Morning Mashup

Morning Mashup

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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...

290

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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As I'm sure you've heard by now, yesterday Mark Fraser came to terms with the Leafs just before his arbitration hearing for a sum of $1.275 million on a one-year contract. From Fraser's standpoint, as he was both arb-eligible and it made sense (here's why it didn't for Cody Franson), filing maximized his leverage as a restricted free agent by not allowing the the club to take all summer to nickel and dime him due to the looming third-party arbitration ruling. Fraser named $2 million as his price, while the Leafs were concerned the settlement would come in half-way between...

1251

As most of you have probably already heard/seen, Tim Leiweke gave a rather incendiary interview with Bloomberg.  The written version can be found here or feel free to check out the video below: Leiweke on NFL in Toronto, Maple Leafs 'Winning' - "He arrived alone, bringing no staff with him from California. He took a look around. He didn’t like much of what he saw." - Just yesterday, Cathal Kelly from the Toronto Star had the opportunity to interview Tim Leiweke and he echoed many of the points he touched upon in his interview with Bloomberg, including the ones that really polarized Leafs fans.  You...

753

An MLHS staffer will be interviewing assistant coach of the Leafs Greg Cronin in the next few days. While we have a lineup of questions already, we'll take the best couple of reader-submitted inquiries and try to work them into the interview as well. Throw yours in the comments. Monday morning links... Dug up by @Steve_Dangle last night on Twitter - Leo Komarov plays the keyboard as Jussi Rynnas sings about him. Two weeks later: The Maple Leafs Michael Trakios of the National Post with an off-season review. The Morgan Rielly conundrum Jim Hughes hinted strongly that there's nothing left to gain in junior...

592

The dog days have officially set in. A preseason countdown clock will soon be installed in the sidebar for everyone to stare at. For now, some links for your weekend: 'We're in conversation': Leafs, Kadri continue contract talks Leafs could be in 'dicey' spot with prospect Morgan Rielly Leafs management really seems to think Rielly has nothing left to gain in junior. Maple Leafs' David Bolland remembers well Honda Indy's roar Wendel says Leafs fans will love Clarkson It's already a big enough contract to live up to, these Wendel comparisons aren't doing anybody any good. Mirtle: Wendel Clark comparisons unfair to David Clarkson Well he picked the number 71... I...

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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...

690

By my estimation, the Leafs have 10 forwards, 4 defencemen and 2 goaltenders (after dropping the expected Marlies-bound players from their capgeek page) signed with about $10.95 million in cap space available. RFAs Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson, Carl Gunnarsson, Mark Fraser and Joe Colborne still left to sign. We'll see if Nonis can finesse the remaining RFAs in under the cap at better deals than he got on Bernier (who, after giving up assets for him in a trade, Nonis must have feared paying even more than 2.9 for through an offer sheet). If we were to be conservative and...

Dave Nonis

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With free agency upon us – and fresh on the heels of Mikhail Grabovski’s buyout – the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to be an incredibly different looking team come the fall.  Through General Manager Dave Nonis’ machinations since taking over the reins in January, the Leafs roster now looks more shallow and vulnerable than it did at the end of the season less than two months ago. Quite simply, Nonis slowly and quietly backed himself into a corner with the choices he’s made since taking over from Brian Burke.  On a team that appeared to over perform benefitting from...

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If UFA Day is like Christmas, this July we might get the chance to unwrap a few gifts early. At least, hopefully they're gifts and not 4.5 million pieces of coal for the next 8 years. The pre-FA negotiation period affords the Leafs the chance to feel out the temperature on certain UFA targets and then, if need be, clear space via the buyout period, which closes tomorrow (July 4) at midnight, or via trade. The Leafs opened up some cap space yesterday by officially but unsurprisingly buying out Mike Komisarek to save 3.575 million in room (4.5 million -...

584

Plenty of chatter but no moves so far this weekend. Regardless of the amount of trade activity today, it will be a busier draft day than usual with all 7 rounds going down today at the Prudential Centre starting at 3 p.m. EST. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. on TSN. As it stands now, the Leafs will pick in each round, selecting 21st, 51st, 82nd, 117th, 142nd, 172nd & 202nd today. I can't imagine much changes - Dave Morrison told us as much - with it being Nonis' first draft at the helm, given he was already an assistant GM...

NHL Draft

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Bob McKenzie polled a bunch of NHL scouts about the top prospects of the draft class and tweeted the results. The following couple of tweets piqued my interest, as they mentioned a few prospects who are likely to figure into the Leafs range: Best agitator: Plymouth's Ryan Hartman with clear win but guy he fought in Prospects Game Kerby Rychel got a couple of votes. — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 28, 2013   Best pure goal-scorer: Anthony Mantha with the win over Drouin, MacKinnon, Shinkaruk. Mantha scored 50 this season. — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 28, 2013   It seems likely, given his upside, there will...

628

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...

Dave Nonis

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The off season has officially begun after a karmic conclusion to the Stanley Cup Finals last night (eat shit, Bruins). The compliance buyout period will begin Thursday followed by the draft on Sunday. As we continued to digest the Bernier move yesterday, the Leafs qualified their new goaltender at a price of $1.525 million and will reportedly begin negotiations on a new contract later this week. After the jump, let's (roughly) project the Leafs cap situation headed into the 2013 off season. * = RFA after 2013-14 season; ** = UFA after 2013-14 season This of course assumes neither MacArthur or Bozak are...

NHL Draft

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A dearth of links to share in Leafs news, but things are going to heat up this week headed toward the buyout period and the Draft. Something that could speed up the wait - the Bruins losing out tomorrow night. They're in big trouble, on the brink and likely without Bergeron. A good read from a few days ago - Leafs prospects gain playoff experience in time of transition. Here is the latest from Nonis, if you missed it. It's hard to tell if he's suggesting a Bernier acquisition is in the cards or if he's just doing his due diligence. He...

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It must almost be the offseason, because NHL Awards have once again caused a stir regarding the voting structure and overall legitimacy of the accolades.  Nowhere is this more apparent than with the Norris Trophy, where the Montreal Canadiens’ PK Subban won out by a hair over Minnesota Wild’s Ryan Suter.  He did so despite the words, “awarded to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position” right on the darn trophy.  Alas, with the results of the past two seasons, the statement about ‘all-around ability’ is looking demonstrably untrue for Norris...

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With over a week and a half left before the NHL Entry Draft which will take place in Newark, New Jersey, things have started to heat up around the league.  If you won't take my word for it, check out what Allan Walsh, a player agent from Octagon Sports Management, had to say yesterday: Also, here are some quotes from Nonis via Kevin McGran: Since Alec already covered the Bernier rumor yesterday (and Anthony will have a few of his thoughts later today), I thought I'd bring together a couple of snippets of what some of the general managers are saying...

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It's been awhile. How do these work again? Seriously. Despite Tweeting up a storm during the playoffs, I haven't written anything since January. Call it a combination of hell the lockout sucking the passion out of me and Burke's firing amounting to a platinum-knuckled gut punch at the time. But new posts are coming, and I need your help! (Not really. But it will be a lot easier and quicker if I crowd source opinions and call it research!) Sometime soon, I want to go in-depth on compliance buyouts options for the Leafs. Because, y'know, we haven't talked about those nearly enough....

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Not saying the Cup Finals are over at 2-1 Bruins, but you had to know, after the Leafs let a team come back from 4-1 down with 11 minutes remaining in Game 7, that team would go on to win the Cup, right? Right. Of course. The pain will soon be over and off-season activity will follow very shortly thereafter. Should the Stanley Cup Finals go seven games, the Entry Draft will take place a mere four days later. The delayed, compacted schedule and the lowering of the salary cap means that under a week after winning the Cup, the...

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A couple of days ago, the CHL, in consultation with Hockey Canada, decided to ban goalies from the import draft beginning in 2014.  Due to the lack of Canadian goaltenders succeeding at the pro level, and in junior hockey, banning foreign goaltenders from playing in the CHL would afford more focus to and opportunity for Canadian goaltenders.   Said differently, the CHL believes that by banning foreign goaltenders, Canadian goalies, in turn, will get more playing and development time. I'm proud of my country and I consider the sport of hockey to be one of Canada's greatest gifts to the...