2013 Off-Season

2013 Off-Season

Dave Nonis

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I took a look at Dave Nonis' GM'ing history before the off season started. Since the summer has come to a crawl I thought it would be a good time to look back on it. The first thing that leaps out at me -- and I've been thinking about this for awhile -- is that Nonis was handcuffed due to limited cap space for most of his time in Vancouver. And yet this time around he was gifted cap space, he gave it away, and still has two key cogs to resign. I'm just shocked he's put himself in...

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The John Michael Liles buyout watch is officially over, for this year, anyway. Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson are still RFAs, and the Leafs currently have just 4.9M in cap space to retain them both. While many have pointed out that Korbinian Holzer and Trevor Smith are accounted for on the Leafs capgeek roster even though neither figures to make the team, it also has to be said that the Leafs aren’t going to play with a roster holding the bare minimum of 12 forwards and six defensemen all year. Something has to give. There are a few different ways things...

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Alec conducted a terrific interview with Marlies GM and VP of Hockey Operations, Dave Poulin, earlier this week.  While the article that touched on several great topics, Poulin raised the comment of acquiring ‘like-aged’ players to construct a winning team.  He stressed that to build a perennial winner everything must move like clockwork, from the crease womb out. This quote from Alec’s interview jumped out at me: “There’s so many different variables, besides the cap going down nine percent, that go into a final product of a hockey team. The timing has to be incredibly efficient on every single front of...

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Summer has officially entered the dog days in the hockey world and there’s little in the way of new developments to discuss. However, seeing as I was away on vacation for most of July, I wasn’t able to contribute here as much as I normally would so I figure now is as good a time as ever to catch up on some Leafs topics that have been on my mind. Goaltending - It’s pretty clear the Leafs are going to roll with one a 1A and 1B model in net where Reimer and Bernier split starts, which is fine. The only...

Paul Ranger

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The Maple Leafs have signed former Toronto Marlie and Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Paul Ranger to a one-year, $1,000,000 NHL contract. With Paul Ranger added to the mix, a cap clearing measure will surely have to follow, at least eventually, with Franson, Kadri and Fraser left to re-sign and only 6 or so million in cap space remaining. Ranger was a  top-4 calibre guy for the Tampa Bay Lightning prior to taking a three-year leave from the game at the start of the 2009-10 season. A big, strong-skating two-way rearguard with a big left handed shot, Ranger actually played a good...

Carl Gunnarsson

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have avoided arbitration with defenseman Carl Gunnarsson, with the two sides agreeing to terms on a three-year contract. TSN's Darren Dreger is reporting it's worth $9.45 million.  Salary is listed at : $2.85m, $3.15m & $3.45m. The 26-year-old Gunnarsson had one goal and 15 points in 37 regular-season games for the Maple Leafs in 2012-13 and added an assist in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. A seventh-round pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, Gunnarsson has 12 goals and 69 points in 224 games for the Maple Leafs. Michael Stevens Stephens had a great year end write up on Gunnarsson....

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The NHL, a day late and a dollar short as always, released the schedule for the 2013-14 NHL regular season this afternoon.  In an unsurprising move, the Toronto Maple Leafs will open their season on the road on October 1st against the Montreal Canadiens. Full schedule: Quick notes: -          The Leafs have joined the Atlantic division, with other notable seaports Ottawa, Detroit and Montreal.  I still would have preferred going with famous players/patrons names for the divisions. -          The Leafs will be fortunate that of their Atlantic division rivals, they play the Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres 5 times each.  They’ll square off against...

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Heading into free agency, nearly every Leafs fan knew that Nonis wanted to bring in David Clarkson, considered your prototypical Carlyle guy. Well, I’m sure you all know that Nonis got his man, and at a hefty $5.25 million cap hit for 7 years. There’s been much discussion since the signing about the contract Nonis gave to Clarkson and I don’t particularly want to beat a dead horse. So, without really delving into the subject of whether or not I think he’s worth that money or term, I want to give Leafs fans a look into what Clarkson brings...

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Tyler Bozak joined Mike Hogan and Jeff O'Neill on TSN 1050's Blue Lunch segment. Bozak revealed that he didn't field offers from other teams having agreed to terms with the Leafs before free agency opened at Noon last Friday. He also responded to a few questions about his controversial status as the Leafs number one center. Do you see yourself as a number one center? “Yeah I do. I’m confident in myself. Obviously there are going to be guys better than you and guys that aren’t, but the line that I’ve been on has had a lot of success. I...

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It’s been an incredibly interesting first week of free agency for the Toronto Maple Leafs and around the NHL.  Here’s four thoughts to get you through your Friday. Kovalchuk’s retirement a blessing for the Devils Ilya Kovalchuk shocked the world Thursday when the Russian superstar announced his retirement at the tender age of 30.  In doing so, Kovalchuk will be leaving $77-million on the table over the next 12 seasons.  But he also might save the New Jersey Devils. A couple years back, I made my opinion on Kovalchuk’s contract fairly clear.  It was cap circumvention then, and it still looks of...

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Some will argue the Leafs have gotten better over the last few weeks, others will say they’ve gotten worse; the only thing we know for sure is that they’re noticeably different. Out go Mikhail Grabovski, Clarke MacArthur, Leo Komarov, Matt Frattin, Ryan O’Byrne, Mike Kostka, and Ben Scrivens. In come Dave Bolland, David Clarkson, TJ Brennan and Jonathon Bernier (along with a few new Marlies - Colborne? D’Amigo? Blacker? Ashton?) . So what do we make of all this? The best way to look at it is to break it down piece by piece. Forwards: Bozak over Grabovski, Clarkson...

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Let's have a moment of silence for Daniel Alfredsson's reputation in Ottawa... As 'sad' as it is to see him go, given all the moves that Ottawa has made and the departure of Alfie, it seems we will be entering a new era in the Battle of Ontario next Fall. The departure of Alfie may partly take away the thrill of attending a Leafs game in Ottawa and showering boos on the home captain, but with the additions of Clarke MacArthur and Bobby Ryan the  provincial battle certainly won't be lacking in storylines. MacArthur was a healthy scratch numerous times under...

Joe Colborne Traded

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Joe Colborne, restricted free agent no longer, has re-signed with the Maple Leafs to a one-year, one-way contract valued at $600,000. The Leafs remaining RFAs include Cody Franson, Carl Gunnarsson, Mark Fraser and Nazem Kadri. By handing out the one-way deal, Colborne came in at a pretty cheap hit of $600,000, leaving the Leafs with around $10 million in available cap space. In related RFA news, Carl Gunnarsson has filed for player-elected salary arbitration while the two sides continue to negotiate a contract extension. Here are the two relevant sections of the CBA pertaining to player-elected arbitration: Article 10.2: (B) Notwithstanding...

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Well, it’s been a wild ride on twitter for the past few days. If you follow the hockey analytics crowd on twitter you probably know what I’m talking about, though for those of you that don’t, let me fill you in. I think the best place to start is the beginning of this recent road and it’s a bit of a bumpy ride so buckle up. As I’m sure many, if not all, of you know, on Thursday afternoon the Leafs placed Grabovski on waivers for the purpose of buying him out. I think it’s pretty safe to say that...

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Jonathan Bernier will earn $1,100,000 more than James Reimer next season despite being considerably less proven. We're almost in a position now where we're hoping Bernier takes over the number one spot. I'm not sure how I feel about that. The Leafs have now forfeited Ben Scrivens, Matt Frattin, a 2nd round pick and about $2.5 million in cap space (Bernier contract + 500k retained salary - Scrivens contract) to add Bernier to the fold. Guess he better live up to the hype. The price makes some sense when you consider Bernier would have been very vulnerable to an offer...

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed left-handed defenceman TJ Brennan to a 1-way, 1 year deal worth $600,000 dollars. Brennan spent the majority of the 2012-13 season with the Rochester Americans in the American Hockey League, registering 35 points in 36 games. The 24-year-old had one point in 10 games with the Buffalo Sabres before being traded to the Florida Panthers. With the Panthers, the Willingboro, N.J., native had nine points in 19 games. Brennan was drafted by the Sabres in the second round (31st overall) in the 2007 NHL Draft.

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Here we go. David Clarkson.. Stephen Weiss.. talk of 6 million dollars a year.. Tyler Bozak and his ludicrous contract demands.. Someone hold me. Realistically, the Leafs will not be able to upgrade at center on the recently-bought-out Mikhail Grabovski via the free agent market. Dave Nonis, hopefully, has something better than Weiss or Bozak up his sleeve via trade. That will take time, and that's fine. I'm worried but I can wait. I would like to see Nonis make a clever add to the defence. Rob Scuderi is an interesting possibility on the backend (one that has been discussed for weeks...

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It's days like these where you miss Brian Burke. The straight-shooting, loyalist ex-GM of the Leafs had his faults (eg. being too loyal), but impatience was never one of them. The buyout of Mikhail Grabovski, one year into a recently signed contract reeks of shortsightedness and impulsiveness on the part of Leafs management. Admittedly, we cannot judge this move until the full extent of Dave Nonis's plans are revealed. However, we do know that the free agent center options still remaining are limited at best.  Names such as Bozak and Weiss do not  represent an upgrade on either end of...

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In a shocking move early Thursday afternoon, The Toronto Maple Leafs placed centre Mikhail Grabovski on unconditional waivers with the purpose of buying him out. https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/352821290526195712 Should Grabovski clear waivers tomorrow at noon, the Leafs will use their second Compliance Buyout, having bought out the final year of Mike Komisarek's contract earlier in the week. Grabovski was coming off a career-worst season in 2013 scoring a mere nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in 48 games and still had four years remaining on a contract signed last offseason that was paying him $5.5-Million per year.  The Belorussian is apparently set...

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I think we can all agree that Leafs TV should have produced a PSA, prior to the off-season, indicating how to use an inflatable life-jacket.  Buckle-up, people. GMs have now had some time to get a handle on the new reality created by the CBA. With the draft a little over 72 hours away, the rumours are abound and fans from every team will have their ears to the ground. Yesterday, more news broke that the Leafs and Lightning were talking over a potential deal that got the league's panties in a knot. Alec had it covered in this article. Last night...