a thumbs up while he jogs?
@Bruffins You mock The Phil?
@Hmmm @loomx Players with good puck pursuit and tenacity: Ehlers, Fabbri, Ritchie.
@CanuckUKinToronto @Jordan29 Bolland returned too early.................mentally he was the worst one out there down the stretch...not even taking the injury into account. I would be very leery of signing Bolland.... unless it's a 1yr reprove yourself and we will pay you next year........(of course that won't happen)
@loomx For puck pursuit, a smaller size can be helpful, they can get underneath players. However, a whole team of small players can get dominated by some of the rougher teams.
@RandomScrub @Savo43 @leafslunch Yeah, Yakupov like many Russians dont like to backcheck. I think thats what spawns a lot of the angry Russian defensemen who make big hits ala Kulikov, Volchenkov and Kasparitis. They figure, "FUCK! these guys won't backcheck? Ima take it out on this guy with his head down!" In all seriousness though, at least Ehlers is a dane, he's a hard worker at both ends, and loves to back check. I think we'd be lucky to take him .