Fergusons offseason report card

Many people dispute the job Ferguson has been doing as GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has made both good and bad decisions as GM this offseason. Negotiating: D-

Negotiating has to do with making quality trades, and quality contracts. So far this offseason he has made only one major trade. On draft day he sent Tuukka Rask to Boston for Andrew Raycroft. Rask is a quality prospect with a wealth of international experience. Surely he is worth more than a goaltender who had a GAA of 3.71 last season. There were no other trades which is actually the reason he gets a D- instead of an F. There were rumors of trading away Kaberle and Steen for Chris Pronger. This trade would have sent a prime defenceman and valuale pospect for a guy who only showed up in the playoffs last season.

Now lets look at his contracts. These are all of the ones that were over one million dollars per season:

Kaberle 4.25 million per season

McCabe 5.85 million per season

Kubina 5 million per season

Gill 2.1 million per season

Peca 2.5 million per season

Raycroft 2 million per season

Peca and Raycroft are geting about what they deserve, but Kubina and Gill are coming off bad seasons and getting huge pay raises. McCabe is too inconsistent to get 5.85 million a year. Although Kaberle is arguaby worth his money. These players negotiated more money and more years out of Ferguson then they actually deserved.

Drafting: B+

It is impossible now to determine how successfull Fergusons drafts will be however he selected Jiri Tlusty in the first round (who was expected to go much earlier in the draft), and Nikolai Kulemin in the second round. Kulemin is a Russian player who is 19 and almost NHL ready. Many people believe that if he plays in North America he should make the NHL roster sometime this season.

Deciding who to keep: A+

Ferguson resigned Kaberle, Kilger, McCabe, Antropov, Wellwood, and maybe Stajan. What do all these players have in common? They made significant improvements last season, and were the stronger players on the team. Ferguson let go of Belfour, Lindros, Allison, Berg, Khavanov, and Richardson. What do these players have in common? They were all poor defensively. In the department of keeping the right guys, Feguson did an excellent job.

The UFA market: D+

Three key UFA’s were signed. Peca was a good signing. While he won’t replace Allison offensively, he’ll make up for it defensively. Kubina was an interesting signing. He’s a defenceman who is solid defencively, and has offensive talents. The Leafs don’t need an offensive defenceman as they already have two of them, who worked very well together. Lastly Gill was signed. My exitement for t resgning Berg was destroyed after Ferguson signed a slightly taller version of Berg, in Gill. He’s slow, he takes lots of penalties, and he’s a defensive libility. All at the fabuas price of 2.1 millon dollars a season. Ferguson should also take some heat for what he didn’t do. He didn’t sign a winger for Mats Sundin.

Overall he averages about a B Average. Its not bad but not fabulas either.

16 Responses to Fergusons offseason report card

  1. -TML- says:

    good post !!! I hope they do something in the trade deadline… nxt opportunity

  2. Francis10 says:

    would you rather have McCabe, Kubina and Gill on other teams? and us have…? who, because there were no other defensemen out there that are as good as those three that were less money. I’d rather have them on my team for a bit over what they deserve, then have them say… in boston or montreal, ottawa, or buffalo…

    If you havn’t noticed, Jovo got signed to a huge contract, and in all reality, he is just a tiny bit more defensive then McCabe and a little les scoring… but got way more money.

    The Leafs have a way better defense now. What happened last year? Calgary won the division and was never an offensive threat, right because they had superior goaltending and great defense. Give credit where credit is due. JFJ is putting this team in the right direction if you guys think so or not. He has drafted good prospects, he has increased the scouting by 100%+. As well as he brought in a coach that works very well with young talent. Who knows, maybe Steen may break out this year with Paul behind the bench.

    I agree with the players he kept except Antropov and Pohl. Everyone one says Pohl had a great run with the leafs last year near the end, 4 points in tornto’s best 7 games isn’t a great run.

    Gill is way better then Berg. I really don’t know what NHL you have been watching….

    With the leadership kind of lacking in the dressing room, Peca is better then what everyone thinks.

    The Leafs will make the playoffs this year. they were four points out last year. If Peca, Gill, Kubina, Mccabe can’t get them more then 4 more points, well then yes, there is something wrong.

    Until then we can only speculate.

    If you assign a number to the grade such as

    D- = 1

    D+ = 2

    C- = 3

    C+ = 4

    B- = 5

    B+ = 6

    A- = 7

    A+ = 8

    and average them out (1+6+8+2=17/4=4.25) you only get a C+

    The Leafs did better then a C+ this year in the off season. They put a competative team together that will compete in the division this year, as well as built for the future.

  3. 92-93 says:

    good article.

    i agree pretty much with all your grades. his negotiating skills are single-handedly enough for me not to want him as a leafs GM anymore (that, and resigning Belak).

    however, he was dead on everyone else in terms of who to keep and who to let go.

    JFJ just doesnt have the hockey sense in him at the NHL level (great for the leafs from an organizational standpoint though, but not at NHL-level moves). he has no imagination and it seems no confidence when it comes to making deals.

    so far I would agree with your mark on his drafting – although drafting Pogge and Rask (who turned into Raycroft), along with other solid picks should, in the long run, be decent for the leafs. Pogge by himself seems to redeem Ferguson’s drafting record from any kind of mediocrity.

    I would give JFJ an F on the UFA d-market. i have expressed numerous times why i thing the siginings of Gill and kubina (for 5 million) was horrendous. considering who else was out there – Markov, McKee, Mitchell, etc. – it was dumb, overly expensive decision to sign these two guys. however, i can see myself coming to like Kubina, taking up 5 million of the leafs’ cap space is just dumb. and if i EVER hear other leaf fans ***** about sundin’s 6 million a year – i can just point to Kubina and say that, by JFJ’s logic, Sundin is worth 15 million a year.

    Peca was an OK signing actually. so maybe an ‘F’ is too harsh. Peca for one year i dont mind. as long as he is on the 4th line with Kilger and Pohl – and many leaf fans hate that, but you’ll see, the leafs need to give loads of ice time to Stajan and Wellwood down the middle (plus way more ice time to Sundin).

    hopefully over the course of the next year:

    Tucker will be resigned for no more than 2.5 million.

    decisions on resigning Peca, Antropov, Poni,

    O’Neill will be made.

    pick up Sundin’s option

    trade Hal Gill, telly or aubin, maybe antropov, and let go of Belak (please!)

    and, who knows, if Coliacovo or Bell or White have break-out offensive defensemen years for rookies, maybe Kubina becomes redundant (which he already is by the way), and he and his 5 million gets traded. the sad part about that is, other GMs have a brain in their heads and would never trade anything for Kubina and his 5 million.

  4. 92-93 says:

    no, C+ sounds about right or even too generous. i wouldn’t give them a D but a C for sure.

    you’ll see about Gill (i’d rather have Berg for 1 million than Gill for 2.1 million).

  5. 92-93 says:

    deadline deals:

    trade Antropov

    trade Gill

    and even – trade Tucker or Peca if they can’t get them to sign for reasonable money long term by that time.

  6. DJTOKid says:

    They could have had Willie Mitchell for 1.5mil less then Kubina, or Rob Blake for a million more for a shorter contract. For some reason I’m not too familiar with Kubina, not sure why, I watched every game of theres the year they won the cup. Maybe it was the lock out? But I really don’t get how this guy commanded such a huge contract????

  7. Alozo07 says:

    i will give jfj some creditt he did shore up our defence but i think if we just saved some money from the contracts of gill and kubina we could have also got some offensive presense or just extra money to have wiggle room. i.e if new jersey has to trade gionta or just drop him we could have gotten rid of a player or two to get him, or JP dumont or the “glorious” anson carter every1 seems to be talking about. I like tultsy or w.e his name is and feel even better about robbie earl and justin pogge the leafs will soon be back on top of the north east maybe not this year but soon enough.

  8. goleafsgo16 says:

    I’m fairly happy with what he has done this offseason. The only thing we still need is a right winger for Sundin. I know everybody thinks this rumors is bs. But I really think we should trade for Zherdev. If we can somehow do this we could have top line of:


    I think this would be one of the highest scoring lines in the league.

    A reasonble trade that would also free up enough cap space would be:



    1st rounder

    I like Stajan and think he is a good player but if we got Zherdev our top line would be amazing.

  9. Francis10 says:

    Hopefully Antropov get traded, even gettin released would be fine by me. The guy can’t skate, he is injured all the time, and he compares to Robert Riechel… just taller.

  10. Francis10 says:

    Ya lets have willie Mitchell, a guy who has never had more then 14 points in his career. McKee has never had more the 17. Sure You can argue that points don’t matter as a defensemen and its not fair to judge them by their offence… But those two guys are very overrated. Sure Kubina doesn’t deserve 5 million, but its not like they could get him for anyless.

    The leafs have a top 5 defense in the league. McCabe and Kaberle have improved just by having these guys here. Why you say? Because now they don’t have to play 30 minutes a game.

    The leafs could not have had Blake for a million less, because Blake didn’t want to come to Toronto, if he did, he would have came, but he didn’t. Just because a player signs somewhere doesn’t mean any team could have had him for that price. Plus Rob Blake isn’t that great in the new NHL.

  11. Francis10 says:

    That does not free up 3 million that Zherdev wants. Zherdev is not coming to Toronto. That trade is rediculus, no one wants Antropov, because everyone knows he is nothing better then a 4th line center.

  12. 92-93 says:

    well i dont mind antropov actually. certainly not for a million dollars.

    i hope he gets traded for something – like a low-round draft pick.

    people need to get over the fact that he was a top-10 first rounder. that was 8 years ago! its over, done with. its not like he is getting paid first rounder 1998 money – 5 million plus or something like that.

    he is only getting paid 1 million, for one year, and he puts up a point every second game. its the injuries that are killing his career. i think he’ll do fine with Maurice but if he is one of the few tradeable assets the leafs have – and they wont get much in return for him. but i just dont like how people bad mouth this guy when he HAS produced when he plays and is healthy. and its not just with Sundin, he’s produced with Nieuwyndyk, Allison, Stajan and other centres too.

  13. Francis10 says:

    A point every other game is not producing. I don’t care if he was drafted 1st overall or last over all, it doesn’t take away fromt he fact that this guy is terrible. Open your eyes, watch a Leafs game, or maybe you should actually go to a leafs game and watch him live and the come back and tell us what you think. He is over rated on this site for some strange reason. I’d trade this guy for a bag of used water bottles and Brodeurs sister inlaw…

  14. 92-93 says:

    a point every other game is not producing?


    do you realize that you have just put about 600 of the 700-900 NHL players who laced up their skates last year as ‘not producing’? – i.e. those who didnt average a point-a-game. Antropov ranked 224th out of 870 NHL players in points-per-game.

    there are DIFFERENT LEVELS of production and people get paid accordingly. a point-every-two-games IS PRODUCTION, and production for a guy making a million bucks.

    you have to open your eyes … maybe read a hockey book, look at the stats page and look at the histories that have been written. its hard to believe i had to clarify what i did above.

    i have gone to plenty of leaf games and watched antropov – and i dont know why you would assume that i havent. pretty dumb on your part.

    overrated? look, again i cant believe i am saying this, but every player on the leafs is overrated or has the spotlight on him 24/7. its just the way it is in T.O.

    is Antropov a great player? no, not really. would i be sad if the leafs traded him? nope. do i think the criticisms of him are over-the-top and reflect a bad case of group-think? yup. and looking at the comments you have posted recently, do i give a rat’s ass on what you think about anything hockey related? um, no.

    as for your last remark, thankfully you are not the GM … or a comedian.

  15. the_word says:

    Amen, I think people don’t want to pay attention to what JFJ is trying to do on the blueline. He is trying to build an up tempo blueline, that can take advantage of the new NHL especially no red line. In the new NHL the ability to make a good cross ice pass out of your own zone to give the fowards an edge and create 2 on 1s, 3 on 2s.. can be game breakers.

    Superficially that would make the Gill signing curious. But the addition of Gill is simply to fill in the subtraction of Klee/Richardson (someone to match up with the other teams power fowards/a physical presence in their own end). Gill is more skilled that Klee or Richardson, thus he is an improvement in that department.

    McKee at 4 million (wow 4 million a season for a guy who blocks shots, I like McKee but not at 4 million) or Willie Mitchell (14 points a season at best) doesn’t fit JFJ’s plan.

  16. 92-93 says:

    both of you guys will look silly for these comments by the end of this year. just watch.

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