The naming of Joffrey Lupul as an alternate captain and the announcement of his charity initiative Lupes Troops (granted this doesn't always guarantee a spot in Toronto for the indefinite future) in recent days were both indicators that Nonis and Carlyle see Lupul as a face of the franchise going forward. Faces of the franchise usually need long term contracts, but few would've expected one for Lupul this soon in the season. [more…]
The NHLPA has ratified the new CBA, now the NHL and NHLPA will sign off on the pre-CBA document known as a Memorandum of Understanding. Two hours after the ink is dry on the MOU, player signings and trades can begin in preparation for the new season.
For the Leafs' part, they are expected to announce the signing of defenceman Cody Franson to a one-year deal for a shade over a $1 million: A cheap one-year re-up to bring the right-hander back from Sweden in time for camp and have him compete for the spot vacated by Luke Schenn. Failing Franson's ability to crack the lineup, this is still a win as the Leafs retain possession of a tradable asset. [more…]
The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed winger Nikolai Kulemin to a two-year, estimated $5.6-million contract this morning.Â The Leafs avoided the potentially acrimonious arbitration process, signing the Magnitogorsk native to a deal with a modest cap hit of $2.8-million.
Kulemin, a 2006 second round draft pick, struggled mightily prior to a season-ending finger injury last season, posting career lows with seven goals and 28 points in 70 games.Â He scored 30 goals for the Maple Leafs in the 2010-2011 season.
The two-year term means Kulemin will be a UFA at deal's end, as opposed to a "show me" one-year deal which would've seen him become an RFA again next off-season, but there's little doubting this is good value if Kulemin's offensive game even half rebounds. [more…]
So,Â Nik Kulemin is up for Club Elected Arbitration. Seems interesting, and given Burkeâ€™s statements in the past about arbitration Iâ€™d assume theyâ€™ll actually go through the process. What this means is that Kulemin will likely be on a one year deal, giving him one more round of restricted free agency after this one. Not a bad way for the Leafs to hold the cards, but it also gives Kulemin a chance to show if heâ€™s the seven goal scorer we saw last season or if heâ€™s the 30 goal scorer from the previous season (TRUTH: heâ€™s somewhere in between.)
Arbitrations are generally not a fun process and best of all the decision results in either taking the one year deal or letting Kulemin walk for nothing. Joy! So, what is Kulemin likely to get out of this? Letâ€™s take a gander. [more…]
The Leafs have added some strength down the middle by signing Jay McClement to a two-year deal worth $3 million total.
They were also able to agree to terms with Matt Frattin on a two-year deal that totals $1.7 million, while resigning Ryan Hamilton and Jussi Rynnas as well as adding Mike Kostka to the organization, too.
It wasn't a banner day for the Leafs, but it was still an important one.
Most notably, they finally added the third line center they've needed for quite some time and that has serious ramifications on the rest of the roster. [more…]
The Leafs have signed Jay McClement to a 2-year, $3-million (1.5 mil. per) contract. McClement is a 29-year-old centerman from Kingston, Ontario (that one's for you, Don Cherry). A left handed shooter, he stands 6Â ftÂ 1Â in tall and weighs in at 205 lbs.
He is your prototypical shutdown centerman with little offense. But what he does, he does well.
A guy with good faceoff numbers, McClement is a player who is more mobile than Steckel, excels on the penalty kill and has decent size.
Ah, July 1st. The day we celebrate our nation's birth by tracking NHL free agent signings.
The Maple Leafs enter UFA Day with 14 million and change in cap space, but I wouldn't expect them to spend too much of it today, as all indications remain that Burke will do his heavy lifting via trade.
While Burke has made it clear he won't be in the mix for the two big fish in Parise and Suter in any meaningful way, one thing that may be on the mandate for Burke today is the addition of size up front (and possibly a right handed defenceman). [more…]
NHL Free Agency was, originally, to be a major component of the Brian Burke 'rebuild' model - or 'retool,' whatever you want to call it - when the Maple Leafs' new GM arrived in Toronto. And despite perpetual inflation, it remains the surest and easiest avenue for a team to obtain top-quality players in their prime without sacrificing any organizational assets beyond cash. Factoring in the promises of a quick turnaround and transactions we shall not name, lest we incite debate involving high-end draft picks exchanged for promising young stars, free agency to the Brian Burke model becomes...well, not quite a necessity...but a really, really valuable step in getting the Toronto Maple Leafs back to the Stanley Cup finals as efficiently as possible.
One can't exactly say it's worked out nicely, thus far.
The problem, as Burke's lamented, has been the distinct lack of premier free agents available. Teams have compensated for the league's attempts to "liberalize" the market by locking up their talented players before they become UFAs. [more…]
Some free agency news this evening, presented without comment:
Heâ€™s been associated with the Phoenix Coyotes (ne Winnipeg Jets) franchise for so long that no [more…]
"Why is [Shea] Weber a RFA after this contract? [Zach] Parise, same draft year, is UFA next year."
On the surface, it does seem a bit odd - two players, same draft year, both went to arbitration, yet one will be a restricted free agent in a year while the other will be unrestricted. How exactly does that work?
The answer to that quandary lies in a sliding condition in the CBA which is currently known as the "27 or 7" Rule.
After failing to agree to terms on a new contract, the Blackhawks have chosen to walk away from defenseman Chris Campoli's $2.5 million arbitration award. [more…]
The Leafs continue to plug the holes on their roster with today's signing of bottom-six center Philippe Dupuis, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche.Â Dupuis secured himself a two-way deal from Toronto, hoping to build onÂ 2010-2011, hisÂ first full NHL season in which he accumulated 17 points in 74 games.Â More importantly, he displayed energy and hustle on most nights, above and beyond that of his at-times despondent teammates.Â He has a penchant for hitting with some penalty killing aptitude and should compete for the fourth line center spot with the Leafs this fall.