Leafs invite winger Mason Raymond to camp

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A testament both to a sinking cap ceiling and a fall in the player’s stock, former 25 goal scorer in 2009-10 Mason Raymond went without a contract offer this summer (or at least, he went without one he was willing to sign). The GM who drafted him in the second round in 2005 (Nonis) has invited him to Leafs training camp on a Professional Tryout Agreement.

What we know Raymond can bring is speed, in spades. He’s an elite skater. I know this just from catching a few West Coast HNIC broadcasts and from playing the EA Sports NHL franchise for several years. He would certainly fit the speedy identity of the club if signed. Raymond has a nice wrist shot to go along with the speed, making him dangerous off the rush, but he has been criticized for going ice cold for extended spells and for drifting into long spells of perimeter play. Raymond has also admitted he’ll likely never be the player he once was after breaking his back in a brutal hit in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.

In his best season, ‘MayRay’ played with Ryan Kesler for his 25-goal 2009-10 campaign and the pair combined on a very effective second line for the Canucks. The left winger fell back into third line minutes (15 min/game) in the three seasons since, but has regularly received second unit powerplay time (2 minutes/game), where he scored 4 of his 10 goals last season.

Even knowing Raymond has the injury residuals and that he fell out of favour with Vancouver, it seems odd that a player with 10 goals in the shortened season, a 17-goal pace, and 22 points, a 39-point pace over a full season, would be unable to secure himself a one-year contract on the cheap for the upcoming year. Perhaps Raymond is choosing to take this route, rather than sign the perceived low ball offers coming his way, hoping to prove himself worthy of a one year deal earning him something closer to his expected pay range.

An interesting hypothetical to entertain is if Raymond were to really impress Leaf brass in camp. With limited cap space already plus Franson and Kadri hopefully soon to sign, can the Leafs even wedge him in if they wanted to?

The Leafs did lose some wing depth this off-season with MacArthur walking, Komarov returning to Russia and Frattin being traded. There’s no harm in a camp invite on its own (assuming it’s not a precursor to another move, and that Franson and Kadri are signed), so it seems like a worthwhile flyer to take.

Every Goal, 2012-13: Mason Raymond

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • dlb eh

    interesting, but not the kind of player i think we need.  unless he comes cheap.  then i’m happy to have his speed in the lineup.  if he’s worth more, who do we miss out on?  no harm inviting him to camp, though.  interesting.  someone on here was thinking it would be a good idea…can’t remember who (wasn’t me).

  • wiski

    dlb eh Seems to be a few of these PTO invites lately, flyers invited Hal Gill

  • Optimustic

    dlb eh This move doesn’t do much to excite me either.   I see it as another Matt Lombardi acquisition.

  • wiski

    Optimustic dlb eh So we turn him into a second rounder

  • Burtonboy

    Nothing new to report on Kadri/Franson negotiations according to Dave Nonis.

  • JMAC17

    Had a feeling we would be in on Raymond.
    Maybe Kulie gets moved to sign Naz and Franson, sign Raymond to play the 3rd line?

  • dlb eh

    Optimustic dlb eh 
    yeah.  i don’t know much about him, but he never sounds like a “Carlyle” type when we do hear about him.  he has speed and potential to score, sure…but if he loses puck battles and isn’t a gritty defensive player, or a good forechecker who throws some hits and causes some disturbance out there.  well.  we better be 10 for 10 in the shootout!

  • wiski

    Nonis says he called Raymond’s agent a month ago to express interest. Sez 27 year old will “give Carlyle options”. Unlikely to cost much.

  • wiski

    Leafs GM Dave Nonis on Morgan Rielly

  • dlb eh

    wiski 
    he’d be a good little water bug for practice, to simulate chasing those stinkin’ habs around.  like the rabbit in the greyhound race