Toronto Maple Leafs News & Notes

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Nikolai Kulemin
BOSTON, MA - MAY 10: Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins and Nikolai Kulemin #41 of the Toronto Maple Leafs collide in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 10, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Some real Toronto Maple Leafs news is desperately needed,
but in the meantime here is what is being said about the Leafs.

From Chris Johnston at Sportsnet:

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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.

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Also of note:

A few other notes that could interest Leafs fans:


Some Thoughts:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  • darthNihilus

    Glad to see the Leafs showing restraint and not bringing back any of their free agents (still too early to speak). I hope Bolland gets his ridiculous demands elsewhere (can he still even skate) and the other’s on the list are an addition by subtraction.

  • Great Dane

    Thanks for the summary AP, but where is the red line for the Leafs. I fear this end up with close nothing and we can look forward to another mediocre season.

  • HeatherRickAkin

    Agree with darthN  …. read earlier today, I think Matheson out of Edmonton wondered if theres a trade to be made between Toronto and NYI , with Phaneuf to the Isles for the #5 pick. I would do it . I think we will all be very disappointed and disillusioned if Nonis sits on his hands over the next two weeks, or worse, brings back some of the incumbents . These are the guys who couldn’t get the job done down the stretch , choked against the Bruins in game 7 a year ago, and went off the tracks the year before that. For the love of God, does this type of shoddiness not scream “Change is needed ! ” .

  • Anthony Petrielli

    Great Dane Have to pick a direction one way or the other.

  • Loric76

    Thanks AP.  I can’t wait to see Kuli put up 30+ next year somewhere, probably beside Malkin

  • Mind Bomb

    Thanks AP

  • Burtonboy

    The curious case of controversial NHL prospect Joshua Ho-Sang

    http://www.torontosun.com/2014/06/24/the-curious-case-of-controversial-nhl-prospect-joshua-ho-sang

  • Loric76

    “would they really run Bozak-Kadri-Bolland again as their top 3 group?”

    They really didn’t run this last year, other than for 20 odd games.  I still think it could work, if Bolland could be signed for something reasonable, and if his leg is completely healed.

  • Savo43

    HeatherRickAkin Dal Colle and Ehlers would really spice up our future.

  • Anthony Petrielli

    Loric76 They weren’t great when we saw it and Bolland will have that scar on his ankle nagging him for the rest of his career. Not to mention Bolland never stays healthy. The only hope there is Kadri improving and hope is not a plan.

  • Cameron19

    Anthony Petrielli Loric76 I think our shots against margin was the worst during the stretch where Bolland was healthy and we saw that group.

  • Cameron19

    HeatherRickAkin Should have changed the coach first though. I still don’t like that we consider a single loss to be a “collapse”

  • Loric76

    Anthony Petrielli Loric76 Fair enough.  There’s two many IF’s in my statement anyway.

    Bring on Stastny – Kadri – Bozak – Holland

  • Anthony Petrielli

    Cameron19 Anthony Petrielli Loric76 I think he’s a fine 3C… But not when your 1-2 is Bozak-Kadri.

  • Jay_Berg

    I think signing a vet with excellent experience/leadership to play a bottom 6 role could be a very solid move. Koivu would be a nice addition if he signs for the vet minumum IMO. Adding a guy who had been a captain in a high pressure market cannot be a bad thing.

  • Anthony Petrielli

    Jay_Berg I think Koivu is going to retire… Was more referring to Winnik who is very solid.

  • Jay_Berg

    I’ve heard that but just throwing it out there. Without looking it up is there anyone else out there who could fit that role? I don’t want to overstate “intangibles” but there really isn’t enough leadership on this team. Need more guys to stop the saulking during losing streaks.

  • Burntheboats

    Hey AP, if they stay a 8th, who do you think they should pick?

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    Burtonboy I like him!

  • Anthony Petrielli

    Jay_Berg I’d look at David Moss. Not that it matters, but he’s also cousins with Phil Kessel.

  • Anthony Petrielli

    Burntheboats Whoever is left between Ritchie/Nylander/Ehlers/Dal Colle

  • Burntheboats

    Anthony Petrielli Burntheboats No interest in Fabbri? If it weren’t for his size I think he’d go top 5.

  • Savo43

    Anthony Petrielli Burntheboats Hope its one of the last 3 :))

  • Savo43

    Burntheboats Anthony Petrielli Or him :)

  • FRyan

    The_Polish_Cannon Burtonboy
    This is what missing in hockey. A guy with confidence and some flash. Just because he isn’t a drone he doesn’t fit

  • martyzylstra

    Burtonboy  great read! I would take this kid in a heartbeat!  why?  because the team would have a pulse!

  • Anthony Petrielli

    Burntheboats Anthony Petrielli No I like him a lot… But not at 8 over those guys. I’d consider moving down and adding him though. He or McCann.

  • Burtonboy

    The_Polish_Cannon Burtonboy Very interesting cat . And people called Kadri cocky lol

  • HeatherRickAkin

    Cameron19 HeatherRickAkin  For me, that game 7 vs the B’s was just a cameo of all that is wrong with theLeafs…albeit a bad time to lose their nerve. The bigger picture is that in the seasons sandwiching that famous game , the team looked good in both seasons, then simply couldn’t cowboy up down the stretch, when it mattered . I doubt that anyone (Nonis included) really knows if the Leafs are within 2 or 3 good additions of becoming a solid playoff team, or are we in bigger trouble, with a team that is structured (fatally) to win off the rush . The evidence is growing that we are closer to the latter . Sadly.

  • Jay_Berg

    Sounds like a douche

  • Loric76

    Jay_Berg sounds like he should be in the NBA

  • FRyan

    Jay_Berg
    Pk is the same way and the he can flat out play. Hes sorta like Seth Jones last year getting the snub could turn out to be the best player of that draft year

  • FRyan

    Jay_Berg
    Chips on his shoulder and something to prove same with evander kane always in trouble but when hes on the ice hes a game changer

  • JMAC17

    Anthony Petrielli Jay_Berg Winnek for a 4th line role would be a great addition.

  • Jay_Berg

    “Me me me me me”

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/mirtle https://twitter.com/mirtle/status/481569009549053952
    Leafs could have a whole lot of roster turnover just by letting their six UFAs all walk. May end up being what happens, too.

  • Burtonboy

    I’m game to trade for late 1st or early 2nd and take a crack at Ho Sang . Shanny wants to take more risk with draft picks and this is a perfect example of one . Also seems like Morris views this kid as a challenge worthy of a shot

  • HeatherRickAkin

    Anthony Petrielli Burntheboats  Anthony, what about Jake Virtanen if he is still available. My reads say he is talented with a nasty streak . And, I think, the youngest guy in this draft .

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    Loric76 let gardiner walk?!!?

  • Loric76

    The_Polish_Cannon Loric76 Gardiner is restricted

  • JMAC17

    Anthony Petrielli Cameron19 Loric76 Exactly…individually our centers are solid….but as a group it just doesnt cut it.

    A Bolland signing to me means Kadri is moved.

  • Jay_Berg

    It’ll be pretty hard to trade back up with no second round pick

  • Savo43

    HeatherRickAkin Anthony Petrielli Burntheboats Tunnel vision. Tough boy, but too risky a pick IMO. Lives in the same town as me, seen him play a few times. Can’t see his minor and wester league dominance being the same at the next level. But thats just me.

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    Loric76 The_Polish_Cannon oh ya thats right. I didn’t actually think leafs would let him walk tho either way

  • Loric76

    Jay_Berg getting a 2nd is a Reimer trade away

  • Burtonboy

    Jay_Berg Lots of other ways to acquire a 2nd rd pick

  • HeatherRickAkin

    Savo43 HeatherRickAkin Anthony Petrielli Burntheboats  thanks for that. Always great to hear from people who have actually eyeballed these kids .

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    Savo43 HeatherRickAkin Anthony Petrielli Burntheboats good to know, I thought his game would translate well to the NHL. But I’ve only watched youtube clips so it’s really hard to tell

  • KenBreadner

    Loric76 Anthony Petrielli Phil Kessel is not going to allow Bozak to play 3C. I know it’s for the good of the team but it’s not going to happen.

  • Savo43

    The_Polish_Cannon Savo43 HeatherRickAkin Anthony Petrielli Burntheboats It could, you never know what these kids can learn. He’s got the wheels, shot and the toughness, its just the rest of his game (team oriented and awareness) that concerns me.