Some real Toronto Maple Leafs news is desperately needed,
but in the meantime here is what is being said about the Leafs.
Nikolai Kulemin is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and agent Gary Greenstin tells Sportsnet that he plans to make full use of the interview window, which opens Wednesday, to start looking for a new home for his client. Discussions with the Leafs on a new contract have been limited, according to Greenstin, who noted that there is still some time for talks to pick up with Toronto.
Another player that could be on his way out of Toronto in the coming week is centre David Bolland, who still wishes to remain with his hometown team but doesn’t want to do so at a hometown discount. “At this time it’s just not coming together,” said Thun. “We can’t force the Leafs to accept our terms.”
Nothing appears close with Toronto’s other pending UFA’s — Mason Raymond, Jay McClement and Paul Ranger — although Raymond’s agent, J.P. Barry, plans to sit down with Dave Nonis later this week in Philadelphia.
One thing that is known is that talks are underway between the Leafs and restricted free-agent defenceman Jake Gardiner, according to sources. It is believed that the sides are discussing a two-year bridge deal that will likely end up falling somewhere between $2.25-million and $3-million per season.
Also of note:
@APetrielli Nothing new, no. My sense is that neither side will bend enough to get him back to Toronto. Will dig around more in days ahead.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 24, 2014
A few other notes that could interest Leafs fans:
#FlaPanthers Tallon on potentially trading pick: I don't want to go past eight — 10 would be the maximum distance I would go back.
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) June 23, 2014
Ron Hextall indicates that the Flyers will try to move up in Friday's draft, according to report http://t.co/6l4cpyOtnb
— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) June 24, 2014
Don't be surprised if you start hearing NYI's #5 pick being shopped.There's pressure to get a player that can play right now in the lineup.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 24, 2014
Pens willing to trade first-round pick; Time for Niskanen, Jokinen to "get their big contracts." Read more: http://t.co/BRTft58yej
— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) June 23, 2014
Saku Koivu, Jonas Hiller and Dan Winnik won't be offered new contracts by the Anaheim Ducks, GM Bob Murray says.
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) June 19, 2014
— El Cafetero (@mlse) June 24, 2014
- Kulemin has been a good, low maintenance, soldier for Toronto but the writing was probably on the wall as soon as they signed Clarkson. He wants much more of an offensive opportunity and power play time by the sounds of it, and he’s not going to get that in Toronto. At 6’2, 240+ (according to Carlyle), he brought some nice size and board play to the Leafs that will be missed. It will be interesting to see if his offensive numbers spike up elsewhere.
- It appears the Leafs are practicing some restraint in Bolland negotiations. That said, the Bozak discussions last season followed an eerily similar path and he got signed to a last second deal. The biggest question mark for any Bolland signing is what does it mean for Kadri? We know Bozak isn’t going anywhere, and would they really run Bozak-Kadri-Bolland again as their top 3 group?
- The Leafs could go a lot of ways with this. They could tear it down and add picks as teams like the Islanders and Predators want to trade the 5th and 11th pick respectively for immediate help. To say nothing of Florida being in their preferred fall-back range.
- They could also look at Colorado’s Paul Stastny and offer him some heavy money. A 6.5M/year salary would seem like a no-brainer for a team that desperately needs an upgrade at center.
- It seems all has gone quiet on the assistant coach front. If I write an assumption that they figure to wait after the draft now that it is mere days away, I’d bet they would announce the hiring’s almost immediately and vice-versa. So I will simply say it is one more thing to keep in mind and that who they bring aboard could have a strong impact on the team. Particularly the defense.