Hope already building for next year for the Leafs

Not that it will ease the considerable angst of a fan base headed for its seventh consecutive year out of the NHL playoffs, but the latest noble-but-doomed effort by the Toronto Maple Leafs showed a team headed in the right direction.

Yes, we know that direction for now is the golf course but bear with us.

If, of course, if the Leafs managed to beat the Detroit Red Wings last Saturday, their 4-3 win Tuesday night over the eighth-place Buffalo Sabres would be real cause for excitement. They are still mathematically alive in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt but sitting five points behind the Sabres with only five games left in the regular season does not leave a lot of room for hope.

Better the fans should turn their gaze to next season (I know, you’ve heard that enough), where the real hope starts.

Leafs general manager Brian Burke may have as much as $25-million (all currency U.S.) to spend if the salary cap gets to $63-million or so and Tuesday night’s win over the Sabres provided the latest evidence where the spending priorities lie.

There are some pending restricted free agents on the roster that Burke has to look after. But only defenceman Luke Schenn will make a sizable dent in the budget. Winger Clarke MacArthur may also cost a couple million and goaltender James Reimer can expect a healthy raise but Carl Gunnarsson and Tyler Bozak will not break the bank. Especially Bozak, whom we’ll get to later.


387 Responses to Hope already building for next year for the Leafs

  1. Boston_Bruins says:

    There's a difference between killing a team in a deal and having one that just doesn't look good. The Kaberle deal falls under the latter. I admit it doesn't look good for Boston but who knows what's going to happen in the future?

  2. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Okay, now, I've been very vocal on my dislike towards Kaberle. It's not that he isn't a good player. I just don't think he's a player you win with?

    So for the Kaberle lovers out there (mojo, reinjosh, etc). Can you name a few reasons why we should of kept him? Because to me, anchoring a PP is not enough?

  3. TheLeafNation91 says:

    So doesn't that constitute as a steal? If its seemingly going to lopsided to one side?

    Like would you believe the Kessel deal was a steal for Boston? Granted, none of the players developed, but hell, Boston got 3 good young players for a player they could not afford?

  4. leafy says:

    In his prime, he was pretty good though.

    I remember when he first broke out, Kaberle had one great skill that many people don't even notice: He was able to gain the opponent's blueline.

    He would do it routinely and with little effort. More difficult than people think.

    In the last minute of a game, when you're down by a goal, what's the most important thing you need?  To gain the opponent's blueline. Kaberle did this even better than Sundin.

    Does anybody else remember Kaberle in his prime (before the lockout) doing this?  (Hope I'm not the only one)

  5. Boston_Bruins says:

    Looks like a steal. I mean what if no one from that trade plays an NHL game for the Leafs? Very unlikely but you can't say a team killed another team in a trade this early, even if it looks lopsided. This is my same view on the Kessel trade. I really like how it looks for Boston but I'm not going to say it's a good trade yet.

  6. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I do, but to me, when he had issues anchoring our powerplay or entering the zone, is there a use for him?

    -I don't think he provided any leadership and not a vocal guy, contrary to reports
    -He was not producing offensively consistently as in the past
    -He was/is turnover prone
    -This year especially, not as many stretch passes like in the past, I think I saw better ones from Schenn

    Kaberle was very good early on, but in the last few seasons especially, I just wanted him gone. And his departure has really pay divideds for a lot of Leaf players and coaching staff. Obviously, our PP ain't ip to par, but slowly our other defencemen are taking a larger offensive role.

    I think his leaving was the best thing for the Leafs franchise going forward

  7. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Very true.

    You can keep Kaberle though 🙂 Please sign him long-term

  8. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I agree with pretty much everything you have just said…including I don't think Burke will sign him long term for huge money. My thoughts were based on others who would be fine with overpaying and long term for Richards and what I thought was a better option.

    I don't think Richards concussion will be a problem…it's just a fact, and has to be considered when signing someone.

    The only thing I don't agree with is Burke's track record for overpaying UFA's. He did it here to have assets to build on or move later for other assets. Which he chose the latter. Without those signings, we would not have the assets we have today…Lupul for example. Komi has been a flop on the overall. I am fine with $3mil for Armstrong…he brings much more than points. I don't think Lebda was overpayed…just didn't work out. MacArthur, Hanson, Irwin, Rynnas, Scrivens, Mueller, Gustavsson were all signed for good deals.
    In the past with Anaheim and Vancouver…(as you have stated and I agree that you could consider all UFA's overpayed)he did it to add extra pieces to an existing good team to be a cup contender and try to put his team over the top. We are not at that point in Toronto…I think you would agree.

    I agree there is more leaway on a UFA…but when you grossly overpay, it does set a standard for any future UFA's and sends a message to your existing players that you are willing to go higher. Yes, compensation is there on RFA's should someone else sign them to an offer sheet but now the GM is in the tough position of whether to match it or not…it's a tricky situation for either RFA's or UFA's and being consistant on both fronts is the best way a GM could go in my opinion..

  9. Mapleleaves says:

    so if the sabre lose every game that the have lft now and The leafs win everyone of theyre games itll be a tie between the 2, how is it decidid who goes on.

    I rememebr wondering why florida didnt make the playoffs one year when they were tied with a team who did.

  10. reinjosh says:

    I liked him and I loved his first pass but I was fully for moving him. I always said he would be worth more to us as a trade chip than as a future piece.

  11. TheLeafNation91 says:

    That was the interesting thing…I personally did not see the good breakout passes this year as in years past

  12. cam7777 says:

    I'm not saying it would take 9 million, I'm saying, that would be mathematically the same price that Philly paid for Briere.  Yes, they don't have a Cup, but their the best team in the East, and went to the Finals last year – they are true contenders.  I'm not talking about 20 years of history, I'm talking about their current build.  Just as I wouldn't lump the failures of the Leafs past 44 years on Burke, who is doing a fantastic job, I wouldn't use that argument to exaggerate Philly's overall lack of success.  The fact is, they are a great team right now that is built to win the Cup.  Whether they do or not is beyond management's control – they have everything it takes.  Your argument was that overpaying would create a negative culture towards signing RFA's, and I simply showed you several examples of successful teams who have overpaid for the big name, and not seen that happen.

    As for your concern with the cap.  Assume Grabovski gets a Plekanec contract extension (5 million), and Kulemin gets a Franzen contract extension (4 million).  Pretty reasonable.  Take a look at the 2012/2013 assuming some easily do-able resigns:

    Lupul (4.25) – Richards (9.0) – Kessel (5.4)
    MacA (2.75) – Grabovski (5.0) – Kulemin (4.0)
    Kadri (1.72) – Colborne (1.1) – Armstrong (3.0)
    ____________ – _____________ -Brown (0.7365)

    Aulie (2.25) – Phaneuf (6.5)
    Gunnarsson (1.25)* – Schenn (3.4)
    Gardiner (1.117) – Komisarek (4.5)

    Reimer (1.5)* – __________________

    *I suspect these would be the two contract values you could debate.  However, Rask played like a Vezina candidate for the entirety of last season, and only got a 2 year, 1.25 per extension.  Realistically, Burke holds all the cards with Reimer, and I don't expect a ridiculous extension.  Likewise, even though Gunnarsson has been top shelf, I have to look at a contract like Cody Franson's, signed last summer after a much better outing than Gunnar's, and  think there's no way he gets substantially more.  Each of them will get 2-3 year deals at those low rates.

    CAP HIT: 58.4375 million

    By this time, the cap will likely be approx. 63 million,given that it is rising to 61.5 next year (as per Bettman).  That leaves us with  4.5 million to fill out the roster – even more if Burke can move Komisarek.  Furthermore, the next season, Lupul and Armstrong come off the cap, clearing an additional 7.25 in cap.  Guys like Caputi, Ross, D'Amigo – they should all be battling for those spots.  And if we're winning, free agents will want to come here on the cheap.

    My point is, an enormous cap hit like 9 million, while obviously not ideal, is very manageable for this team given the situation Burke has set u with quality prospects flowing in at a constant rate.  For me, term is also key, but 5 years at that rate is definitely manageable.  I just showed you how we look 3 years into the deal, so I don't think that's a concern.  Resigning our key guys should not be an issue.  It just might become difficult to choose between certain parties.  As you can see, this plan sees us oust Bozak at some point.

    All of this said, I'm not necessarily condoning spending that much.  I'm merely pointing out that Burke is well within his means to outbid the Rangers if he has to.  Hopefully, the allure of building a legacy for himself in Toronto will allow us to get a lower cap hit on him.  I don't think 7 is realistic though, as if he's that cheap, more teams will be involved.  I think you're looking at 7.5-8.0.  And that really is not a killer at all.

  13. cam7777 says:

    Well, of course Mueller, Gustavsson, Hanson, and all the rest of those guys you listed were signed to really good deals – they were free agents but they were still limited to entry-level contract stipulations (ie. max 900K + bonsuses).

    I think we really are at that point in Toronto.  There's not a whole lot more to do.  Burke added Niedermayer at this stage in Anaheim, and it was the best move he made.  At the time, Niedermayer cost him 14% of his cap.  14% of his cap today is 8.6 million.  I think he is well within his means to offer that to Richards for 5 years.  Yea, he might be overpaid by the last 2 years of the deal, but ideally, Colborne, Kadri, and others coming up on the cheap will offset that price, just as having Aulie and Gunnarsson in the top 4 offsets having Komisarek on the bottom pairing.  Not that extreme I guess, as I suspect Richards would be our top C for the duration of that contract, but the idea is the same.

    As far as future UFA's – what future UFA's?  The whole problem with Burke's plan has been that no one makes it to free agency.  Richards is literally the only guy worthwhile out there.  Next year is not much better unless Parise and Weber go to arbitration, and hit the market next summer.  2012 has guys like Crosby, Getzlaf and Perry – but are these guys going to make it there?  Not likely.

    If Richards wants to come here, you pay him what he wants and deal with it later.

  14. Leafs_RegimeofBurke_ says:

    Yeah the dude seems like a great guy and a loyal leaf and show some serious skills in the past…but frankly watching him this year and last I was amazed to get what we did for him.

  15. Leafs_RegimeofBurke_ says:

    I have an odd feeling Seguin is going to be a bit of a flop (not totally, just not a star) and the pick the Bruins get this year will be really good.

  16. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Cam, you make a lot of good points and your plan has a lot of merit even with $9mil for Richards. I was not knocking it saying it was horrible…I just don't think it's the best plan and that other options are available should we miss out on Richards for whatever reason.
    What I don't like about the plan is all the assumptions. We are assuming Reimer, Aulie doesn't fall off play and that Gardiner, Kadri and Colbourne will develop into for sure NHL ers. 
    There is also alot of assumptions on salaries…who will get what because Burke holds the cards. Players can choose to sit out or ask for a trade if they don't get what they feel they deserve. Plus the CBA is coming up again…who knows what that holds for the NHL's future.
    As I said earlier…your plan could work…if it doesn't, we are stuck with another big contract that would be hard to move in order to bring in the help needed. 

  17. DannyLeafs says:

    This is where I differ in opinion from most people on this site. I don't think it's fair to evaluate a trade long after we have time to evaluate each of the pieces. Trades are made based on historic values, and, especially when you deal picks, you have to look at the value of a random pick, and not the value of the players obtained with them at a later date. A pick's value after the fact can vary way too much to access a deal based on what could be. I mid first is a mid first, if you make a deal using a mid first to add a solid player, you can't access the trade based on whether that mid first turns into Tyler Myers or Jiri Tlusty.

    Same goes for deals where players break out after the deal is done, such as a deal for a guy like Steve Downie. Looks like a steal right now for the Bolts, but the fact is based on what people knew about Downie at the time, and about the chances of him ever playing on the team that dealt him, it was an ok deal for Philly.

    The Kaberle deal was definitely a good one for the Leafs, as that is a solid value for an veteran defensemen on an expiring contract. They got a good prospect who plays a position where the Leafs are thin, a first round pick, and a conditional 2nd rounder. That doesn't make it a bad trade for Boston. Boston is deep at center, making Colbourne more expendable then he would be on most teams, and since they hold the Leafs 1st rounder, which makes their own less valuable (since any player they really covet, is still theirs for the taking).

    If the Leafs don't get a quality NHL'er out of that package, it doesn't mean that the deal changes and they now didn't get good value for Kaberle. The deal is done, the Leafs traded Kaberle for a chance at developing NHL level talent. It's not different than if you bought a $2 lottery ticket at sold it for $1000. It doesn't matter what happens after the buyer gets it, whether he loses or wins a million, you got a good deal, and if you could do it over and over again, you would.

  18. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Had to get to work so didn't quite finish my thought. Now I'm at work so I can get back to the important stuff like HTR.LOL

    The reason I mentioned Philly was because many have felt Philly has overpaid for years and not put the money where it was needed…goaltending. Some have felt that if Philly had top notch goaltending they would have won last year. The salaries Philly has overpaid for has put Holgrem in a bind where he cannot go out and get a top notch goalie. Yes, he has kept his RFA's…but has no money for goaltending and is hoping a rookie at a cheap price can get the job done.

    Chances are, few teams would be interested in taking on Briere or Timonens contracts at their ages. Those two contracts account for 21% of Philly's cap hit per season which does make it difficult for Holmgren to keep his RFA players and add help that they do not have in their system.

    As for the Leafs, I am a diehard fan but I believe we are a year or two away from where you feel we are. I hope you are right. I think we need to see Aulie, Reimer, MacArthur, Grabo, Kadri, Bozak etc for another year to determine how our young future looks and where we need to add. I would even put Phanuef in that catagory, He has been great for the last couple of months. Should he continue it next year, then I will fully believe he is back to form. I think it's a little early to say we are a "Richards" away from being a contender

  19. mojo19 says:

    Ya, I'm just hoping that Burke is done overpaying for d-men. On that list up above, one guy that wasn't mentioned was Matthieu Schneider. Great player but signed on the decline and at $5.75 million long term…

    But I definitely like the idea of another Lebda type signing for some insurance on defense. Except one that works out, Lebda was the wrong guy, but maybe Ian White, Steve Montador, I like those types of suggestions.

    Some other d-men who are available and could be cheap are:
    Craig Rivet, Sami Salo, Scott Hannan, John Erskine, Adam Pardy

  20. mojo19 says:

    Well, he is missed, but the change in play of Phaneuf and the Aulie callup is the real reason why we don't miss Kaberle (and Beauchemin).

    Kaberle has a very underrated physical side to his game. Although he doesn't throw any big hits, he is great at finishing his check and taking the body down low in his own end, but because of how he played early in his career he has a reputation as being a "soft player" especially in his own end.

    Kaberle's skating is unparalleled by any Leaf defenseman. Not so much the speed but the mobility, just how smooth and fluid he is enables him to get out of tight spots with ease.

    Before being traded to Boston he was 3rd in the NHL in PP assists this year, so say whatever you want, the stats don't lie, he was clearly an elite PP QB. For much of the year he was 1st in PP assists among all NHL d-men before Lidstrom came on strong, and since Visnovsky, etc.

    I am hoping that we will bring him back on July 1st and stick it to Boston, but I don't see it happening, especially with that flake Wilson behind the bench.

    But ya, overall – A loyal, hard working, dedicated Leaf. And #5 on the Leafs all-time assists list behind only Salming, Sittler, Keon, and Sundin. Tomas Kaberle put up incredible numbers with Toronto for a long time to be in that company and should be respected for it.

  21. reinjosh says:

    I question the way they are developing him right now. If they continue to do it that way, he's going to have his growth stunted.

  22. mojo19 says:

    Tyler Seguin will be a good NHL player, but ya definitely doesn't have the tools to be a star. I think the Hall/Seguin 1-2 overall is comparible to the 1998 draft when Lecavalier/Legwand went 1-2. Vinny being far more skilled but Legwand getting a ton of attention because of his strong 2-way play in Junior.

    All the things that made Seguin such a hot commodity in his draft year, about being a very complete player etc. make for a dangerous skillset in draft history. You look at players like Darrin Shannon (4th overall by I believe the Jets?) who were supposed to be great stars but in the NHL weren't able to produce the same way, but still had good, long careers as effective NHL'ers.

  23. mojo19 says:

    This is the best run the Leafs have gone on over any extended period of time in about 5 years. Not really comparible at all to any other seasons.

    The last time anything like this happened was at the end of the 2007 season when the Leafs ended up falling short on the final day of the year (NYI vs NJD). The Leafs not being mathematically elminated with 3 games remaining hasn't happened in 4 years so your comment is a little bit misinformed.

  24. mojo19 says:

    Since it was an April Fools joke I don't think you need to explain yourself, Joel.

    but hahaha

    Also what did the word make fun of? Old people, or young punk kids? Just curious cuz they both piss me off sometimes too. (Not you Leafy, but another old man is a bit behind the times and likes to post on here).

  25. mojo19 says:

    So much for that! *****!!!!

    We haven't gotten any help at all. I can't believe the habs made it in last year with 87 points, this year the standard has gone back to normal at around 92-93 points by the looks of things.

  26. reinjosh says:

    That's a good point and one I hadn't really thought of. Deals tend to be based on "who won, who lost" type mentality because people are obsessed with winning out.

    I would still argue that some deals need to be evaluated with long term consequences though. A deal like the Raycroft/Rask deal was precipitated on the assumption Raycroft could become the team's starter. That did not work out.

    However I agree that the Kaberle trade was good for both sides. More than likely Colborne would have been lost in the Bruins system and that 1st was just ammo to be used. Not a bad trade for either side.

  27. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I feel bad for Brian Burke, his career in Toronto is plagued by the Phil Kessel deal, but look at the other trades:

    1) Tor trades: Stajan, White, Mayers, and Hagman for Cal trades: Phaneuf, Aulie, and Sjostrom

    2) Tor trades: Vesa Toskala, Jason Blake for Ana trades: J.S. Giguere

    3) Tor trades: Francois Beauchemin for Ana trades: Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner, and 4th rounder

    4) Tor trades: Tomas Kaberle for Bos: Joe Colborne, 1st rounder (2011 Bos), and conditional 2nd rounder

    5) Tor trades: Chris DiDomeico, Phillipe Paradis, and Viktor Stalberg for Chi: Kris Versteeg

    6) Tor trades: Kris Versteeg for Phi trades: 1st rounder (2011 Phi), 3rd (2011 Phi)

    7) Tor trades: Stefano Gilliati and Alex Berry for TB trades: Matt Lashoff

    Why does no one talk about these deals that Burke made? Our future is really set up because of them?

  28. Boston_Bruins says:

    Saying you don't think Seguin will become a star is fine, but how does he not have the tools to become one? Fastest skater on the Bruins, shoots over 97 MPH, laser and accurate wrister, and was more known for his playmaking ability coming into the NHL. And this is at 18/19. He has to really work on his defensive and physical play, but he's already a guy that has picked alot of pockets so there are some plusses there.

  29. Boston_Bruins says:

    I see what you're saying but I don't think it's that simple. I mean look at the Versteeg trade (to Chicago) or the Kampfer trade to Boston. Obviously the GMs saw something they really liked in those players, yet everyone disregarded those trades as insignificant moves at the time. Maybe Chiarelli saw something he really didn't like in Colborne, or rather Burke saw a potential star. We have to wait to see how it plays out.

  30. Kessel_Leafs48 says:

    agreed and i still dont believe the kessel trade was that terrible, kessels a very good player and has put up 30 goal seasons consistantly, and only 23, he's only gonna get better and putting up 3 30+ goal seasons and one 20 goal season only being in the leage for 5 seasons and having cancer during his rookie season is quite impressive! He took a step forward after his cancer instead of a step back, that shows heart. Comparing rookie stats between kessel and seguin is interesting too

    seguin has 71 GP with 11 G and 11 A with 22 P 

    kessel had 70 GP with 11 G and 18 A with 29 P 
    kessel has him beat in the rookie season so far so only time will tell. and depends how knight and the first rounder this year turns out 
  31. Kessel_Leafs48 says:

    another thing is IF he doesnt resign with bruins, and his poor play there, do you think burke will take another shot at him for about the same money or less?

  32. reinjosh says:

    Damnit Boston, you best be winning tonight. It will help you in pursuit of the Conference title.

  33. dumbassdoorman says:

    We are a Richards type, a true shut down line and proven solid goaltending away from being a contender….IMO. I would prefer to see 3 scoring capable lines and one real energy shut down type line, but that is just me. If Kadri and Colborne can crack that 3rd line with Army and a true shut down line is formed, we are talking contender. But until it all happens over the course of a full season, we are all of it away.

  34. reinjosh says:

    If we tie the Sabres we lose out.

  35. leafy says:

    Forget it man. It's over.

  36. reinjosh says:

    Its pretty much impossible at this point. We basically need one of the Rangers or Sabres to lose every single game in regulation while the Leafs win their remaining three games.  Carolina also can't get more than 3 points. We also have to win all three in regulation to have a chance in tiebreakers.

  37. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    That is what I am saying. If it were just Richards and we overpay and are a Stanley cup contender than so be it. But we are more than that away. Reimer looks very good but not proven in any NHL playoff atmosphere. Same can be said for most of the team. That is why I feel we are a year or two away. If we overpay for Richards and the team is ready…it's a great move. If the team is not ready…we won't have much money to solve the problem, especially goaltending, a solid proven veteran costs money.
    If all pans out I would agree Richards could push us up to the top tier…but there is a lot of if's.

  38. dumbassdoorman says:

    If's are what is all about for us Leafs fans…..lol….always seems that way doesn't it? I am very curious to see what we do for a centre thats for sure…..gonna be a very interesting off-season me thinks.

  39. NonLeafFansAreGay says:

    Naw bro this guy copied me and is just a dumba*s

  40. cam7777 says:

    I just showed you that we would have tons of money, in painstaking detail.  Even after a Richards signing next year, we would still have nearly 8 million dollars in cap.  The next year, simply finding a suitor for Komisarek would give us another 8 million to work with in free agency.  Yes, there are assumptions about salary, but I have rarely been off the base by more than a couple hundred thousand, and that is almost always where I estimated the contracts were actually MORE than they turned out to be.  Signing Richards is by no means a cap death sentence. 

    Philly also had the money to go after goalies all along.  They could have acquired one at the deadline if they had been willing to pay the price.  They could have signed one instead of adding Zherdev, O'Donnell and Shelley (combined 4 million), and running with a full 23 main roster at all times (does Nodl need to be taking up space – no).  The fact is, Philly believes in the goalies they have.  Leighton and Boucher were fantastic in the playoffs last year, and anyone blaming them for no Cup obviously wasn't watching very closely.

    By the way, the Cup winning goalie was Niemi, a 26 year old zamboni driver just a year before – I think we'll be just fine with Reimer and whatever is in the system.  90% of goalies don't have proven Cup experience – it's irrelevant nowadays, which is why the goalie market is dead.

    My ultimate counter point though, is just that "so what if there are 'ifs'?".  You don't think there are ifs involved with trading assets for Anisimov and running with a career high 45 point center?  The chances of Anisimov, or somene of his ilk panning out is considerably less than Richards panning out, and in the mean time, would cost us assets.  The risk is totally worth the price of Richards, but again, I think 9 million is unrealistic, and was just a figure included to show that the Leafs could match whatever the Rangers throw at Richards.  I think we're risking very little if we land him for free at 7.5 million.

  41. Boston_Bruins says:

    I think NYR can go 0-2-1 and you can still pass them if the Leafs go 3-0. Either way Boston will probably lose tonight, 1-0. I recommend not watching it. Bruins-Rangers games are the worst.

  42. cam7777 says:

    Hoping that the Rangers sit back and have a lazy game after an emotional win yesterday, and seemingly making it impossible for the Leafs.  A regulation loss for them tonight, and back-to-back wins for the Leafs makes Thursday's Rangers game incredibly high pressure.  I agree the Rangers could STILL collapse, but the real trouble-makers could ultimately be Carolina. I just want the Rangers to lose tonight though, if for no other reason than it makes things more interesting for the week.

    I never expected the Leafs to make the playoffs, and predicted a 9th place finish, so I'm getting the kind of season I anticipated, but damn I am enjoying the hunt, even if it is 99% likely to be fruitless.

  43. cam7777 says:

    Kessel also did not have the advantage of only being used in ideal situations for a rookie during his first go at the NHL.  He was thrown into the fire, not shielded, and handled with oven mitts.  Boston was not the beast they are now when Kessel did what he did.  More interestingly though, is comparing Kadri's rookie pace to Seguin's over 82 games:

    Seguin, 82GP, 13G, 13A, 26P
    Kadri, 82GP, 10G, 28A, 38P

    Pretty sizeable difference considering Kadri plays with Boyce and Crabb.

  44. dumbassdoorman says:

    Ok, but what if he insists on a retirement type contract, say 7-8yrs at 8-9 mil, then what…..no thanks but that is just me. If we are gonna throw money likie that at him, I would rather throw an offer sheet at a young player. And, I think what we are both stating is that we are more than just him away…..and we do need goaltending help. Reimer, even if his stellar play continues, needs help and more than what is in the system.

  45. Boston_Bruins says:

    TOI, not to mention sample size.

  46. nordiques100 says:

    the biggest problem with Dion is the fact his rookie season was way too good.

    he just exploded on the scene. thus expectations for him were un-real.

    he had solid seasons the following 2 years, but after that 20 goal rookie year, its like what have u done for me lately.

    I dont think people would have found it that subpar (a 50 and 60 point season) had he did something in the playoffs. In the playoffs he stank. the flames were quickly extinguished and that's that. his play then really soured a lot of people.

    in his last full season in Calgary he was horrible. and in the year he was traded to Toronto he was no better. And to start the 1st half of this season, he was inconsistent, booed at times, and injured.

    that's 2.5 season of really bad hockey. he seemed to regress and people were clamoring for those 60 point campaigns they thought were meh.

    in the last 30-40 games he has been fantastic. but, before we can put him even on the cusp of knocking on the door of the top 5, he really needs a full season of consistent play, plus, as captain, lead his team to some success, meaning playoffs.

    this isnt a knock on what he's done since Jan 1st, its just how it is.

    consistency is a big part of how people judge hockey players. consistency over a long period is a great measuring stick. as is recent history. a half season isnt enough however.

    keep in mind, we can't have it both ways. I mean afterall, Leaf Nation has already written off Seguin after 1 year as an 18 year old. Yet in the same breath Phaneuf is back to being God after 1/2 season?

    Time is needed.

    At the end of the day though, Dion may be one of the top 10 u'd build your team around right now. But defence is such a fickle category that it requires several categories.

    Like for example Pronger may be fading, but if i had a 7 game series i needed to go into, i'd want Pronger in that battle on my side. I could care less about what Pronger does in the regular season. Since the lockout, this guy is a winner.

    If i absolutely just need offence, Green, Vishnovsky, Kaberle, Boyle, those names come to mind immediately, but not immediately if it means shutting down other teams.

    That's players like Seabrook or Chara or Suter even.

    And we can delve too much into stats. I mean if Meszaros is a +30, do we make him automatically stronger defensively than -5 Luke Schenn? Absolutely not. 30 GMs will tell u that. So even if Keith has 40 points instead of 60, really at the end of the day you dont look at that and look more to the fact he can carry the puck, join the rush, log 30+ minutes a night, get himself out of trouble with his quickness and smarts, change the pace of play with his skating.

    Phaneuf is ultra talented. but at the same time, u need to perform. He hasn't performed up until now for 2.5 years. If he can maintain it, no doubt, his standing is going to rise. It's on the rise now, but definitely more proof wouldnt hurt.

  47. cam7777 says:

    Yes, but whereas Seguin continually earns less ice time, Kadri has gotten stronger as the year has gone on, and is earning more now.  Kadri's being thrown out there against other teams top lines, not strategically matched up against the other team's weakest opposition.  I knew this would get a rise out of you, but I don't think it means too much.  I blame the Bruins organization, not Seguin himself.  He would have grown past his own deficiencies if he was getting opportunities like Taylor Hall.  Kid should have been in junior, or on the Brayden Schenn track.  They have no real need for him in the lineup right now, and haven't all year.  Even before Kelly and Peverley were added, they were using Wheeler at center instead of Seguin.  He'll be a good player, but I am skeptical of Boston's handling of him right now

    It worked for Lecavalier and Thornton though, so it's hard to say

  48. reinjosh says:

    Its a good thing I have an essay to preoccupy myself. It helps that I'm not expecting anything good to happen.

  49. reinjosh says:

    How happy are you with his development right now?

    I'm not really impressed. Granted I'm an outside observer so I don't get to see him first hand often but I just get the impression he isn't being handled properly. He's only averaging 12 minutes a game and he's been scratched a bunch of times. I just think he may have been better off getting more playing time. Correct me if I'm wrong but I haven't been impressed so far.

  50. Boston_Bruins says:

    Julien has been giving him about 14 mins a game lately and you can see him improving. His decision making in the defensive zone is the biggest improvement I've noticed. One good thing is that all of his goals are of the highlight-reel variety.

Leave a Reply