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The jersey wouldn't even be all that different!
We knew the compliance buyout window would release a few interesting names into the free agent pool, unshackled from their exorbitant contracts. Vincent Lecavalier will be reportedly be one, as Jeff Vinik has decided to eat his $32 million buyout in order to gain the $7.7 million in cap savings.
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.
Between attempts to acquire Roberto Luongo, Miikka Kiprusoff, and now reportedly Jonathan Bernier, it just doesn’t feel like Leafs management is fully behind James Reimer being “the guy,” does it? Listen in here to Bob McKenzie on the TSN Insider podcast, as McKenzie calls the Leafs interest in Bernier legitimate, and says Leafs brass “like Reimer’s game but don’t love it.”
By now you all probably know Reimer’s numbers. He’s played over 100 games, has a career .915sv%, he played well in the playoffs, and just seems to have that temperament that is tailor fit to the Toronto market. There is one glaring issue with Reimer though, and that’s where the goalie hunt comes into play – he hasn’t been able to stay healthy.
We reviewed Clarke MacArthur the other day here at MLHS. The feedback seemed rather divided on the question of whether to keep or not to keep the pending UFA. Meanwhile, there’s no doubting that David Clarkson’s name will only continue to remain attached to the Leafs in rumour circles as we approach free agency and the Toronto native remains without a contract past July 5.
With a glut of wing talent already, and Phil Kessel in need a contract extension, there’s no way Dave Nonis should re-sign MacArthur and then also go and sign David Clarkson. It’s not a smart allocation of dollars when depth wingers are the easiest assets to come by in the NHL.
Of course, things could play out in such a way where the Leafs lose out on the Clarkson “sweepstakes” (he re-signs or they are outbid or whatever) and then turn and try to bring back MacArthur. But as of today, with both options on the table, there is certainly merit in the question of MacArthur vs. Clarkson. And it’s a tough one.
The Luongo/Kiprusoff talk has me watching the coverage with one eye covered today. Apparently, Miikka Kiprusoff is going to make a decision about his future late this morning. I’d be pleasantly surprised if, by 3 p.m., Dave Nonis’ big move is a cheap addition to the defence, preferably a right-handed rearguard with some experience (Robidas being ideal if the price is right). Otherwise, standing pat is A-OK by me.
It is all but certain Nonis will not sell his pending UFAs to the highest bidder, making the following effective quote the other day: “I couldn’t look the guys in the eyes in the dressing room if I did that.”
You could avoid the talking heads today by watching some Marlies action at 11 a.m. on LeafsTV as they take on the Lake Erie Monsters. In related news, David Broll and Stuart Percy have followed Garret Sparks to the Marlies with their respective teams out of the OHL playoffs. Percy will be wearing #41 and Broll will don #46.
The first to break the Jarome Iginla to Boston trade, Aaron Ward is now reporting the Leafs have been given permission by Calgary to talk to Miikka Kiprusoff’s representatives about changing his stance on not reporting to a new team in order to come to Toronto.
After what feels like an eternity of Roberto Luongo being linked to the Leafs, it’s almost strange to hear a different goalies name linked to Toronto via trade.
But here we are, as Miikka Kiprusoff is now being connected perilously close to the Leafs.
After doing a great job of gathering up points over the past couple of weeks and pushing themselves well in to the playoff picture, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see the Leafs hold off on any trades going in to the deadline this Wednesday. But despite the amount of success the team has enjoyed this season, there are some glaring weak areas that could be addressed, and players may become available that could help Nonis bring this club to a higher level.
We’ve seen the Calgary Flames finally give in to a rebuild in the past week with the departure of Jarome Iginla, and the Buffalo Sabres have been known to be in fire sale mode for a little while now. As Wednesday approaches, other teams will have to make a decision on which direction they’re headed, and potentially start putting bodies on planes as well.
News broke last evening that Corey Perry had signed an 8 year deal totalling 69 million dollars to stay with the Anaheim Ducks and his newly signed centerman (also of 8 years), Ryan Getzlaf.
As trade rumour season heats up and the Toronto Maple Leafs slip in the standings from 5th to 8th in the past week, Leafs Nation will almost certainly be whipped up into a frenzy over every name mentioned. While we aren’t a rumour website, we are within 19 days of the deadline and there has been some legitimate talk from *actual* members of the media and evidence of three teams in different conferences scouting each other heavily that don’t normally do so.
A lot can change depending on the Leafs position in the standings in the eight games before the deadline, but the Leafs figure to be, theoretically, both buyers and sellers. Granted, in a lockout-shortened season it’s hard to ascertain what the nature of the landscape will be – or if there will be much movement at all – at a deadline where so many teams will still believe in the legitimacy of their playoff hopes. A buyers-heavy market could lend itself to moving out a few free agents-to-be and not so much to adding pieces at a reasonable price.
Photo: National Post
For a second consecutive article, Damien Cox, who seems to have a direct line into the Leafs front office,Â has reported the Leafs are not in the running for the services of Rick Nash. Nash apparently does not have the Leafs on his shortlist of teams after all.
Perhaps thatâ€™s the case for theÂ Maple Leafs when it comes toÂ Rick Nash, a player they once coveted. Nobody seems quite certain where the Columbus Blue Jackets sniper will end up if he is indeed traded this week, but the Leafs are convinced that if they ever were on Nashâ€™s short-list of teams for which he would waive his no-movement clause, they arenâ€™t now.
Just as you cross one name off the wanted list, Bob McKenzie has tossed a familiar name into the ring:
Hearing ANA’s Bobby Ryan is “available” again after being taken off trade market after Randy Carlyle’s Duck departure.
That doesn’t mean Bobby Ryan is sure to be moved. It does means ANA’s phone will be/has been ringing and they will be keenly listening.
Let the fun continue.
Photo: Postmedia Province
During TSN’s regular “Insider Trading” segment last night, McKenzie, LeBrun and Dreger each had an opportunity to drop some information on us regarding Roberto Luongo and the Leafs. McKenzie also had a chance to clear the bogus rumors of Brian Burke being fired in the next little while, and not surprisingly, the site that started the rumor took it down immediately afterward. Anything to get page hits for a couple days I suppose.
It’s no secret that teams have begun kicking tires on Luongo, and two of the most noted on Insider Trading were the Panthers and the Leafs. Florida was a name many threw out there when the Luongo rumors first started, but that quickly turned into just the Leafs and Tampa Bay due to their insane need for goaltending.
Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Saying I have very little knowledge about Justin Schultz is quite the understatement. I have never seen him play, until this post I had never looked at a single one of his stats, and ultimately this whole situation seemed reminiscent of teams fighting for the services of Matt Gilroy a few seasons ago (Gilroy was statistically not as good.) The only thing I really knew for sure is that he was Jake Gardinerâ€™s defensive partner at the University of Wisconsin, and based on Gardinerâ€™s performance Wisconsin does alright in the offensive defensemen development department.
On Friday, Bob McKenzie was the first to report that Justin Schultz was officially leaving school:
Photo: Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images
With four teams left and the NHL playoffs set to wind down, news and trade rumors should pick up as we get closer to the draft. “Wind down” is perhaps the wrong way to say it, but with fewer games happening (we’ll soon be at one every two nights) there’s a lot more time to speculate and gear up for an eventful summer.
The word out of Pittsburgh has been centered around Jordan Staal for a few weeks now, and since the team was eliminated there have been questions, ranging from reasonable to… er, unreasonable (Malkin trade anyone?) popping up quite regularly.
The Staal situation isn’t new. Folks have been talking about his place with the Penguins — behind Malkin and Crosby — since he’s been with the team. The idea is that he’s essentially being held back from thriving with another club. And for us Leafs fans, desperate to see an elite center in blue and white, we’re quite familiar with the name.
The tie's coming undone.
This is part one of a preview series on potential trade deadline targets for the Leafs. Important to keep in mind is the framework in which I’m analyzing these trade options in this series: BrianÂ Burke will be weighing the future against the present. Burke’s only going to be dealing for immediate help if it equally benefits the team long term. There will be no selling out for this season; as much as Burke is feeling the pressure to make the playoffs in his fourth season as Leafs czar, more patience is needed as his team simply isn’t at that stage of the competition yet.
The attraction to the 37-year-old pending UFA is one, how well he’s fared in front of a porous Islanders defense since his return to the NHL, and two, his history of success under head coach Ron Wilson in San Jose.
The Islanders have struggled to find consistent reliability in net as much as the Leafs have in recent seasons, so dealing Nabokov as opposed to signing him seems unlikely at this point barring an inability to come to terms in contract negotiations.
It’s no surprise that after news broke of Dustin Brown’s availability in the trade market, he’s been the new topic of conversation heading into the last weekend before the deadline. As the captain of the Kings and a member of the American Olympic squad, Brown has a pretty big profile and manageable cap hit, making him an obvious target for most teams.
Bob McKenzie had this to say about who looks interested right now:
BOS, BUF, EDM, NJD, NYR, PHI, TOR, VAN are amongst teams with high levels of interest in Brown.
So we know there is plenty of interest, and many of the clubs involved are also rumored to be in on Nash. It’s no surprise that the Leafs are involved with Burke stating that he wants to add some physicality to the top six. Brown hits everything he sees.
Another quick hit in the world of trade talks as we wind down towards the deadline; Sportsnet reports that Burke is meeting with the Blue Jackets’ Scott Howson in New York City.
From Daren Millard over Twitter:
Sportsnet can confirm Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke meet with Columbus GM Scott Howson this morning at a NYC hotel. Full story on snet.ca soon
The first thing that will cross anyone’s mind is a potential Rick Nash deal, but with Grabovski’s future up in the air, I wouldn’t be surprised if this meeting is focused on Jeff Carter. We have no way of knowing, of course, unless Sportsnet can leak more information later.
Keep an eye on this.
Update from Sportsnet.ca (Glove tap to Declan):
Sportsnet can confirm thatÂ Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke met withÂ Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson this morning at a New York City hotel.
Burke was in New York for an HBO taping when he ran into Howson and the two managers decided to talk over breakfast.
As reported earlier, Damien Cox confirmed the Leafs were on a short list provided byÂ Rick Nash to the Blue Jackets of teams that he would consider waiving his no-trade clause for
It is believed any deal between Toronto and Columbus would have to include a combination of players that could include Nazem Kadri,Â Luke Schenn,Â Nikolai Kulemin and possiblyÂ James Reimer.
Photo credit: Getty Images
Just a quick hit here; Darren Dreger reports from Insider Trading that the Leafs have received an offer for Mikhail Grabovski.
For those unable to see Insider Trading. Offer for Grabovski is for a 2nd rnd pick and prospect. Could get more. Still hope to re-sign him
Not much in terms of a return, but we obviously have no idea who the prospect is. Dreger also hinted that the deal could grow and the 2nd be upgraded to a first, for example.
Grabovski is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. A negotiating tactic to release the news of the offer? Perhaps.
The Rick Nash situation continues to snowball this morning, as both he and Jeff Carter have been reported missing from Blue Jackets practice. The sense is that it’s a maintenance day, considering Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch followed up with news that Nash’s agent was unsure as to why his client was MIA.
Whatever the case, this has sent the social media world into a frenzy, as expected.
Via TSN.ca, Portzline also reports that the five teams on Nash’s “go-to list” are likely the Bruins, Kings, Rangers, Sharks and the Leafs.
Pavel Kubina is also missing practice for the Lightning, and they were pretty frank about addressing the situation.
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