Free Agency Day: Maple Leafs Targets

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Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis leaves the rink after a practice session at their NHL training camp in Toronto on Thursday September 12, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Fasten your seat belts. There’s always been something highly appropriate about Canada Day coinciding with the entire country ravenously following hockey transactions by the second.

The Maple Leafs have about $23 million to spend less the space they’ll need to lock down RFAs Cody Franson, Jake Gardiner and Carter Ashton.

Their priorities appear to be “defensive defencemen” and bottom-six leadership/grit types based on their moves and rumoured targets so far.

These are dangerous waters the Leafs are navigating. A lot of the buyouts in the past couple of years have been on early-July free agent signings who matched those exact descriptions. They might be best waiting out the initial storm and going bargain hunting if they feel a need to address those areas via free agency.

The Leafs will also need to wade through the backup goalie market if they’re going to trade James Reimer soon.

Here is the rundown of potential targets currently bouncing around the rumour mill:

  • There has been little to no discussion of the Maple Leafs pursuing top available center Paul Stastny, and that could be because they know they’re not on his list. Or they might feel they’re content at 1C, which would be far more alarming.
  • David Legwand has been mentioned as a possible target if the Maple Leafs don’t get something done at the final hour with Dave Bolland, who according to Kypreos is likely Florida bound to re-join Dale Tallon as has been long rumoured. Legwand is not a bad idea at all, but neither was the general premise of signing David Clarkson, which is a hyperbolic way of saying that price is everything. Assuming Jay McClement walks, Legwand-Holland behind Bozak and Kadri, while actually using a line 4, could yield a big time improvement in the bottom 6.
  • Tanner Glass has also been mentioned as a fourth line option, for some reason. He was one of the worst possession players in the League last season. This is almost certainly a position better left open for the advancement of a Marlie like Carter Ashton or Jerry D’Amigo, who might have a brighter future in the League if given opportunity to develop into something more than Tanner Glass.

  • The Josh Gorges fiasco yesterday, where they were reported to be trying to knock down his door to get him to come to Toronto and could not change his mind, suggests the Leafs are looking for a top 4 left-shot defenceman now that Tim Gleason has been jettisoned via regular-course buyout.
  • Dan Boyle is almost certainly going to receive a competitive bid from Dave Nonis and co., but expect some fierce competition from Steve Yzerman’s Lightning from the sounds of things. Signing Boyle may mean Dion goes to the left side, but a 2-year term on Boyle at a million or so more than Gorges sounds like a better alternative.
  • Martin Brodeur‘s name won’t go away as a candidate to fill a “mentor-backup” role, although — said with full respect to his career and the pedigree — his numbers have really slipped and he doesn’t sound like he’s necessarily 100% into the idea of a role with limited playing time.
    [quote_box_center]The 41-year-old netminder, a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, was not happy with his playing time. Brodeur did not sound like a player on the verge of retirement, but rather one that will approach free agency with the intent of looking for better opportunities elsewhere. After making just 39 appearances, including Sunday’s 16-save effort in a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins, Brodeur will prioritize playing time when testing the market.
    “I think a ballpark amount of games I’ll be able to play,” Brodeur said of the biggest factor in identifying a good fit. “That’s the bottom line. I don’t want to prepare myself, like I did this summer, and get ready for a great season and sit on the bench. If I’m ready for 30 games next year in an organization and the Devils can’t give me that, that will probably be something that makes my decision easier or harder.[/quote_box_center]
  • No word of advanced talks with any of Mason Raymond, Nikolai Kulemin or Jay McClement. Sounds like dialogue is ongoing with Leo Komarov but as of now he’ll test and see if he can get his desired salary on the open market.
  • The Craigory

    Makes us proud Nonis…

  • Black_Hawk

    dont worry boys Clown Loiselle  will make sure we are right up against the cap by the end of tmr

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Thx for the blog, Alec….well surmised.  Personally, I hope we stay out of the feeding frenzy.  As I said earlier, I have no interest in a bidding war for Stastny, Bolland, nor anyone else.  Would be happy if we could simply get Komarov under contract for a fair price and call it a day.  I have no interest in Brodeur (could do better for cheaper).

  • Black_Hawk

    just noticed but isnt that pic of nonis up top kinda creepy? like why is the guy hiding in a net to take the pic? Nonis looks like he had no clue the guy was there too.

  • drummond

    Something tells me the Leafs will do something stupid

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DgsgWHQfY0 Kouba

    When is the start? noon et?

  • barjv01

    Can’t Sleep so I went nuts on Capgeek looking at the next two years. I don’t believe that we are near being a cup contender now (and don’t think we could sign the UFA’s that MIGHT make us that). Nor do I think that we will tear this down all at once. 
    So here is what I would do for Leafs 2015. 
    Sign Radim Vrbata 2 X 3 Million
    Sign Dustin Penner 2X 2 Million
    Sign Dan Boyle 2X 5 Million
    Sign Marcel Goc 1 X 1.5 Million.
    Sign Thomas Greiss (or any decent backup) 2X 750,000
    With Call-ups and Rfa’s, My Leafs would look this:

    JD’s Leafs 2015
    FORWARDS
    James Van Riemsdyk
    ($4.250m)
    /
    Tyler Bozak
    ($4.200m)
    /
    Phil Kessel
    ($8.000m)
    Joffrey Lupul
    ($5.250m)
    /
    Nazem Kadri
    ($2.900m)
    /
    Radim Vrbata
    ($3.000m)
    Dustin Penner
    ($2.000m)
    /
    Peter Holland
    ($0.851m)
    /
    David Clarkson
    ($5.250m)
    Jerry D’Amigo
    ($0.851m)
    /
    Marcel Goc
    ($1.500m)
    /
    Carter Ashton
    ($0.851m)
    Troy Bodie
    ($0.600m)
    /

    DEFENSEMEN
    Dion Phaneuf
    ($7.000m)
    /
    Dan Boyle
    ($5.000m)
    Jake Gardiner
    ($2.900m)
    /
    Cody Franson
    ($3.000m)
    Morgan Rielly
    ($0.894m)
    /
    Roman Polak
    ($2.750m)
    Petter Granberg
    ($0.800m)
    GOALTENDERS
    Jonathan Bernier
    ($2.900m)
    Thomas Greiss
    ($0.750m)
    BUYOUTS
    Mike Komisarek ($0.000m)

    Mikhail Grabovski ($0.000m)

    Tim Gleason ($0.833m)

    RETAINED SALARIES (0.29% of upper limit)
    Carl Gunnarsson ($0.200m—6.35%)

    BONUS OVERAGE
    $450,000
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (estimations for 2014-15)
    SALARY CAP: $69,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $66,979,000; BONUSES: $950,000
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $2,021,000
    While my Marlies for 2015 would look like this:
     Toronto Marlies 2015
    FORWARDS
    Spencer Abbott
    ($0.715m)
    /
    Greg McKegg
    ($0.660m)
    /
    Tyler Biggs
    ($0.894m)
    Josh Leivo
    ($0.793m)
    /
    Trevor Smith
    ($0.550m)
    /
    Brandon Kozun
    ($0.550m)
    David Broll
    ($0.591m)
    /
    William Nylander
    ($1.000m)
    /
    Connor Brown
    ($0.687m)
    Brad Ross
    ($0.707m)
    /
    Sam Carrick
    ($0.632m)
    /
    Kenny Ryan
    ($0.715m)
    Jamie Devane
    ($0.660m)
    /
    Ryan Rupert
    ($0.632m)
    /

    DEFENSEMEN
    Stuart Percy
    ($0.863m)
    /
    Korbinian Holzer
    ($0.788m)
    Matt Finn
    ($0.828m)
    /
    Tom Nilsson
    ($0.825m)
    Eric Knodel
    ($0.690m)
    /
    Andrew MacWilliam
    ($0.875m)
    Viktor Loov
    ($0.693m)
    GOALTENDERS
    Drew MacIntyre
    ($0.600m)
    Garret Sparks
    ($0.670m)
    Chris Gibson
    ($0.650m) 
    End Part 1

  • Great Dane

    “I imagine the Leafs will be aggressive tomorrow. They’ll sign a few
    guys with grit & leadership qualities. A Steve Ott type”
    This will be unbearable for Leafs fan to witness.

  • barjv01

    Forward to the 2016 season:

    Joffrey Lupul, Cody Franson, Peter Holland (unless he shows enough to stay) and Marcel Goc traded for picks and Leivo, Nylander, Carrick, Biggs and McWilliam promoted (pending readiness).

    My Leafs for 2016 would be:

    JD’s Leafs 2016
    FORWARDS
    James Van Riemsdyk
    ($4.250m)
    /
    Tyler Bozak
    ($4.200m)
    /
    Phil Kessel
    ($8.000m)
    Josh Leivo
    ($0.793m)
    /
    Nazem Kadri
    ($2.900m)
    /
    Radim Vrbata
    ($3.000m)
    Dustin Penner
    ($2.000m)
    /
    William Nylander
    ($1.500m)
    /
    David Clarkson
    ($5.250m)
    Jerry D’Amigo
    ($0.851m)
    /
    Sam Carrick
    ($0.632m)
    /
    Carter Ashton
    ($0.851m)
    Tyler Biggs
    ($0.894m)
    DEFENSEMEN
    Jake Gardiner
    ($2.900m)
    /
    Dion Phaneuf
    ($7.000m)
    Morgan Rielly
    ($0.894m)
    /
    Dan Boyle
    ($5.000m)
    Stuart Percy
    ($0.863m)
    /
    Roman Polak
    ($2.750m)
    Andrew MacWilliam
    ($0.875m)
    /
    Petter Granberg
    ($0.800m)
    GOALTENDERS
    Jonathan Bernier
    ($2.900m)
    Thomas Greiss
    ($0.750m)
    BUYOUTS
    Mike Komisarek ($0.000m)

    Mikhail Grabovski ($0.000m)

    Tim Gleason ($0.833m)

    RETAINED SALARIES (0.29% of upper limit)
    Carl Gunnarsson ($0.200m—6.35%)

    BONUS OVERAGE
    $450,000
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (estimations for 2014-15)
    SALARY CAP: $69,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $61,335,167; BONUSES: $1,720,000
    CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $7,664,833
    And my 2016 Marlies would be:
     Toronto Marlies 2016
    FORWARDS
    Spencer Abbott
    ($0.715m)
    /
    Greg McKegg
    ($0.660m)
    /
    Brandon Kozun
    ($0.550m)
    Andreas Johnson
    ($1.000m)
    /
    Carter Verhaeghe
    ($0.809m)
    /
    Connor Brown
    ($0.687m)
    David Broll
    ($0.591m)
    /
    Frederik Gauthier
    ($0.894m)
    /
    Fabrice Herzog
    ($1.000m)
    Brad Ross
    ($0.707m)
    /
    Ryan Rupert
    ($0.632m)
    /
    Kenny Ryan
    ($0.715m)
    Jamie Devane
    ($0.660m)
    /

    DEFENSEMEN
    Matt Finn
    ($0.828m)
    /
    Tom Nilsson
    ($0.825m)
    Eric Knodel
    ($0.690m)
    /

    Viktor Loov
    ($0.693m)
    /

    GOALTENDERS
    Garret Sparks
    ($0.670m)
    Antoine Bibeau
    ($1.000m)

  • barjv01

    Which leads me to 2017 when the window for some of our core is beginning to close.

    Here is my roster barring any trades that have improved us at any position. If you project (always risky) and look at these players three years from now this roster might begin to contend. Then you consider trading Kessel (30) & Phaneuf (32) if you haven’t already.

    JD’s Leafs 2017
    FORWARDS:
    James Van Riemsdyk
    ($4.250m)
    /
    William Nylander
    ($1.500m)
    /
    Phil Kessel
    ($8.000m) 
    Josh Leivo
    ($0.793m)
    /
    Nazem Kadri
    ($2.900m)
    /
    Connor Brown
    ($0.687m)
    Jerry D’Amigo
    ($0.851m)
    /
    Tyler Bozak
    ($4.200m)
    /
    David Clarkson
    ($5.250m)
    David Broll
    ($0.591m)
    /
    Peter Holland
    ($0.851m)
    /
    Tyler Biggs
    ($0.894m)
    Sam Carrick
    ($0.632m)
    /
    Carter Ashton
    ($0.851m)
    DEFENSEMEN
    Jake Gardiner
    ($2.500m)
    /
    Dion Phaneuf
    ($7.000m)
    Morgan Rielly
    ($0.894m)
    /
    Petter Granberg
    ($0.800m)
    Stuart Percy
    ($0.863m)
    /
    Roman Polak
    ($2.750m)
    Matt Finn
    ($0.828m)
    /
    Andrew MacWilliam
    ($0.875m)
    GOALTENDERS
    Jonathan Bernier
    ($2.900m)

  • NinetyThree

    JVR – Nylander – Kessel
    Leivo – Kadri – Brown
    D’Amgio – Holland – Ashton
    Broll – Gauthier – Biggs

    Rielly – Phaneuf
    Gardiner – Franson
    Finn – Granberg

    Bernier
    Sparks

  • Optimustic

    Komarov and Stastny are the only two names that I’m really interested in.  Stastny will likely cost a lot, but will be the best centre we’ve had in a long while.  Not sure he’ll be worth the cost, though, as I haven’t seen him play a lot.  Like every year, the best deals are the ones that you don’t make.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DgsgWHQfY0 Kouba

    Optimustic Best centre since 2008? I would also add Tootoo for the cheapest possible. We will suck anyways so why can’t we suck with a favorite player on the roster lol :)

  • MaxwellHowe

    The Leafs would have to wildly overpay to land Stasney – and tie up their salary structure for years to come, wrapped up in Kessel, Phaneuf, Clarkson and Stasney.  And if that doesn’t work? 

    FA is no way to build a club.  The Leafs will begin to see the light, Nonis will be fired and the team will begin a proper rebuild in February after the team has completely cratered.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DgsgWHQfY0 Kouba

    MaxwellHowe would be nice to see some picks at the deadline then instead of letting guys walk away

  • phaneufoundlander

    I’ll take 1 Stastny, a Boyle and a Juss Jokinen please.

  • MaxwellHowe

    phaneufoundlander  I’d take serious shots at Komarov and Matt Frattin as well.  Legwand for 3 years at $3.5 (once Bolland hopefully walks away) might not be so bad.

  • MaxwellHowe

    The Leafs use to get gritty character guys and it would work out – Tucker, Gary Roberts, Tie Domi.  Why is it that Armstrong, Komisarek and Carkson so miserably failed|?  I hope the Leafs do not sign Bolland, but at least he was earning his pay before the injury.

  • MaxwellHowe

    And I can’t help but wonder what the Leafs offered the Habs for Gorges – it was valuable enough that the Habs worked hard to get Gorges to waive – when he has 15 US teams listed – and he is good enough that many of those teams would offer a roster player for him.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    please tread lightly rosy cheeks..

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    MaxwellHowe otter.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Great Dane im good ith it.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    why is nobody awake

  • drummond

    TheCanucksnaphook  6 am?

  • barjv01

    Conference Finalists 2017-

    James Van Riemsdyk- William Nylander- Phil Kessel
    Josh Leivo- Nazem Kadri- Connor Brown
    Andreas Johnson- Frederik Gauthier- Tyler Biggs
    Jerry D’Amigo- Greg McKegg- Sam Carrick
    David Broll- Carter Verhaeghe

    Jake Gardiner- Morgan Rielly
    Matt Finn- Petter Granberg
    Stuart Percy- Tom Nilsson
    Viktor Loov

    Jonathan Bernier
    Garrett Sparks

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    drummond TheCanucksnaphook 7 here on the Easy Coast.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DgsgWHQfY0 Kouba

    barjv01 stunning success rate of prospect development

  • Ydargo

    I still think there is hope for Clarkson, last year nothing went right for him……I’m hoping last years 10gm suspension and new team played a role

  • Zep2

    Good morning ,Happy Canada Day

  • Ydargo

    Good morning fellas…..happy canada day

  • Optimustic

    Ydargo Good morning for y’all, but I’m off to work very shortly.  Hope that those of you that are off enjoy your day, and that you enjoy any moves that the Leafs may make.  Go Leafs Go!

  • Zep2

    Josh Gorges is interesting in that his availability is due to Beaulieu and Tinordi pushing for a roster SPOT. Both 1st rounders who have spent time in the AHL.
    WE have a better farm system, it’s time to start using it

  • drummond

    Happy Canada Day even though many playrs do not want play north of the border

  • Ydargo

    Provided Franson gets moved…….we could have 3 D-spots available.
    It would be nice to see 1 go to a Marlie at the very least.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Off to the course…I expect tweets if something happens !!!

  • Zep2

    Granberg this year, Percu next year

  • Zep2

    What are you doing out East Phook

  • JR from Halifax

    Where do u live Phook?

  • Great Dane

    Either Shanahan signs a couple of the top UFAs or they should start selling assets.

    In a bit more than 5 hours we will know for sure.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    WTF is Kypreos on? Give Mr. Ford his pipe back Nick.

  • barjv01

    Kouba barjv01 One can dream

  • Ydargo

    Agreed……I don’t think Finn is too far off either

  • ALMO89

    Probably not very reliable, but heard on twitter that TO is one of 6 teams interested in Orpik

  • TuckerForPunishment

    ALMO89 Brooks was always well into the pluses as a player.  This year he was a -3.  Was this a trend in PITT or is he on a downward spiral?

  • Ydargo

    He has a lot of mileage……on a short term I wouldn’t mind him…….long term, I see him breaking down

  • Zep2

    If not Gorges then Stralman via UFA

  • http://www.unclejakescards.ca/ unclejakescards

    happy canada day eh leafers ….
    maybe start gettin meds into ya now , may need …..alot .

  • TuckerForPunishment

    What about a guy like Pouliot?  Would rather he than Raymond any day.  And he’s better defensively.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVPolwmpOUo

  • JMAC17

    TuckerForPunishment I was thinking that yesterday…but what kind of contract you think he is looking for…?