Leafs Have Options And May Act Quickly On Them
Jason Blake, Darryl Boyce and 50th overall pick to Minnesota for 116 overall pick.
With Gaborik doubtful to return to Minny, even if the regime has changed, Blake would supply decent offence from the wing. He’d also get a chance to play in his home state. The Leafs tag on a 2nd rounder, which Minny has none of in this draft and pick up one of the Wild’s 4th rounders which the Leafs do not have. Its a salary dump that allows for the Wild to pick up a pick in the 2nd and move up 66 spots, plus a depth player in Boyce.
a savings of 4 mil on the cap.
Tomas Kaberle to Columbus for Kris Russell, a 1st round pick and Raffi Torres
The Jackets get their PP point man and it opens the door for Toronto to maybe go after a free agent blueliner. Kaberle is one of the better offensive defencemen in the NHL and absolutely what the Jackets need. The Leafs get a good young player in Russell who may one day be as effective as Kaberle, but the Leafs can afford the wait, a team like the Jackets, with Nash a yr away from UFA, need to find success sooner. Torres sort of balances the salaries, is a gritty, albeit often injured forward who is from Toronto and plays sort of how Burke likes it. Pretty young still and may re-up after his contract ends in a year.
a cap savings of 1.3 mil
Pavel Kubina to Washington for Mikael Nylander, Brian Pothier, Boyd Gordon, Braden Holtby – a goalie prospect in the WHL.
The Leafs do take back salary here, but its a favor for the Caps. Here, they can do what the Bolts did with Vrbata and send Nylander along to Europe. Pothier they can bury with the Marlies eliminating the cap influence. They can afford eating 6 mil of money for those players, one of the few organizations who can. They get a decent young player in Gordon to add size up front, some jam and a good defensive forward, who should re-sign for maybe 1.25 mil. Holtby adds another goalie to the mix, someone who may push Pogge. For the Caps, the salary dump allows them to pick up a vet like Kubina to a position in need of depth. He’s a winner and will help the leadership of a very Euro locker room. They are able to save about 2 mil off the payroll giving them a bit of breathing room and make the Leafs be the bad guys keeping veteran players out of the NHL.
3.5-4 mil or so in cap savings.
Lee Stempniak to NJ for Pierre Luc Leblond, cond. 2010 draft pick
Stemp would maybe be an option to replace Gionta who is likely to leave via UFA. There was some talk of a buyout for Stemp, putting his value as not so great at this point. But here, the Leafs get to cut some costs while getting tougher. Leblond gives Toronto a young, big aggressive 4th liner hopefully who can be similar to Ben Eager. Probably will not provide much if any offence, but he will protect his teammates, crash the net and just be an overly aggressive player.
1.3 mil in cap savings.
Matt Stajan to NSH for a 2nd in 2010, and 3rd round pick in 2009.
Its sort of a salary dump, but the Preds get a decent centre who sort of fits their mold down there in NSH. He is a year away from UFA, but a decent, 2way player who is an upgrade over Radek Bonk as their 3rd centre. Certainly better than what they have now to replace Arnott when Arnott went down with injury if that were to happen again. The Leafs add some picks in both 09 and 2010 which they have previously squandered.
1.7 mil in cap savings
Send Jamal Mayers to the Marlies a la Mark Bell. or if anything trade him for anything.
The Leafs need to give some of their younger players a chance. And with his 4th line role, there isnt much sense for a 5-10 minute player to make over a mil. they have enough young, hungry competitors to maybe challenge for roles who’d come much cheaper.
1.3 mil in cap savings
The salary dumps add about 13 mil in cap space to a team that had roughly 12-13 mil to work with. With now over 25 mil, they can go to work.
sign Daniel and Hendrik Sedin for 13 million combined cap hit.
The twins instantly give the Leafs offensive weapons they lacked last season. They are pretty much a given to score a point per game and are very industrious offensive players. Burke likes them and will be heavily in the mix to sign these two.
sign Jonas Gustavsson for 1.25 mil
Gustavsson has been on the radar of the Leafs this season a
nd would be a quality backup to Toskala and perhaps an eventual replacement for him next season. It is a jump to go from SEL to NHL but he is young still and if Gustavsson can perform well for 25-30 games, push Toskala and maybe force Pogge in the AHL to perform better, thats a worthy investment for the Leafs.
re-sign Grabovski for 2.5 mil, May for 500K, Devereaux for 500K
Grabs had a fine rookie season, and the Leafs are hoping for more in year 2. He is quick and skilled and when he is on, can be an irritating player to play against as well. Hopefully a contract doesnt make him passive. The return of May and Devereaux add depth.
sign Jay Bouwmeester to 6.5 mil per for 12 yrs paying him big in his first few seasons.
The other big splash will be to land Bouwmeester. He will give the Leafs a solid 1-2 punch with him and Schenn patrolling for the next decade. He is a horse, a strong player at both ends of the ice and a player hungry to make the playoffs for the first time. There may also be some interest in actually playing in a hockey market, which Florida is not.
With their two first round picks, the Leafs select Brayden Schenn and Simon Depres.
And this doesnt cripple them cap wise in the future either. Torres, Ponikarovsky, Van Ryn, Toskala are free agents and them leaving will mean a savings of roughly 12 million. Throw in veterans like Devereaux, May and Frogren and thats over 14 million cut off the cap for 2010-11 if need be. The cap max could very well go down, but with a few UFAs in the fold, they can move these salaries out and still be comfortably under the cap max even if it does go down a significant amount.
Depth: Williams, Stapleton, Sifers, Stralman
Prospects: Hanson, Bozak, B.Schenn, Hayes, Stefanovich, Stahlberg, Didomenico, Oreskovic, S.Depres, Pogge