Are the Leafs after Malone?

So Brian Burke may have to set his sights a little lower looking six weeks ahead to the Feb. 27 trade deadline after making big deals to acquire Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf and Joffrey Lupul the last three seasons.

Not just a little lower. Also at a financial cost that may be less appealing.

Which brings us once more to Tampa Bay Lightning left winger Ryan Malone, once one of the more highly regarded power forwards in the game, now less of a force for the Bolts, who sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings right now.

The 6-foot-4 winger would, nonetheless, look good in the Leaf lineup. But he’s 32 years old, has only nine goals in 38 games this season and carries a contract that comes with a salary cap hit of $4.5 million the next three years after this one.

The money-losing Lightning might well like to shed that deal, particularly with more than $20 million annually tied up in Vinny Lecavalier, Steve Stamkos and Marty St. Louis. But with the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire after this season, is it the kind of contract a team like Toronto would like to add?

We’ve already seen some movement like that around the league. Last week, Calgary added winger Mike Cammalleri at a cost of a deal that will pay him $7 million in cash the next two years, more than the annual cap hit of $6 million. Montreal, meanwhile, added defenceman Tomas Kaberle earlier this season in a trade with Carolina, and Kaberle is owed $4.25 million per season for the next two years.

21 Responses to Are the Leafs after Malone?

  1. blaze says:

    I actually met Malone and he's a real great guy. Don't make this move Burke.

  2. JoelLeafs says:

    I'd be on the fence if it was 4.5 mill for this season, then a UFA. But three more years left (not including this campaign)? ***** that. The lineup looks pretty nice as it is and could use some skill and time. Not toughness and cap hits. I'd take him if it was off re-entry waviers @ half his salary.

    Still can't get over Spezza's "goal" last night. Ref: "it was kicked, but tipped in, so it's a good goal!… although Spezza was in the crease, on top of Reimer, without being pushed in"  -derp

    *****ign Anderson. Since Reimer last season no goal keeper has stolen a game for the leafs the way Anderson did for the Sens last night. Everyone says we need a bona fide #1 center? I say we need a bona fide #1 goalie.

    ***** ***** *****!!

  3. reinjosh says:

    We have two choices for that. Wait for Reimer/Gustavsson to become the number 1, which I think will happen sooner or later, or go out and get a netminder. The second option could be hard. 

    Hiller could be available, Halak could be available. Going after Schneider, Bernier, Harding really doesn't make much sense. They haven't proven they are number ones. Schneider plays well behind one of the best teams in the league and could very well be getting protected, Bernier hasn't shown anything at the NHL level, and Harding has had both ups and downs.
    I'd be ok going for Halak. He's an interesting option. He might have lost his spot and he might be moved. He's shown he can be a number one but he's sturggled occasionally. 
    Hiller was interesting but I feel like something happened when he got hit in the face with that puck at the All Star game and got vertigo from that. That and his price I think is going to be very very high. 
  4. MystifoLeafs says:

    I like the idea of targeting Halak but what would we need to give up? That is what I am wondering about.

  5. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Probably quite a bit.

    Halak has not struggled. The issue with him is his team plays better with Elliot over him for some odd reason.

    A 2.08 save percentage, with a .918 save percentage is hardly struggling.

    As well, he has been pretty solid the last 3 years with Montreal and St. Louis posting a GAA under 2.50 in those last 3 seasons. As well having a sold .91 save percentag ae in those years.

    I look at that because it suggests he can do it for more than 1 team (Unlike Toskala).

  6. reinjosh says:

    I don't know. I'd be interested in the price for sure. Gustavsson as a replacement backup, plus more for sure. 

    I'd love to get him as a mentor for Reimer. Next two years, Reimer can spend time under him and hopefully by the time Halak's contract is up, Reims is ready to take the reigns. 
  7. MystifoLeafs says:

    Well most likely the Blues would want a replacement goalie coming their way and at this moment i think Reimer and Gus have similar value. So I think the starting point would be…

    Then they are most likely looking to make a playoff push and would be looking for some scoring up front maybe. So MacArthur most likely, I would try Lombardi first because I would much rather trade Lombo and say a 2nd than MacArthur most likely but in the end I would rather Halak. 
    So my two options…
    2nd 2012 (I think we still hold one.)
  8. Steven_Leafs says:

    I would do anything possible to hold onto Reimer, he may not be having the best year since his injury but he has so much more upside than Gustavsson and is much younger.

    Halak/Reimer is an excellent team for the next 3 years (at which point both contracts expire and we will have to choose one) and right now giving up a player like MacArthur definitely wont hurt us with all of our depth and the ability to flip a defenseman for a forward. I dont think just Gustavsson/MacArthur gets it done though, I'd do it in a heartbeat but I think it would be a minimum of:

    mid-level prospect


    2nd round pick (2013 if you can, 2012 if you cant)

    After something like that, going after Malone wont be that painful. We would still have to shed salary which means giving them Komisarek (ain't gonna happen) but definitely would be a sweet addition to replace MacArthur.

  9. Sharxfan20 says:

    How about Jonathan Bernier? the cost might b relatively low, because he hasnt proven himself due to Quick's dominance in LA. that benig said, bernier has the chance to be the next tukka rask: quietly the next best.

    To LA:
    Joffrey Lupul
    Nazem Kadri
    Jonas Gustavsson
    to Toronto
    Anze Kopitar
    Jonathan Bernier
    I would hate to see Lupul go, but finding a center is significantly more challenging than a winger. 
  10. NonLeafFansAreGay says:

    replace lupul with a 2nd and a 3rd

  11. JoelLeafs says:

    I dunno, man. I love the return, but how can you justify breaking up arguably the best (or second best) scoring duo in the league? I think that span a few games ago was the only time the went more than two games without scoring this season. Would be sick, but there has to be something else we could ship that way. Plus, I doubt they trade Kopitar at all, let alone for this return.

  12. JoelLeafs says:

    Well, I think your former option is most likely. The leafs are in the midst of a youth movement, which involves a certain deal of waiting and developing. Same goes with the goalies. There is too much of a log jam in the minors at the G position, so bringing a goalie in would likely mean less games for the prospects, ultimately hurting development.

    I'm fine with the situation, I suppose. You have to think that Reimer is only going to get better, and it's hard to assess how much his play is being affected by the injury and the time off. Plus, he's had shit luck. Vs Ottawa for example: first goal could have been an interference call (it was iffy), second one should not have been a goal, and the third… well, he should have had that one.

    My concern is if they can resign Gus after this season. His number of games has gone up considerably, but he's clearly never been the #1 guy. If he thinks he can do that in another city, what's keeping him here? I'd really like to sign him for another 2 years at his current amount or maybe what Reimer makes.

    Thing is, if all the young guys stay on track this groups could be very deadly in 2-4 years; however, the likelihood of at least some of the dropping off is very high.

    Also, I know he's not regarded as a number 1 by most, but Bozak has looked good since his return and seemingly invigorated the top line.

  13. thisgamewelose says:

    Replace Lupul with a 2nd or 3rd? You're getting Kopitar…the initial offer wasn't good enough, there's no way you replace him with a 2nd.

  14. thisgamewelose says:

    2nd and 3rd*

  15. JoelLeafs says:

    I dunno, even Kadri, Gus, and a 1st wouldn't even do it, IMO. This "replace hims with a 2nd" tells me that his value is around a 2nd. No *****ing way that is the case.

  16. mapleleafsfan says:

    Lol this.. Considering Lupul is the best piece in the trade, you can't remove him. And say you do remove him, how is lupul only worth a 2nd and a 3rd? Regardless, that package wouldn't get kopitar alone. 

  17. Steven_Leafs says:

    personally I wouldn't go after Bernier at all. He does have potential to be better than Reimer but he is still a young unproven goalie. I think if we are going to give up Kadri and/or Lupul for better goal-tending then we better get a proven young goalie like Halak, Rask or Schneider.

  18. mojo19 says:

    His contract just makes it so tough. Like we were talking about in another article, I'd only do Komi for Malone straight up, because the contracts are equal, and we basically shift a big tough hitter from the back end, to up front.

    It wouldn't be a bad thing to have a guy like Malone in the line up when you face Boston either. I'd try Komi for Malone if I could (if I were Burke), and then I'd still try to add one more big winger after that.

  19. thisgamewelose says:

    I think Kopitar is the go after guy in this trade, getting Bernier is really just a bonus…or perhaps I just have Kopitar rated way too high here. I think Bernier has more value than Gus. A lot of teams would love to have him, and the only reason he's not number 1 in LA is because Quick battled and emerged as their franchise goalie.

  20. Steven_Leafs says:

    yeah good point, I wouldn't do this trade at all unless Lupul's value was a bit higher (right now he is playing like a top line forward but his trade value is considerably less than the other top line forwards in the league). But I suppose getting a big centerman like Kopitar, and a massive inprovement in net with Bernier as a bonus is hard to pass up.

  21. Steven_Leafs says:

    would not be bad at all. would make flipping a couple of top 6 forwards+ for a big centerman much less painful. Maybe try to do it all at once:

    To Tampa Bay:

    MacArthur (3.25M cap / 3.25M cash)
    Lombardi (3.50M cap / 3.50M cash)
    Komisarek (4.50M cap / 3.50M cash)

    To Toronto:

    Lecavalier (7.727M cap / 10.0M cash)
    Malone (4.50M cap / 3.00M cash)

    Tampa Bay saves 2.75M in cash next year and loses about 1M in cap while getting an extra player. Toronto gets a big center to play with Lupul/Kessel, replaces MacArthur with Malone and gets rid of Komisarek. We take on 2 bad contracts but would definitely be worth it.

    That being said no chance in hell Tampa does this, I do feel if Tampa Bay can dump Lecavalier's cancer of a contract they will but I doubt this offer is enough.

    Also noticing that Malone's contract pays 3M this year and 2.5M the next 2 years in cash, I dont think Tampa is moving Malone anymore. He is a solid player that is making almost half of his cap hit in cash, an excellent contract for a team like Tampa Bay.

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