Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports …..

Nonis may consider moving F Phil Kessel. Just one problem: Somebody has to be willing to take him. Not easy finding a fit because he is making $5.4 million and is one year away from being a UFA … Once the New York Islanders are officially out of the playoff picture, expect D Mark Streit to get dealt.

A lot of teams are looking for somebody who can move the puck and he’s in the final year of his contract. Streit is well-respected around the league for his abilities and will likely get dealt for a second-round pick … The buzz is the Ducks and C Ryan Getzlaf were close to a long-term deal in the neighbourhood of $6 million per season before the lockout last summer. Question is, can it be resurrected? … Confirm or deny: Rangers GM Glen Sather might make a move just to shake up his inconsistent club?

Link to the Ottawa Sun

48 Responses to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports …..

  1. doorman says:

    Streit will be a good deadline pick up for a contender, Mtl should’ve kept him years ago.

    As much as we have discussed it here on HTR, I don’t believe Nonis is actually shopping Kessel. He will listen if someone calls but i find it hard to believe that even off to a slow start there nobody overly interested in a perenial 30 goal scorer.

    I think the as much as we are all rooting for Getzlaf to become a UFA, my gut tells me he signs.

  2. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Not that I put much stock in what Garrioch writes about Toronto, but I expect more and more articles will be written about Kessel’s declining value as Kessel’s struggles continue.
    Many in Leafs Nation will probably insist he is worth as much or close to what we paid for him. The main reasons being that 35 a year goal scorers don’t grow on trees, goals are the hardest thing to come by and players of Kessels’s talent have high value. I like Kessel, but I’m really getting tired of the excuses made for him and the babying of Phil Kessel. He may be the most babied player in Leafs history.
    I know this will piss many Leafs fans off, But before you get your shit in a knot, hear me out…then I’m sure I will still get the infamous “unrealistic leafs fan” hate mail.LOL
    Here’s what bugs me. “Kessel doesn’t have anyone to play with.” “We need to find a centre for Kessel.” “Other teams key on him so it makes it tough for him.” “Kessel and Grabovski won’t work.” “Kessel doesn’t get along with Wilson.” “Phil isn’t doing so well because Lupul got hurt.” “Kessel is paid to score goals, he is not paid to fight for the puck in corners “and so on. I hated Wilson from year one, but he didn’t stop Kessel from going in the corners to fight for the puck.
    They are all factors in Phil’s success, but I can’t think of any highly sought after players (as it is said Kessel would be) NEEDING sooooo much or having so many excuses made for him.
    Many great players and not so great players do whatever they can to improve their game. Extra practice time, off-season workouts to improve speed and strength, hiring personal trainers and diet experts, etc etc. I may be wrong, but I have never heard about Phil doing any of this. What has Kessel done to become a better player? Great players try to improve their games and work hard at it. I’m not saying Kessel doesn’t play with effort or doesn’t care, I believe he does. Is he doing whatever he can to be the best he can be though? When you give up two 1st’s and a 2nd for a player, do you not expect a great player, with great player mentality in return? I would.
    Phil gets top ice time, top powerplay time, on the ice for empty net situations; he is kept away from other teams’ top lines and top defence pairings whenever possible. He has been given the top players on the team to play with and try and find chemistry, including Grabovski. He typically has either of our top 2 D-pairings to play with, he likes Bozak, so we keep him with Bozak. We gave him $5.4 mil a year when many thought that was too high. Recently JVR was moved to Kessel’s line even though JVR was having success with Grabo and Kuli. What else does this guy need?
    GM’s will look at everything that has been done to try and build around Kessel and look at the results of the team, which has not improved in the standings since Kessel’s arrival. They will also look at what he has done personally to improve his game, which it’s hard to find any evidence that he has. Semin has put up similar, at times better numbers, and is also a perimeter player with great scoring touch and only 28 years old. He walked as a UFA from Washington after 2 one year contract extensions. Why didn’t the Caps just trade him to make sure they got something back of great value? Most likely answer is that no one was willing to give back what the caps wanted in return or didn’t put much value on a $6mil a year guy who can score, but doesn’t bring much else to the table. Semin remained an un-signed UFA until July 26th where Carolina gave him great money granted, but for only one year. He was not scoped up on July 1st for a long term deal. No, it was another one year contract even though Carolina has either of the Staal brothers to put him with. Why? Because all he does is score but won’t do the other things necessary in today’s game. He was also coming off a subpar year, only 21 goals. Phil is 0 for 8 right now. Even if he scores 5 times in the next 12 games, he would be on pace for only 21 over a full season.
    Conversely, A lot of Leafs fans have complained about the money given to Grabovski, yet in comparison to Kessel, Grabovski gets second line ice time, second line PP time, he plays with whoever we put with him, he routinely plays against the other teams best lines, he goes in the corners and plays with an edge and puts up consistent numbers. They are actually some of the best numbers for a so-called “second line centre” in the league. No one makes excuses for him or says…”if we only had better wingers for Grabo”.
    Who needs who more…does Kessel need Lupul more, or does Lupul need Kessel more? Yet the consensus is that Kessel has WAY more trade value no matter which way someone answers.
    No doubt 35 goal scorers don’t grow on trees and goals are hard to come by, I don’t dispute that. When a GM gives up two first rounders and a 2nd rounder for an existing player, he expects more than just goals though. He expects a player that has work ethic on AND off the ice. He will expect to get a player who can elevate himself to another level when needed and fight through the other teams best checking units to succeed. He will expect a player that does whatever he can to better himself and help the team. Unfortunately, that player is not Phil Kessel. Is he a talented goal scorer? Yes. Would another GM pay two 1st’s and a second for him or give similar value in existing players and or picks? I severely doubt it.
    Kessel’s value is not as high now as what we paid for him and he has done nothing this year to increase it. This is why I don’t understand the “I wouldn’t trade Kessel unless we got …insert names and or picks(big return) for him.” Then the choice is to extend him by probably ridiculously overpaying him if he will even re-sign OR let him walk for nothing, neither option thrills me, because the chances of a GM giving huge for Kessel is almost nil.

  3. nordiques100 says:

    I personally don’t think Kessel deserves upwards to the 7.5 mil or so that say Parise is getting or Heatley.

    If he is going for that amount, then i would seriously consider moving him. But, i think maybe he takes a home town discount. i think with the cap starting at 60$ mil, it will be hard to to be aggressive in free agency and pay Kessel close to $8 mil.

    I think $6.5 is a good number. that on a 5 year deal i could live with. but not for much more though.

  4. blaze says:

    So if they value in your kind is low why would you trade him?

    And why would Washington trade Semin going into the playoffs with high expectations what contender has ever done that?

    He had been progressive going down hill in Washinton for 4 years and his playoffs performance was part of the reason the team finally cut ties.

    Carolina proved how much teams value goal scoring by giving him 7 mil despite not scoring 30 goals in 3 years. They more or less implied hell get more term if he can prove he can still score.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      Points taken guys. I have stated more than once though that I do not believe we should trade Kessel at this point because his value is lower than it should be. Many want to re-sign Kessel or will only trade him for a big return. The point of (that log winded rant lol)is we are not getting a “big return” if he is traded. We will get a return that will help the club, but not what we gave up to get him. Here is the problem with trying to re-sign him as well. Say we do re-sign him at what Nords and Blaze said…$6.5 mil over 5 years(A little high IMO but not unreasonable). It is widely agreed upon that we also need to improve by getting a Richards or Getzlaf etc. How? What assets do we give up to get them or where do we find the funds with the cap being at about $60 mil like Nords says to sign a Getzlaf. I think trading Kessel, at the right time, is a smarter move. I think the same about Phaneuf actually.

      • blaze says:

        I’m not a fan of patching a hole by making another. Kessel has out produced both Richards and Getzlaf recently as well.

        If you need to free up cap space for a big acquisition you buy out a Komisarek or trade Liles or MacArthur. You don’t trade your best player espcially at a discount to overspend on a replacement.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          That would be the ultimate way to free up cap space, no doubt. I didn’t say -trade Keseel for getzlaf or Richards. I said-It will be hard to get a Getzlaf or Richards and keep Kessel.
          I understand the “sign them as UFA”. You have a 1 in 30 chance of doing that though. High profile players get to choose where they want to go and they usually look for a winning team. Toronto is not a winning team. That doesn’t mean we can’t get one, but it’s less likely. Those guys will move teams via UFA if they are after more money than there current team offers or if a new team gives them a better chance to win. Otherwise, you get them through trade.

          Here’s the thing I don’t understand. Is it forgotten that Boston traded both Thorton and Kessel, yet still won the cup. Colorado traded Lindros, won the cup. New Jersey lost Gomez(he was good in NJ) and Gionta, 2/3rds of the EGG line and made it to the finals last year.
          Those teams traded for need to improve. It’s not always about having the best player, it’s about building the best team. We have pieces besides Kessel(even though he is a piece as well), but we need size with skill up-front if we ever want to improve. Trading kessel and/or Phaneuf may be the only way to get it. We need to keep our options open. The current formula is not working. The current re-tooling is all about size. Beyond JVR, there is little skill though. How did we get JVR? We had to give up a former 5th overall pick to get him. The trade filled a need for both teams even though both gave up young talent. Since we don’t want to move our high picks then we have to move talent to get talent. We won’t get much back if we say “you can’t have our first rounders or Kessel, Phaneuf, Gardiner or Reilly” Right?

  5. blaze says:

    If the value in your mind*** hmm

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      Blaze I see your point but you’re a little off on Semin’s decline. 3 years ago he had 40 goals and 84 pts, the most in his career and 4 years ago he had 34 goals and 79 points, second most in his career. He had 28 goals two years ago in only 65 games. I don’t see how you can say he was on the decline for 4 years. He had one bad year in Washington…his last.
      Totally agree with you on his playoff performance but I think it more proves my point. In 09/10 season Semin had 40 goals, most of his career but only got a one year extension. 10/11 he netted 28 in 65 games, only a one year extension again.
      11/12 was his worst year with 21 goals and Washington’s response was…goodbye.LOL
      What if Kessel falters in the playoffs? The response to Semin kind of shows the 30-40 regular season is good, but not the be all end all.
      Kessel’s playoff numbers with the Bruins were quite good but he doesn’t have any with the Leafs because we haven’t made the playoffs with him, which we were supposed to.
      Semin scored as many goals as Kessel in the 3 years prior to last year and could not get a contract with term. His playoff performance was a huge part I’m sure. That said, why should the Leafs give a guy with the same kind of numbers, who can’t even get us into the playoffs, a longer term deal at $6.5 mil?
      Are we betting on Kessel being a playoff beast when we get there? Despite his Boston numbers, I’m sorry to say, but I don’t think Phil will be our leader come playoff time. I could be wrong, but he doesn’t like the rough play and we see how he avoids Chara. The playoffs are more intense and rougher with more games in less nights as we all know. Does that seem like the scenario that Kessel would likely succeeed in? I just don’t see it.

      • blaze says:

        No youre right not 4 years, but it was 3 years ago he scored 30 goals. He had a great 4 years were he produced big but then his game kind of fell off and many people spoke of his attitude problems. Ovechkin yelling at him in the playoffs is just an example of why Washington decided to let him go.

        Two disappointing seasons in a row both regular season and playoffs and a bad reputation. As for Kessel he’s progressed more or less as expected. Four straight seasons of 30+ goals. Since he came to Toronto he has developed as expected his point and goal totals increasing successively each season coming off a 6th in NHL scoring season.

        If Kessel were an FA last summer he absolutely wouldve gotten 7.5 from many teams easy.

        The point is Semin got 7 mil and it was 3 years since he even potted 30 that’s how much teams covet scoring .

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          ??? I’m not counting this season because it has barely started. Are you? 3 seasons ago Semin had 40 goals, then 28 in 65 games and 21 last year. I’m not sure where you are getting the sats from? Let’s just drop that part.

          I am not suggesting Kessel is not scoring as expected (this season aside) or that goal scoring is not coveted.
          The Kessel’s and Semin’s are coveted by teams with the surrounding pieces in place usually. Caps already had Ovie, Backstrom, Laich. Carolina has Staal, Staal, Skinner. If everbody wants just goals so badly, then how come Semin was a UFA for almost 4 weeks before he ultimately signed a 1 year deal. How come no one else grabbed him before that? Not trying to offend, but before responding, remember you just said “Semin got 7 mil and it was 3 years since he even potted 30 that’s how much teams covet scoring.” So much that he remained un-signed for almost 4 weeks and couldn’t get more than a so-called “no risk” contract? That contract works out to be less “risk” than the one we signed Connolly to.

      • blaze says:

        The issue with Semin was never his talent it was motivation. Washington was never eager to give him a long term deal because they didn’t know what they would get if they did.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          They didn’t know what they would get in the playoffs is why no longer term deal was done for Semin. They kept giving him chances, he didn’t succeeed. Yes his attitude was a big problem…not playing hard every game. Be honest though, you have heard rumours that Kessel has an attitude problem as well. Not a desire problem, but an attitude problem. Things like “he doesn’t like to practice, he doesn’t like to work-out.” His former coach even said these things about him.

      • blaze says:

        And honestly how is Kessel supposed to get us into the playoffs I don’t understand that at all. 6th in scoring last year but it was his fault we didnt make the playoffs?

        Why didn’t Sundin get us into the playoffs in 05-06, 06-07, 07-08?? How come Stamkos couldn’t get Tampa in last year? Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan (!!) in Anaheim? Rick Nash in Columbus ever?

        Some of the criticisms thrown at Kessel could be thrown at many NHL stars.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          Ok ok. I understand people are going to get their backs up when a player on our team gets discussed and it isn’t positive remarks, especially if they like that player and feel he is a cornerstone. I’m not criticising, it’s fact Blaze.
          Sundin took us and led us in the playoffs many times, Getzlaf and Perry have won a cup in Anaheim and Ryan has been to the playoffs three times, Stamkos helped get them to the finals. Kessel is 0for3. How do you compare those guys? Rick Nash would be the closest because he only got them there once. Many thought Columbus got squat for Nash in that trade…Dubinsky, Erixson, Anisimov and a first for Nash, Deslisle and a 3rd. Considering Nash had (2) 40 goal seasons (Kessel 0),a perennial 30+ scorer otherwise, was their captain and an elite power winger whose contract is $7.8 mil a year, THAT was Nash’s return. Can you imagine if that were Kessel(instead of Nash) and that is the return we get? You guys trashed me for Luongo(I don’t really want either), Kassian and Higgins which is arguably a better return than what was given for Nash.
          Remove yourself as a Kessel fan for a second and think about this as a GM. If you acquire yourself a player of Kessel’s quality and do not give up any roster players to get him, would you not have expected to make the playoffs after 3 seasons? Would you not use that in negotiating a contract extension with him? Like I said, $6.5 is not unreasonable, I see more around $6 as an average. Then again, I believe he should be traded eventually. just my opinion.

          • blaze says:

            Youre right Kessel should strap on the goalies pads too and single handled get us to the promise land.

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              You have a problem with Reimers play?lol
              Kidding aside, Not sure how I offended you this time, or even trashed Kessel in any way. I apologize then.
              I think it’s a fair question to ask if you or a GM would have expected better team results after Kessel was acquired. It’s just opinions.
              Let’s take Kessel and Toronto out of the mix because it is obviously a sore spot.
              Nash goes to NYR and they miss the playoffs 3 seasons in a row even though he gets 30+ goals a year and 30+ assists a year. Meanwhile Columbus (not that this will happen lol) all of a sudden makes the playoffs 3 seasons straight. Is the trade considered a success in the eyes of the Rangers? Is Nash up for a raise at contract time?

              I think you take what I’m saying as Kessel bashing. I’m not. The numbers show though that Kessel has not improved our teams results. We had just as good of totals without him. I’m sorry, I like Kessel and his talent, but the team has not found success with him. Our pt totals don’t lie.

              • blaze says:

                I’m not offended I just don’t understand how people can say its Kessels fault we didn’t make the playoffs.

                It wasn’t Kessel didt bring us to the playoffs its Kessel and 22 other guys didn’t bring us to the playoffs. Kessel was paid to score goals and he did.

                • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                  I’m not saying it’s his fault. Beyond goals though, He was also brought in to help us get to the playoffs. He hasn’t, that’s all I’m saying. Not saying it’s his fault, but everyone, the players, coaches and management have to accept responsibility. Including kessel. Burke admitted he failed to get us there and was fired for it. All our players need to be held responsible as well.

  6. doorman says:

    R_L_F, your points are well thought out and presented and I do agree with some of them. However like Blaze says, if his value has dropped that much are we not better off signing him? Nords, i hope he would take a discount, but for some reason, I am not sure.

  7. blaze says:

    All of Kessels goals last year. I’m aware hes a small guy doesn’t crash and bang or crash the net but people make it sound like he shoots from the tops of the circles and floats around and that’s it, the ultimate perimeter player.

    Watch that video and see over half his goals are from within 10 feet of the net.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      This is idiotic, if Kessel had five years on his contract left people would say that’s too much term to take on and if he was a pending UFA he’d be a rental. Having a year beyond this one left is the sweet spot to give a team tons of time to work out an extension. No matter what contract Phil had hack writers would be stirring the pot and that what Garroich does.

      It’s silly to compare Semin to Kessel. Semin is a player with a great release. Kessel has a great release, stick handles, is strong on the puck, one of the fastest players in the league and can make plays. Kessel creates chances by himself, a skill only a handful of players in the league possess.

      Semin is a busted goal scorer so one may compare Kessel to him to make a point that no one agrees with.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Are you honestly suggesting that Semin does not stick handle well, is not a good skater and Kessel is way stronger on the puck and Kessel is a way better playmaker than Semin? That is what you are saying?
        Although I am not a Semin fan, Semin has averaged 37 assists a season in his career, Kessel 29 and Semin is widely considered a good skater, great hands with excellent stick handling ability and a very good playmaker.
        Kessel is strong on the puck? Rags the puck well, Yes. Strong on it? Not sure I have ever heard that before.
        So, Semin is a broken down goal scorer and Kessel ia a way better playmaker so the comparison is silly? ok

        Past 3 seasons
        Semin GP-215 G-89 A-103 pts-192
        Kessel GP-234 G-99 A-102 pts-201

        This season
        Semin GP-8 G-1 A-5 pts-6
        Kessel GP-9 G-0 A-4 pts-4

        What did each players original team do with them. Washington let Semin and his goals go for nothing because he didn’t perform in the playoffs and they felt the money should be spent elsewhere instead of just on the goals that Semin provided.
        Boston traded Kessel because Chiarelli said they didn’t have the money to keep Kessel and the other players they had even though Kessel was there only “pure” goal scorer. He felt the money should be used elsewhere on other players. They did not replace Kessel with a “pure” goal scorer. They got players like Horton and Peverly. Oh yea, then they won the cup.

        No similarities there at all between the two.

        • leafs_wallace93 says:

          Ok, another 800 word essay in which you convince no one that Kessel doesn’t have trade value.

          No one takes seriously Semin = Kessel, I wonder why that is….

          Anyways, Kassian for Hall of Fame, there happy?

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            Yep. happy now.LOL
            I have been trying to keep the word count down.LOL
            IF Kessel gets traded then we will see what the return is. If it is a lot more than I think, I have no problem admitting I was wrong.
            Kessel-Semin is not the only thing no one takes seriously…I wonder why that is

            • leafs_wallace93 says:

              Anyone can take pretty much any two players and cherry pick statistics and draw whatever conclusion they see fit.

              I could just as easily compare Kessel to Ovechkin and make a case that Kessel has more value, compare Ovie’s drop off and whine about his term. That doesn’t make it a fair comparison just because I pour a lot of bs into it.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            Better yet. Let’s do your trade.
            Bozak, Kadri, Reimer for Schneider and a 2nd

            Let’s trade our two centres that have the most chance of success with Kessel, (one being our 7th overall pick) and our number 1 goalie who is playing great(who is a true number 1, as much proven as Schneider). Now we can move McClement up with Kesssel and Steckel can play with Frattin on the third line. Brilliant.

            We will get back a goalie who makes over twice as much as our current goalie and when given the number one position, he loses it in 2 games to the guy they want to trade. But, we will also get a late 2nd round pick that will hopefully be a bottom 6 forward or a bottom pair D-man…if they make the NHL.

            I hope you’re right that Kessel can do it alone…he will have to after that trade.

            Maybe Kassian and Schneider will join the hall on the same year.

  8. coyotes_bettman says:

    First and foremost Garrioch saying “when the Islanders are out of the playoff race” is insulting to Islanders fans (which I happen to be…) that’s the same as saying “when the Leafs are eliminated from the Playoff race” what a dickhead Garrioch really is I always hated how he looked like an even fatter Bruce McNall – the only reporter in Canada who is a bigger Piece of Crap is Steve Simmons and surprise surprise…both work for Sun Media.

    In other news….

    Relax Leafs fans Kessel will start scoring goals again soon and then he will be valued as highly as a top 3 player in the league again – though I Have a feeling that Lafleur10 might point out (all in caps mind you) that “PK SUBBAN IS MORE BETTER!”

  9. doorman says:

    ^^^^LMFAO, hey I think he is just trying to tell us he wants to be heard, lol

  10. blaze says:

    I’m not 100% against trading Kessel or blowing up the team but I’m pro-rebuild either. There are no guarantees either way. We will be the team that completely nukes it and fails miserably no doubt, assuming Edmonton doesn’t beat us to it.

    Right now you let the team play until the deadline no rumors no trades. The team has lots of good pieces but just can never seem to put it all together. Can’t judge Carlyle yet as its too early. Lots of teams have looked good with pretty lacking rosters. Is that even possible in Toronto? They made their change supposed to fix their problems but there’s still lots of the same issues. I wasn’t a big fan of the Carlyle hiring at first but I do like his emphasis on a tougher team.

    Would Eakins actually be an improvement? People always like to throw that one out but that’s what bugs me the most. Leaf Nation always wants the snap judgement when things arnt working but the snap judgement normally fails too then it’s on to the next scapegoat. An awful lot of the rookie coaches hired have been major flops.

    Some people will point to Dion but I’m not sure if that’s justified, they complain he doesn’t fight for his teammates but how many Captains do? Shea Weber or Shane Doan once in a blue moon.

    Would an actual 34 year old veteran with a Cup help?

    The reason I don’t want to trade Phaneuf or Kessel is because they are young and difficult to replace. Maybe you would with years of last place finishes but maybe you wouldn’t.

    If they can be extended extend them. You could sink this season draft high and acquire assets pretty easily without trading either. Kulimen, MacArthur, Bozak, Franson, Liles, Gunnarson. All these guys have vary degrees of value and may or may not be part of the long term plan. MacA and Kuli could both probably grab a late first plus help ensure a top 5 pick while keeping our core pieces.

    • mojo19 says:

      The part I disagree with here Blaze is where you say that Phaneuf and Kessel are difficult to replace. I really feel like these are not core pieces to the same degree that you see them.

      I think we could move them for serious young assets and then try to go into this offseason with tons of cap space and just re-vamp the team with free agency. Get some young players who we can foster into the system in the next season or two, and catapult ourselves into contention. I would also move out MacArthur and Bozak who represent a softer era of Leafs hockey.

      Available UFA centres I would take a look at:


      possibly softy Mike Ribeiro, but he just posts big numbers every year. He’s what Bozak wishes he could be. Matt Cullen and Manny Malholtra are a couple of defensive minded 3rd line centres who would fit in with Carlyle’s style, for the right price of course.

      Couple of wingers:
      Elias (plays C)
      Semin (has played a little C)
      Pascal Dupuis
      P.M. Bouchard (plays C as well)
      Teemu Selanne (pipe dream, but cool to see him in the B&W)
      Boyes (plays a little C)

  11. mojo19 says:

    Probably we’re best off keeping Phil Kessel, but I would trade Phaneuf say at the deadline for Morrow and Ryder (pending UFA’s) and then try to re-sign them, or Morrow and Jagr would be really cool. I know it doesn’t seem like a big return to get a couple 30-something vets for Phaneuf but it would change the complexion of the team, and we’ll fill in for Dion somehow. Rielly, Blacker, Percy, Finn all coming along.

    Couple decent d-men out there this summer:

    Ryan Whitney

    Not to mention, there will be probably 20 to a maximum of 56 additional UFA’s added into the pile thanks to each team getting 2 amnesty buyouts (30 teams x2 =60, minus 2 Leaf buyouts, minus Redden and Gomez who already count as bought out). And with the cap coming down by about $8 million after this season, a number of teams won’t be able to be big players in the free agent game. Advantage Toronto. Could be a big summer

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      I agree with most of what you’re saying Mojo. Although, as you know, many free agents available now, will not be come summer(re-signed prior), but some good ones will be available as you said. Plus a few buyouts may be available. I agree completely with what you originally said about Phaneuf and Kessel and that Bozak and MacA should be moved, maybe even as part of a package. I’m not sure if you agree with this or not, But my thought is, I really don’t understand why people insist on building around 2 players(Kessel&Phaneuf) when we could move them for pieces to build around many(JVR,Grabo,Lupul,Kulimen,Frattin, Gunnar, Gardiner, Franson for example). That makes more sense to me, but I seem to be on a bit of an island here.
      It may be a bit early yet, but Washington is struggling large. They have huge money tied up in 3 centres (Backstrom, Ribero, Laich-hurt) and 2 long term deals-Ovie and Backstrom. Ovie is struggling…wouldn’t the thought of Ovie and Kessel on the same wings make McPhee droul. Could Backstrom be had if Kessel was offered?
      What if something like (I took about 5 minutes to think this,lol)
      To Caps
      Kessel,Liles, Bozak
      To Leafs
      Backstrom, Chimera, Erskine, 2013 2nd

      cap hit is about $800,000 in our favour.

      Ribero moves up with Kessel and Ovie, Bozak fills in til Laich is back then moves to third line and Liles adds veteran puck moving for Washington.

      We now have
      Lupul Backstrom JVR
      Kulimen Grabo MacA.
      Chimera Kadri Frattin

      If we could get a Clarkson, Perry, Horton type to replace MacA…I think we have something.

      • mojo19 says:

        Ya something like that. Looks pretty cool to me. I would love to have Backstrom, to me he is a lot more valuable than Phil Kessel. Backstrom is a force, and he’s tougher on the puck than 99% of the league.

        As for the whole re-signing UFA’s, list gets smaller when July 1 rolls around thing – I really feel with the cap coming down so significantly this summer that there will be a lot more actual free agents hitting the market compared to usual. This will be a very unique summer in that regard as teams adjust to the new CBA. So my hope is that this will be a summer in which a team like Toronto could really revamp its roster in a hurry with so much talent on the table.

      • I’m not sure Washington is going to give up backstrom to have Kessel and Ovie on the same line. I’m not so sure that would even work out that well. Kessel has a lot of speed and can keep up with Ovie, but I don’t see them working well with each other.

        • mojo19 says:

          Kessel is a terrific playmaker, I think it could work. But I agree that Washington probably shouldn’t (but I wouldn’t say wouldn’t, given the decline of that franchise) move Backstrom for Kessel.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            The key would be that Caps have a playmaking centre in Ribero who could feed both. Ovie isn’t going anywhere and they need to do something to get him going on the ice. The trade could help Ovie…and Kessel actually. Leafs get thier number one centre and get a little tougher. Washington gets speed and puck movers, which may be the better style for them to play.
            I think it could help both teams…now is it possible? Who knows?lol

            • I just don’t see why it makes sense for washington. In your opinion, this helps because they get speed and a puck mover on the wing,and already have Ribero, then why not try backstrom on the wing with them? IMO, Backsroom would be a better option than Kessel. Plus, Ribeiro is about to be 33. I think they go with Backstrom over him. Call it speculation, but I don’t see Ovi getting along with Kessel.

              It sounds more like a good trade because the leafs get a #1 center, and Washington gets a star return back, but this is still a complete loss for Washington.

  12. doorman says:

    As far as Eakins go I called for him to be hired before Carlyle was in the picture. I wanted home hired because of how his players feel about and work for him. He seems to have a way of reachi g players and getting the most out of them.

    Solid effort is what I want every night, period. I can live with losing if the kids are getting to show what they have try hard because it will help show what we need to fix. I agree trades shouldn’t be made too soon unless of course a no brainer comes along. But at the deadline I would honestly like to see some stockpiling of picks or prospects, to help us have ammunition to move up at the draft or acquire players in the future.

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