Leafs sign Clarkson

The Maple Leafs, who have plenty of cap space, have signed David Clarkson in addition to keeping Tyler Bozak. Bozak re-signed for $21 million over five years. The Leafs bid between $5.5 and $6 million for seven years on Clarkson, reports Doug MacLean, and the UFA agreed to a seven-year deal with Toronto:


92 Responses to Leafs sign Clarkson

  1. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Meh, would have preferred Weiss, especially given that Weiss didn’t get a terrible contract. Weiss said the Leafs didn’t contact him? Whats with people choosing Detroit and Philly as a place to live over Toronto?

    Bozak, sigh, Clarkson term, sigh however if we’re going to add via free agency players are going to be over paid, both received a million more per than their worth, standard practice. This may compound the fact that Kessel and Phaneuf are due to be overpaid themselves.

    It always should be a concern going into UFA season with too much cap room because a GM will have to spend it, we could have done worst that we did today.

    Still pretty stoked for next season, Clarkson still has fan favorite written all over him.

  2. doorman says:

    LOL, talking to so many leafs fans complaining about dollars and term for players, yet in past they cried cause we were not active. Well this is what free agency is, over payment. Bozak at 4 mil per is not terrible over payment and will help with resigning Kessel. Clarkson is exactly the type of player we need. So we may not like 7 yrs, but we have a player who keeps getting better and while not as tough as looch, maybe, is more consistent offensively, IMO. I also think Nonis has more irons in the fire, but that’s just a hunch.

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      More consistent offensively?


      27-42-38(pace)-61-62-48 (pace)

      Lucic is more consistent IMO. Steady improvement until this year, which is fair for a shortened season. Clarkson has a career high of 46 points! His career average is well under .5 PPG. He brings some toughness, sure. I remember signing Komisarek brought us toughness too. Clarkson will be booed out of Toronto, no doubt.

      • reinjosh says:

        Well at least a buyout next summer will only cost us 1.75 million a year until 2025/2026. That’s good right?

        I’m exasperated. This day has me so exasperated.

      • doorman says:

        Clarkson, i would argue has gotten better every year and is on an upward career swing. He doesn’t play with the type of players Lucic does. i think Lucic is overrated, but that’s just me. Clarkson will prove to be a good signing. like i said, you wanna play the bring in player game you over pay. Had Nonis done nothing, everyone would have bitched about that too, lol. A top 6 wing core of Lupul, Kessel, JVR and Clarkson is pretty solid in my books.

        • mapleleafsfan says:

          I think it’s more likely his 30 goal season was a fluke based off of all his other numbers, but he didn’t have a full season to prove himself this year so who knows.

          I don’t know. I’m happy to have Clarkson; he makes us better, but he’s way overpaid for way too long. Keep in mine he’s 29. 7 years is a long time, especially with the banger game he plays. I would be fine with the signing if it was 2-4 years. 7 years! A solid part of a decade. For that term he shouldn’t be making anywhere near 5 mill.

          I agree I would have bitched if Nonis did nothing, but I would much rather have signed Weiss to 4.9, Scuderi for 3.5 etc. Sure it’s free agency, but not many other contracts given out today are as standout brutal as Clarksons. The only comparable is Clowe, but at least his is shorter.

          Brightside though. It’s nice to have a serious net presence for PP etc.

          • doorman says:

            Scuderi said he wanted to play closer to home. I like Weiss but I am not sad we didn’t get him. i hate to say Bozak keeps kessel, but it could be true. we are a harder team to play against, IMO. i am not saying we will be better, but we definatly have put better pieces in place for a year or two down the road to be very competitive if players keep progressing

      • razer1818 says:

        Good numbers for playing on a low scoring Defense only team

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      And I am all for spending big money in FA, but to bring superstars. Problem with the leafs is we shell out the big bucks for mid level talent. Not being able to bury contracts in the minors makes these signings even worse.

  3. reinjosh says:

    Well I’m a skeptic at this point. I am absolutely not pleased with this offseason so far.

    I don’t like Bozak being resigned. I hate giving Clarkson that kind of money. I’m not exactly thrilled about giving our third line center duties to a perpetually injured player. Bernier is about the only deal I’m ok with at this point and I’m just very meh on it.

    I’m absolutely annoyed how slow Clarkson is going to make us. His skating is going to hurt one of our biggest strengths last season. Don’t even get me started on the term both Bozak and Clarkson received.

    I know I know, devil you do know with Bozak, Bolland is a cup winner and an actual cheaper and effective third line center (over Grabo) and Clarkson is a power forward who makes us very tough to play against. But I’m still not happy at the moment. At all.

    • nordiques100 says:

      Clarkson looked slow on NJ because the whole team skates in quick sand.

      Clarkson on the leafs, with Bozak, Kessel, JVR, Lupul, Kadri, etc etc he’s surrounded by speed and he has a role getting to the net, creating havoc in front and being physical.

      Its a unique element. A different element. remember back in the day we signed Blake, a LH shot who thrives on his off wing a la Darcy Tucker.

      Clarkson adds a new piece to the top 6. Rugged Physical play. with JVR’s size, Lupul and his heart and skill, Bozak on draws and Kadri’s playmaking and Kessel being Kessel, its a nice mix.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Better off keeping Garbo and cutting bait because you could have just hit reset next season and buying him out if he wasn’t a fit.

      • nordiques100 says:

        based on relationship with coach, i think he wasnt a fit now. it seems pretty clear thats the case.

      • nordiques100 says:

        again, $$$ to Komisarek and Grabo now allocated to Bozak and Clarkson. Komisarek played 4 games for Toronto and did nothing.

        The choice was Bozak over Grabovski. I understand it. I may not like the bozak signing but i understand it.

        its a kiss of death once the coach has no faith in you. to wait a year, maybe it may have worked, but based on grabo’s comments it sure looked like a firestorm waiting to happen and probably soemthing that wasn’t going to work at all.

        • LN91 says:

          I’m okay with the Bozak cap hit because I know he can produce like a player that makes similar money.

          Now, if he got 5.5. Well, Toronto should just shoot themselves in the point.

          Looks like the contract runs until Gauthier hits his prime and they will go from there.

      • leafy says:

        So Ottawa added Bobby Ryan? Yeah okay. How much you guys wanna bet the Senators will take a step back this coming season? Alfredsson was the heart and soul of that team.They will not be the same team, you wait and see.

        • mojo19 says:

          Interesting Leafy. Ryan is a talented guy, I don’t know it could go either way. Alfie was on the decline but Ryan still has years to go.

          Having said that, Ryan is not clutch, Alfredsson, as much as I hate him, was clutch. So your theory might be correct.

  4. nordiques100 says:

    Bobby Ryan to the Sens from Anaheim for Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a 1st round pick.

  5. reinjosh says:

    Wow. Bobby Ryan is a Senator. Silfverberg, Noesen and a 1st to Anaheim.

    And this day is getting worse. In successive days Boston has gotten better, now the Sens are. Joyous.

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      What a steal. Michalek – Spezza – Ryan is a nasty top line.

      • nordiques100 says:

        its a good hockey trade.

        Silfverberg will be a real good one. Noesen a former 1st and they get another 1st.

        It was a high price. but, that’s the bonus of Ottawa when they gave up that one year, trading Fisher, trading everyone to pick up picks and they loaded up with youth.

    • LN91 says:

      How’s Boston better?

      They lost Horton, Seguin, Ference, Jagr (so far) and Peverley and only gained Eriksson.

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      Detroit isn’t going to be fun to play at all – bad timing for them to come to the east. Their top 6 is really solid now.

  6. leafy says:

    I like the Clarkson signing.

    Look at what the Leafs have done so far. They replaced Grabowinski and Clark Kent MacArthur with Clarkson and Bolland. Much more miserable team to play against if you’re an opponent, and possibly a slight GAIN in offensive productivity. At worse, same productivity but a threefold increase in sandpaper.

    The Leafs were already a pain in the ass to play against. Just ask the Bruins. Now you’ve just added Clarkson and Bolland. Are you kidding me?

    Clarkson type players are very valuable. A take no prisoners player, physical, always involved, and still can score. The type you need to beat teams like Boston. The Leaf rivals in the East hate this move.

    Sure he’s a little expensive, but that’s free agency.

    I can also live with the Bozak trade. A bit over 4 mil. That seems reasonable.

    If the Leafs can get a first line center, look out. But I’d try to add a quality defenseman now.

  7. mojo19 says:

    Henrik Zetterberg – Pavol Datsyuk – Johan Franzen
    Todd Bertuzzi – Stephen Weiss – Daniel Alfredsson
    Justin Abdelkaeder – Darren Helm – Gustav Nyqvist
    Mike Samuelsson – Drew Miller – Patrick Eaves/Jaoquim Andersson
    +Cory Emerton

    Good looking forwards, but their D isn’t so pretty.

    • LN91 says:

      Yes, decent looking forward group. But their are some very old legs in that top-six.

      Teams like Toronto and Boston will play an average skill, physically pounding game. Can you see many of those players holding their own for a long period of time?

      • mojo19 says:

        Well I’ll tell you this. There will be some nights when Toronto is skating hard, and we’re going to beat Detroit. There are going to be other games where were a little flat footed and these veterans are going to make smart passes and pick us apart.

        Should be a good division anyways.

        The way it stands right now I wouldn’t be surprised to see Toronto, Detroit, Boston, or Ottawa win it. Montreal could be in the mix along with Tampa but they’re more underdogs. As for Buffalo and Florida, well thank God someone we should be able to beat up on.

    • leafy says:

      I’m still waiting for Detroit to have a bad season. Hope it happens in this lifetime.

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      Switch Bert and Nyqvist, and slot Tatar in there I imagine. Solid team for sure. But I agree, their D is shaky. Anyone care to throw out very early east predictions next year? I have no clue at all.

      • mojo19 says:

        Sure, right now, our division/conference whatever its called now –

        1. Boston
        2. Detroit
        3. Ottawa
        4. Toronto
        5. Tampa Bay
        6. Montreal
        7. Buffalo
        8. Florida

        • mapleleafsfan says:

          I’d say

          1) Ottawa
          2) Boston
          3) Detroit
          4) Toronto
          5) Montreal
          6) Tampa
          7) Buffalo
          8) Florida

          Ottawa is a really good young team. Ryan is going to absolutely light it up. He’s got a drive now, and him and spezza will be magic (his tweet was awesome too). They might slip a bit without Alfie, but Maclean is a great coach, he’ll get them going.

          Also, how the hell to divisions work now? How many teams from that 8 make it? 4?

  8. mojo19 says:

    Top remaining free agents for Toronto –

    Centre – Kadri, Bolland, Bozak, McClement, Colborne.
    Probably not looking at anyone right now, but I’d like to see us maybe add one more guy.

    Peter Mueller
    Saku Koivu
    Manny Malholtra
    Nik Antropov

    Any of these guys could come in as the last forward, at the right price. Mueller and Nik can clip to wing, some versatility there.

    Wingers – Kessel, Lupul, JVR, Clarkson, Kulemin, Orr, McLaren, Ashton
    We could look from within to fill out the rest of our line up, or we could look at one more winger via free agency. Here’s a few guys:

    Jarome Iginla – probably too pricey
    Jaromir Jagr – 1 year deal?
    Teemu Selanne – dreaming, I know
    more likely to go for a role player like:
    Brendan Morrow
    Matt Cooke
    Dustin Penner
    Dan Cleary
    Jamie Langenbrunner

    And would anyone be interested in Damien Brunner?

  9. mojo19 says:

    Leafs sign TJ Brennan. Does that mean the end of Mark Fraser as a Leaf?

  10. mojo19 says:

    Awesome tweet by Dustin Penner: “Anyone know how to use monster.com? Asking for a friend…” haha he’ll get a contract from someone, might have to wait for the initial dust to settle though.

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      Hahaha what a beauty. Yea no way he goes unsigned. He’s had his ups and downs but he’s a fairly solid player with cup experience.

  11. mojo19 says:

    Dave Nonis: “We were never in on Stephen Weiss.”

  12. DannyLeafs says:

    I actually am pretty happy with the Leafs off season. I like the Bozak signing, considering he was reportedly asking for 5.5 mil and 8 years, I really like that Nonis stuck to his guns and got him down so much. I said a day or so ago that I would like to re-sign Bozak if they got him for say a 4 year 16 million deal, so I am not gonna gripe about an extra year and 200k. I really like the Clarkson signing, wish it was for 4.5 million at 5 years, but at the end of the day, I really do think he adds more than just about any other UFA. He provides more of what the Leafs need. They now have 6 top 6 guys who have all shown capable of scoring at better than a 20 goal pace, with 5 of them having at least one of the last two years at a 30 goal pace. That is a lot more fire power then we have had in years.

    We still have two thirds of what will be one of the better third lines in the conference in tact with Kulemin and Bolland and a young goalie tandem.

    The big thing I like about Clarkson and Bozak is both guys are multi-faceted and bring additional value. Both have value even if the production isn’t where we would like it. Bozak is making 2nd line money. If it turns out he doesn’t fit in our top six anymore, he would be a valuable third line guy. He would be worth at least 3 million doing that role putting up 40 or so points, so even if he gets replaced in the top six, he won’t be massively overpaid. Clarkson is a big bodied guy that can play top six minutes. He has 45 goals in his last 128 NHL games playing around 17 minutes a night. That puts him around a 29 goal pace for over a significant stretch of hockey. I do think 25 or so goals is a reasonable expectation. If he does that and throws his typical 200 hits, protects Kadri, screens the goalie, agitates the opposition, and gets his teammates riled up, he will be money well spent. If he dwindles away to a 15-20 goal scorer but does all the other things, he will be overpaid, but not by a massive amount. He will be Brandon Morrow-esque.

    I think the Bozak signing does singal one thing though. That is that Kadri is in audition mode. I think he just keeps his second line role, but I think he will either prove to be the Leafs #1 Center, or will likely be a guy that gets put on the block if they feel they need someone else. If Kadri can be a 70 pt guy, I think the Leafs center position and top 6 would be very strong. They project to be at the higher end of goals for, for a top six group in the League. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think this group could score 150+ goals. That would be massive. To me I think Carlyle will continue to play Bozak and Kessel together, you get the most out of Bozak that way, and Kessel has shown he doesn’t need a big #1 playmaker to be a star scoring winger. He can put up 35 goals and 80 points with Bozak. That way we can have an extremely dangerous second line if we do have a top notch scoring center, and then load them up on the PP or with the goalie pulled. I like the idea of having two highly dangerous lines and not giving other teams just one line to shut down.

    I really like that Nonis didn’t go after guys who are banged up. Bozak and Clarkson have missed few games due to injury, and don’t have histories that are indicators of future injuries. Weiss and Horton as a combo would have more skill, but if the Leafs had them with Lupul in our top six, it seems like there is a good chance of a good chunk of that group missing significant time.

    Finally, what I really am pumped about is that the Leafs had player who actually wanted to play here for reasons other than the money. Clarkson and Bozak likely could have gotten more else where, but wanted to be in Toronto. To me it was nice to see that after years of having most UFA’s having little interest in coming here.

    I still think the Leafs really need a top 4 D-man. It’s possible for the current group to get the job done if Gunnarsson can rebound from a bad year, and Franson and Gardiner can show their playoff performance was a sign of things to come, but it would be nice to have a good all-round or shut down guy. I have been a big advocate of keeping Phaneuf, and I would still like to, but I have earlier this year analysts were saying he would likely re-sign for less than his current contract at around 5 million. I would be all for that kind of deal, however I not if the Leafs give him Letang or Webber kind of money. He is a good D-man, but with the puck movers we have on the team, he could be replaced with a more defensive focused guy as long as they could handle his PK and 5-5 minutes, without really missing a beat. Franson and Gardiner would likely be just as dangerous (Maybe more) then Phaneuf and Franson, and with Rielly in the system they would definitely still have plenty of offensive from the back end in the long term.

    • Gambo says:

      Great post, everything was well said.

      I completely agree with what you said in your penultimate paragraph. It’s been a long time since we’ve had UFA’s take a lower salary because they wanted to join the Leafs. It’ll be nice to see players give their all for this team, which I think they will.

      • mojo19 says:

        And it’s always been everyone’s dream, something we’ve always said is “He’s a Toronto guy, so we could have an inside track to land him.” And its really only ever come true with Lindros and now Clarkson.

        • nordiques100 says:

          Clarkson was the No. 1 UFA on the board for TSN. The Leafs got him. Cant say that the Leafs ever landed anyone in the top 5 in any year since the 1st lockout. (Bozak was 4th on their board too)

  13. 93killer93 says:

    I would have liked to trade for Coburn but I doubt thats possible now. I hope they sign Mueller and I wouldn’t mind giving Teubert a chance in the minors.

  14. glotz_99 says:

    Wow can’t believe all the “overpaid” comments I’ve read, (not just on this website), but seriously every year when free agency opens every player gets an inflated contract. The league minimum is something like 875,000 a year just to play hockey which is way more than any neurosurgeon makes, so really every player in the nhl is overpaid, its all relative.

    Anyways love the Clarkson and Bozak signing as well as the Bolland trade, surprised they let Macarthur go to the Sens for the same price they were paying him last season, I feel like Nonis is going to try to acquire a d-man still.

    • DannyLeafs says:

      Right now the top six is pretty much set.

      JVR – Bozak – Kessel
      Lupul – Kadri – Clarkson

      MacArthur isn’t an ideal fit for the third line, and for that money they can let a prospects get a shot, or just us Mclement with Bolland and Kulemin to have a great shutdown line.

      I think Nonis also really understands the value of having that flexability to match offer sheets with a handful of coveted RFA’s, and make trades if necessary. I still think that Nonis wants a defensemen so its possible they look to add via trade by taking advantage of one of the teams tight against the cap.

      • toronto77 says:

        If Bozak is the no.1 centre for the leafs at the start of the season than I will personally go down to the ACC and through waffles at him!

        The top 6 should be:


        I only like Bozak for his face-offs and PK, 5 on 5 he is not a no.1 centre on any team in this league.

        I have repeated myself like a broken record, he is a PERFECT 3rd line centre and that’s not a bad thing!

        Kadri has more speed, skill and toughness than Bozak and goes hard to the net and is just as good a passer, other than face-offs I can’t think of damn thing Bozak can do better then Kadri.

        The few times that Kadri was paired with Kessel they were electric!

        The leafs failed miserably the 1st 2 years with Bozak as the no.1, they made the playoffs the 3rd year, but they had a more experienced Kadri, JVR, great goaltending and much better special teams ala McClement, Fraser. Aside from the shorthanded goal he scored in game 5, he was one of their worst forwards.

        I don’t like Bolland as the no.2 centre but maybe he’ll have great chemistry with fellow Mimico native Clarkson.

        We’ll see how training camp goes, but I suspect Kadri to get the no.1 and Bozak and Bolland battle for no.2

        • blaze says:

          Kadri had one hot streak while being perhaps the most sheltered player on the entire team routinely playing a soft 15 minute night.

          Why is it hard to think it might be to soon to be put in that role.

          Think about it.

        • blaze says:

          Bozak also played more ice time than any other forward.

        • DannyLeafs says:

          It’s not that I see Bozak as our #1, I just think spreading the offense In a way we know works makes sense. If we went by talent and ability our first line would be

          Lupul – Kadri – Kessel

          Problem would be that

          JVR – Bozak – Clarkson

          Doesn’t have a focal point or main puck carrier. We know that

          JVR – Bozak – Kessel can produce a combined 70-80 goals between them. Good production for any line.
          Clarkson will need to play with at least one guy who can handle the puck. So he needs a guy like Kadri more than Kessel does. I still see Kadri as our # 1 if he continues to develop, but I just don’t think Carlyle would play him with Kessel. It’s not just Kadri either. I think if we had Stamkos, Giroux, RNH, Duchene, or basically any other center who isn’t a big bodies playmaker, they would play in Kadris spot as Carlyle would like to split the talent. Just my opinion but I think the lines are more dangerous if we split Kessel and Kadri for the majority of the time then used them in desperate situations and in the PP.

  15. DannyLeafs says:

    Iginla to Boston. Love what the Leafs did, but there conference seems to have more talent coming in then going out.

    Boston loses a little, but I think Iginla and Eriksson could be an upgrade over Seguin and Horton for what the Bruins need and how they will fit.

    Upside is that Tampa, Florida and Buffalo are no better.

  16. DannyLeafs says:

    Anyone think that Montreal really missed the boat on the Ryan deal. I mean lots of teams could use a guy like that, but was there a team in the East that needed him more than Montreal? They could have made as good a deal too.


  17. mojo19 says:

    Philly, Detroit, Tampa, Sharks, Jackets, all over the cap

  18. DannyLeafs says:

    I would like to target the Sharks. Outside of Havlat they have no one they would like to dump, and since they cant buy him out or trade him, they need to trim down. I think a guy like Vlasic or Stuart would be what the Leafs are looking for, and would be an upgrade over Gunnarsson. Wonder if they would do that trade straight up, Sharks don’t take a massive loss on defense and get under the cap. Leafs take advantage, upgrade a D-man and even Vlasic wouldn’t be a huge increase over what Gunnarson would sign for (1.5-2mil?) so I think they can fit it under the cap. What would be even nicer is if they could trade say Liles and a Mediocre prospect. Just enough to get SJ under the cap, and Liles might fit what they are looking as they need a PP guy. Leafs turn Liles into a top 4 defensive guy, barely pay more.

  19. DannyLeafs says:

    I would like to target the Sharks. Outside of Havlat they have no one they would like to dump, and since they cant buy him out or trade him, they need to trim down. I think a guy like Vlasic or Stuart would be what the Leafs are looking for, and would be an upgrade over Gunnarsson. Wonder if they would do that trade straight up, Sharks don’t take a massive loss on defense and get under the cap. Leafs take advantage, upgrade a D-man and even Vlasic wouldn’t be a huge increase over what Gunnarson would sign for (1.5-2mil?) so I think they can fit it under the cap. What would be even nicer is if they could trade say Liles and a Mediocre prospect. Just enough to get SJ under the cap, and Liles might fit what they are looking as they need a PP guy. Leafs turn Liles into a top 4 defensive guy, barely pay more.

    Hope the Leafs can get a top 4 D. Would have essentially upgraded every position. Wing, center, top 6 and bottom 6 group, and goal. That top 4 D would be a nice fill in, and so far, I feel like the prospect depth and future potential has improved, or at least in areas of need.

  20. TmLeafan says:

    I can’t understand so much Bozak hate on here. He is getting paid 4.2 mil per year it is probably a bit of an overpayment but I think it is hard to argue Bozak is worth any less than 3.5.

    And what were the other options? An old and slow Lecavalier, Weiss who is only marginally better offensively than Bozak. Boyd Gordon the 4th line Centre on the non-playoff Phoenix Coyotes? Briere, also injury prone and lost a step. All these players are consideribly older as well.

    Don’t get me wrong I don’t love Bozak and I know it is frustrating not seeing that big fish come in but considering our options we could do a lot worse. One of the biggest reasons we made the playoffs last year was our penalty kill and Bozak was a big part of that. A big reason we lost in the playoffs was that we were bad on the draw, Bozak is a great faceoff guy.

    Very excited about Clarkson, not so happy with the term. How hard he plays I have trouble seeing a 35 year old Clarkson being worth 5.25 mil cap hit.

    • toronto77 says:

      It’s not that I hate Bozak, I just want to see an improvement to the no.1 centre spot.

      of all the other 15 teams that made the playoffs look at their no.1 centre men

      Pitt-Crosby, Mtl-Plekanec, Wash-Backstrom, Bos-Bergeron, NYR-Callahan, Ott-had Alfie, NYI-Tavares

      Chi-Toews, Ana-Getzlaf, Van-H.Sedin, LA-Brown, Stl-Backes, SJ-Thorton, Det-Zetterberg, Minn-Koivu

      With the exception of maybe Plekanec you cannot compare Bozak to either one of these centre men.

      He is very important on the PK and in key face-off situations but 5 on 5 I am not too crazy.

      Perhaps like blaze commented on my post above, Bozak played more minutes than Kadri and faced tougher opponents and for the first half the season not too many opposing teams worried about Kadri, and I agree, however Kadri is still developing and brings so much to the table. Maybe Bozak does start as the no.1 at the beginning of the season, but whether its at the beginning or halfway through I would expect for Kadri to take the no.1 spot from Bozak.

      I don’t regret re-signing him, but as the no.1??? come on!

  21. nordiques100 says:

    Is Bozak overpaid? certainly. But, he actually came in at way less than what I expected. I would have perhaps gone to 4.9 for Weiss, but, with injury history, i guess that was Toronto’s concern.

    4.2 for Bozak is better than 5 for Filppula or 5.5 for Ribiero which I found excessive and surprising.

    Bozak is Kessel’s closest friend on the team. He has good chemistry with him and was good last year on draws and the PK. He needs to pick up his production for sure, but our best forward is happy. That’s a good thing.

    His hit, 4.2 mil replaces what we were paying Komisarek. So, cap wise comparing to last year, its a wash.

    He definitely isn’t ideal for the no. 1 centre job. He definitely is not the best option overall (some better trade route possibilities), but today he was.

    And i guess its Bozak at 4.2 or trading Gardiner to get someone overrated too like Gagner.

    Bolland is much better suited to fill the role Grabovski had. He is definitely more a Carlyle player and his grit, experience and checking will be great. He fits the style much better. His contract replaces MacArthur. An upgrade IMO.

    Clarkson adds a different element to the Leafs top 6 which we don’t have. Physicality. JVR is big, but not overly physical. Lupul gives it his all, but again, not a true physical guy. Clarkson may never score 30 again, but he’ll create havoc on the forecheck, take the body, protect the skill guys immediately, work hard, go to the next and give the speed guys space.

    yes 7 years and over 5 mil is excessive. but nice to see the no. 1 overall UFA choose Toronto.

    Clarkson helps Toronto no longer be pushovers. Or at least ensures the work last year carries on. I think he should get a lot of garbage goals still no matter who he’s lining up with.

    I think too, with the way Kadri plays (clean dirty), someone riding shotgun is nice.

    His addition too creates the depth for Toronto to have Bolland with Kulemin on a checking line. In fact, Mcclement will likely join them to protect leads in the last 10 minutes of games. That kind of checking trio was missing on the Leafs.

    Bernier will really challenge for the no. 1 role in goal. If he plays to that potential that LA thought he had, causing them severe reluctance to move him, we got ourselves a keeper. And if Reimer is Reimer who stole a lot of games for Toronto last year, well, the goaltending could make up for the lack of D upgrades.

    Its been an interesting off-season so far for Toronto. The core is being kept intact, the additions off-set the subtractions and are in most cases upgrades, and overall it seems coach and GM are on the same page with a greater number of players better fits for this coach.

    Toronto is still in a position to extend Kessel (likely the cap increase covering off any salary increase for Phil), same for Dion, or finding his outright replacement, and probably keeping others too like Bolland, Mcclement who are UFAs in 2014. And reupping Gardiner.

    They’ll be hovering near the cap this year, which is fine. They have some ???? deals but so do every other team.

    Breathing space can be had with dumping of Liles. I am sure there is a need out there for a puck moving Dman.

    And i believe too there will be players still out there that can be had for bargain basement prices. Like Matt Niskanen for example. He could be made available and his speed and puck moving ability would help Toronto.

    Or how about another Pen, Jussi Jokinen. His faceoffs and his shootout skills would help Toronto plenty. There are certainly other examples.

    If Toronto maintains itself as a speed team, and the core being still together suggests that’s the case, plus be a hard working hard to play against group, which it certainly has the personnel to be, there is a lot to like about this team.

    Good on them to be smart, but aggressive and actually target guys they wanted, not just throw $$$ and hope someone signs. (blake, kubina, etc)

    I’m happy to actually see a plan of attack here. a purposeful idea of what they want their team to be.

  22. toronto77 says:

    Leafs sign Bernier to a 2-year contract worth 5.8mil

  23. toronto77 says:

    So what are the line-ups?

    Kulemin-Bozak/Bolland-marlie call-up(Ashton, D’Amigo)

    I guess the top 3 centre spots are up for grabs, and I never realized this before but our bottom 6 is still pretty undetermined.

  24. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    As most know, I am a huge fan of Clarkson and have been saying for a few years he is just what we need. I am not happy with the cost or term of either signing(Bozak,Clarkson) today, but I am trying to look at it this way.
    I would make that trade without a second thought.
    Clarkson will bring an element on the wing we haven’t seen in years. I am not saying he is Wendal, but he is the closest thing we have had to a Wendal since…well, Wendal.
    Bolland may surprise if given a more offensive roll and adding Bernier may give us the best Goalie tandem in the League.
    Now, what the hell is his plan for the D? I’m thinking trade. Also a Big third line winger is needed unless they plan to put McClement or Colborne there.
    D is the big need. Douglas Murray is still out there, but we need a top 4. Has to be a trade brewing. Right?

    • toronto77 says:

      Since the top 3 centre positions are pretty much set, I think it’s nearly impossible for Colborne to make the team no matter how hard he tries. I think he would be a good option for injury replacements, but maybe Nonis tries to package him in a deal to acquire a verteran dman.

      I wonder what kind of a defence man Colborne, Blacker, Liles and a 2nd round pick in 2014 would fetch you?

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Gary Roberts was our closest thing to Wendal since Wendal.

      Colborne will get a great look in that spot as soon as one of Kadri, Bolland or that guy Nonis resigned gets injured.

  25. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    True, I forgot about Roberts. Clark, Roberts and now Clarkson…not many over the past 20 years that play that style.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Todd Warriner?

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Ok, I will give you Roberts obviously, but Todd Warriner?lol

        • leafs_wallace93 says:

          Kent Manderville

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            Hahaha…I was referring to guys who can actually score as well. Let’s not forget Foligno, Craig and Kypreos as well then. Or Derek King. Now there’s a good one.LOL
            I’m sure you have others…lol

            • leafs_wallace93 says:

              When I was a TA I marked Nick Foligno’s papers, don’t trip over that name I dropped.

              Power forward Mark Bell

              Skilled winger Dmitri Kristich (wow Boston stop giving us all your franchise wingers already).

              Randy Wood….

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                You got Kris King as well and of course we had Owen Nolan in his prime. You’re right, we HAVE been loaded with tough, gritty wingers who can score 20+ goals a year, bang, crash and fight when needed. I just forgot, that’s all.LOL

    • doorman says:

      Not to be a douche but if we are going to compare Clarkson to Wendel, can we all at least spell his name right? lol. I have also said Clarkson is what this team needed. We are a harder team to play against and deeper then in recent memory. I am pleased with Nonis being proactive and do not believe he is done yet. While a lot don’t like him he is very patient and methodical. This will be a great trait when it comes time to “help” teams in cap trouble, IMO

  26. nordiques100 says:

    The Leafs top 6 forwards (Lupul, Kessel, JVR, Clarkson, Bozak, Kadri) are at just over 24 million with still Kadri to re-sign.

    Their bottom 6 forwards (McClement, Bolland, Kulemin, Orr, McLaren) total over 9 million with one more spot to fill.

    Their depth options include:
    Colborne – unsigned
    D’Amigo – 1 million
    Ashton – 1 million

    These are the 3 closest to making the team. Others include Biggs, Ross, McKegg, Leivo, Ryan.

    Suffice to say another bottom 6 guy plus some veteran depth to replace guys like Ryan Hamilton would be nice to have.

    On Defence, their top 6 (Phaneuf, Gardiner, Franson, Gunnarsson, Liles, Fraser) are at 11.5 mil with Franson, Fraser and Gunnarsson needing new contracts still.

    Candidates to either win a top 6 job or be the depth guy include Blacker, Brennan, Granberg, and in only a top 6 role, Reilly.

    Percy, Finn and Nilsson are not quite there.

    They are set in goal: Reimer, Bernier who total 4.7 million which combined I read was less than 12 goalies and their own cap hit.

    Excluding the bonus cushion (which is only about 300K), and adding their 2 buyouts they still have on the books (Armstrong and Tucker) + retained salary (Frattin/Scrivens) the team is at $52.3 mil. Leaving about 12.1 mil in cap space.

    Much of it is going to Franson, Fraser, Gunnarsson and Kadri.

    I’m guessing:
    2yrs x 3 mil for Kadri (the prove it to me deal)
    3yrs x 3 mil for Franson (nearly triples salary)
    1yr x 900K for Fraser (300K raise)
    3yrs x 2.6 mil for Gunnarsson (doubles salary)

    Thats 9.5 of the 12 mil in cap space. I’m just guestimating so predict the re-signings of those 4 players to fall between 8 mil to 10 mil. Throw in another million for Colborne and that leaves next to nothing left except some breathing room.

    If they ever want to improve their D, Liles has to be dumped. Their’s also two forward spots to fill and an additional depth Dman.

    I have to believe Liles will be given away. Even if it means getting nothing in return and putting the 6th Dman job up for a battle among young players.

    But Carlyle/Nonis like their D depth so for sure something will be added still…provided again, they move Liles.

    If they did move him, there are a couple of affordable players I’d go after.

    1. Cory Emmerton – Versatile forward in Detroit potentially caught in numbers game there plus out of options. He’s making 500K. He has played up and down the lineup but mostly been the 4th line centre filling in for the injured Darren Helm. They’d probably prefer moving Samuelsson or Bertuzzi or both, but with Helm returning, Andersson there, who was ok in the playoffs, and Tatar also out of options, something must give.

    I’d move a 4th rounder and even throw in a 5th or 6th in a different year to get Emmerton. He’d be a nice 12th/13th forward.

    2. Marco Scandella – He may be harder to acquire, but, if the Leafs could help Minnesota out and take a salary with them (like say Mike Rupp whom they can try and flip elsewhere), there may be something.

    Perhaps even offering Percy for Scandella + salary dump could work. Scandella is a big, 6’3 defensive defenceman who has mobility. He’s young and only makes 1 mil. He’d help the Leafs immediately at age 23 as opposed to Percy taking probably 2 more years. He has upside and is the kind of defensive defenceman Carlyle would like. A bigger version of Gunnarsson with more physicality is what i liken Scandella to be.

    Both Emmerton and Scandella fit the Leafs core of being young and having some upside and room to grow.

    Another option is to sign UFA Jonathon Blum. But the thinking is he’s eyeing Vancouver.

    For strictly organizational depth purposes, the team should sign Blake Kessel, Phil’s brother who is a Dman.

    Up front, forward Matt Halishcuk is a good option. He played in Kitchener for Steve Spott who has worked with the Rangers the last 13 years.

    So there are a few cheap options they can explore. I think though its imperative they move Liles.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Blake would work on the make Kessel happy until he resigns front (then ‘randomly’ drug test Bozak).

      Was thinking about the cap crunch but isn’t really just temporary? The TSN was saying people expect the cap to rise up to 80 million well before this CBA ends. Would it matter if we gave ‘elite’ moneys to Dion & Phil? The cap is artificially low right now.

      Leafs didn’t give Fraser a qualifier so he’s basically gone. Two spots to fill if we get rid of Liles.

    • Steven_Leafs0 says:

      Liles to NYI for B.Kessel + pick (whatever you can get, start with a 2nd and keep asking until it is a 7th if you have to).

      We dump 3.8M in cap space which can be used to sign another depth D-man and leave some space open for mid-season moves, and get Blake for the Marlies to have both Kessel in Toronto. Which will hopefully get Kessel to sign an 8-year extension for $6.5M per year. Extremely wishful thinking considering he can easily make 7.5-8M per but maybe if Nonis goes down on him Kessel will take a hometown discount.

      Best buddy Tyler, best bro Blake, town loves ya, Nonis “loves” you hard. Take the discount man! lol


      • mojo19 says:

        I think the Flyers left Blake Kessel unsigned making him a group IV UFA. So we could sign him as a UFA and get him in the system.

        But ya the Islanders are a possible destination to pick up Liles, maybe for a 4th or something, and free up the cap room.

  27. doorman says:

    For all those calling for another dman, IMO, we already have a quality guy in the system. Paul Ranger after a full and successful year with the Marlies should be ready to play in the NHL again, if he wants to. It is a move that really costs us nothing.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      The thing about Ranger is…is he ready for NHL hockey mentally. I mean the guy basically disappeared for almost two years. He played very well for the Marlies, but got a concussion and struggled after that if I remember. High skill, but mentally, not sure.

      • mojo19 says:

        Ya Ranger is a weird wild card. He didn’t even have any interest in being called up last year. Flakey guy. But if he wanted to play, he could potentially earn a spot at camp as it stands right now.

        • doorman says:

          He said last year he wanted to play the season in the AHL as to be sure he was ready. Now i am not saying he is different, only he knows why he walked away from the game. But I don’t think he would go to camp if he didn’t think he was ready.

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