The Leafs have decided to take a flyer on 24-year-old defenceman Tim Erixon, claiming him off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Erixon's a former 2009 first round pick of the Calgary Flames who hasn't found a stable spot in the League yet. He is an RFA at season's end.
Tim Erixon Scouting Report
A strong, aggressive rearguard .. all-around type .. moves well in all directions, propelled by a long, powerful stride.. handles pressure well ... initiates physical contact and knows how to apply his large, sturdy frame .. proactive rushing the puck, relying on his skating and reach advantage .. not a...
Montreal had a strong start, getting six of the first nine chances, and a pair of goals in the first thirteen minutes (the second of which Bernier would like back).
Toronto was able to get even in chances for the period after a good late push, but didn't get a goal out of it. The second period was also even in chances, with Montreal again having a hot start before the Leafs pulled things back late in the frame. There wasn't a real push back from Toronto in the third, as an early Montreal goal extended the lead to three,...
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Joffrey Lupul – Nazem Kadri – Richard Panik
Leo Komarov – Olli Jokinen – David Booth
Zach Sill – Peter Holland – Brandon Kozun
Dion Phaneuf – Korbinian Holzer
Morgan Rielly – Roman Polak
Jake Gardiner – Stephane Robidas
Injured: Trevor Smith (lower body)
Montreal Canadiens Projected Lines
Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher
Lars Eller – Tomas Plekanec – Alex Galchenyuk
Brandon Prust – Jacob De La Rose – Devante Smith-Pelly
Michael Bournival – Manny Malhotra – Dale Weise
Andrei Markov – P.K. Subban
Nathan Beaulieu – Tom Gilbert
Sergei Gonchar – Greg Pateryn
Pete Deboer on TSN Drive:
View on Clarkson and the trade:
Clarkson is a great kid. Actually, at the time, I really thought he as going to help the Leafs. It was case of Murphy’s Law; everything that could go wrong did go wrong… big contract, huge expectations, people throwing out Clarkson like Wendel Clark in that vein. He tried to do everything right; look at that 10-game suspension, that’s exactly what every coach wants his team to do, stick up for their best players, and he ends up with 10-game suspension to start the season. Trying to do the right...
Bob McKenzie on TSN Drive:
On trading Horton for Clarkson and not Semin or Richards:
I couldn’t honestly tell you that I know for a fact there was conversation between . What I can suggest that is, of those three you mentioned – Clarkson, Semin, Richards - Semin wasn’t a fit in the eyes of Columbus. They were not looking for a high-end, underachieving goal-scoring winger. I don’t think they were eager to bring in another center in Richards. I think Clarkson fit the profile of what they were looking for: A guy to go up and down the wing and...
Pat Morris joined Leafs Lunch to discuss his client David Clarkson's trade to Columbus.
His involvement in getting the deal done:
I actually spoke to Dave Nonis about another thought that we had on David, probably a week ago. I started with Nonis on that dialogue that had some legs, then died. Then, Dave said, “I might be working on something else, would you have interest in listening to that?” I said, “sure, bring it to me when it gets serious.” It got serious the day before yesterday, we had some contact Wednesday, and then all day yesterday we worked through...
We've pinched ourselves and waited 'till morning. David Clarkson is still a Columbus Blue Jacket.
Strapped with way too many long term deals for a bottom five hockey club, the Leafs needed to open up cap flexibility. Nobody expected they would be able to offload the League's biggest boat anchor. Not in a million years, not without giving up assets and retaining salary.
Thankfully Columbus came knocking, in a terrible spot with Nathan Horton's large and uninsured contract.
Nonis kept a straight face, pulled the trigger, and the Leafs are in a much, much better position today than they were yesterday.
Long Term Injured Reserve contracts count during the offseason, but teams...
The Clarkson-free Leafs had a strong first twenty-five minutes, out-chancing the Flyers and opening up a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals from the top line.
The rest of the second period was all Philadelphia, as they dominated the chances, 10-1, but couldn't find a way past Jonathan Bernier. The Leafs started the third by widening the lead even further, but faced some penalty problems, as the Flyers had a number of chances on special teams, including a pair of power-play goals. Bernier stood strong, though, and the Leafs earned their first back-to-back wins of 2015.
The first period was...
As Leafs fans rightfully celebrate not having to watch David Clarkson play hockey for 5 more years while taking up $5.25 million a season of their team’s cap space, here’s a basic reminder of how LTIR works now that the injured Nathan Horton is getting paid by the Leafs organization.
Placing a player on Long Term Injured Reserve does not remove a cap hit altogether. In cases of LTIR, the cap hit is still technically on the books and the team is granted an exemption that allows them to exceed the cap by upwards of the full amount of the injured player’s cap...
Best day ever? Best day ever.
The David Clarkson era ends, the Zach Sill era begins.
Maple Leafs Projected Lines
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Joffrey Lupul - Nazem Kadri - Richard Panik
Leo Komarov - Olli Jokinen - David Clarkson
Zach Sill - Peter Holland - David Booth
Dion Phaneuf - Korbinian Holzer
Morgan Rielly - Roman Polak
Jake Gardiner - Stephane Robidas
Scratched: Brandon Kozun, Petter Granberg
Injured: Trevor Smith (lower body)
This is an amazing save by the Leafs and MLSE, flexing their financial muscle to expunge the worst contract mistake in team history.
On Long Term Injured Reserve and effectively off the cap* (note: there are some ramifications on the cap for LTIR), Nathan Horton's career looks to be over due to horrible back injuries. From a piece by Greg Wyshynski:
“I can’t stand up like a normal person; I can’t bend over. I can’t run. I can’t play with my kids. To get in and out of the car, I’m like a 75-year-old man … so slow and stiff. I can’t sleep at night. I...
The Leafs have re-acquired defenceman TJ Brennan in exchange for forward Spencer Abbott.
The Leafs re-signed Abbott, a former free agent signing out of college, while letting Brennan go last July, and have evidently decided to reverse their decision with this trade.. After an All-Star AHL season with 69 points in 66 games (and 11 more points in 11 playoff games), a season which included his first NHL game as a callup, Abbott took a considerable step back this season and, turning 27 in a few months, doesn’t appear to have a future at the highest level. Reasonably skilled but undersized and not particularly...
With the Daniel Winnik trade goes the Leafs' most consistent player of the past couple of months, as the Leafs get necessarily worse in the short term while fetching good value for their final major pending-UFA (Jokinen, Holzer and Booth could be moved, but if there's any value to be had is unknown).
Roman Polak, with one year left on his contract, seems to be the most likely remaining candidate to be moved for value, while Tyler Bozak's name has been gaining steam as well, with Bob McKenzie reporting a possible New York Rangers connection yesterday. The Rangers don't ostensibly have the cap room,...
The Leafs receive Zach Sill, a 2nd round pick in 2016 and a 4th round pick in 2015.
This is a handsome return for a depth forward and a late summer pickup out of the bargain bin. The second round pick is in 2016, meaning the Leafs are still without one in 2015, but now have two in 2016.
The Leafs also retained half of Winnik's $1.3 million salary for the remainder of the season, which helped grease the wheels on the trade for Pittsburgh's cap but is next to meaningless as far as Leafs are concerned given it's a one-year contract.
The one thing worth noting...
Bob McKenzie on TSN Drive:
Sill is obviously a component where the contact had to come back the other way. The Penguins not only needed the Leafs to eat half of Winnik’s salary for remainder of the deal -- it’s only rest of this season -- but they also needed them to take Sill, that’s how tight things are vis-a-vis the salary cap. Whether they want Sill or whether he was just an economic consideration remains to be seen; probably an economic consideration. Hey, two draft picks for a guy you signed in the summer for a...
Lots stirring on the Joffrey Lupul front the past few days. The roundup:
Elliotte Friedman yesterday on Sportsnet 960:
"Thing about Lupul is he is injury prone, but he is two or three years removed where he was among the top 10 players in scoring at the time he got injured at the end of the year. I heard last year that Montreal has asked about him and Toronto may deal him. When I met with Dave Nonis in the summer, I asked him about that. He said there has been interest, but he made a really good point to me. He said,...
Steve Spott hopped on Leafs Lunch yesterday to discuss coaching amid the Leafs' death spiral.
Spott mentioned there's been added emphasis on the amount of time spent on individual development with some of the younger assets on the team, mentioning Holland, Panik and Kadri.
On coaching objectives in a lost cause:
What we’re trying to do here, we’ve talked about it at length, is lots of individual stuff. This morning I did a session with Peter Holland, Chris Dennis is meeting with Richard Panik. You have your team message, then you have a lot of individual stuff. It’s hard when you have 22 guys in...