In The Eyes Of JFJ

If you’re interrested in what the leafs could do in the off-season and how they could do it check here.

Very long beware!!!

*All info from www.mapleleafs.com & www.nhlpa.com

*All figures USD

*Regular Season Only!A little background.

The Leafs are the oldest team in the NHL, their average age is 34 years old, for some comparison Calgary’s average age is 28 and Detroit’s is 32. Now with an old team you probably have some good young talent waiting. Well that isn’t the case because the Maple Leafs don’t only have the oldest team in the NHL but their farm team the St Johns Maple Leafs are the oldest team in the AHL with an average age of 25. The Maple Leafs have three prominent prospects they are Carlo Colaiacovo who will someday be a top 4 defencemen. Alexander Steen who plays in sweden and would be in the NHL if he didn’t have a contract with MoDo that they are unwilling to give up for any amount of money. Finally Brandon Bell a defencemen that will be good but needs some more development time to really determine.

The Maple Leafs are not good a developing players and never have been. They have wasted good young talent like Pierre Hedin, Aaron Gavey and Brad Leeb in the minors because they don’t have the balls to give them a chance in the big league.

Now that you are aware of the problems that are in the future lets go back to the 2003/2004 season.

In this season the Maple Leafs started with a salary of $61,760,640.00. That was third highest in the league at that point behind NY Rangers and Detroit. But after the trade deadline the salary jumped to number one in the league. Here’s how much the Leafs paid all of their “new guys” until the end of the season.

Berehowsky- 26 games (not all played)

$142,682.00

Kilger- 9 games (not all played)

$126,829.00

Francis- 9 games (all played)

$706,080.00

Johansson- 9 games (not all played)

$739,176.00

Leetch- 13 games (all played)

$1,463,414.00

With all of that added to their payroll it now became $65,128,130.00 tops in the NHL.

With the highest payroll and the oldest team the Leafs got nowhere in the playoffs being eliminated by the Flyers for the second year in a row.

July 1st 2004 the Leafs decided not to re-sign the following:

Fitzgerald

Reicle

Renberg

Marchment

Francis

Berehowsky

Johansson

Kidd

That made available $10,987,887.00. Now you’d think that would mean they could go out and sign 11 million dollars worth of free agents or do whatever with that money to help the team well there’s a twist. With the number of RFA’s and potential UFA’s resigned the Leafs spent $4,330,000.00 of that 11 million on resigning their players. The money was spent like this:

Antropov – $400,000 raise = $1,325,000

Nieuwendyk – $1,000,000 raise = $3,000,000

Perrott – $50,000 raise = $450,000

Ponikarovsky – Still unsigned guranteed raise (RFA)

Roberts – $500,000 decrease = $3,750,000

Tucker – $500,000 raise = $2,100,000

Belak – $150,000 raise = $1,000,000

Berg – $0 stayed the same = $1,400,000

Kaberle – $150,000 raise = $2,900,000

Klee – $1,000,000 raise = $2,500,000

McCabe – $1,000,000 raise = $4,500,000

Wilm – $50,000 decrease = $450,000

Pilar – $175,000 decrease = $525,000

Belfour – $1,000,000 raise = $8,000,000

Tellqvist – $200,000 decrease = $500,000

Ok so now you’re thinking that they still have exactly $6,657,887 to spend on free agents or to prepare for the lockout you’re still missing a big fact. These facts are usually forgotten by most analist when discussing finances of a team. One fact is how much does the team still have of a traded players contract, the salary change of players contracts and the salary difference from a received traded player. This is how these affect the Leafs.

Luckily there are no contracts that the leafs still are responsible for outside of their own team. So that factor is taken away.

Salary changes that occured within the contracts of players:

Sundin – $1,000,000 decrease = $8,000,000

Stajan – $125,000 decrease = $825,000

Domi – $100,000 decrease = $1,900,000

This doesn’t effect the leafs as they did not pay the full contract but for a side note

Leetch – $1,600,000 decrease = $6,400,000

With the decreased salaries of the three mentioned above the Leafs gained $1,225,000 to add to their bank and gives them a new total of $7,882,887.

But here’s the big blow. The Leafs only had to pay a small portion of the salaries to Leetch and Kilger as they were only here for a short time. So therefore their entire contract was not added to the previous year’s payroll.

For Kilger the difference is $673,171. The Leafs paid $126,829 of Kilger’s $800,000 contract because Montreal paid the rest.

Likewise for Leetch, his difference is $4,936,586. The leafs only paid $1,463,414 of his $8,000,000 contract because the Rangers paid the rest. Also his contract changes to $6,400,000 this season.

With those additions the Leafs now drop from $7,882,887 to their new total of $2,273,130.

Well the Leafs have 2.3 million to spend on free agents if they chose to stay at the same payroll and they still havn’t signed Ponikarovsky. So let’s look at the depth charts to see what they need.

In Goal they have:

Belfour, Tellqvist and Centomo

*I feel that the only reason to out and get another goaltender is if Belfour will miss a lot of time because of his back but besides that there is no reason. Tellqvist deserves a chance and let’s face it he could do no wose than Kidd.

On Defence they have:

Leetch, McCabe, Klee, Kaberle, Berg, Pilar, Colaiacovo and Hedin

*The Leafs have a good top 4 defence but the 5 and 6 spot are horrible. They could use more grit on defence as it has been proven that they get pushed around in their own end.

Down the middle they have:

Sundin, Nieuwendyk, Stajan, Wilm and Druken

*Not strong at all old, injury prone and not willing to get banged around. Good at faceoffs. They need a big third line centre who could play second line if needed.

On the right side they have:

Mogilny, Antropov, Belak, Perrott and Leeb

*Horrible this is horrible. Not much you can say but S.O.S. They need some immediate help on the right side especially if Mogilny calls it a carreer. Although they do have players who are naturel left wingers that can play right they need some right handed shots.

On the left side they have:

Roberts, Nolan, Ponikarovsky, Tucker, Kilger and Domi.

*This is very good and very deep. Still old but not as injury prone the leafs are very strong on the left side and don’t need any improvements.

So let’s recap the Leafs need more grit on defence, a goalie that can be a starter only if Belfour needs to miss time. A big third line centre and a good naturel right winger with a right handed shot. So how far can Ferguson strecth his $2,273,130. Not that far so expect the highest payroll in the league to keep getting higher until a new CBA comes into place. Or expect the Leafs to continue that long cupless drought.

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