Leafs’ Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf may get big payday next year

The two marquee names on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster, Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, are both slated for unrestricted free agency next July. Which means somewhere out there are agents and lawyers working for the players and on management’s side, furiously trying to determine exactly what the two are worth and what kind of contract each can reasonably expect on the open market.

Here’s an educated guess at where they’re going to end up.

Phil Kessel

I believe the market indicates that the 25-year-old Phil Kessel is valued at approximately $8.1 million per season on a max contract, which would be eight years with the Leafs and seven with anyone else. This assessment is based on what the market has paid for elite scorers in recent seasons.

Dion Phaneuf

Defenceman Dion Phaneuf’s value going forward is also a hot topic. Aside from Kimmo Timonen, Dan Boyle, and Andrei Markov — all on the wrong side of 35 — Phaneuf is the only available defenceman who carries significant offensive value. Significantly, he is 28.

So what is he worth? I think the market dictates Phaneuf’s value at approximately five years and $34.5 million for an average of $6.9 million. It is in his interest to look for a deal that would take him to 34, allowing his next contract to kick in before the 35+ contract clause kicks in. Such a contract makes him more marketable to teams on a new long-term contract at that point in his career.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/2013/07/19/leafs_phil_kessel_dion_phaneuf_may_get_big_payday_next_year.html?cta=right&utm_expid=6682428-0.pmAbpHPsSSS1W5v3cyeVhw.1&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thestar.com%2Fsports%2Fhockey.html

 


106 Responses to Leafs’ Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf may get big payday next year

  1. Gambo says:

    As much as I like Kessel, I would hate to give him 8 million.

    The forwards who will be making upwards of 8 million are:

    1. Alex Ovechkin ($9,538,462)
    2. Evgeni Malkin ($9,500,000)
    3. Sidney Crosby ($9,500,000)
    4. Corey Perry ($8,625,000)
    5. Claude Giroux ($8,275,000)
    6. Ryan Getzlaf ($8,250,000)
    7. Eric Staal ($8,250,000)

    The top three(Ovechkin, Crosby and Malkin) have all had several 100 point seasons. Eric Staal has also had a 100 point season. Kessel hasn’t had 100 points yet, not even 90.

    Aside from the top three who have had several 100 point seasons, the other four (Perry, Giroux, Getzlaf and Staal) are all proficient defensively and are used on the PK at times, while also being elite offensively. Kessel is strictly offensive.

    Five of the seven forwards who are making over 8 million(Ovechkin, Crosby, Giroux, Getzlaf and Perry) are the captain of their team, the other two(Malkin and Perry) are alternate captains. Kessel is neither.

    Patrick Kane, coming off a season averaging 1.07 points per game, signed a new contract giving him a cap hit of $6.3 million. He isn’t relied on defensively at all and also isn’t a captain. He also scored the Stanley Cup winning goal and had 28 points in 22 playoff games that year.

    Phil Kessel averaged 1.08 points per game this season, had no role defensively, isn’t a captain and had 6 points in 7 playoff games. Pretty similar to Kane. However Kane was an RFA when he signed that contract and Kessel is a UFA.

    Alex Semin had 44 points in 44 games this year, doesn’t play a defensive role on the team and isn’t a captain. He just signed a new deal this season with a cap hit of 7 million per season. He was going to be a UFA when he signed that.

    Patrick Kane and Alex Semin are two similar players to Kessel. If you look at Kane’s deal Kessel should make somewhere around 6-6.5 million. If you look at Semin’s deal, Kessel should make somewhere around $7-7.3 million.

    I think 8 years, $7 million per, would be fair for Kessel.

    • DannyLeafs says:

      I agree in the sense that I would love to see Kessel get 7-7.5 and I hope thats what happens, but your comparables are off.

      Kane signed a 6.3 million dollar deal as an RFA in 09 when the cap was 56.8 million. So he signed for approximately equivalent to 7.15 million against today’s cap, so that is a good comparable. However if you throw in that Kessel is a UFA and has a much longer track record of production at this point then Kane did when he signed his deal (he signed the deal before his 88 point season was complete, so after 2 70 point seasons, and before the cup win, so no SC winning goal), it wouldn’t be unreasonable for Kessel to want more.

      Semin is not a good comparable as he sets a good precedent for Kessel’s camp to seek more. Over the past three years Semin hasn’t been anywhere near Kessel’s consistency. He has terrible playoff performances and more of a history of being completely uninterested, benched and whiny.

      If you use his contract as a comparable, it won’t be hard for Kessel’s agent to prove Kessel is worth considerably more.

      Also, that list of players making over 8 could hurt as well. Kessel has out scored in terms of total points and points per game, over half of that list in the past 2 seasons. He may not be able to use that as a comparable in the sense that it makes him better, but since 8.1 million is less than all of the players on that list and ties for the shortest term deal on the list, it wouldn’t be a bad way to defend 8.1 million as a salary for Kessel.

      I think if we try and convince Kessel with comparables that he isn’t worth 8.1 million, it may not turn out well, as there aren’t a lot of comparables that really nail that down.

      Stamkos at 7.5 million after a 51 goal, Richard winning season is a good one to start with.

      I can’t really think of any more off the top of my head.

      I think to appeal to Kessel Nonis would be better off trying to convince him that 7.5 million over 8 years playing in Toronto and playing with Bozak would be better for him then swinging for 8.25 on a 7 year deal elsewhere.

      One thing about Kessel is that he is a he is a type B kind of personality, so the comfort of what he knows to be effective for him, an extra year on his deal, and staying with Bozak may enable Nonis to get him at a bit of a discount.

      • Gambo says:

        Ah damn, didn’t realize Kane signed before his 88 point season and Stanley Cup win.

        And I wasn’t really trying to convince Kessel that he isn’t worth 8 million, more so just comparing him to players who are making 8 million.

        Good point at the end, Kessel doesn’t seem like someone who would want to leave a comfort zone. He likes it in Toronto and is comfortable with the team, can’t really see him wanting to go elsewhere. Might make it easier to sign him.

        • DannyLeafs says:

          I was just trying to look at it the way Kessel’s agent would. I don’t at all disagree with the logic, but we would be biased into wanting Kessel for Less, so chances are what we would love to see won’t be viewed as far by Kessel’s agent, and his camp would have ammunition for what they think is fair.

          I don’t like trying to sign UFA’s based on comparables. It gets ugly when GM’s start comparing players. I think Nonis needs to appeal to what Kessel wants. Hopefully Kessel wants to stay, so that means we have something to work off of.

          Start with things like “whatever term you want is yours, we can give you some assurances in the form of a modified NTC, we can give you a no demotion clause, we signed Bozak to play with you etc.”

          Get Kessel to feel like he is getting everything he wants but giving up a little on the dollar side but to sign else where he would be giving up a little on the term so it balances out. Could work especially if Nonis keeps it in the context of winning, as in that cap space will be used to help us win, not save money.

          In the end I am not too worried. We all know Kessel is going to get 7+ a year, but at the same time it isn’t likely he will be getting much more than 8. So in the end I don’t think it will make a massive difference either way.

          I think this Article is a bit off on Phaneuf. Maybe he can get a good amount on the open market, but I can’t imagine the Leafs give him 6.9 million.

          6 million on a 4-5 year deal maybe, but I can’t see him getting what he is currently being paid in TO. I mean in Phaneuf’s case the precedents set actually tend to put him lower. Defensemen seem to be getting less lately, so hopefully if the Leafs do re-sign him its for a reasonable hit.

          • Gambo says:

            My biggest worry with Phaneuf is the term. He’ll probably want 7 or 8 years.

            Unless his deal is slightly front loaded, leading to a lower cap hit, then that could be trouble.

            An eight year deal making a total of $41 million
            (7m,7m,6m,6m,4m,4m,3.5m,3.5m) would give him a cap hit of $5,125,000 a season. He would be making an average of 6.5m (same as his last contract) for the first 4 years, then his salary lowers, but he’s getting the term he wants.

            That is the only reason why I can see him getting a maximum term contract, for a lower cap hit.

            • DannyLeafs says:

              That would have to be the way to go in a deal with Phaneuf simply because for that kind of term his salary would have to come down to a point where if we needed to add a higher paid defensemen we could.

              To make those last 3 years a little easier to move, you could have something along the lines of a 3 million dollar signing bonus in year 3. That way, after July 5th of year 3 there would be 8 million dollars to be paid over 3 more years. If Phaneuf is at all effective at that point (he will only be 33) he won’t be hard to move. There will always be teams where cap hit is less important then actual dollars paid, so a guy like Phaneuf will likely be worth the 2.66 million a year he will make in salary to a team that could use his cap hit to get to the floor.

  2. mojo19 says:

    8 years, $7 mil per sounds about right. We kept his butt buddy, Bozak around for him. He needs to give the team a break for that.

  3. nordiques100 says:

    Good, low risk signing by the Leafs getting goaltender Christopher Gibson.

    He’s only 20 and a former 2nd round pick of LA. They didn’t reach a deal so he went back into the draft. But, having been not drafted this time, he was free to sign anywhere and he gives the team depth. He’ll join Garret Sparks as the next level prospects in goal for Toronto.

    I think Sparks is still eligible for Junior, so it will be Gibson likely in the AHL apprenticing under veteran Drew McIntyre. But if Sparks is eligible, one of him or Gibson will play full time in the ECHL.

    • toronto77 says:

      Ya I remeber Gibson, doesn’t he have a brother that was drafted by Anaheim and played for the U.S. in the world juniors?

      So by “not reaching a deal” does that mean that he was never signed to an entry level contract? or he was signed to a contract that expired and they never reached a deal to extend it and he became an RFA?

      Still strange given that he was a former 2nd overall pick, and one of the older players in the draft so the team drafting him would not have to wait as long, still passed over him.

      Did the leafs really get a steal here? or are they taking a chance on a guy that is considered to be a bust?

      • reinjosh says:

        Not related actually. This Gibson is from Finland.

        He never reached a deal with LA, as in didn’t even sign an ELC contract. He was free to look elsewhere and the Leafs invited him out to camp. He impressed and they signed him to an ELC.

        It’s strange but he did have an awful two post draft seasons. Now he didn’t play for the greatest team, but he struggled. LA fans suggest that he’s better than his stats suggest though.

        Really this is a depth move. Create some competition for Sparks in the minors (he isn’t eligible for the OHL anymore unless its his overage season) and have them push each other. Low risk move. Not likely to become much more than an AHL goalie but there is a small chance he does become more (I stress small though).

  4. 93killer93 says:

    Since the NHL is officially going to the Olympics, I thought I would make my prediction for Team Canada.

    Tavares-Crosby(C)-Stamkos
    Nash-Toews-St.Louis(A)
    Staal(A)-Getzlaf-Perry
    Richards-Bergeron-Giroux
    Benn/Hall

    Letang-Weber(A)
    Keith-Seabrook
    Subban-Pietrangelo
    Doughty

    Price
    Luongo/Fleury
    Reimer

    • LN91 says:

      I like how people on here believe Phaneuf has a chance to make this team lol

    • Gambo says:

      I like it. I don’t want Subban on the team though. There are enough good defenseman to choose from, rather not take the chance of him stirring up shit in the dressing room.

      Don’t want Fleury either.

    • leafy says:

      If that’s the choice of goalies, then Reimer has got to be the starter.

      Price and Fleury were pretty much backup goalies late last season. If they didn’t have a reputation, they would have been banished to the bush leagues.

    • DannyLeafs says:

      It’s funny how fast these predictions can change. Seguin was a lock on most peoples lists halfway through last season, now not many have him making it at all. Personally I never saw him as a good fit. He is a pure offensive player that doesn’t bring much else to the table. I think the bottom six on this list all have to have some nastiness, size, defensive ability, something to add. With Stamkos, Crosby, Tavares, Nash, St. Louis, Toews in the top 6 hard to imagine that Seguin can crack that part of the line up. So personally, even if Seguin has a good year, I don’t see him making it as guys like Lucic, Marchand, Ladd, Pacioretty, Neal, Kane or even Iginla could bring more to the table if they are playing well offensively. And while not all of them are likely to be playing well enough to get consideration, there is little doubt that at least one of those on that list will be red hot going in. A red hot Lucic going into the Olympics could be a tempting add.

    • reinjosh says:

      Am I the only one that doesn’t want Letang and his defensive definciences on this team? Give me Dan Hamhuis over him. We’ll have enough offense on the team as it is, we don’t need Letang. Keep him off or keep him as the 7th dman, the guy you put on the ice only when their’s a PP or you need a goal.

      • DannyLeafs says:

        Personally I would just take one of Letang and Subban. Whoever is playing better going in, then take someone like Staal, Girardi or Bouwmeester.

  5. lafleur10 says:

    like it or not he will be there you can’t leave the norris winner off the team

    • DannyLeafs says:

      I don’t doubt that Subban makes it, but I don’t think he’s a lock yet.

      Keith, Webber, Seabrook and Doughty will be there.

      Pietrangelo is the next closest lock IMO.

      I think they could decide that they want only one of Subban or Letang, and it may come down to who’s hotter going in. I wouldn’t be surprised if a defensive specialist like Girardi, Staal, Boumeester or someone along those lines make it to fill out line up to help shore things up in tighter games and for penalty killing. Canada is typically the most penalized team in these types of tourney’s, so the coaching staff could use that logic to say that a PK specialist will be more valuable to the team then a PP specialist, even if they were equally skilled at their roles.

      • LN91 says:

        Team Canada is going with speed over grit…PK will make it for that reason.

        • DannyLeafs says:

          If he plays as well as he did last year, then yes, but I don’t think he has earned the benefit of the doubt like guys like Keith, Webber, Seabrook and Dougthy. Those guys will be there even if they have sub-par starts to the season, Subban likely won’t. Subban still needs to play well next year to make the team.

          I also don’t doubt they like speed over grit, but when I named shutdown D, I am not talking about the slow moving behemoth clutch grab guys of the late 90’s. Staal, Bouwmeester and Girardi can really skate, and have offensive ability to boot, they are just defensive first guys.

  6. razer1818 says:

    Team Canada ( Top 50)

    Goalies

    Marc Andre Fleury, Roberto Luongo,
    Cary Price, Cam Ward,
    Mike Smith, Corey Crawford

    Defence

    Dan Boyle, Chris Letang, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K Subban
    Shea Webber, Duncan Keith(A), Brent Seabrook(A), Marc Staal, Drew Doughty, Mike Del Zotto, Jay Bouwmeester Dion Phaneuf, Dan Girardi, Cam Fowler

    Forwards

    Benn, Bergeron, Crosby(C), Getzlaf, Giroux, Iginla
    E. Kane,Kunitz, Lucic, Lupul, Marleau, Nash
    Perry, B. Richards, Skinner, Sharp, Spezza, St. Louis,
    E. Staal, M. Staal, Stamkos, Tavares, Toews(A), Thornton
    Gagnier, Eberle, Hall, Huberdeau, Lecavalier, Clarkson

    Not in any Order, Mostly just alphabetical

  7. DannyLeafs says:

    So Ganger just signed for 3 years at 4.8 million per. I would think that has to set an upper limit type precedent for Kadri.

    I would think Nonis goes to Kadri and says, well Couturier signed for 2 at 1.75 per and Gagner signed for 3 at 4.8.

    Realistically Kadri should fall in the middle closer to Couturier based on experience. Gagner has a full 6 seasons under his belt with no worse then a .5 point per game average in any season, and a career average that puts him at 50+ points in an 82 game season.

    Gagner got a bit much, but I don’t think the Precedent hurts the Leafs with Kadri too much. If a guy with 6 years experience of putting up 2nd line type numbers the whole time can’t get his team to go long term or over 5, Kadri’s agent doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

    The team that has to be a bit nervous. The Rangers. I don’t know about anybody else, but I would take Stepan over Gagner in a heartbeat. Stepan has proven he can put up at least 2nd line offensive numbers, and he is actually relied on defensively. Hard to imagine he doesn’t get a deal that is at least comparable to Gagner’s. As it stands the Rangers have 3.3 million in cap space and both Stepan and Zuccarrello left to sign. That’s a tough situation.

    • nordiques100 says:

      I don’t agree because this is Gagner’s 4th contract.

      This would be Kadri’s 2nd.

      Gagner, after his Entry Level deal expired, was signed for 2.2 mil for 2 years, then went with a 1 year deal for 3.2 mil before going to arbitration.

      Kadri does not yet have arbitration rights so he can’t force the issue other than hold out.

      He wont get 4.6 million. He’s dreaming if he believes he will.

      • DannyLeafs says:

        That is what I meant by upper limit type precedent, but I didn’t clarify, my bad. I meant that Kadri knows he won’t get anywhere near what Gagner got for the reasons you mentioned. Courturier is likely on the lower side of it, and Kadri’s contract will likely be closer in all respects to Courturier’s then Gagners.

  8. nordiques100 says:

    How about that. Dion Phaneuf beat out Robidas, Del Zotto, Girardi, Coburn, Schenn, Beauchemin, Giordano, Brodie, Justin Schultz, Bieska, Hamilton, Boychuk, Myers, Campbell, Brendan Smith, Gorges, Phillips, Cowen and Franson.

  9. DannyLeafs says:

    I love reading all the comments on TSN boards about Phaneuf and Luongo being invited. Talk about two guys who get demonized by fans for not being as good as they were hyped early in their careers.

    Luongo is a lock to make this team if he plays well at all this year. Seeing as he has never really had a all-round bad season, you can bank on him being there, so people thinking it’s insane he got invited to an orientation camp need to give their heads a shake and stop pretending to understand hockey. He may not be the Brodeur v 2.0 he was billed to be early, but the guy is a future hall of famer, gold medal winner, and lead his team to 5 divison titles, 2 presidents trophies, Western coference champtionship, Olympic gold. He is 17th all time in wins (likely finishes top 5-10 by the end) and currently has the 2nd highest career saver percenage of all the goalies in the top 30 on that list. He may be the most maligned future hall of famer in NHL history. From Keenan saying he didn’t know how to win when he was a rookie, to overrated lists, to trade speculation, guy gets no respect for what he has accomplished, just flak for what he isn’t. People need to remember. His contract is bad, he is not.

    Phaneuf making the invitees isn’t a surprise. Of that list Phaneuf played the 2nd most minutes last year, finished 3rd in points, had the most hits, and played the most minutues for the leagues 2nd best PK last year.

    Phaneuf doesn’t make the team, he isn’t good enough offensively to pass over guys like Letang or Subban as PP specialists, isn’t good enough defensively to pass over Seabrook, Staal or Bouwmeester and his game isn’t as well rounded as Keith, Webber, or Pietrangelo. But people up in arms over him getting invited to the camp are just biased. He is far from the longest shot on that list to make the team. Vlasic, Methot, Green, Hamonic or Hamhuis are long shots as well, and none of them are any better then Phaneuf.

    • LN91 says:

      I will say Green has a greater shot over Phaneuf.

      It’s all about skating…I would not be surprised if Gardiner has a solid year that he would make Team USA, he would be such a weapon for them,

      • DannyLeafs says:

        You could be right on green, he’s been pretty spotty for a few years now, but if he does have a fantastic season he could make it. I just think that with guys like Subban and Letang have the inside track, and there is no way all three of those make it.

        Gardiner could definitely make it if he has a breakout year. The US could really use that puck rushing kind of guy. They don’t really have it in a proven type guy, so someone like Fowler, Gardiner, Jones or some other kid having a fantastic year is likely to make the team.

        Again, I don’t think Phaneuf makes this team. He doesn’t deserve to right now, and it’s unlikely at 28 he will all of a sudden put it together this year and force his way on, so unless there is a massive rash of injuries going in, he won’t make it. However, people need to stop over reacting to him being invited. He is good enough to be considered one of the top 15 Canadian defensemen in the league.

  10. DannyLeafs says:

    Gunnarsson at 3 years 3.15 million. I think thats around where Nords suggested on an earlier post. Leaves just about 7.2 million for Fraser, Franson and Kadri after a demotion. Should be doable, I see Franson getting a similar deal to Gunnarsson in terms of cap hit, and Kadri getting something between 2.5-3. Leaving just over a million or so for Fraser. Fraser could be the odd man out if he goes to arbitration. I could see an arbitrator giving him 2 million or more based on numbers alone.

    • Gambo says:

      I would have liked to see Gunnarsson go for below 3m, but 3.1 isn’t that bad. He wasn’t healthy at all last year, he should look much better this up coming season.

      I can’t see Gardiner, Rielly and Gunnarsson all being on the team in a couple of years though, my guess is one of them is traded before Gunnarsson’s contract is up.

      Right now the top 4 seems like a lock for Toronto.

      Gunnarsson-Phaneuf
      Gardiner-Franson(assuming he resigns)

      Bottom 2 is up for grabs. Petter Granberg could surprise, i like him a lot.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        We just keep over spending. Bozak gets almost the same money as Little. Gunnar gets close to Scuderi money. I like Gunnar, but I would have been shocked to see an arbitrator give him an award over $3mil. He is often injured and is not a points producer or a real shut-down guy. Then there is Franson, who I thought would get the Gunnar deal. Franson out-produces, out-plus/minuses and has less injuries on the overall…what are they planning on giving Franson, $4-$4.5? We already have an overpriced D that is just not good enough, especially with Liles contract in the equation. Dion must be licking his chops at the prospect of an $8mil payday.

        • DannyLeafs says:

          You think Gunnarsson and Bozak were too much?

          I really don’t see how Little’s contract doesn’t make you feel better about Bozak’s. I mean we paid less and as hockey players they are fairly even. If I was given the option I wouldn’t swap the two even if the cap hit were the same, so I am certainly not disappointed that we are paying less.

          Gunnarsson is a top 4 defender, top 4 defenders are getting around 3 million a year. It isn’t a long term. Franson certainly has more upside, but he has one half season of showing it, where has Gunnarsson has been a consistent top 4 d-man for several years. Franson will get more eventually, but chances are he gets a similar amount on this contract.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            Yea, I think we overpaid on the two of them. Gunnarsson will be a 5-6 guy on this team if Reilly develops or if we find another top 4. Phaneuf, Gardiner and Franson are all better IMO. Adding a top 4 or Reilly to the top 4 means Gunnar is a 5-6 playing a defensive role. Over $3mil for a 5-6 is too much. I would take Little over Bozak. Little has put up comparable numbers while playing with no sniper linemates really. I mean Ladd and Wheeler are good, but not as offensive as Kessel and Lupul/JVR. Little is more solid all around IMO.
            Over $4mil for a 2nd/3rd line centre and over $3mil for a projected 3rd pairing D is too much.
            Gunnar at $3+ mil only makes sense if he is projected top 4, then that means one of Phaneuf, Gardiner, Franson or Reilly are going.

            • DannyLeafs says:

              You are talking about paying guys based on the fact that ideally we would like to upgrade them. That doesn’t happen, and won’t happen.

              Little may be a slight, very slight, upgrade over Bozak. I personally like Bozak’s speed enough that I would take him over little, especially given that he is a known commodity with Kessel. It’s not just about putting up numbers himself, but Kessel was never as good with Stajan, Connolly or Grabovski as he has been with Bozak, so for the price, and his overall usefulness, it was a good deal.

              As for Gunnarsson, find other D-men who have averaged 21 minutes a night for 2 years that gets less than 3 million a year who isn’t on an ELC. It’s extremely difficult.

              We could pretend we don’t need him, but that doesn’t change the fact that until Rielly and Gardiner prove they are legitimate top 4 defenders, we do.

              Both deals are extremely reasonable for what these players do and what they have accomplished thus far. The Leafs didn’t get a home run deal with either, but neither was an overpayment by any stretch.

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                Totally disagree. You pay guys for their worth, not because you don’t think you can upgrade on them. Gunnarsson and Bozak are getting ice time and 1st line centre and 1st pairing by default because there is no one better at the moment. You don’t reward them for that with money that matches their un-earned standing. Gunnarsson makes the same kind of money as Girardi, Seidenberg, Ference, B Jackman etc. Those guys earned their ice, it wasn’t given by default. Gunnarssons ice-time over the past two seasons is a result of trades, injuries and lack of NHL depth on our blueline. Kostka played almost as many games as Gunnar last season and averaged more ice…why isn’t he getting at least $2mil then?
                You note the last two seasons for Gunnar. Where was he 3 years ago when we had Phaneuf, Beauchimen, Kaberle, Schenn and Aulie …he was 6th in ice time. 4 years ago when we had Ian White instead of Aulie, he was 5th in ice time.
                He only got ice the last two seasons because we traded Beauch, Aulie, Schenn, Kaberle, White and replaced them with Liles, Gardiner, Franson, Kostka and Fraser. 3 Offensive D-men and two fringe guys.
                Campbell plays over 26 mins (3rd in the league) a night, does that mean he is worth his $7.1 mil a year? No, he plays that much because they have no one else. Is Dennis Wideman really a 25 min a night defenceman in Calgary or is he the best they got?
                You think we would have learned from Grabovski or Liles, I guess not. Two guys paid by default that we couldn’t move them or their contracts.
                I can handle it better when overpaying(money wise) for a new face that we would believe is an upgrade. ie Clarkson or Bernier(may overtake Reimer). But overpaying for someone already on the team that we would like to up-grade and haven’t been able to yet…
                that I don’t agree with. You overpay to stay status-quo and reward by default because they have no real competition for their job. I just don’t agree with that mentality.

                • DannyLeafs says:

                  Sorry you are just massively undervaluing those players, and overvaluing the dollars paid.

                  Yes by default they have bigger roles then they are worth, but they are being paid based on accomplishment and worth not the role they fill.

                  As you pointed out, Bozak is our default #1, and I totally agree that ideally a better #1 would be great, however Bozak isn’t being paid like a number 1. He is being paid as a 2nd line player. I would take Bozak over Weiss, Umberger, Hudler, Fisher, Leino, Filpulla or Dubinsky. All guys getting as much or more money (all of which signed for a bigger cap %) to be 2nd line centers.

                  With Gunnarsson he was a default top pairing guy, but again, 3.1 million is’nt a top pairing price. He is being paid like a 2nd pairing guy, which he has earned the right to be considered.

                  He may not be as good as Jackman, Scuderi, Girardi or Seidenberg, I would say they are all steal type deals. He does compare pretty favourably to guys like Salvador, Klesla, Tallinder, Daley, Grossman, Greene, and Hejda.

                  The reason I like these deals is that neither is getting paid based on where we had to use them like Liles and Grabovski. Both are getting paid based on their talent and where we think they fit in.

                  Gunnarssons deal is 3 years, that fits into guy like Gardiner, Rielly, Finn and Percy developing.

                  Bozak is signed and 2nd line money, so if we end up with another who is a bonafide #1 he isn’t making too much for a 2nd line center.

                  I was glad that considering Nonis seemed to be in position to be taken advantage of, such as when Grabovski got 5.5 million simply because there were no better centers available, he still managed to get two guys to take resonable deals based on the skill and accomplishments.

                  • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                    I am not disagreeing with the money is ok for the role they currently play, it’s the money for the role they will/should play is the problem.
                    Bozak – If we do get a true number 1 centre, how does Bozak get the number 2 slot…or even 3 slot. We have Kadri and Bolland(who will be cheaper). Bozak becomes possibly a third line centre making $4.2 mil or we are in a situation where we trade Kadri or Bolland? If we get a true number 1 centre, most would agree that we would rather have Kadri in the two spot and Bolland in the three spot than Bozak and his contract playing third line. Plus if Bozak does get the two or three spot spot, then Kessel doesn’t play with him anyways, so keeping Bozak for Kessel is now a moot point.
                    Gunnar – He can play top 4, but will not likely stay there. Phaneuf, Gardiner and Franson will be in our top 4 unless a trade happens. The addition of Ranger adds another possible top 4 guy. Reilly, if he makes the team, should play top 4 because 3rd pairing is not putting him a spot to succeed. Then there is the trade for another top 4 possibility. If Nonis really believes Phaneuf/Gunnar is a good enough top pair…I will really start to doubt him severely.

                    • DannyLeafs says:

                      I think that’s our biggest difference in opinion. I think Bozak will continue to get top 6 time in T.O. and Gunnarsson will be getting top 4 minutes for at least a couple of more years.

                      Talent wise its nearly impossible to argue that they are on the same level as most guys getting paid the similar money. They were playing a bigger role, and going forward they will continue to be depended on.

                      I like the Gunnarsson deal because until Franson, Gardiner and Rielly prove their top 4 guys, and with the possible loss of Phaneuf, Gunnarsson will be a needed steady presence playing top 4 minutues. It’s not a big committment at three years, and with arbitration rights, there wasn’t any way around paying it.

                      Bozak is a different cause, and it depends on how you view our center situation.

                      To me, I see it this way. Ideally Bolland stays as our checking center, Kadri Develops into a #1, and Bozak is really a #2. In that case it’s a fair deal. If it turns out we need a true #1 it will almost be impossible to do it any other way then by trade. So it likely happens in 1 of 2 ways.

                      1- Kadri doesn’t cut it as #1, but is a high end #2 (or simply busts altogether) in which case he is either a trade chip that we will need to use to get that #1, or we will desperately need Bozak in the meantime.

                      2 – Kadri still has value, but not ideally as a center, so he moves to win. Likely making JVR the trade chip used in a package to land a #1 center, in which case we still need Bozak as a #2.

                      I like the Bozak signing because he is an affordable center who is capable of playing top 6 minutues. If Kadri develops, but is not quite a #1, and we still need another guy, could we afford a center situation where Bolland is #3, Kadri is #2, and we have a more expensive #1 along with Kessel, Lupul, JVR and Clarkson on the wings?

                      Personally I don’t think so. Given that guys like Wheeler, Duchene, Skinner, and Seguin seem to get between 5.5 – 6.5 million on long term deals before ever being PPG players, I think if Kadri keeps developing, Nonis needs to make a decision on whether or not Kadri is a bonafide #1, or he likely needs to be traded in a deal to bring one in, as there is no way to keep a good third line, and high end top six wingers in place if we are paying our 2nd line center 5.5-6.5 million.

    • leafy says:

      Hard to say at this point. If (and I emphasize ‘if’) Gunnarsson plays good, it’s a good deal.

  11. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Not surprised at Gunner getting 3, everyone on this board saying ‘no say he gets much more then 2’ classic homer undervaluing (not trying to troll or bash just players seem to routinely get a million more than we collective feel they deserve). I learned my lesson from for the Bernier deal, I mean Bernier has 58 career starts as a backup and he gets over 2 million?

    Franson can easily get 4+ IMO, ditto for Kadri. Sure Gunner has a consistent last four years but Franson does have two impressive playoff appearances where he stepped up in a big way between Toronto and Nashville. All about upside. I expect Franson and Kadri to cost between 8-9 between them. Hope I’m wrong but the writing is on the wall after Gunner’s deal.

    Dropping Liles we should be ok short term, Phaneuf will have to audition for an extension (not writing him off at this point by any means). Though with Bolland, McClement, Kulemin and Kessel due for raises next year the Phaneuf saga should be as interesting as the Kaberle watch was.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      The key, as you said Wallace is upside, which is why Bernier got what he did. He got it based on up-side, not the amount of work so far. I figured Gunnar between $2.25 and $2.75 tops. No, $3.15 is not huge over what I figured, but they went over $3, which is now setting $3 at a starting point for other D to negotiate from.
      We may still get Kadri around $3mil on a 2 year deal, but Franson, who was a regular in Nashville, will now be looking $3.5-$4 minimum, where $3.5 would have probably got it done before.

  12. nordiques100 says:

    Gunnarsson was a comparable to Methot, Klein and hjalmarsson so I guess the deal makes sense. Also we bought an extra year to make him wait longer to be a UFA so I guess toronto had to pay for that.

    He’s a solid guy. Remember he was really on one leg with his bad hip last year causing him significant issues with mobility. He’ll have to be both better and healthier.

    He may serve too to be a mentor to granberg and Nilsson.

    Toronto is at 8 mil in space. If Franson got the same and Kadri too on a bridge 2 year deal, that would probably mean 800K for Fraser and just 1 mil left over to fit in a depth 13th forward.

    IMO Liles has to go. They need the space. Even if it meant taking back say 875K making the commitment to the other team to be 3 mil, it opens 3 mil in space which is sorely needed.

    Doing that means 3 years, 9 mil for Liles for a team to accept. Any takers?

    The Islanders maybe as someone to fill Streits spot. Like maybe Liles and a 4th for a nothing prospect

    Maybe the Wings by trading Liles and either a mid pick or prospect like a Conor Brown for Samuelsson and then trade Samuelsson elsewhere which could be easy being on a 1 year deal. Liles would help their D depth.

    Maybe the Cats trading Liles and a 3rd for McFarland. Not too sure when/if Jovo will play so Liles can add depth for them.

    Or maybe Tampa for ohlund. His career is in doubt missing 2 seasons now with both knees gone.

    Leafs could pay to the cap max and could save at least 3 mil maybe putting ohlund on LTIR.

    The leafs will need to get creative. But moving Liles resolves their cap crunch for now.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      Methot is playing top pair with Karlsson.
      Klein plays second pair
      Hjalmarsson plays second pair.

      To me, it’s not if Gunnarsson is solid, it’s where is he projected to play. We have all agreed we need help in the top 4 and pretty much everyone has Gunnar going to third pairing when/if help arrives (Reilly or trade).
      As I said above, with Phaneuf, Franson, Gardiner and Reilly, as well as Nonis saying we need a top 4 D…how is Gunnar projected in the top 4? Does anyone want to pay $3+mil for a bottom pairing D?
      If Nonis is paying Gunnar to be a top 4, then he is not shopping for a top 4 D anymore and Reilly is 2-3 years away. OR the writing is on the wall for Phaneuf, Franson, Gardiner or Reilly, especially if he is still shopping for another D. Other than that, Nonis is fine paying a 5-6 defensive D over $3mil.
      With the Gunnar signing, Phaneuf, Gardiner and Franson will look at this for comparison, so I think the following is a fair projection of contracts in one year(Franson this year) if Nonis keeps them all.
      Phaneuf $7+ per
      Franson $4+ per
      Gardiner $3.5+ per
      Gunnarsson $3.15 per

      Probably a minimum $17.5 mil for that group. I sure hope Reilly develops enough that he can play top 4 during his ELC because we are going to need some cheap, top talent. That top 4 just isn’t good enough IMO.

      As for Liles, I think we all agree he needs to go.

      • DannyLeafs says:

        I would be shocked if Franson gets 4+ this year. He hasn’t proven yet he is a top 4 defensemen. He got a lot better as the year went on, but he played top PP minutes and still only averaged just under 19 minutes a night. He will get a good raise based on upside, and having higher potential, but he doesn’t exactly have an amazing track record at this point.

        Gardiner was a healthy scratch to start the playoffs as good as he can be, and was at the end, he is still far from a guy you want to bank on being a top 4 over an 82 game season.

        So despite the hope that Gardiner and Franson are going to continue to be the kind of defensmen they showed they have the talent to be in the playoffs, I don’t think Nonis wants to bank on them to make the playoffs over an 82 game season. That means the Leafs effectively have 2 guys who they know have, and can shoulder top 4 minutes over a full season, those being Phaneuf and Gunnarsson. Hence looking for an additional top 4 and needing to retain Gunnarsson.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          How is Gunnar a proven top 4 d-man and Franson is not?

          The only thing Franson has done is put up good points and good +/- numbers with less ice-time. He just keeps producing while still being responsible defensively. He has more experience both regular season and playoffs than Gunnar with better numbers. Plus, as his ice increased, the better he got.

          Franson 25 years old
          4 seasons 243gp 100 pts +28
          23 playoff games 13 pts +1

          Gunnar 26 years old
          4 seasons 224gp 69 pts +2
          7 playoff games 1pt -7

          What else does Franson have to do to prove himself?
          He plays with Fraser, he produces. Then Gardiner, he produces. Even with Liles he still looked good. Arguably, if Franson and Gardiner were not paired in the playoffs and given more ice, we wouldn’t have made it 7 games. When are people going to give this guy the respect he deserves.

          • Gambo says:

            I agree with you that Franson is better, I’ve always been a fan of him. Anyone with that size and that type of shot has the potential to be dynamite.

            But I agree with Danny that Gunnarsson is more proven. It isn’t all necessarily about numbers or stats, Gunnarsson has proven for a few years that he is capable of being a top 4 defenseman, this is really the first [half] season that Franson has proven to be. Though this is really his first opportunity to prove he is a top 4 D man.

            So yeah, I also think Franson is better and that he doesn’t get enough respect, I just believe that Gunnarsson is more proven.

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              I agree Gunnar has played more top 4 minutes and that stats aren’t everything. My point is, Gunnar’s top 4 minutes were not earned. They were given out of necessity. That does not prove to me he is more of a top 4 d-man than Franson, it shows he can survive playing those minutes.
              As I said, I like Gunnar. I place him as a 4-5 D-man. Gunnar did not excel on the top pairing(injured I know), but Dion looked better with him, so he stayed there.
              Franson when given top 4 minutes actually excelled and has everytime he is given more playing time. Plus, Franson’s playing time was earned, not just given.
              If Franson was willing to take Gunnar money or less(because Gunnar is so-called more proven), a deal would have been done by now.IMO
              They should have signed Franson first, then gunnar if they were ok giving Gunnar $3.15. Franson will get more than Gunnar and I don’t think $4mil is out of the question now.

              • leafs_wallace93 says:

                People saying Gunnar is more proven than Franson are writing off what Franson did in Nashville. He was a top four on a team that when to the 2nd round, a bigger role than Gunnar has ever had.

                • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                  He was pretty good in Nashville. The guy has good vision with the puck and his first pass is usually a smart one. He is not a bang it off the glass to get it out kind of guy. Bernier got more than Reimer(from Nonis) based on potential even though he has never been a number 1. Franson has proven as much or more than gunnar (imo) and has a bigger upside. A bigger payday is logical to assume.

                • DannyLeafs says:

                  He was the #6 guy in nashville. Played like 14 minutues a night.

                  • leafs_wallace93 says:

                    He played his way into the top four by playoff time

                  • LN91 says:

                    He was Top-4. I lived in Nashville for a bit, saw him play.

                    • DannyLeafs says:

                      I am not disagreeing just for the fun of it, but you are very much mistaken. Franson never really got much opportunity in Nashville to play top 4 D. It’s not really debatable.

                      In 2009-10 he played behind Weber, Suter, Klein, Hamhuis, and Bouillon. He played 5 minutes less a game then any of those guys.

                      In 2010-11 Hamhuis had left so he got a slight increase, but was still behind Weber, Suter, Bullion, Klein, O’Brien.

                      Again, he played quite a bit less then any of those guys. Bouillion did only play 44 games so after that Franson got a bit more icetime, but seeing as the rest pretty much played the full season at a minimum of 2 minutes more a night, that still makes him 3rd pairing D.

                      Again, I am not at all saying Franson is bad, I am not even saying he is less valuable then Gunner, simply stating why I don’t think he gets massively more then Gunner next season. No Arbitration rights, no track history of playing the minutes he would need to to justify 4+ million a year, simply potential.

                      I agree that potential is enough to get a bigger contract than your body of work dictates you should, so I think he will get top 4 money, 3+ million, but I think it will have to be on a shorter deal.

                      Ideally I would like to see Franson on a 1 year deal at 3.25. He will go into next season with a top 4 spot on lockdown, and if he performs well over an 80 game season have all the leverage he needs to get a better longer term contract.

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      Gunnar would not have cracked that top 4 in Nashville either. Who knows if he would’ve even got 14 mins a night. That is my point though, just because Gunnar got top 4 ice the last two years on a poor defensive unit by default, doesn’t make him more proven. Franson has had to earn icetime. Given a choice, I would take Franson for 3 years at $4 mil per over Gunnar for 3 years at $3.15 per.

              • DannyLeafs says:

                He did earn those mintues by being more dependable than Franson. I agree Franson has more talent, and I think we will pay for that. But I think it will be a 2 year deal at like 3-3.25 for him so he can play top 4 minutes against better competition so we can see if he is worth a big investment later. I am not suggesting that Gunnarsson gets more than Franson, I think Franson gets similar money now, and on a shorter term with potential for a bigger raise later.

                • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                  How did Gunnar prove to be more dependable?
                  Gunnar comes back from injury and gets paired with Dion almost immediately because Holzer and Kostka weren’t working out.
                  How is that earned?
                  Franson started 3rd pairing with Fraser and earned more and more ice as the season went on. When they finally paired him with an offensive guy(Gardiner) that tandem was our best in the playoffs and played tough competition because Franson had shown he is capable.
                  Franson lead the Leafs in D points(6), 3rd in ice time(22:49 per game, more than Gunnar) and was the only top 4 D to not be a minus player(+0). Phaneuf-6, Gunnar-7, Gardiner-3. Two goals in game 7 after a bad giveaway on the first goal against…that shows dependability and character in a big game.
                  How has Gunnar shown he is more dependable? He was the other D on the ice for the 2 goals against in like 20 seconds that allowed a tie in the last two minutes of a game 7…that’s more dependable?

                  • Gambo says:

                    I think by having the coach put a player out in all the toughest situations makes that player more dependable.

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      Dependability and toughest situations goes for both ends of the rink though. Not just the defensive end (where everyone seems to place the emphasis). Your down a goal with a minute to play is also a tough situation. Franson will see icetime, Gunnar will not. Franson and Gunnar are two different types of D-men, so just comparing one end of the rink is not fair. Franson’s defensive game may not be quite as polished as Gunnar’s but his passing, vision of the ice, break-out passing and playmaking are far ahead of Gunnar. If Gunnar has earned $3.15…then Franson has earned $4 IMO.

                    • Gambo says:

                      Good point. Franson is more dependable offensively, but Gunnar is more dependable defensively. For some reason when I think of dependability the word safe comes to mind. I think Gunnarsson is a safe player, doesn’t take too many chances. However I think Franson is the better player and like you said probably deserves 4 million considering Gunnarsson got 3.15 mil.

                  • DannyLeafs says:

                    I am not arguing who is better, or who has more talent, simply stating why I don’t think Franson has the pull to actually get 4+ million.

                    Franson was a late signing last year because he had an awful start to his career with the Maple Leafs. You can talk about Gunner being “given” playing time while Franson had to “earn” it all you want, doesn’t change the fact that two different coaches saw fit to give Gunner more playing time than Franson, and both Coaches made Franson a Healthy scratch at times. That says a lot about dependability.

                    Again, I don’t think Gunner deserves more than Franson, as Franson’s upside will get him paid, but without arbitration rights, he will have a hard time getting Nonis to gamble on him playing at the same level he did in the playoffs by giving him a long term 4+ million dollar contract.

                    Also, I think this trade speculation and contract demands are posturing on both sides. I don’t doubt Nonis is “Listening” to offers, but its more then likely nobody offers enough to move him and he just waits Franson out.

                    If Franson actually sits out, it would pretty much be career suicide. I don’t think he will get an offer sheet, as the teams that have both the cap space and the picks don’t figure to be very good this year, and seeing as they would have to forfeit a 1st, it might not be very enticing. Also, to sit out over money when you were just starting to come into your own doesn’t make a lot of sense.

                    If Franson had Arbitration rights he would have had a way to force Nonis, but now he has two options, take a deal that is reasonable and play to prove he is worth more, try and sit and see if he can force a trade or get an offer sheet, and hope that he doesn’t just end up sitting out a bunch of games and coming in late and having to earn his spot over again.

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      I disagree he had an awful start to his career here…almost everyone looked bad under Wilson except Grabo, Kulimen and MacA. So, I don’t put much stock in the Wilson years.LOL
                      I understand what you’re saying and he may not get $4mil as you say. Nonis would be playing a risky game though because there is a flip side to what you are saying with Nonis holding the cards(which I don’t totally disagree with). Franson will be 26 in August, a two year deal takes him to UFA. Do you really think if Nonis somewhat lowballs him with a “prove yourself contract”, he is going to re-sign or extend when he will be pissed off and could become a UFA? If Nonis is smart, he doesn’t dick around players with contracts that head into UFA years.

  13. leafy says:

    What a joke that James Reimer doesn’t even get an invite to Team Canada orientation. He can still make the team eventually, but it’s still a joke.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      The joke is that he’s the second highest paid goaltender of the Leafs.

    • I figured he’d get an invite, but truthfully, I didn’t see him making the team. Too many proven goalies – sure they bomb in playoffs, but you can’t take away everything else they do well during the season.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Holtby over Reimer is tough to take.

      • LN91 says:

        I understand your point, but whose proven?

        – Carey Price is inconsistent from Vezina to ‘The Price is Red Light’

        – Roberto Luongo. Enough said.

        – Corey Crawford. It looks like anyone can win with a Chicago team.

        – Braden Holtby pretty much lost his job to Neuvrith.

        – Mike Smith, at this point, should be the starter.

        Ironic though…When I look at Canadian goalies in the last while…Reimer has pretty much carried the Leafs on his back for 2/3 seasons (concussion issues derailed his Sophmore slump, thanks Gionta) and Jonathann Bernier (on average) has some of the better stats.

        • reinjosh says:

          Agreed. Although not on Luongo, but that’s more of a small nitpick really. Luongo had a bad year, but it was teh first in ages. I guess it depends on how you view him in big games. He did win Gold playing with Canada as the starter…

          Smith didn’t have the best of years but he also wasn’t on the best defensive team. I’d be willing to let him take the starter spot.

  14. nordiques100 says:

    Damien Cox is reporting the Leafs are close to signing Paul Ranger to an NHL contract.

    Interesting signing. He hasn’t played at the NHL level for a while but was pretty good with Tampa. Hopefully the personal issues are behind him.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Ranger is an interesting pick up, I don’t see the guy as a head case, it takes character to give walk away from an NHL contract, he must have had the confidence to think he could earn again whenever he wanted too. Confidence for young players is half the battle.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        He has signed a 1 year deal worth $1mil. He was with us in the minors last season, so we know him. He has admitted it was personal issues that made him walk away, that doesn’t make him a headcase, but let’s hope he got it sorted out.
        I like what Ranger can do. He has size, skates well, moves the puck well and is pretty decent in his own end.
        We have Phaneuf, Gunnar, Liles, Gardiner, Brennan, Ranger and Holzer signed. Franson and Fraser to go. Liles is the likely casualty if there is a taker…something will have to give, sooner or later.

        • LN91 says:

          I’m willing to send Fraser to Yellowknife if all works out well.

          A D has to go, but who? Dun dun dun.

          I would not be surprised if Blacker has a solid camp too.

          • reinjosh says:

            I would be. I don’t see much liklihood of him making it this year. Or next tbh. But then again I haven’t seen him much so I won’t pretend to be anywhere near knowledgeable on him.

            • LN91 says:

              Josh…Just because a player does not average a PPG, does not make him a bad player or failed prospect. Blacker was always a more defensive D-Men prospect.

              Some of you posters are seriously blindsided by how many points a guy registers in a season.

              • Gambo says:

                I like Blacker, he’s a fairly aggressive player both offensively and defensively. Some times too aggressive in his decision making though. If he can clean up his defensive game a little more then he could have a shot in making the team. He also has a blast from the point and is right handed which is a growing demand right now.

  15. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Just listened to another David Clarkson ‘I want to be the next Wendal speech’ do people forget that Wendal was a 1st overall pick? Clarky I’ll be elated if you can be the next Steve Thomas.

    • reinjosh says:

      I’ll be elated if he gets 20 goals and 40 points. I’m not expecting much. I’ll be happy if he creates a little chaos on the ice and allows Kadri and whoever the other winger is to have their way on the ice doing what they do. I won’t love the contract but I’ll live I guess.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        20+ goals and 40+ pts is a solid season for Clarkson. I am not thrilled with the contract either, but we need a guy like him in our top 6.
        It is easier for me to take over-paying a new addition to the team if he truly fills a void, compared to over-paying a guy just because he is the best we have or may be a slight improvement on what we have(Connolly signing).
        We have nothing like Clarkson, so I will live with the contract. Bernier, if he steals the number 1 spot, will be a bargain at $2.9 (although he will have to be great to take it away from Reimer) or is still tradable at that hit.

  16. leafs_wallace93 says:

    So Nonis gets a five year extension and literally the next day Dreger is saying that he’ll have to trade Franson for a pick and prospect for cap considerations? Not exactly inspiring trade a guy that should be a staple of our top four for years to come.

    Also what’s the deal with burying contracts in the minors post last CBA? Can we not just put Liles on the minors?

    • Gambo says:

      Franson should be a lock in our top 4 for a long time, these rumors are stupid. Sign the guy.

      You can’t just send players down anymore, you’ll still have most of their salary count against your cap. Here’s a link explaining it:

      http://capgeek.com/new-cba

      Go to the “Wade Redden rule”

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        What would our blueline look like without him???

        Phaneuf – Gunner
        Gardiner – Liles
        Ranger – Holzer
        Brennan

        Even if we trade or waive Liles to sign Franson 5-7 is concerning and no one better get injured.

        Pretty ugly

        • Gambo says:

          It doesn’t look that good.

          Nonis did say he can see Ranger being a top 4 defenseman on the leafs. I’m really excited to see how he handles himself. They have a bunch of younger players that could surprise at camp. Holzer could play well given a lesser role, who knows. But on paper it doesn’t look good, especially without Franson.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          We shouldn’t be letting a young 6’5″ D-man with good upside and offensive game go. If Ranger really “wants” to play again. He could be a big help on the cheap.

        • leafy says:

          Franson will get signed. I wouldn’t worry about it.

  17. LN91 says:

    Well, this is what happens when you ‘build’ a team around Kessel and Phaneuf.

    Gunnar and Bozak stay…Grabovski and Franson could most likely go.

    Pathetic.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Just read the solution to cap woes in TSN comments….

      Leafs should be a floor time salry cap wise. You could get high level prospects pick for Lupul, Kessel, JVR, Phaneuf, Franson and not worsen the team. I would love to see a deal where Leafs trade Kessel to the Avs for Ryan O’Reilly, Chris Bigras and a 1st rd pick. Lupul to the Pens for Beau Bennett and 1st rd pick. JVR for LA for Tyler Toffoli, Kyle Clifford & a 1st rd pick. Nonis has to start making deals like that.

      I love internet fans.

      Look at everyone lining up for Garbo, what a gem he is, he almost had a goal in the playoffs.

      • LN91 says:

        Grabo, well…Like I said he could go back to Belarus.

        Can Toronto survive without Franson?

        Weird, I’m talking a 2nd Pairing D-men like he’s God…But lord knows if Phaneuf-Gunnar are going to suck horribly (as always), whose going to pick up the slack? Liles?

  18. Any news on the Kadri situation? He hasn’t filed for Arbitration, right? Any chance the leafs are waiting to see if Rangers sign Stepan before giving Kadri what he wants?

  19. DannyLeafs says:

    Kadri doesn’t have arbitration rights, throw in that not many teams have the cap space and picks required to be an offer sheet threat, and even if they did there are guys like Stepan and Hodgson who may be more attractive for varying reasons, and there is no real pressure on the Leafs to do anything in a hurry.

    I think in the end Nonis and Kadri’s agent probably realize this is going to get done at a 2.5-3 million cap hit for 2 years, meaning it’s not the most pressing issue.

    The Franson situation should be Nonis’ priority right now, I feel like shortly after that resolves itself, Kadri will be signed.

  20. 93killer93 says:

    According to Dreger Leafs are offering Fraser 850k per year, but he’s asking for 2mil per.

    • DannyLeafs says:

      I hope the arbitrator comes in a little closer to the Leafs number, over 1.5 million for a bottom pairing guy, no matter how good they play that role, just ruins his value. Fraser is effective because he plays that 3rd pairing 15-16 mintues a night well for a cost effective amount. Take away the cost effective part and we are better off opening a spot for a young guy.

      Sure would be nice to get rid of Liles contract. I am starting to wonder if the Leafs would have been better off buying out Liles and keeping Komisarek for the last year of his deal. The cap hit would have been an extra 700k initally, but if he got demoted to the AHL again, he would have cost 3.6 against the cap for just one final year, so it might not have been so bad.

      Also, they could have done a conventional buyout of Komi’s contract and it would have only cost 1.5 million against the cap for two years. That basically means they would have had more cap space for each of the next 3 years.

      If they can’t move Liles contract, I think there was a real opportunity missed there.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Good point on the Liles/Komi situation. A friend and I were just talking about the same scenario. I would have been fine with Komi as a 6/7 guy for one more year if it meant his and Liles contract off the books by end of the up-coming season.

        • DannyLeafs says:

          Also there is way more flexability with Komi. I mean if it came down to it would a team have accepted a deal where we held back half his salary and cap hit for that last year?

          The Leafs would still have over a million more cap space then they do now, and the team picking up Komi would basically have him on a one year deal for 2.25 million cap hit and 1.75 in salary. Not too bad.

          Also, the buyout wouldn’t be so bad either, we would have about 2.3 million in extra cap space for each of the next two years then we do right now, and after that it would be 3.875 for the final year.

          Again, better than now.

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