Plan For Next Year

This past season was a bust, but the Leafs did find

out some good things from this. The first is that a

teammust go with speed not power. The second is money can’t buy a team, they must develop their

own players. The last thing is that they have many outstanding rookies in the AHL, here is the plan:

Off-Season: The Leafs will have about 22 million

dollars in cap-space, this is what they do:

Sign Pavel Kubina: 3-year/3.5 million per year

Sign Manny Legace: 2-year/4 million per year

Sign Patrick Elias: 4-year/5 million per year

Sign Matt Lombardi: 3-year/750,000 per year

The Leafs need to buy-out these players:

Tie Domi

Nik Antropov

Ed Belfour

Wade Belak

This will leave the Leafs with 13.5 million dollars to

re-sign who they need to:

Lindros: 1-year/750,000 per-year

Wellwood: 2-year/1 million per-year

Stajan: 3-year/1.2 million per-year

Suglobov: 2-year/700,000 per-year

Kronvall: 3-year/900,000 per-year

White: 2-year/750,000 per-year

Bell: 2-year/750,000 per-year

After this they will have about 7.9 million dollars in

cap space incase they might need to make a trade

to fix something, here is next-year’s team:












(split duty)

This team should thrive in the new NHL because of

their balance of speed and and power. They may challenge for the cup!

49 Responses to Plan For Next Year

  1. koolcory77 says:

    decent, but i see 2 major problems

    1) lindros will not be the 4th line centre

    2) there is a big hole at #3 defense, STILL

  2. PaulK123 says:

    Lindros will help Suglobov and Williams become

    good NHLer’s, like a mentor. In the number three defenseman spot the Leafs would have 7.9 million

    in cap-space. They could easily sign a d-man or trade for one.

  3. Clarkmour says:

    Ive been reading a lot of your plans on this site and I must say that this is the first one I think is plausible … because it doesn’t include many trades or free agents. Youve kept it simple and I think that is why this plan just might work.

    Some comments:

    Acquiring Elias (who will probably not be available) will be tough, it might be easier to get a RW like Langdenbrunner (who actually might be available) or Anson Carter and simply move Tucker to the left side. I dont see the nescessity of Lombardi, and Suglobov is a RW. Earl will not be an extra forward. He is going to need a full year of AHL experience under his belt at least (although he could be called up). Finally, the centres down the middle (if Lindros is going to be signed – and for cheap) should not include Steen and should include Wellwood. The plan I have been working on for the forward lines:


    Steen__Lindros__Suglobov [talk about a skilled line]




    [Belak and Wilm]

    Here’s what I see transpiring during the season, Domi gets benched repeatedly by Maurice and decides to retire or sent down to the AHL and Domi protests by not reporting. either way – the leafs have a spot open on the right side for Williams (OR Battaglia, Ondrus, etc.). Lindros WILL be injured. I mean, anyone constructing a plan that doesn’t include him being injured or at least that scenario is going to run into problems. So, in that case, the Leafs call up their best Marlie – John Pohl, to centre the fourth line between Kilger and Williams/Battaglia.

  4. elnero says:

    Wow that must be some good crack your smoking.Challenge for a cup with 2/3’s of your defence essentially being rookies? I think not. And I’m not even going to bother with the silliness of Lindros as a 4th line center.

  5. Aetherial says:

    First, the whole league is going to want Elias and Jersey are going to do whatever they possibly can to try to keep him. Someone, somewhere is going to over-pay for his services. I see about zero percent that the Leafs compete.

    Yeah, I expect a few people gone and a few others signed, but I think they will all be short-term “filler” players while they continue to develop.

    Expect the Leafs to re-sign McCabe (Ugh). If they had any inclination to trade him, I think they would have done so at the deadline. The Leafs will overpay him 5 million per, for 4 years.

    They will not sign any significant Dman besides McCabe.

    Maurice will be the coach. They will struggle to make the playoffs, some young players will continue promising development.

  6. PaulK123 says:

    Ever heard of a team called Buffalo, they aint rookies, but they young. Colicovo and Kronvall and

    rookies anymore.

  7. 92-93 says:

    Actually, having 2 or 3 defencemen being rookies is not so far-fetched. look at San Jose this year. and there is nothing to suggest that the Leafs young D-guys (and their are plenty to choose from) couldnt handle it. they just need 3 or 4 veteran guys on D and that’s not so bad.

  8. 92-93 says:

    yeah. I know you like Richardson, and JFJ has said recently that he is interested in signing him (meaning no Khavanov).

    i have a huge problem with that though. the leafs CAN get a better, lesser-known, defensemen on the free agent market. and if worse comes to worse – assuming McCabe is signed … the Leafs enter training camp with 2 defencemen signed, Pilar (who shows every indication that he is ready to return according to all the sources i’ve seen), and 3 spots open on D for the young guys (and there’s about 7 of them competing for those 3 spots).

    why richardson? too slow, can hit, but he’s too slow. oh, and he loves to back-pass on breakaways (lol).

  9. 92-93 says:

    oh, and i certainly wouldnt buyout Nik Antropov. he’s a young guy and a point-per-every-two-game player … hardly a guy you buyout.

    the leafs should definitely qualify him and then try to trade him during the offseason OR, preferably, trade him during the draft.

    Does anyone think that a team like Florida, who has the 10th overall pick, would be willing to trade their pick to the Leafs for their 13th pick and Antropov?

    is that too much? too little?

  10. 92-93 says:

    like aetherial, i see the leafs signing McCabe too. and at this point, i don’t think its worth the Leafs letting him go now (he should have been traded at the deadline … big time). there’s no need for Kubina or anyone like that … no need for Chara and a huge contract, no need for a big name offensive D-guy (we have enough up-and-coming young, two-way D-guys coming up already – Bell, White …not to mention Pilar’s return, Kaberle, and McCabe).

    The leafs need to NOT resign Richardson (which they probably will) or Khavanov. they need to take a risk here and just go with McCabe and Kaberle into the free agent period, pick up a younger, more solid D-guy (McKee, heck – even Dempsey is better than Richardson). no need for big names!!!

    you’ve got your 3 defensemen, maybe Pilar, and 2 or 3 spots open for the young guys. THEN, around the next trading deadline, McCabe is once again a tradeable commodity (why wouldnt he be – even with a long term %5 million contract) … the trade i suppose for the 2006-2007 deadlline:

    To Washington (a team that needs an offensive D-guy and goalie depth in their system to replace Kolzig):

    Justin Pogge (or Tuukka Rask – i prefer Pogge to go), Bryan McCabe, Mikael Tellqvist (assuming the Leafs get a free agent goalie, have that goalie and Aubin tandem in the NHL and Pogge and Telly tandem in AHL, Racine in the ECHL).

    To Toronto (a team that desperately needs a young star forward and a top drafting position):

    RW Eric Fehr, G Maxime Daigneault, Washington’s first pick overall in the 2007 draft (which could be quite high).

    The Leafs get a kid in Fehr that can come right into the top 3 lines in Toronto, Daigneault – who can compete with Rask, Racine as the next starting goalie for the Leafs (although Rask is head and shoulders above these guys), and a first round pick that could conceiveably be in the top-5 (although I do think Washington will improve next year, either way – considering how deep the 2007 draft will be, having 2 picks anywhere in the first round is not a bad thing at all). McCabe’s departure is not a big deal – the Leafs have offensive d-guys like Kaberle, Pilar, Coliacovo (injured), White, Bell, etc. McCabe will soon be redundant (this will certainly be evident in the first or second year of his new contract, when the kids prove that they can play in both ends better than McCabe can).

    The Caps get their powerplay quaterback-offensive defencemen (replacing the hole left by Gonchar), they immediately upgrade their goaltending depth having Johnson (NHL), Tellqvist (AHL), and Pogge (AHL) behind Kolzig, who is not going to be around for much longer. Losing a first rounder isn’t that big of a deal considering how stacked their farm system is – they are one of the few teams that are in the position to let this first rounder go.

  11. elnero says:

    2 or 3 (3 being max and that would be under desperate cir*****stances I would think) rookie defenceman is not 4, you’re talking about having two pairing of inexperienced dmen with only 2 veterans on the top pairing on a team that already has somewhat suspect defense.

    In reality I can see them going with two rookies on a full time basis while the others are rotated in as injuries occur. Which two get the call will probably depend on who they sign in the off-season and who performs well at camp.

    Another player many people are forgetting about is Pilar who has been playing in Europe and is expected back with the Leafs next year. While he’s not a rookie he does have some big question marks as to how well he can play and if his health keeps up.

    I’d be more inclined to think the lines could look something like:

    Kaberle Kubina/McCabe

    McKee Pilar

    Harrison/Kronwall Colaiacovo/White

    Belak/Richardson as the 7th

    But depending on cash they could easily put a veteran in on the 3rd pairing as well to be on the safe side.

  12. elnero says:

    If Colaiacovo and Kronwall aren’t rookies anymore then they’re pretty darn close to being it which why I said “essentially” 4 rookies. Besides there’s no guarantees Colaiacovo is going to be healthy and Kronwall, while I like him, may not be up to task of what’s needed in a defensive dman at this point in time.

  13. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    Is it a good plan YES

    Is it a realistic plan NO

    manny Legacy isnt about to jump ship on detroit

    telly is under contract for next year, where does he go?

  14. 92-93 says:


    i agree with your assessment on having 2 rookies. i just dont like the way JFJ has been talking lately – keeping Richardson, i’d rather have a rookie there than him … he’s not that bad, but he’s not that good either – should be taking their chances on the free agent market or with a rookie in my opinion.

  15. 92-93 says:


    and i dunno about Telly. JFJ does seem interested in getting a starting goalie (whoever that may be) and have Aubin as the back-up. in that case, Tellqvist will he earning his NHL contract of about 500-600K in the AHL right? along with Pogge? what about Racine then?

    the only possible solution is trade Tellqvist (or Racine, but Tellqvist will actually get a return in a trade). OR the very unrealistic notion of having free agent goalie-Aubin as the NHL tandem (not unrealistic), Telly and Racine in the AHL, and Pogge start virtually all the games for their ECHL team (unrealistic I think… he’s too good for that league probably, but if it gives him ice time and buys JFJ time to see how well his 6 goalies are doing – including Rask – and to make a trade, he might actually do this).

  16. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    The Leafs, like the new rules, suck, and the only new player the Maple Laughs can look forward to is Angelo Esposito.

  17. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Not to mention, you can’t buyout a RFA…

  18. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    What balance of speed and power? There’s no power? You do got a bugger in Darcy Tucker, but other then that, the only people who can hit are Eric Lindros, who’s always hurt, and Chad Kilger, who by now strech of the imagination is a second liner.

    The defense is a pile of shit, too soft, with the exception of Colaiacovo, you need to be especially rough on defense.Why not add Ed Jovanovski? He hits, he scores, he’s Bryan McCabe except a billion times better.

    Not to mention, Jovo can be the leader on defense. Bryan Martchment would be a good signing too.

    You want real power up front. Trade for Todd Bertuzzi, he scored more points then Martin St Louis this year, but no one cares, because people don’t like him. He goes from 60 pts to 70, and he’s become trash, Martin St Louis goes from 94 pts, to 61, and he’s still a god.

    And you know who I love? Tim Connolly. Dammit that guys cool. He hits, he’s fast, and damn that was a nice goal he scored on the Leafs earlier this year.

    Curtis Joseph should be the goalie, he’s the most under rated goalie in hockey, and he’d come cheap.

    And btw, did you hear the Leafs acquired Jeff O’neill? I couldn’t believe it either…

    Yanic Perreault??? Hello??? Best faceoff man in hockey, and is not a bad 2nd line centreman to boot! A good game plan to keep the speed down the middle is to have Perreault take the face offs, and be “the centre” but have Perreault go down the wing, and Stajan skate around everywhere.












    Telly had 2 bad games, why give up on him, Aubin had one good month, and has been a nothing goalie other then that. I’m not jumping on his bandwagon.

    Anyways, it’s unrealistic, but that’s the best roster possible I’d say.

  19. the_word says:

    Plan may be realistic but not desirable, the Leafs have to be thinking long term, with respect to that the number one priority for JFJ is to sign Brad Richards. Thats been the plan since the lockout ended, JFJ said he was holding back for this summer (thanks to Nolan holding up 5 million of cap space) premier young talent, unfortunately they all signed contracts last summer. Expect Richards, Tampa can’t afford him, and the Leafs will need a piece to build around because Sundin is too old to be significant long term. They offer Richard 7 a year (structure the contract to pay him 7 for the first two years, then six in later years, Leafs are gonna suck for two years anyway), Tampa can’t match that, and if they do at least you crippled a team in your conference with respect to the cap (no tender for Fonzi). A year of Sundin and Richards down the middle will make this team competitive, but not a contender. Sign McCabe as well, look the only bright spot this year was the power play, do you really want to give that up? And forget about signing Elias, Jersey went over the cap to sign him last summer, and sent Mogilny to the AHL to make room for him. Whatever money the Leafs spend, couldn’t be better spent than on Richards. As for tenders, sign Cujo, he want back in Toronto anyway, split time with Aubin (see if Aubin can play) and Rask (ditto) and he’ll be cheap. For the D, bring up the young crop, they’ll wanna play for Maurice, he brought them to the dance, this year should be an evaluation year while moving foward (Richards), don’t resign Sundin next year and free up another six million.

  20. lukeleim says:

    Off season Transactions

    Coach: Paul Maurice

    URF – Willie Mitchell, Sergei Samsonov, Jamie Langenbrunner, Eric Brewer & Curtis Joseph

    Nik Antropov, Andy Wozniewski & Justin Pogge to the Minnesota Wild for Patrick O’Sullivan & A.J. Thelen

    Mikael Tellqvist to the St. Louis Blues for the Blues’ Third-round pick in 2006

    Jeff O’Neill retires

    Tie Domi bought out

    Sergei Samsonov – Mats Sundin – Jamie Langenbrunner

    Patrick O’Sullivan – Kyle Wellwood – Darcy Tucker

    Alexei Ponikarovsky – Matt Stajan – Alexander Steen

    Chad Kilger – Eric Lindros – Ben Ondrus


    Prospects: Jeremy Williams, Alex Foster, Aleksander Suglobov & Robert Earl

    Tomas Kaberle – Eric Brewer

    Willie Mitchell – Ian White

    Jay Harrison – Carlo Colaiacovo


    Wade Belak – Staffan Kronwall

    Prospects: Phil Oreskovic, Brendan Bell & A.J. Thelen

    Curtis Joseph

    Jean-Sebastien Aubin


    J.F Racine

    Prospects: Todd Ford & Tuukka Rask

  21. 92-93 says:

    exactly … a duh on my part.

  22. 92-93 says:


    keep it simple – that is the best way to go.

    Did you mean to have Lombardi on the second line? because you said you didnt see any reason to have him on the Leafs.

  23. the_word says:

    Ok, but if the JFJ follows your plan what faceless prospects will be left to play for Pittsburg next year?

  24. the_word says:

    Leafs have already given up on Perreault twice, so he’s out, Shanny doesn’t help the team get better in the long run (in fact he inhibits it, like Allison did). Jovo is more expensive than McCabe, he is less offensively skilled and turns the puck over way more than McCabe.

  25. the_word says:

    You need a guy like richardson, you can’t have your rookies looking up to Kaberele and McCabe for leadership

  26. Aetherial says:

    I am not a huge Richardson fan or anything… I just thought that he was pretty steady.

    He can also provide some decent veteran leadership to young D-men, so I would not be disappointed to see him signed…

    Yeah, there are other guys I would be happier with though 🙂

  27. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    one step at a time. Fergie has to find a half decent goaltender first. Luongo is a no go, Gerber is too shakey, and both Nabokov and Toskala are under contract.

  28. Toonces99 says:

    Here’s a crazy idea…why not trade for the rights that pitts has on Malkin….By the looks of it they will not be able to afford to buy him over here…MLSE has the bucks…the ONLY big problem, who in goods name will Toronto send the other way….? Thoughts.

  29. the_word says:

    How can Pittsburg let go of him in his rookie year wear he’ll be dirt cheap under the rookie cap? They’ll probably sign a three year deal that is affortable and be willing to trade anyone to make cap room for him, Leafs who be better served to go after Gonchar and rid themselves of McCabe is they talk to Pittsburg

  30. Toonces99 says:

    I understand what you are saying from a “signing” point, but the ultimate cost will come in buying him out….The russians stance is,in a nutshell, “if they want him, they will have to pay” bringing him over is the first priority and l don’t think Pitts will have that kind of money to spend….The monies will not come from the revenue sharing pot, but from company profits…there lies the problem. The Gonchar situation is that he is to old and too expensive, well past his prime and would not suit what l think will be the leafs philosophy…speed and grit, don’t get me wrong a great d-man, but not suited for this NHL. IMHO. I would hate to see the leafs sign McCabe for 5+ per year…too much for a guy who has now been figured out by other teams…Go for Jovo or Chara, better over-all….

  31. the_word says:

    I’ll agree with you on Gonchar, just figured he’s interchangeable with McCabe and would be around for a shorter term, as McCabe wants a long term deal. Jovo is worse than McCabe, he causes big turnovers at key moments all to often. Chara will get a max deal so he is not worth and as for Malkin, would the Leafs really want him? The goal in Toronto is to remain competitive while getting younger (JFJ calls it reloading rather than rebuilding), if you get Malkin you’re gonna have to wait for him to mature (although he’ll do it faster than most players). Also, Malkin makes the sale of Pittsburg a little more sexy for potential buyers, for this reason they’ll justify to the their share holders that he must be kept. I said if before, keep it simple, sign Brad Richards

  32. Toonces99 says:

    Would love to sign B.Richards…Give up the 4 first rounders, with a guy that young he will make up for the difference, agreed….Again on the Malkin issue….the leafs need a franchise player (if Richards becomes unavailable)someone who is exciting to watch and will make the team better…Malkin has the potential to do that…I think he can step in and make a difference right away….put him on the wing with Sundin or move sundin over and put him at centre, l don’t know, anything but give him the ice time and one good player to play with….results will come. geez god knows we need someone to lift these corporate guys off their seats to cheer…..

  33. the_word says:

    is it still 4 first rounders for compenstation on restricted free agents? I thought compenstation was renegotiated with the new collective bargaining agreement

  34. Toonces99 says:

    Not that l’m aware of….point taken though….you’ve got me curious..l’m going to check it out.

  35. elnero says:

    Signing Richardson doesn’t necessarily mean a roster spot gets taken away from a rookie. He could be signed as the 7th dman to add a veteran presence/insurance kind of thing. Belak is another guy that can be the 7th but he can also play a forward position and be the “enforcer” in either.

    You could have a rookie as the 7th guy but in reality you don’t want to do that because he’s going to sit most of the time, that’s not going to do anything for his development, better to have him playing big minutes on the Marlies gaining confidence and experience.

  36. the_word says:

    good post, very insightful and interesting, keep up the good work

  37. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    A) Shanahans 80 pts, vs Allisons 65 pts, a team needs leaders, you can’t just stick out a bunch of rookies, more then half of whom will bust, and expect to make the playoffs, let alone win the cup.

    B) No one turns the puck over then McCabe, Jovo is a thousand times better then McCabe.

    C) The Kings added Robitaille 3 times, why don’t the Leafs get Perreault, remember, him and Mike Keane were invited to training camp this year.

  38. the_word says:

    A) Tampa Bay won a cup without verterns, and ushered in a glimpse to the “New NHL”, Calagary almost won with a young team. How many teams can you name with an old star on their top line that are still in the playoff? Shanny would ultimately be a waste of resources. If the Leafs were already contenders it would be smart to bring him in, their not though

    B) Watch Jovo play, the reason McCabe looks worse is because we live a market that scrutinizes him. One reason why Canucks goaltenders are hung out to dry is Jovo’s 25 mins per game

    C)How lucky was that third time for Luke?

  39. lukeleim says:

    its still 4 first rounders

  40. the_word says:

    I’m not sure that it is, but if so what about trading for his rights? Maybe a sign and trade with Joseph (it’d be shady but the Leafs could pull it off) and then throw in two first rounders and any other player off your roster. I don’t think that is ridiculously far fetched.

  41. DJTOKid says:

    Why is everyone so hung up on patrick elias? he’s has less time in his career then sundin. And manny lagace? he ain’t going anywhere. I would rather see the leafs spend there money on the blueline, they have the money to sign chara, mccabe, and a carney or mitchell. I would really like to see them sign kaberle’s bro frankie and rob blake but we’ll see. As for forwards they should trade for either todd bertuzzi or st.louis, both who are rumoured to be on the outs with there teams. bertuzzi cause he simply needs a change of scenery and st.louis cause tampa needs the money for richards. And for a goalie sign raycroft for cheap, spend some noey and get martin biron(solid #1), or last resort get cujo back.

  42. DJTOKid says:

    If the leafs are gonna attempt to sign richards or leave the lightning crippled cap room wise then why not do it to ottawa and phili. Sign spezza, havlat, and gagne to long term big money contracts. I’m sure the leafs would end up with one or two out of the four and worst case scenerio you get all of them and have to trade one or two of them to make room under ther cap. Actually worst case is they don’t get any of them, but then like you said you would cripple those teams. Phili should be in some trouble cap room wise and probly cant afford gagne at 6-8mil a year. Jason Spezza should totally burn the sens and leave for t.o. the leafs wouldve never sat him a couple years ago in the playoffs. lol. that would be awsome. the leafs could end up with 2 or 3 big pieces of the sens this off season and i would love it.

  43. DJTOKid says:

    I like it! I think that team is affordable, I think they would be competitive night in and night out, and i think we would see alot of highlite reel goals.

    I don’t know if they could get samsonov away from edmonton, but i would like it. It would be tough to give up pogge, after him winning the mvp and best goalie of his league, thats pretty impresive, but so is rask, tough choice there for the leafs.

    With the lines you have i would change samsonov to the second line, him and wellwood together i think could be amazing. Put steen with mats and brunner, drop tucker down to the third line. Tuckers ment to be a checker that can score not a scorer that can check.

  44. Toonces99 says:

    Actually it’s no longer 4 first rounders….it’s something along the lines of ” the team that the RFA plays for must match and increase the amount to 110% of the total offered contract for the first year and around 10% on top of that for the second year..”

  45. the_word says:

    I like the diagnosis, but not the cure. Chara waste of money, carney didn’t help vancouver and bertuzzi and st.louis bring alot baggage. Bertuzzi like all power fowards is gonna breakdown over the course of the next few years and St.Louis is too inconsistant for what he’s paid. I like Biron, but Cujo will cost less and will allow for a good transition for either Aubin, Rask or Pogge.

  46. the_word says:

    I like this philosophy, I just personally think Richards would be a good fit as Tampa will have alot of trouble signing him. The problem is too that if you sign too many big name UFAs simply to then turn them over you not have anyone willing to sign with you in the future.

  47. DJTOKid says:

    Yah i agree that chara would or could be a waste of big bucks. Thats why i think the leafs should go after rob blake and Kabies brother frankie. If they signed those two and resigned mccabe there defence would finally be sufficiant enough to win games when there offence only scores two or three goals.

    mccabe T.kaberle

    blake F.kaberle

    coliaocovo kronwall




  48. the_word says:

    Give Blake the money McCabe wants for a shorter term, let McCabe walk. With Blake you get a guy who can fill McCabe’s role on the pp and be secure in his own end. Kaberele and Blake would be suffient for the pp, no need to then keep McCabe.

  49. DJTOKid says:

    Yah for sure i would really like to see blake in the blue and white, If they could add mckee, kudina, or desjardins as well i think they wouldnt have so much trouble in there own end. Plus you wouldnt have to play two defensmen for half the game every night, evreyone harps on mccabe for getting burned in his own end, well i bet it wouldnt happen as much if he was playing 25mins a night.

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