Yesterday’s trade with Calgary sparked a lot of immediate negativity amongst many of our readers at the loss of Stralman. Today we try to view it from another perspective as we clarify an important CBA related issue that may have been a key motivation for the departure the young defenseman. In other news: Burke speaks to Foxsports about prospective changes to the CBA, Leaf prospect Kenny Ryan is being recruited by the Memorial Cup champs and Vaclav Prospal bought out by the Lightning.
Anton Stralman signed his first NHL contract in May of 2007 and as an ’86 born, it was considered his “age 21” season. Therefore, upon signing said contract, the Maple Leafs would be able to protect him from waivers until either 3 years later or until Stralman played his 80th NHL game. Having played his 88th NHL game last season, it would mean that the Leafs would have to expose the young defender to waivers if they wanted to send him down. Thus, Burke felt that a 2nd round pick was a more prudent gamble than a 3rd make-or-break NHL stint for Stralman on an already overcrowded blueline. You can read more about the CBA’s waiver rules here.
FoxSports has Burke’s take on a variety of Collective Bargaining Agreement related issues including long-term contracts, no-trade clauses and AHL callups.
The London Free Press reports that Windsor Spitfires GM Warren Rychel is attempting to lure Maple Leaf prospect Kenny Ryan, the Leafs 50th overall selection this past June, away from his commitment to Boston College and bring him over to the OHL next season. Fresh off a Memorial Cup championship, the Spitfires are looking to shore up an already impressive core that includes the additions of projected 2010 Top 5 pick Cam Fowler and 2009 2nd round pick Richard Panik. The Current Spitfires team includes 2010 top pick favorite Taylor Hall as well as the other Leafs 2009 2nd round pick, defenseman Jesse Blacker. If this does indeed come to fruition, it should make for an interesting OHL Western Conference rivalry between the Spitfires and the Kadri-led London Knights.
Various Tampa Bay news outlets are reporting that Lightning forward Vaclav Prosal has been bought out by the organization. The 34 year old was only 1 season into the 4 year, $14M deal he signed with the Bolts last summer. Although he is coming off a disappointing 45 point season, his lowest total since an injury shortened ’00-’01 campaign, Prospal is also just one year removed from an impressive 71 point performance. Prospal will receive $7M from the Lightning over the next 6 years, and may prove to be a prime candidate to be a cheap, top six forward for the Leafs to look at.