Leafs Will Get Somebody But Definitely Not Everybody

The biggest argument among members of HTR is who will or will not end up with the Toronto Maple Leafs. This argument will never die. No matter who the player, they have been rumoured to come to Toronto. And on the flip side, no matter who the player, they have zero chance of ending up with the Leafs.

In reality, the Leafs have only 8 players under contract. They are going to need to fill their roster some how. With limited NHL ready prospects on the horizon, they will need to find players whether it be through trade, free agency or waiver. This means that out of the 700 players in the NHL, and out of the 400 plus free agents out there, a few will be Maple Leafs. Who and how much remains unknown.

Much of it depends on how JFJ decides to tweak his roster. If it remains status quo, and no one gets bought out, and the restricted free agents return, there will be limited room under the cap to do anything significant.

If JFJ decides to buy out/trade some players whether it be:

Owen Nolan and his 5 million injuries and dollars

Ed Belfour and his questionable back

Tomas Kaberle and his indifferent play

Ken Klee who is not worth the 1.9 Million he is due Bryan McCabe whom the Leafs could drop in order to make an upgrade on defence

he will have room to maneuvre with. He could also choose not to qualify any of his restricted free agents giving him the option to use that money on someone else.

There are possibilities out there, some more extreme than others but while we wait until August 1st to happen, everyone is pretty much fair game and with this new CBA, we do not know how the market will be like.

Here is a look at who is available and their chances of ending up in Toronto.

Sergei Fedorov (1%) – Feds would have to take a large paycut to ever end up in Toronto. But him and Sundin are too similar making him redundant.

Martin Gelinas (3%) – He is a UFA who would probably come cheap. Because of his former ties with Pat Quinn among others from Vancouver, Toronto is a remote possibility. But he will go where his family wants him and I beleive they want to stay out west.

Adam Foote (25%) – Foote is from the Toronto area, his family is here. that is something that could draw Foote to come here and finish his career. The Leafs would have to clear the decks to afford a player like this. Since 29 other teams would love to have his services, his value is going to be driven up and he may be priced out of hte Leafs range. it all depends how much cap room the team has. I think to get Foote, Kaberle and Klee would have to go.

Rob Blake (1%) – On the off chance he ever got bought out by the Avs, Blake would have Toronto on his list of teams he would want to go to. But it appears he will stay and probably finish his career as an Av.

Paul Kariya (20%) I think there are a few places interested in Kariya and all have something to offer. I think a team like the Canucks or a team in California would have a greater chance at getting him than the Leafs do. But he has played for Quinn and did fare well so that would be a draw for him to come to Toronto. But i dont think the Leafs will offer him the big money he seeks.

Teemu Selanne (9%) – The Finnish Flash would have to take a big paycut to sign with the Leafs due to their cap issues. I think Teemu would be more satisfied playing at home in Finland and getting ready for the Olympics. He is also a west coast kind of guy.

Peter Forsberg (0.5%) – I cannot see Peter the great in any other uniform besides Colorado or the Tre-Kronar. He is a friend of Sundin’s and certainly would love to play with him. but no team can get the best player in the world at a discount price.

Mike Modano (0%) – I dont think Modano would ever come to Canada but if he did, it would be to play for Bob Gainey again in Montreal. Like Fedorov, the Leafs have no use for him because they already have Sundin a similar player.

Curtis Joseph (40%) – Cujo does not want to venture too far from Ontario. His family is from here and he will do what is best for them at this point in his career. Obviously Belfour would need to get bought out to make this happen. He would come cheaper than the Eagle.

Jason Allison (48%) – His injury problems have tainted his value. Many teams would be interested in Allison because he would come cheap. It will depend on whether he wants to jump into the fire and play in a big market to restart his career so that if he succeeds people will notice. or play in a quiet place to face less scrutiny if he fails to succeed in his comeback. Toronto is a draw for Allison because he was born and raised close to the area.

Mike Rathje (55%) – The Leafs will likely compete hard for his services because he would fill a need. He is one of those 2nd tier players that the Leafs will probably end up with especially if they dont end up with any of the big name talent.

Chris Pronger (3%) – The Blues will likely qualify him and try to trade him to get some value for him or else face losing him for nothing next summer. THe Leafs do not have the resources to make a trade so will likely have to wait until next summer hoping some team doesnt already lock Pronger up long term. He may not be qualified but he would then have to take a significant paycut to play in Toronto next season which is something he will likely NOT do thanks to his injury past. He will want to secure his future with the next contract he gets.

Markus Naslund (10%) – it is no secret that he and SUndin are friends. Sundin is probably trying to convince the Canucks Captain to come to Toronto but it would have to come at lower pay than what he would get from some other teams. I think Naslund will want to hit the homerun on his last NHL contract before retiring in Sweden and unless the leafs dump several players, there is not much of a chance he will get the big payoff in Toronto.

Todd Bertuzzi (4%) – Bert has moved himself back to Ontario. He wants to play here and be close to home. But the Leafs would have to give up the little future they have to get him. The one thing the Leafs have going for them is that Bert will likely be out the first 20 games of the season which is not good for the Canucks. That could force the Canucks hand to move him and get someone who would be around the full season.

Joe Thornton (1%) – If the B’s dont lock him up then they will be forever known in my books as the worst run franchise ever. The only way he ends up in Toronto is this time next year when 29 teams are bidding for his services as an unrestricted free agent thanks to the Bruins stupidity of not signing him to a big deal. But by this time, the Leafs may be in cap trouble (without the option of buyouts either) due to overspending (i.e they did give a huge multi year contract to an often injured 40 year old).

Sergei Gonchar (33%) – if Klee stays, Toronto may be a place Gonchar looks at. The team will likely lose Leetch and will need a replacement. I think they would have to get rid of Kaberle to have that happen as they will need some cap room to bring in a guy who has always been near the top in defenceman scoring. He may be the only really top guy who ends up with the Leafs this summer.

Glen Murray (15%) – Both parties are interest in trying to work something out. The did have some preliminary talks last summer. But he will be on the Bruins priority list, or at least he should be, to keep some of their top players happy. So many teams are interested in Murray that it may drive the Leafs away. there are probably 10 teams at least who are in serious contention to get this guy.

Alex Zhitnik (16%) – He would have to come cheap for him to fit in salary wise with Toronto. He too would fill a need and could be yet another one of those 2nd tier free agents that the team gets after getting shut out by all the big names. He is another candidate to replace Leetch on defence.

Jeff O’Neill (60%) – It will be all a matter of him not getting qualified. He has said he wants to play in Toronto and if he is free, here is one free agent that should be able to work something out with the Buds. It would help further if Roberts returned as well as they are very good friends.

Alexei Kovalev (0.01%) – He would only choose Toronto because he knows he would have freedom on the ice to do whatever he wants in the Pat Quinn system and that includes cherry picking and lazy back checking. Quinn lets his players get away with everything. But the Leafs dont have the kind of money he is looking for. The only way he ends up in Toronto is when his team visits the Leafs. And it may be 4 times a year if he resigns with the Habs.

Scott Niedermayer (25%) – if we see by August 1st that the Leafs have cleared the decks and opened up tons of cap room then this would be the reason why. Nieds is the marquee free agent available and many teams will bid hard for his services. playing for an original 6 team, in Canada, in a place that care about hockey big time unlike New Jersey will be reasons why he chooses the Leafs. Plus the big payoff he gets. But the team will have to make some cuts because him and Sundin alone will probably take up 25% of the cap room.

Eric Lindros (75%) – No matter what the team, the Big E will have to face a significant pay cut. He may be forced to play for the minimum and be subjected to tough bonuses. So the guy mind as well choose a place he wants to play in if he will not get the big payoff as in years past. He has always wanted to be a Leaf and play at home near mommy and daddy so this may be the year it happens.

John Leclair (30%) – now that he is bought out, and that there is a good chance Lindros is coming to Toronto, Leclair may want to join his good friend and reform LOD again. he will have to come much cheaper than the 7 mil he would have gotten to remain a Flyer. due to his age and injury history, he may very well come on the cheap.

Nik Khabibulin (0.000001%) – The Leafs will need to buy out Belfour and offer the Bulin wall a huge contract to convince him to play and live in cold weather Toronto taking him away from Florida or ARizona. Hmm if i had my choice i would stay in the sun to golf every off day and off season.

Gary Roberts (75%) – He wants to stay, he has business here and nearing retirement would probably want to make one last run hear home. At his age, he wont be too expensive and worth every penny spent. The Leafs would be foolish to allow Roberts to walk.

Joe Nieuwendyk (75%) – I think his future is tied to Roberts. He will want to play with his good friend and loved playing for Toronto in his one season here. There is no doubt he is a bigger asset than liability and would help any team. I think he too wants to retire a Leaf and try to go 4 for 4 in terms of teams and cup wins.

Tie Domi (90%) – He may be Crosby/Lemieux’s bodyguard in Pittsburgh but he lives and breathes blue and white. He is one of those players that you cant see playing anywhere else.

Alex Moginly (25%) – Almo would love to stay but he may not be even able to play. The poor guy is on his last legs. Though he said he would take less to play here, this guy is more likely to go somewehre where it is nice and warm and sunny year round.

Right now everything is up in the air. Things are going to get interesting, especially for the Leafs and their problems with Nolan. But by weeks end we will know where the Leafs stand and what they do will spell out how they will proceed. lots of buyouts will mean a possible run at a top name free agent. Some moves but nothing significant outside of Nolan will mean they will go for the 2nd level free agents and leave the star guys to someone else.

My take: Nolan gets bought out and Kaberle traded. Domi, Roberts and Niewy sign 1 year deals,

Antropov, Pony, Kilger and Belak all return for very small deals.

the only big name possible is Gonchar and they end up with Lindros, O’Neill and Rathje for sure.

93 Responses to Leafs Will Get Somebody But Definitely Not Everybody

  1. nordiques100 says:

    actually the real story is that his agent don baizley was in toronto to talk about alex steen another of his clients. he is still without a contract

  2. nordiques100 says:

    i would love for my leafs to do what your rangers did and get 9 picks in the first two rounds of the last two drafts but you won your cup in 94, the leafs and the city are too hungry to win to ever attempt rebuilding….besides the teachers union cant go without the required 2 rounds of playoff home gates. that’s the problem. the payoff of winning…but not winning hte big prize is too great to stop and do things the right way.

  3. ranger_fan says:

    That is why the Leafs won’t win though. You have to rebuild at some point, and have a core of players to win the Cup.

  4. nordiques100 says:

    it’s all about the bottom line for the teachers union. they need their cut and winning is a bonus. they fool us by spending money….on guys like renberg and reichel…instead of going for the 10 million dollar man like bure when he was still good and healthy.

  5. Rico420 says:

    Let’s not get out of line here we have to realize that the “bestest” player out there isn’t even available so Guerin is staying in Dallas..yep, yep,yep.

    I hate when people slag on Sundin though, I’m a HABS fan and I have to respect Sundin as possibly the best Captain in Canada.

  6. 92-93 says:

    have to agree with Serdy and wingerxxx on both of their points.

    point 1: its really starting to annoy me that Leaf fans are supposed to stop their speculating and rumour-discussions. what the heck is wrong with this? why are we so different from all other fans. the answer: much of the anti-Leaf rhetoric out there is based out of pure jealousy of the fact that T.O. is the hockey capital (culturally, economically, etc.). now the Leafs don’t have their on-ice economic advantage but they do have off-ice advantages (expenditures on top-notch scouts and coaches) and an era under a cap is certainly better than the Ballard era we suffered through!

    point 2: the number one guy the Leafs should go for is not forsberg, not niedermeyer, not lindros, … it’s Mike Rathje. that way, the Leafs let go of a guy like Leetch and play a more solid (if less exciting) defensive game. if i were JFJ and if it were possible, after sigining Rathje i’d buyout McCabe and make a run for Niedermeyer but that is rather risky.

    i’ve worked out a plan long time ago and tweaked it a little but it’s the most realistic one that i can think of (certainly compared with the line-ups usually made on this site):


    Samuelsson_______Allison______Murray or O’Neill



    [Druken, Ling, Wilm as extras]




    Hedin or Berg as the 7th defenseman

    Ed Belfour

    Manny Fernandez (RFA) or Corey Schwab (UFA) or Maritin Biron (RFA)

    The Toronto Star as recently reported that the Leafs will actually have a payroll of $26.6 million:

    “One of the provisions under the new CBA — expected to be ratified by both sides by Friday — is that for purposes of the salary cap the average salary of all remaining years on an existing contract is applied for each year of the deal. That means captain Mats Sundin, with three years remaining on his contract at $6.8 million (all figures U.S.), $7.6 million and $4.6 million, will be assigned a salary for the next three seasons of $6.3 million. That means the Leafs now have eight players under contract next season for a total of $26.6 million — not including the expected buyout of Owen Nolan’s $5.6 million salary — instead of $27.1 million” (http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1121809815538&call_pageid=968867503640&col=970081593064&t=TS_Home)

    With the expected buyout of Owen Nolan’s contract ($5.6 million) contract and McCabe’s buyout ($3.45 million – after rollback), the total amount should be lowered to $17.55 million dollars. The cap is expected to be $39 million dollars. That leaves approx. $21.5 million dollars left to spend on 19 players to fill out the roster under the cap.

    So, here’s the plan:

    The only free agent signings will be:

    Mikael Samuellsson _____________ $500,000

    Nidermeyer ____________________$5 million

    Murray ($2.5 million) or Jeff O’Neill ($1.5 million)

    Allison (with whiplash/injury history): $2 million

    Rathje_________________________$1.5 million

    Fernandez OR Schwab OR Biron ____$1.5 million

    At this point in my plan, 12 players have been signed for 30.55 million (with Murray) or $29.55 million (with O’Neill) with still 13 players to be signed:

    Ponikorovsky, Kilger, Pilar, Steen, Wellwood, Hedin, Ling, Perrot, Drunken will all be signed to the league minimum ($450,000 x 9 = $4.05 million).

    Stajan and Colliacovo are already under contract for about $800,000 each (=$1.6 million)

    Mogilny would be signed for $1.5 million

    Domi would be signed for $750,000

    The total amount of my plan would add up to $38.45 million dollars (with Murray signed) or $37.45 million dollars (with O’Neill signed). The Leafs’ payroll would meet the salary cap while also icing a more competitve, younger, less injury-riddled, and a better defensive team; while also ‘rebuilding’ for the future. I challenge anyone out there to point out an unrealistic salary estimate in this plan – especially compared to the ridiculous estimates typically made by some individuals on this site.

  7. lfsr1 says:

    To all the dumb ass leaf bashers, learn how to read. The author made no reference to one specific player ending up with 100% certainty. Just because leaf fans are passionate about hockey, granted at times unrealistic, leave your brainless comments to yourself. Also, enjoy the fact that hockey will be back this winter.

  8. Desertdog17 says:

    Jarome Iginla

  9. Lint07 says:

    Titans is a nice fella that likes the attention and likes stir sh!t up.

    He’s a long-time HTR member and posted numerous articles on here, so you got to give him credit for that.

    On the other hand, if you want to feel good about your article take a look at this and keep in mind this was written last NHL season.


    enjoy! 😉

  10. NemiNA says:

    Ya know, nordiques100, I love your articles, i read every one. But I gotta say, How long did it take you to calculate all those percentages? I mean, I was gonna say something to bash the writer and the leafs, but since its you and your articles are intellegent and well thought out, I just can’t do that.

  11. titans says:

    So I’m assuming there’s a 100% chance your a complete loser! A 99.9% chance you’ll die a virgin! A 0.001% chance I give a damn that I’ve ruffled your panties and a 50% that even Leaf fans believe half the written diareah you put to page!

    Good work Chochie! Your a 100% asswipe!

  12. nordiques100 says:

    lick my balls shitbrick

  13. nordiques100 says:

    for me, it’s what have you done for me lately, and this was from LAST season. all he does now is write absolute crap. until he starts to write something half decent he will never get any respect from me or anyone else on this site.

  14. bruinexpert says:

    buddy, you obviously didn’t read that article….

  15. bruinexpert says:

    do i sense a bit of jealousy? I love you lower canadians

  16. nordiques100 says:

    thanks. i know it must have been hard to resist considering you are a flyers fan LOL

    but i try to reason what teams would be interested in that player, reasons for toronto, and money and how much it would take to get them here.

    of course some players are just too pricey right now for the leafs to spend on which really hurts their chances of coming here. but for a variety of reasons, some players will come cheap. there are some good reasons why some players would come to toronto but also good reasons to go somewhere else or stay where they are. and really, they are now on a level playing field so 30 teams have a chance at any player, but i tried to factor in some of the rumours out there that link a certain player with a team.

  17. nordiques100 says:

    that article was good. but that was quite a while back. what has he written lately? nothing but senseless drivel that makes no sense

  18. bruinexpert says:

    the point was that the article wasn’t good..it puts titans in his place..how is that article good, he said the flames were the 2nd worst team in the league and they wound up being the 2nd best team in the league

  19. PayUpSucka says:

    Oxycotten here, get your oxy!!!

  20. PayUpSucka says:

    Hockey’s back!!! You can feel the love in the air round here already! Don’t let em all get to you Nords. You’ve contributed more to this site in a week than most of these clowns have in a year. Also from what i’ve read you’ve really said noone is a given to sign, and your just writing about stuff you’ve heard or seen from Sportsnet, TSN, Star, Sun, Slam.

    My take on the leafs. Re-upping Quinn means 1 thing; this team isn’t going to be blown up for at least 2 years, that and the fact that JFJ has let it be known that he’s in talks with agents for Niew and Roberts looks as though it’s status quo.

    This will allow Maurice to groom his own team in the A and bring it to the N after Quinn fades out at the end of his 2 year deal.

    Big talk of JFJ pushing hard to move up in the draft to take Carey Price, great news if you’re a believer that the leafs should blow the team apart and start over. JFJ’s seems to be set on a veteran roster for at least 2 more years. At that point the kids he has now will be a little closer to a reality and free agents will be quite a bit younger in 2 years.

    JFJ let’s face it has walked into a disaster. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it will take a few years for him to turn this ship around.

  21. nordiques100 says:

    beleive me, that is good considering the utter crap he has written lately LOL.

    even the bad stuff he writes is 100 times better than what we have seen lately. that was my point.

    he is worse than jeremy jacobs is an owner

  22. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Actually, Nieuwendyk says it more, he was a die hard Leaf fan growing up, and he just wants to win a cup here.

    Not to mention he’s won a cup everywhere but here.

  23. habsoverserver says:

    If KITT the talking car can learn French we’ll take Hasselhoff in a minute.

    Actually, most famous lifeguard is Pam Anderson, but she is no longer eligible to play goalie in the NHL due to her oversized equipment.

  24. TheCoach says:

    Nieuwendyk has never said this. Neither has Domi.

  25. elnero says:

    It’s been reported that Neidermeyer will be looking for the max $7.8 million.

    Apparantly there is a clause in the new CBA that allows a team to sign a player to a bonus laden contract that could go 7.5% above the $39 million cap if the player is over 35 or played 400 games and spent 100 days on injured reserve in 03-04. That would allow the Leafs to sign Allison for a base salary with possible bonuses of almost $3 million above and beyond the $39 million cap.

  26. nordiques100 says:

    haha nice!!!

    maybe sheldon souray’s wife can line up on defence…afterall she was a former baywatch babe herself LOL

  27. RaGsHoCkEy88 says:

    sorry but the most popular team by far is the new york rangers…..

  28. HC16 says:

    Why does everyone seem to think that Fedorov and Lindros are still good? They’re both quite similar in that they let their fathers speak for them everytime something doesn’t go their way. On top of that, neither has a shred of the talent he thinks he does.

  29. Aetherial says:

    My thoughts pretty much exactly.

    Very similar team to last season, with a bigger splash made by the Leafs next year.

  30. Aetherial says:

    Neidermayer will make more.

    Allison my make less because of the uncertainty.

    Rathje will make more, supply and demand.

  31. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    They both have on Toronto radio.

  32. Aetherial says:

    Where is Kaberle’s salary?

  33. wingerxxx says:

    Fedorov would still be worth having. Lindros just doesn’t really fit anywhere right now, except for maybe Atlanta. I like Lindros…but if the Leafs are stupid enough to sign him, they’re welcome to him. His best days are well behind him.

  34. Tweek says:

    haha yeah, its stupid of them but dont let it get under your skin, I just find it entertaining

  35. habsoverserver says:

    that would be an interesting team to create – players with supermodel wives or girlfriends.

    Off the top of my head

    Sean Avery – dating Rachel Hunter

    Rob Neidermayer – is he still with Nikki Taylor?

    Peter Nedved – married to Veronica Varekova

    Mike Mondano – dating Willa Ford

  36. titans says:

    There’s a 0% chance of that happening…haha…dork!

  37. titans says:

    Are you 100% sure I’m worse than Jeremy Jacobs, or say 88.7% sure?

  38. titans says:

    16% …1 in 6…carry the two…divide by the remainder…yea I’ve done the math…Leaf fans suck!

  39. Prynce says:

    The fact of the matter is that, even tho there is a salary cap, we still are, until proven otherwise, the toronto maple leafs.

    The fact of the matter is that at least 25% of the NHL would jump at the chance to play for us. Why? cuz more then half of the NHL is canadian, and over half of the canadians are from Ontario.

    Cujo wants to play here again. Regardless of what we say about how we feel about him ditchin us, we’d take him back in a second if it means a trip to the finals.

    The idea of Forsberg, Sundin and Naslund is what we want, and what they want. This can only happen in Toronto, because Sundin isnt going anywhere.

    Domi, Neiuwendyk, Roberts, Allison, Lindros will all be here. Why? cuz this is hockeytown. as much as detroit wants to claim that title, the fact of the matter is that Toronto is the hockey capital of the world.

    This is how the Salary will go (along the lines, not exact)

    Mats Sundin – $6.84

    Adam Foote – $2.00

    Matt Stajan – $0.81

    Gary Roberts – $1.50

    Jason Allison – $0.50

    Tie Domi – $0.50

    Curtis Joseph – $3.50

    Roman Hamrlik – $2.00

    Joe Nieuwendyk – $1.00

    Brad May – $0.70

    Kenny Jonsson – $1.50

    Mikael Tellqvist – $0.70

    Nik Antropov – $0.90

    Alex Ponikarovsky – $0.50

    Karel Pilar – $0.50

    Carlo Colaiacovo – $0.70

    Tomas Kaberle – $2.28

    5 Others at $0.50 each – $2.00

    Markus Naslund – $4.00

    Peter Forsberg – $6.00

    = $38 930 000 ($70 000 Under The Cap)

    with the new salary cap, Toronto is becoming more like the New England Patriots, rather then the New York Yankees. Stanley Cup, welcome to your rightful place, Toronto.

  40. nordiques100 says:

    you do realize that you will get raked over the coals for writing this dont you?

    i feel bad for you man, but every flyer fan, habs fan, rangers fan, sens fan or any other non leaf fan will be ripping this post.

    why is that? because the leafs have zero possibilities while other teams which i have read about in other posts have too many options to list.

  41. Gretzkin says:

    You’re off your rocker if you think that is what the leafs roster will look like.

    The price tags you’ve out on this almost entirely marquee looking team are way off.

    And, Brad May? What’s that all about.

    The roster won’t look much different.

    No Mogilny. No Nolan.

    Maybe O’neill & Lindros.

    Everybody else will look very familiar.

  42. Gretzkin says:

    I’m not saying I want to see Lindros here, just that it’s a possibilty.

    He’s never had a season with a negative +/-. So he can’t be that bad defensively. Also, he’s one of the top 10 face-off guys in the league. Behind Perrualt, Sundin, and Nieuwendyk.

    You’re right about Stajan. He does need face-off experience. Although if he’s lined up with his mentor, he likely won’t see as many as he needs.

    I Love Matt Stajan.

    The rule changes are gearing up for teams to go for the offensive system.

    Lindros scares me. But he’ll be cheap.

  43. Gretzkin says:

    The most popular and richest team in history is Manchester United. I realize you are talking about hockey, but you didn’t state that.

    And about that Habs Logo…

    At 8 games against them this year, you’ll be constantly reminded how many times they’ve won the cup, and can probably boast about being the most famous hockey team in history because of that fact.

    They’ll win 5 of those games. The Habs that is.

    Toronto and their fans are the center of their own universe. A universe that they are completely alone in.

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