MacWilliam, Knodel Let Go
The Leafs gave defenceman Andrew MacWilliam, a seventh round pick in 2008, a 12-game look late last season knowing his deal was expiring. The results weren’t pretty visually or statistically: MacWilliam was a 40.3% Corsi For in about 150 minutes of even strength action.
MacWilliam was a solid physical presence for the Marlies (actually finished last season with a +22 rating), but this is the standard roster iteration process taking place here as Standard Player Contract slots should be opened for players with the potential to contribute to the big club in some capacity at some point down the line.
6’6 defenceman Eric Knodel, fifth round pick in 2009, spent most of his time last season with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL.
Both Knodel and MacWilliam are 25.
As for their part in the Marincin deal, the Oilers let Brad Ross go unqualified and he will join German league team Iserlohn.
Panik, Kadri, Marincin Qualified
One does not anticipate any issues getting Martin Marincin or Richard Panik locked up on short term deals at values a little north of their qualifying offers, which are 105% of last season’s salary (Panik’s cap hit was $735,000; Marincin’s $730,000). Marincin was already qualified by Edmonton before the trade.
A contract for Richard Panik was said to be close as of late last week, according to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.
Kadri will be 25 by the time the new season starts and will be two years shy of unrestricted free agency. Will the Leafs bridge him again or try to buy a few of his UFA years? It seems like a safe bet that his numbers will rebound from last season’s 39-in-73 campaign (he hasn’t had as slow of a season since he entered the League full time), so the attempt at a buy-low on a few UFA years might be tempting. At the same time, the team has to feel some hesitation based on what transpired late on last season with the off ice issues.
Kadri’s party for their part may prefer a show-me contract — with a chance to atone for a season that wasn’t what he wanted in terms of production and certainly not a year to write home about off the ice — and attempt to cash in later from a stronger bargaining position. It was well known during the last negotiation (2013 offseason) that Kadri was looking for term, but he was coming off a near-point per game half season at that time and was looking to cash in. The Leafs were smart to hold off.
This is also Kadri’s first negotiation with the arbitration option available to him (July 5th deadline). This could play out in a number of ways as the offseason progresses.