Toronto overcame a slow start on the second night of a back-to-back set to close out the league-worst Florida Panthers at home. The game featured the return of Joffrey Lupul to the Kessel line, simultaneously heralding the revival of said line as contributing members of the team.
An interesting question was brought up by Dave Hodge yesterday morning on TSN’s The Reporters amid the Phil Kessel whirlwind that erupted over the weekend: if Peter Chiarelli wasn’t interested in matching an offer sheet at the dollar figure to which Burke eventually signed the 21-year-old, described by Sports Illustrated’s Michael Farber as “a one in 500 chance,” why didn’t Burke submit the offer sheet and pay but a third rounder instead of an additional first round draft selection? Farber seemed convinced not only that Chiarelli wouldn’t match but that Burke’s decision to go the trade route instead of offer sheet avenue was to save face, anticipating the charges of hypocrisy he would encounter linking back to his response to Kevin Lowe’s offer sheet submission for Dustin Penner that ultimately went unmatched while in Anaheim.
Sportsnet is reporting that the Maple Leafs have extended a qualifying offer to goaltender Justin Pogge, thus making him a restricted free agent. The team now has the ability to match any offer sheet Pogge receives, or choose to decline to get draft picks as compensation.
Today’s 5pm qualiying deadline saw a few interesting young players hit the UFA market: D Steve Eminger, LW Dan Fristche, C Marcel Goc, RW Anthony Stewart. Eminger has a boatload of talent, while the three other names may make for intriguing bottom six forward possibilities.
Also of note, veterans LW Peter Schaefer and D Jay Mckee have been placed on waivers by their respective clubs with the anticipation that they will be bought out. Mckee, one of the league’s perennial top shot blockers, may be a good fit as a veteran leader in the locker room and steadying presence on the blueline should Kaberle and/or Kubina be shipped out during the offseason.