Leaf Gm should have been more patient.

I’m a die hard Leaf Fan,I do have some doubts as to why Fergie jumped the gun so quick on some of the contracts. I understand him wanting to keep this team together perhaps for 1 more year but I don’t understand the urgency in giving out these contracts the way he did. Starting out with Eddie,yes he had a great year & yes he’s very important to our team, a 2 year contract plus an option for a 3rd?,sorry but that was not very responsible for a guy who is 39 with a wonky back. I would have signed him for 1 year plus an option & if he didn’t accept I would have gone after Weekes when he was available. Secondly, Klee signed a 2 year 5 million dollar contract? Fergie signed him before July 1st didn’t even play hard ball with him. Yes I like Klee but there is no way he would have gotten 2.5 million a year on the market this year. Roberts & Nieuwendyk are great, I still think that Fergie gave especially Roberts too much at 3.75 million.Roberts took a pay cut but showed last year in the playoffs that he will no longer be carrying the team physically.Nieuwendyk only made 2 million last year so I do somewhat understand the raise to 3 million this year.

Lastly Tomas Kaberle gets a raise for a sub par year. He is now making 2.9 million a year for what? He should have let it go to arbitration & walked away if the price was too high. I’m hearing rumors that Fergie is going after Marchment & Dafoe.If they sign Marchment when is Coliaccovo going to play?. I do agree we do need toughness on the blue line maybe he should have thought of that before he resigned Berg & Kaberle.A guy like Cullimore would have been a good fit here I think.Dafoe?,I understand it’s for insurance purposes if Eddie is aching but why sign Dafoe when you could sign a guy like Potvin or Schwabb for even cheaper than Dafoe who still thinks he’s a starter.Those are my thoughts!


41 Responses to Leaf Gm should have been more patient.

  1. Dawdy says:

    I think the reason he signed them all so quickly is because they were UFA’s. He didnt want them to hear any other offers and perhaps hear a better offer than what he was presenting.

    I didnt like the Belfour contract either, but its done now, and we have to live with it.

    Nieuwendyk deserved his raise, Roberts took a pay cut, but is still making good money which he deserves. Roberts = heart and soul of the Leafs, and 2nd on the team in goals this season behind Mats.

    I think the reason Kaberle got a raise, was for the season before last, when he managed a career best in goals and points in a season.

    I think re-signing Marchment is a good thing. At the very least, they would have a reliable 7th defenseman. But if Carlo struggles, then Marchment is still good enough to be the 6th man.

    He better not sign Dafoe, that would be terrible. The only time he was good was when his team (Bruins) were playing the trap, which made his job easy.

    Potvin, also bad. He sucked last time he was with the Leafs, sucked everywhere he’s played since too. Might as well re-sign Kidd

    Schwab, i would like that. I wish Quinn would have kept him 2 years ago

  2. dyehard says:

    the problem with signing Marchment is where does Pilar fit in,because we all know Quinn likes Pilar.

  3. wingedim says:

    JFJ made the decision to sign Eddie, Roberts and Joey N a priority. As it was all three went pretty much to the wire with the negotiations. Was Belfour taking advantage of the situation…of course he was. He had the Leafs over a barrel and he knew it. With no other proven, consistant starter available in the UFA market he got what he wanted. The 2 year deal with an option. Was it unfair, of course, but hey that’s business. Telqvist needs time as backup for further development to become a starter. If Eddie isn’t able to come back due to the wonky back then there needs to be a solid backup signed. I’d love to see Schwab back in blue and white, but don’t see that happening because of what happened 2 years ago. Same goes with Potvin. He got screwed and we all know it. Granted Joseph was great and Felix wasn’t missed all that much, but the way he was handled wasn’t the way it should’ve gone down. Dafoe would be my choice anyway. Sure he’s had some rough times, but he is capable of being the primary if needed.

    I think Marchment would be a good signing again. Sure he’s not used like he should be, but he still is one of, if not, the most feared defenceman in the league. If we can get the price tag down a little further that would be better, but who knows what’ll happen.

  4. BADBANNER says:

    I think the whole Belfour situation should be forgotten. Yes it was probably the worst deal of the summer but you have to look at it this way: wouldn’t you prefer to have Belfour over any of the current UFA goaltenders? Not to mention if he was let go….Hasek wouldn’t be a Sen.

    I don’t know what JFJ was thinking when he signed Klee. 2.5 is way to much for him considering a guy like Witt only makes 2.2. Klee isn’t the top 4 dman everyone thinks he is. The only reason he looks so good is because the leafs defence is horrible to start. I bet he would fail to even crack the top four on other teams. Hes also not the the “great” defensive Dman everyone makes him out to be. Hes average at best.

    As for Roberts a Nieuwendyk, I think it was almost a must to keep these guys. I mean just think about it, if Roberts was a UFA the first team to be on him would probably be the Sens, which would be bad news for the leafs. Probably the same for Joe. I do think they may have been overpaid, but they have proven their worth time and time again, if the can say healthy of course.

    As for the resigning of Marchment, complete joke. I mean if they were so desparatly looking for tough dmen, why did they just leave guys like Cairns, Matvichuk just slip away? And Marchment is another over the hill guy. Also its time Carlo gets a shot, and if the toughness is required why not give Harrison a chance?

  5. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    There is no comparison. Both have back problems. I would have taken Hasek. The leafs need to shake things up because they can’t beat the Flyers and have little hope of coming out of the east with Ott looking good now.

    The idea of taking their big ticket guys to arbitration might have saved them some dough but not enough to meet any cap.

    Trading for Brian Leech might also have been a mistake. At those prices, the Leafs would have been better off waiting to see what Coviocolo does and saving the draft picks.

    I would have taken Paul Kariya over many of the UFAs the leads signed – Roberts and Joey N for example. 29 years old. Sells jerseys. Superstar potential for 5 to 10 years. You can’t say that about who they signed.

    Basically, the wings, OTT and the Flyers have retooled (wait until the Flyers payoff LeClair, amonte and Burke) to make room for Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Stephan Ruzitka and Antero Niitimaki. The point is – they are playing the KIDS. So is detroit – Jiri Fischer, Jiri Hurdler others. Ott has some good kids too – Spezza, Mike Fischer etc… JFJ would do well to learn from the teams that he competes with. It is time for a youth movement but with the moves he has made – it might be too late.

  6. DarkPhoenix says:

    Kariya may look better on paper, but he’s a Western Conference player. Flyer fans should be hoping Kariya signs with Toronto; he’s not great when the physical game is played.

  7. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    I guess Sami Kapenen would keep him pretty much in check for To PHI games.

    The fact is that Kariya is a relatively affordable, potentially superstar player who is 29 years old. The guys JFJ is signed upto are OLD and wearing out a bit. EVERYONE else is retooling. TO is not. If they don’t win a cup next year (if there is a next year) they could be a REALLY bad franchise for a while after that ESPECIALLY if there is a low cap.

  8. Aetherial says:

    It seems to me that the Leafs goaltending decisions have been criticized for about the last 7 years or so. Give it up, the signing is not *that* bad… and may even look great in hindsight.

    I also was not amused when they got rid of Schwab… I never understood that move. He was and is better than Kidd by a long way.

    I would have liked to see them go after Weekes.

    Tellqvist will never be a solid starter.

    As for the rest of the team. I wanted the Leafs to have a fire sale last year or at least not sign anyone back in the offseason.

    On the other hand, I can see why they want to take a shot again at the cup with the current squad before giving up. I think it is clear to everyone that they are a year or two away from a long period of suffering so JFJ likely has been given the mandate to sign the veterans for one final hoorah.

  9. PayUpSucka says:

    Brian Leetch at what price bro? The players they gave up are not NHL’ers and never will be. So they gave up nothing but a draft pick.

    It’s the leafs, there will always be questions and 10 million answers, all different.

  10. PayUpSucka says:

    Can’t see it happening in any market. Not with the revenue this team generates. I don’t think anti leafers understand that these people running the leafs aren’t a bunch old drunk yokels. They obviously know something the rest of us fantasy gm’s think we know.

    If it were all as clear as we all think it is we’d all be gm’s.

  11. PayUpSucka says:

    Yeah Ed Belfour was labelled never a starter too. We all found out how wrong that label was. To blame the Swede’s early exit from the WCon Tellqvist is just gross.

    He kept them in games they were clearly outplayed in, not to mention the 8 or 9 odd man rushes a period the swede’s gave up.

    He kept them in the hunt for a tie when the czechs came storming back in the round robin, and as for the quarter final, anyone that blames that loss on Tellqvist is blind. Sweden had other things on their aganda that day other than hockey, which reflected in their 4 shots for in the 1st, and I counted 11 odd man rushes for the czechs that game, 10 were stopped by Tellqvist. Poor defensive coverage in their own end and a soft forecheck were the reason they were drubbed 6-1 not Tellqvist’s goaltending.

    He did look shaky at times, but the finger can’t be pointed at him for Sweden’s failures.

  12. cgolding says:

    can’t see a salary cap happening?

    the owners will lose 240 million if there is no season next year… they lose 300 million when they play a season supposedly.

    lockout for owners : +60 million

    players will lose 1.2 billion if there is no season next year… they make money if there is a season.

    lockout for players : -1.2 billion

    the owners have NO reason not to hardline with the players, and NO reason to try and make a season happen without some form of cost certainty. there is actually a great larry brooks column out there outlining how the owners are basically “negotiating” with the intention of unilaterally moving against the union and playing with replacement players in 2005, aka breaking the union.

    whether or not all of this happens, the owners are in a position of incredible strength to have resolve through a lockout. i have some questions about how much money is really involved, but the TV-contract the league has is very very damaging to any claim the NHLPA wants to make about the money these teams have or do not have. a salary cap is coming, or an incredibly strict and punitive luxury tax, which i still don’t understand why the owners aren’t looking at… i think it would fix most of the leagues problems quickly, i posted my thoughts on this in another column as well.

    the leafs are screwed by the lack of depth in their system, draft picks traded away, and an increasingly old team entering a world that will be ruled by younger teams… which is the one major lesson that should come across from the NFL about what a salary cap does. old players die quick and fast in the salary cap world and your fortunes are almost completely tied to your ability to draft good young players that are cheap and productive.

  13. PayUpSucka says:

    I’m copying and pasting this article Chris, and in 5 years, when the leafs are still at or near the top of the standings, i’m gonna wip it out and reinterate my opinion and say to everyone that I told them so.

    Prospects are always prospects, some prospects are obviously rated higher than others. I won’t comment on their system because i’m not a prognosticator, for all we know they might have a Bobby Orr and a Wayne Gretzky waiting in the winds. And I refuse to go by some web site that ranks a teams prospects. It’s just a guessing game.

    There will be no salary cap of this I am almost 99.9% sure. I can see a luxury tax system of some sort, but this tax will have virtually no effect on teams like the leafs, wings, philly, colorado or any team with a reputation of having a high fan base and capacity attendance and who have no problem as far as revenue is concerned.

    On paper the easy thing to say is the leafs are going to be screwed, but we all know that things happen and situations change, sometimes very quickly and drastically.

    But hey, just an opinion.

  14. wingedim says:

    Chris does have a point about Toronto not having any depth in the ‘system’ right now. They don’t. While they might be able to find those rare gems from the late rounds, they need to stop trading picks away and get some of the ‘top tiered’ talent in the drafts so that they can develop them and possibly even inject them right into the line up the next season. While not every pick works out for various reasons, they need to start a youth movement themselves and not trade for the vet talent they’ve been after the past few years. While it’s nice to have the experience, you need the youth to go along with it to help balance things out. JFJ has only been behind the desk for a year, let’s see what the future holds as I’m sure he’ll do the right things.

  15. wingedim says:

    Karyia is a superstar. He was the Anaheim Ducks for a number of years. He took a major pay cut so he could play with Selanne again and it blew up in his face. He wasn’t as productive due to injury and he was playing on a team that was bursting at the seams with offensive fire power (on paper at least). He is also among the long list of stars that are currently unsigned due to the CBA. He will be signed by someone when the whole mess is worked out. Regardless of where he goes, he will shine again as he knows he’s got something to prove.

  16. cgolding says:

    look around the league man. even philly is claiming to be losing money… i posted an article questioning that claim, but it very well could be completely accurate. BEST case scenario only a few teams are actually making money… without any TV money it is very hard for a sports league to make any money… the NHL gets no cash from TV.

    now, most of these teams are owned by corporations now… so yes they have a TON of money behind them, philly included in this. however, the negative to being owned by a corporation is that corporations are businesses, not individuals that want to win at all costs… so they make decisions based on the bottom line much quicker than private wealth does… limiting factor to spending. the ONLY reason the flyers were able to throw the cash down that they did in getting guys like Zhamnov and Malakhov last year was because Snyder begged comcast to give up on the Sixers season and divert funds to the Flyers.

    so one of your big spenders is actually all for a strict salary control environment, Snyder has said as much publicly. he would like to see the NBA luxury tax system implemented, but disregarding anything he is ALL for cost certainty of some sort… so he isn’t going to be throwing his lot in with the big boys saying we want to keep spending. Hicks is the exact same way in Dallas, so that’s two of the big boyz down.

    then look around the league at all the little fish. they are DESPERATE for some form of salary constraint… and mathematical proof has come out supportive of the statement that money = winning. do you really think Edmonton’s ownership is going to not be willing to sit around until they can be competitive again?

    so, unlike baseball where everyone is making money so they didn’t want to sit out and force a cap that steinbrenner was working against, the hockey owners will force it down any ownership that doesn’t want it… those that may not be up for a salary cap, punitive luxury tax, are simply outnumbered heavily… add to that the fact that the reason the owners are yapping about a salary cap is specifically because they “can’t control” some of the owners… leafs?

    so yeah, there’s going to be something, probably a cap somewhere far down the road after we want to shoot ourselves from lack of hockey… if not, it will be an incredibly hard luxury tax system… the one i put up before was 1:1 at year 5, probably starting at the 35 the owners want… so if the leafs wanted to keep their 60 million dollar team, they’d have to pay 85 million to keep them… that’s a tough pill to swallow(and they’d DEFINITELY be losing money at that point on the squad).

    Prospects are always prospects, but they all got a little delta next to them… what’s their chance. Leafs don’t got a lot of high deltas, where other teams have started to ac*****ulate them.

    not being harsh, but i think you are being naive in not believing some rather stringent system is going to be in place in the near future… the owners are pushing for it specifically to curtail other owners and level the playing field, which means they recognize that there are teams like the leafs/rangers/privately owned teams that will always be able to throw down big wads of cash… which is exactly what they plan to STOP happening.

  17. PayUpSucka says:

    I just want to know who are all these picks we’ve traded away.

    Brad Boyes??? C’mon he’s no longer a prospect.

    The 2 reekers we gave up to get Brian Leetch.

    I’m not seeing anything as fas as can’t miss prospects being dealt away. Mind you on paper it appears as though the leafs are thin as far as developement but i’m going to take the wait and see approach.

  18. PayUpSucka says:

    I should have made it clear that I don’t disagree with what you’re saying bro. I agree that if we see a cap then the leafs will be one team that gets hit the hardest. I just think the end result of these negotiations won’t be a hard cap.

    I’m basing my statements and opinion on the fact that I don’t think a hard cap will come to be.

    If it’s a structured luxury tax agreement then the leafs should be ok. If it is a hard cap then I will eat my words.

  19. PayUpSucka says:

    I agree 100% with Chris’ comments regarding the youth movement, but many teams have gone that route with limited success. Chicago and Buffalo are the 1st teams that come to mind. Both whom are apparently deep in youth and in prospects.

    I’ve been hearing for years now how the leafs are f ucked or won’t make the playoffs the following year, and time and time again they keep proving the nay sayers wrong.

    There will always be a need for veterans, the leafs have just too many players with that distinction. I’ve said all along that they need to bring some of this youth into this veteran line-up.

    The line-up isn’t as old as most think also.

    The D’s average age is good with many d prospects in the system. We have 4 or 5 young forwards in Nik, Poni, Stajan, Wellwood and Nathan Barrett.

    New, Roberts, Leetch are the oldest players and they’ll never hurt you. Nolan and co. contracts expire at years end.

    Many of these vets they have are done next year and we’ll see that youth inserion then I suspect. Then we’ll see who and what they have for prospects I guess.

  20. TheCoach says:

    Actually, Max Kondratjev showed more promise than Carlo Coliacovo in the training camps he participated in, and Jarko Immonen was rated as one of T.Os better offensive prospects.

    I find that you contradict yourself when you say that Toronto has plenty of good youth (Wellwood, Barret, etc), and bash the prospects now that they are gone. McKeens hockey had them rated at the same level.

  21. TheCoach says:

    “Brad Boyes??? C’mon he’s no longer a prospect. “

    Brad Boyes is no longer a prospect? Honestly man, the guy was the best one the Leafs had and he will likely be in the Bruin’s lineup this coming year.

    I find it odd how you say that he is not a prospect, but still refer to guys like Ponikarovski, and Tellqvist, the Leafs apparent prospects.

    He is also only one year older than Coliacovo and Wellwood.

    Also, I don’t think it’s about can’t miss prospects being dealt away, it’s the picks. This would have been the perfect year to get some quality young players, because we all know, that guys like Nieuwendyk, Roberts and Mogilny will not play much longer. Their careers could even end if their is a long lockout. They didn’t have a first round pick this year, and this was the case 2 years ago also. They didn’t even have a 2nd rounder this year.

    Where did all those picks go? For guys like Nolan? Wesley?

  22. PayUpSucka says:

    And why do I care that some magazine rated them the same coach???? Are these guys the offspring of Nostradamis or something. Are seeing the future and not telling anyone about it?

    My whole point was prospects are prospects. Until they play at the NHL level and prove themselves that are all equal as far as i’m concerned.

    Kondratiev looked like a lost child when he did see action. He’s slow and not physical for a guy his size. Maybe he’s a Zdeno Chara in disguise but right now Brian Leetch is playing and contributing.

    Jarko Immomen will never play an NHL game. He’s small, very small, soft and and not very responsible without the puck. Mind you he’s fast and he has touch and can learn. I play with 7 or 8 guys like that right now in a beer league.

    Brad Boyes? What’s he 24 now? He doing well in the AHL, but for an apparent “good” prospect he’s not exactly making a mark in the NHL. He’s been passed from Toronto to San Jose and now to Boston. That’s 3 gm’s didn’t like his progress.

    I never said that we had great prospects or good youth. I do think we’re like 29 other teams that have that have a system. The one’s I mentioned look good in St. John’s games i’ve watched. There were others that looked good but i’m not going sit here and say they’re all future NHL’s.

    Look no further than the NHL draft and you’ll see a good number of NHL roster players were either drafted late or not drafted at all.

  23. TheCoach says:

    I don’t think the finger is being pointed a Tellqvist. The fact is, the guy is 25 years old and hasn’t shown anything. He has never been one of the best goalies in the AHL, and he hasn’t been able to crack the Leafs line-up.

    The back-up job was his to take last year. He lost it and they signed Kidd.

    The guy hasn’t shown anything that would suggest he can be a solid NHL goalie, 4 good games 2 years ago is not enough.

  24. TheCoach says:

    “And why do I care that some magazine rated them the same coach???? Are these guys the offspring of Nostradamis or something. Are seeing the future and not telling anyone about it?”

    Wow, how you contradict yourself. You claim that you cannot tell how a prospect will turn out until he plays in the NHL, but then go on to say that Kondratjev and Immonen will never be good players.

    Why would I trust a knowledegeable site like McKeens? Because they use various scout’s opinions. All of these scouts have watched the players closely and can make a knowleadgeable guess of how they will turn out. And trust me, there are exceptions, but for the most part they are correct.

    Also, Brad Boyes is 23. Also, you crticize him for not making a “mark” in the NHL. Well, Carlo Coliacovo is only one year younger and he is apparently the Leafs’ top prospect. What kind of “mark” has he made? You continue to defend Mikael Tellqvist in various posts, but at 25, what kind of “mark” has he made?

  25. PayUpSucka says:

    Kondratiev and Immonen. Kondratiev based on what i’ve seen doesn’t look like in my opinion to be on his way to a stellar NHL career. But he is young and he is a defensman. And unless Immonan is the next Martin St. Louis, neither is he.

    Scouts are great too. Accurate!! If there is a job I would love to have in sports it would be that. It’s getting paid to gamble. And like gambling you win once in a while. Look at the results. Look at previous drafts bro. Scouts nail a prospect every 2 in 10. Have a look at current NHL’s never drafted or drafted late. You’d be amazed.

    Don’t compare apples and oranges. Brad Boyes is not a defenseman and knowing that you should know that defenseman can sometimes take a few years to develope. Not only that, you have to look at the situation the particular team is in. There were no line-up spots available in Toronto, and the teams best interests were to put him in the AHL and learn to be a defenseman playing key minutes and key situations with much more ice time. Carlo was not going to get any of that in Toronto.

    Does Brad Boyes at 23 look like a future top 2 line player? He looks like a future 3rd line player at best.

    There are all kinds of propects in Toronto that will never see the NHL light of day, but every team has those.

    My whole point yet again is that teams have prospects, every team, and until they do something, they’re nothing.

    Tellqvist is 24 bro, and again another position that can sometimes take years to make it. Especially learning in the swedish system. But he’s no better or no worse a prospect than is Ray Emery.

  26. DarkPhoenix says:

    Well, if you remember back when the Nolan deal was made, San Jose asked for “one of the centers that played for Team Canada in the WJC’s”, aka Stajan, Wellwood or Boyes.

    As I said at WowHockey, what the Leafs did was gamble. They’re gambling that Boyes turns out the worst of the 3. It’s a pretty big gamble.

    Boyes hasn’t been able to crack the NHL yet, despite having a year on Wellwood and 2 years on Stajan. Stajan’s made it, and Doug Shedden says Wellwood’s pretty much ready for the NHL at this point (though it wouldn’t surprise me if the Leafs left him in the AHL for one more season; maybe this time he’ll be first line center for the whole year instead of getting shifted back so they could up the ice time of such great prospects as Harold Druken and Aaron Gavey).

  27. heartofleafs says:

    Just a quick note.

    Tellqvist did not lose the back-up job last year. he only had it at the start of the year since kidd was injured. And Kidd was originally signed for two years, which meant that he was not a free agent last summer and the leafs did not even sign him, let alone because tellqvist failed. Kidd was signed two years ago when Cujo originally left and due to the uncertainty of Belfour’s goaltending, management felt that they needed a better backup plan than Tellqvist (who had played all of 0 games in the NHL at that point, 1 year North American hockey).

    He hasn’t shown much but in all honesty he has only played in 14 NHL games in his career and how he can be judged by 14 NHL games is beyond me.

    He has led Sweden to the World Championship finals the last two years. He can hardly be judged by what he does at the AHL level as everyone is well aware of the amount of future NHL-calibre players we have on the farm.

    And the past two seasons, in his limited play, he has produced better numbers than Kidd, which to me more than warrants a longer try at the NHL level. The only reason that he has been unable to crack the Leafs lineup is due to their persistance with Kidd (who i happenn to think is one of the worst goaltenders in the league).

    So I am unsure about anyone’s ability to classify him as not NHL calibre. He is going to get his first chance this year in the NHL and how he plays then will be a determining factor in his overall career and ability. He was certainly not to blame for Sweden’s early exit this summer.

  28. DarkPhoenix says:

    PayUp’s right; forwards develop much faster than defenceman and goalies do. It can take a defenceman 3 or 4 years to learn the level of positional hockey necessary to play at the NHL level.

    But Pay, don’t bash Immonen. What you have here is an underrated prospect. The Leafs happen to be loaded with them. But it only takes one gamble to look like a genius.

  29. nordiques100 says:

    It is hard to say who would be the better choice as Belfour has been terrific the last 2 years but has suffered some injuries, and Hasek hasnt played a whole lot the last couple of years due to injuries and retirement but he too in the past has shown to be a terrific goalie. It would have made more business sense to sign Hasek because he would have come for less money and less term but hockey wise, Belfour is the better of the 2 goalies right now until Hasek proves himself again to be an elite goalie and not one that should have stayed retired.

    yes the leafs are over the cap but so are a few other teams and until we actually see as fact that teams like PHilly have bought out some of their players, they too are also over the possible cap limit as of right now. The leafs could do the same as philly buying out mogilny and nolan as the flyers would buying out Leclair and amonte. all those teams who are going to be over will have these types of decisions to make. and we will have to see if there may be a grandfathering of the cap in order to give teams time to adjust to the new limits. so i would say out of the high payroll teams, no one is at a real advantage/disadvantage in terms of easy buyouts and stuff and no one team is more or less handicapped when a cap is put in place. they will equally have their own difficulties getting use to a cap.

    getting leetch was not a mistake. the trading of kondratiev was not because he was a bad prospect but becuase the leafs have depth in that position and because he fell out of favor with the team by walking out on the farm club. so it was ok to move him in order to get a hall of fame defenceman who can still play at a high level. immonen is a bit of an unknown and may be one of those europeans who develop late or not at all. he could end up being like a nils ekman or a david vyborny in that he spends more time in europe and then comes over when he is around 25-26. or he just may not come at all. it is hard to tell how good he can be becuase the level of play over there is much weaker than in north america. and the leafs have many prospects on the bubble like immonen such as wellwood, druken, cereda, john mitchell, jeremy williams so it was not a huge loss. and yes draft picks are valuable but in the late rounds of a draft that was said to be a crapshoot, it was not a huge loss like a top 10 pick would be. like i said, leetch still plays at a high level. it is not like he is washed up or anything like that. it was worth the price.

    sure kariya would have been great and so would murray but the only fault in resigning roberts and nieuwendyk is that the leafs overpaid for them. they are not bad hockey players. so it wasnt that bad to sign those 2 considering the year could be shortened by a lockout giving these old guys a break from having to play a long 82 game season and perhaps play a shortened abbrieviated one. and the fact that roberts and niewy both can contribute in the playoffs makes them valuable players. but at least they were only one year deals and then afterwards the leafs can be free to open up roster spots for other players when they are gone. and the thing is, the leafs probably did not want to get tied down to long term deals with any of those bigger name free agents in order to have more flexibility in the 05/06 season especially if there is a cap. the leafs would be left with less than half a team with contracts for 05/06 in case there was a cap and the potential to be a flood of free agents when a new CBA is in place and teams start making adjustments. they already have 2 key players to long term deals in sundin and belfour. adding another in kariya or murray would have made things harder for them to adjust to a new pay system.

    right now the flyers have Handzus, Roenick, Primeau, SHarp and Lapointe at centre. considering Carter and Richards just finished up junior they should at least get some seasoning in the AHL much like what Spezza got in Ottawa. So i would find it unlikely that they would play and play a whole lot to make an impact right away with all the depth they have right now. They could trade/buy out Roenick but that may be tough as they are already it seems planning on buying out Amonte and Leclair (although nothing is for sure certain).

    the leafs have some young players playing. like stajan, antropov, ponikarovsky and pilar. and coliacovo and tellqvist will likely make the jump, albeit in a lesser role. and they have a few otehr players like kaberle, tucker, mccabe who are not over the hill by any means. i say that gives the leafs some decent players who are still relatively young. i am not saying all of them will turn out to be stars but nhl calibre at worse. yes the leafs may not have a star young player like a zetterberg or a spezza but they ahve a decent crop of kids and perhaps a guy like steen would be that special young player they are waiting for. so i would say the leafs are not that far off from those teams that you mentioned. guys like carter and richards are very comparable to a guy like steen. i say pretty even prospects and in potential. yes the leafs need more depth but they are not that bad off. these things take time but the leafs have favored attempting to stock the parent team rather than the farm system. we can blame quinn for that one.

    and i wouldnt say the sens really retooled a whole lot. perhaps addition by subtraction with bonk and lalime out the door. but they didnt need many changes to begin with as they are an elite team. they were a young franchise that had the benefit of early draft picks. now they are starting to grow together. perhaps it will soon pay off for them with hasek if he can recover. the sens have always been a young team. now the core of the team is heading into their prime and primed to win a championship. they are not at all like the flyers, leafs or wings who have had the last few years their core players be in their 30s.

  30. cgolding says:

    luxury tax makes the most sense.

    however, even in the event of a luxury tax the owners are going to make it such that it biotch slaps someone so hard that they won’t touch going over it significantly. no one can go to much over a 1:1 cap, it simply gets too punitive too quickly, like my example earlier where the leafs would have an 80 million dollar pay roll basically if they had a 35 mil tax start… i wouldn’t be shocked if it was leveled so that teams could see penalties multiplying whatever they are going over the cap.

    in the end the owners are hell-bent on creating utter cost certainty and not playing hurts the players a whole lot more than the owners. how many veterans want to sit around on the sidelines instead of playing? there is zero incentive to the owners dropping a puck in the current fiscal world, regardless of whether you think they are doctoring the books to make it look worse than it is… it is clearly not a good situation financially when teams are filing for bankruptcy. my favorite sport by far is hockey but i would have to be obscenely rich, aka have enough money to cover losses for my life, before even considering the purchase of a team…

    the leafs are the problem. the rangers are the problem. the flyers have been the problem, but sound like they are all for a cap. the wings are the problem.

    ALL the owners recognize this, and their desire for a hard cap stems not from financial models, but from a desire to STOP those teams ability to spend as they do, which forces everyone else to spend more if they want to compete, thus bringing up the losses of the smaller teams quickly.

    if the players don’t realize that specific thing, we won’t see NHL hockey with those guys playing for a long long time. the owners as a majority aren’t blaming the players for the problem, they’re blaming themselves and they are going to protect their fiscal irresponsibility by making a law that keeps them from getting out of control.

  31. PayUpSucka says:

    Immonen is flashy Phoenix, but I just can’t see him making any kind of impact in the NHL. He’s way too small. Just my opinion. He might make the rags and rip it up for years, but not based on what I hear.

  32. PayUpSucka says:

    Question Chris. What effect would the lockout have on current contracts. For example, Owen Nolan has one year remaining on his contract. If there is no season next year does his contract simply expire or does it pick up the following year? Also the contracts that have been signed lately, how are they effected by the lockout?

  33. cgolding says:

    contracts live void of whether a season is played or not… simply not paid. except for nolan who in a genius move negotiated that he gets paid during the lockout… probably why there is validity to the leafs trying to trade him. if the owners are convinced there is going to be no season, and he’s got a year left, you are going to pay him and he can then walk without playing a game.

  34. PayUpSucka says:

    Thanks.

    So for example, based on an year long lockout, does this mean if a guy like Joe New or Gary Roberts who is entering the 1st of a 1 year deal and their is no season the team nor player is not obligated to fullfill that contract when the start of the 05 season starts?

    Sorry bro just trying to get a read on where we would stand contract-wise if the season is a total loss.

  35. cgolding says:

    yep. the contracts are based on years, not games played. so those guys would be UFA’s at the end of a year whether or not a game was played.

  36. molsonmuscle says:

    fortunately, insurance covers the portion of a players contract while they are on the injury resreve list. the leafs at least have him locked up an playing for them.

  37. TheCoach says:

    Actually, Tellqvist was born on September 19, 1979, which means that he will turn 25 in 8 days.

    Also, I see that you keep ragging on Kondratjev, saying that he will never be a good defenseman. However, you think Coliacovo is one of the better prospects. Last year in training camp, Kondratjev played much better than Coliacovo.

    Not only that, but you say Immonen will never be good because he is small. Have you seen the kid? He is 6 foot 202 pounds. That is hardly small. He is bigger than Coliacovo, Williams, Steen, Wellwood and Stajan.

    You also crticize me for using scouting reports in assesing prospects, but you do the same thing. For example, you say Immonen will not be good because of what you have heard.

    “Tellqvist is 24 bro, and again another position that can sometimes take years to make it. Especially learning in the swedish system. But he’s no better or no worse a prospect than is Ray Emery.”

    Once again, Tellqvist is 25. Ray Emery is 21, turning 22 at the end of the month, but has accomplished more than Tellqvist in 3 less years. He has made the AHL All-Star team, All-Rookie team and has been named the Goalie of the year in CHL and OHL.

    While it may not be fair to compare their NHL resumes, because they’ve both seen limited action, but in 6 games, Emery is 3-0 with a GAA under 2.00 and a SV% of 91.

    In 14 games, Tellqvist has a GAA over 2.80 and a SV% under 90.

    TSN also states his career potential as a #2 goalie, while Emery is listed as a #1.

    That is why the majority of people think Emery is a better prospect than Tellqvist.

  38. TheCoach says:

    Way too small? The guy is 6’0 202 pounds, bigger than Wellwood, Stajan, Steen and Coliacovo.

  39. TheCoach says:

    I don’t think that’s correct. The players would not get paid during a lockout, so I don’t think the contract would end after this year.

  40. flyersfan10897 says:

    thats terrific that colaiacovo, wellwood, stajan, steen, and tellqvist are above average prospects, but the fact remains is that none of them, except colaiacovo, are projected to be decent 1st line players or top pairing defensemen. not to mention the fact that after those 5, the list of above average prospects starts to get very slim.

    boston has evseev, boyes, hilbert,zinovjez, stuart, jonsson, and toivonen, who all could be 1st/2nd liners, top defensemen, or starting goalie.

    buffalo has vanek, derek roy, pominville, and ryan miller. vanek and miller could be dominant players at their position.

    montreal has one of the deepest selections of prospects. chriss higgins, marcel hossa, tomas plekanec, kyle chipchura, kostsitsyn, perezhogin, hainsey, and komisarek can all be stars in the NHL.

    ottawa has vermette, patrick eaves, and ray emery are also potential superstars.

    the leafs prospects just arent up to par with the other teams in their division. not to mention that the others still have a lot of remaining draft picks and are a lot younger than the leafs.

    and its not like all the other high money teams are in the same boat. the flyers have jeff carter, mike richards, stefan ruzicka, dennis seidenberg, joni pitkanen, patrick sharp, RJ umberger, and antero niittymaki. the redwings have igor grigorenko, jiri hudler, niklas kronwall, james howard, and henrik zetterburg. teams like vancouver and new jersey have strong systems. other teams like colorado dont have great systems, but they are also playing young players, like aebischer, tanguay, liles, and hedjuk.

    the leafs just arent on the same level as other teams, and if they cant use the money to buy the players, they are definitely going to need some time to rebuild.

  41. cgolding says:

    i’m pretty sure the contracts are annual… outside of situations like when Yashin breached his contract.

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