Couple of intriguing tidbits from HB/ESPN’s Andy Strickland: Defenseman Jeff Finger WANTS to be sent down to the AHL to save a few bucks? Are the Leafs planning to place forward Jamal Mayers on waivers soon?
- Jeff Finger would rather play in the AHL than sit in the pressbox at the NHL level in order to avoid losing escrow money from his paycheck: “NHL players received back only 5% of the escrow money taken from the players last season. Players have 13.5% escrow taken out of their paychecks this year. Players in the AHL with one way NHL contracts have zero escrow money taken out of their checks.” Blogger’s Note: What’s this guy doing in a suit when the Leafs are trotting out Garnet Exelby every night? Pointless, averaging just over 10 minutes a night with a -5 rating. Finger hasn’t exactly shined so far this season but he’s shown over the past two years that he can be comfortably relied on as a top four defenseman for 20 minutes a night. The danger of sending down Finger is that he’d be snapped up in a second on re-entry waivers at a $1.75M cap hit.
- Andy also hears that the Maple Leafs may be preparing to place oft-scratched forward Jamal Mayers on waivers. He speculates that a number of teams would be interested in his services as a “tough veteran presence”. Blogger’s Note: Not really surprising news here. Mayers has seen his ice-time reduced by over a third since being acquired by Cliff Fletcher a couple summers ago. The now 35 year old Toronto native carries a $1.33M cap hit through the rest of the season and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.