Nick Kypreos has tweeted this little gem today:
#Leafs put Jeff Finger onÂ #NHL waivers today.
This finally puts an end to the long period of speculation over the future of Jeff Finger. When he clears tomorrow, it will be interesting to see where he ends up playing. Renegotiating with another NHL team or even playing in Europe would perhaps be more entertaining to Finger but wouldn’t be the wise financial move as he’d have to opt out of his current contract by not reporting to the Marlies. While Wilson has been adamant that a return to the NHL this season isn’t an impossibility, it seems Finger will be left to lead a Marlies team that has started with a 0-2 record.
Where would you like to see Finger play?
Monday afternoon’s 5pm qualifying offer deadline has come and gone. A QO is simply a mandatory minimum contract, valued at either the player’s previous year’s salary or slightly above, which prevents said player from becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
The Maple Leafs extended qualifying offers to forwards Nikolai Kulemin and Christian Hanson, while letting go of forward John Mitchell and defensemen Matt Jones and Phil Oreskovic. Collegiate free agent signee Kyle Rogers was also among the Marlies’ restricted free agents, but there is no word yet on whether he was qualified. If Rogers becomes a free agent, the Leafs will have trimmed down their contract obligations down to 43.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos also adds that the club will look to bring Mitchell back for a lesser salary, and continue to discuss a long-term contract with Kulemin, though the latter is believed to be seeking north of $3 million per season. Around the league, some may be surprised to hear that the Islanders will not be bringing back 26 year old forward Sean Bergenheim, an industrious checker who has averaged 12 goals/year over the past 3 seasons.
It may seem uncharacteristic of Â Brian Burke, historically a headline maker at the Entry Draft, to sit essentially idle on the hockey world’s biggest stage. Important to remember is that the big man can be patient when he needs to be. The Anaheim and Calgary deals of last February, when Burke waited until certain pressure points reached a head, were both examples of Burke’s willingness to sit back until the time was right to pull the trigger – despite all the temptations to hit the panic button as his team sat in the Eastern Conference basement with no first round pick to look forward to.
Here’s the lowdown on the latest installment in the epic Jonas Gustavsson saga. Earlier this afternoon during the media scrum to announce the Beauchemin and Kadri signings, Brian Burke mentioned that Gustavsson and his agent had informed him that they had set a deadline for tomorrow to make a decision. However, Burke did follow up that statement by explaining that all of the deadlines set thus far had been self-imposed, and that he would not be angry if Jonas needed more time.
On the heels of this news, Sportsnet’s hockey insider Nick Kypreos explains that his sources have told him that Gustavsson is expected to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow. Toronto is 6 hours behind Swedish time, so it’s possible that an announcement may come out in the morning or early afternoon. In the meantime, here are another few sneak peeks at the best goaltender currently not in the NHL.
Update: The Star confirms that Gustavsson is indeed expected to announce his signing with the Leafs today, and also mentions that they may have potentially found a new trading partner for Kaberle: the St. Louis Blues, who are loaded with all sorts of premium young offensive talent.
Nick Kypreos is reporting that the Toronto Maple Leafs have agreed to terms with C Mikhail Grabovski on a 3 year deal, worth $8.7M or just under $3M per season. Grabovski is coming off an impressive debut campaign for the Maple Leafs in which he recorded 20 goals and 48 points in 78 games played. This contract will lock him up until 2012, when he can start looking for the big bucks at the prime age of 28. A nice signing by Toronto, and the term of the contract should inspire Grabovski to work his tail off for that next big payday. With Mikhail in the fold, the Leafs payroll now stands at approximately $50M, leaving about $7M left in cap space.
NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly was on HockeyCentral At Noon today, and among other topics he briefly discussed the possibility of a second NHL team coming to Toronto.
When asked why Toronto has not been seriously considered to date as a home for another franchise, despite the enormous fan base and subsequent opportunity to succeed financially, Kelly suggested that MLSE was not the source of resistance.