Ranking top 20 rental players

A fantasic list of the 20 top players who could be available at the trade deadline.

1. Corey Perry – $5.3 million. Asking price could be a roster player, 1st round pick and a good prospect.

2. Daniel Alfredsson – $4.9 million. Asking price could be a 1st round pick, B-level prospect and conditional draft pick based on playoff success.

3. David Clarkson – $2.7 million. Asking price could be a 1st round pick and a prospect. Source added, ”You only try to do that if you think you can re-sign him.“

4. Jarome Iginla – $7 million with a no-movement clause. Asking price could be a Grade A prospect and a 2nd round that becomes a 1st if the team wins the cup.

5. Mike Ribeiro – $5 million with a no-trade clause. Asking price could be a 1st round pick and a B-level prospect.

6. Mike Smith – $2 million. Asking price could be a 1st round pick and a prospect.

7. Mark Streit – $4.1 million. Asking price could be a A-level prospect and a 2nd round pick.

8. Jaromir Jagr – $4.6 million. Asking price could be a 2nd or 3rd round pick.

9. Lubomir Visnovsky – $5.6 million. Asking price could be a 2nd round pick.

10. Clarke MacArthur – $3.3 million. Asking price could be a 2nd round pick and good prospect.

11. Dustin Penner – $3.3 million. Asking price could be a 2nd round pick.

12. Brenden Morrow – $4.1 million with a no-trade clause. Asking price could be a B-level prospect plus a conditional pick based on playoff success.

13. Sergei Gonchar – $5.5 million with a no-movement clause. Asking price could be a 2nd round pick, or more if multiple teams are interested.

14. Milan Hejduk – $2 million with a no-movement clause.  Asking price could be a 3rd round pick.

15. Steve Sullivan – $2.6 million. Asking price could be a conditional 2nd round pick.

16. Ian White – $2.9 million. Asking price could be a 2nd round pick.

17. Nate Thompson – $900,000. Asking price could be a 2nd round pick.

18. Stephen Weiss – $3.1 million with a no-movement clause. Asking price could be a 3rd round pick that becomes a 2nd if team re-signs him. Would give the team more time to re-sign him.

19. Robyn Regehr – $4 million with a no-movement clause. Asking price could be a B-level prospect plus a 4th round draft pick.

20. Nik Antropov – $4 million with a modified no-trade clause. Asking price could be a 3rd round pick.


410 Responses to Ranking top 20 rental players

  1. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    So the rumours persist that Toronto may shop Kessel. How about Buffalo as a destination? They have assets we could use and Kessel would give them another scorer. Of course, dealing within the East would not be ideal. A deal for future or currents could be made. It could be Kessel/Vanek as key players or for futures like Kessel for Grigorenko,Foligno,Regher. Not saying that would be the deals, just examples. It will be interesting to see what both treams do before the deadline.

    • LN91 says:

      If Kessel is dealt, I think it will occur at the draft and certain dominoes:

      1) I think it comes down to how much money Kessel wants. If he wants <$7 million a year, bye bye. He's not good enough for that money, long-term.

      2) If Toronto gets Perry. Not enough cap space to have both players so Kessel would go.

      Also, this is where the Phaneuf deal gets tricky. I think he's overpaid by $1 million dollars…And I don't think he will take a pay cut, shocked if he asks for a raise. He's getting paid the same amount as elite defenceman in the league…And everyone know's he not a Weber, Chara, Suter, etc.

      • reinjosh says:

        I think you could make Perry fit. It would be a little tricky but it could happen and you could still see Kessel on the team (assuming he isn’t traded for Perry, which I find highly unlikely). Not that it matters, but I don’t see Kessel being moved.

        Assuming he signs for 10 million a year as a UFA. That gives us 8.6 million for 12 players. Komisarek is bought out pushing that total to 13.1 million.

        Our defense is Liles, Phaneuf, Gardiner with Fraser and Gunnarson being cheap resigns. Franson is more expensive but a two year “prove this is real” deal can mitigate that. Plus Holzer as the 7th guy (and Blacker/Ranger being possibilities) and you you can keep the defense relatively cheap. Let’s say Gunnar gets 2, Fraser 1.5, Franson 3.5. That leaves 6.1 million to resign MacArthur, Kadri, Komarov, Bozak, Orr.

        I think it’s safe to say MacArthur hits FA looking for big money. He’s replaceable anyways. Lupul, JVR, Frattin, Kulemin, Kessel, Perry is a very good top 9 wing corps. Bozak is probably an easy let go as well. He’s not worth top line money. Grabo/McClement are the two centers. You can probably bring up Colborne now. Komarov gets 1.75? Orr gets 1.25. That leaves Colborne/Kadri about 3.1 million between them. Colborne reups for 1. So you just have to make room for Kadri. He probably gets close to 4-4.5 long term. Or you do a “show me” deal for two years at a similar deal to Subban’s (not the best comparable but it will do). So you have to clear like 600 000 dollars.

        Hardly the hardest thing to do. You could move Gunnarson and replace him with Ranger (if he’s up for that) or someone in FA.

        Now I guarantee your response will be “the centers” since you have this fetish with size at center and something against Kadri. With Perry, Kulemin, JVR, Frattin, Lupul all considered to play fairly power forward like games, is it even necessary?

        TL:DR Perry could fit and that’s assuming a 10 million dollar salary. Center’s wouldn’t need to be big.

    • leafy says:

      Just move Phaneuf. You’ve already got lots of d-men, plus you’ve got Gardiner and Reilly with bright futures.

      The Leafs cannot afford to lose good forwards. Ship out Phaneuf. Problem solved.

      • LN91 says:

        I, like the league, think Phaneuf is a bit overrated. Good? We all know he is pretty good. Great or elite? Can lead a team to a cup. No. He’s not that good.

        The one thing that scares me is players, for the most part, think they deserve a pay increase if they’re playing alright.

        Phaneuf might command $6.5 million to $7million…Which is where it stupid to sign him to a contract because he’s getting paid more then defencemen that are 10x better then him.

        • mojo19 says:

          Phaneuf is good not great. Agreed 100%.

          I would totally re-sign him if he takes a pay cut. I’d like to have Dion in at around $5 million per season. Especially with the cap coming down.

          But I wouldn’t be opposed to start talking extension early next year. If he wants up around $7 million, ya ship him out.

          • LN91 says:

            I would not mind signing him between $5 million, or a little less then $6 million. It is fair value and what he is worth.

            But honestly mojo or even leafy, do you actually see this guy taking a pay cut?

            I remember everyone had this argument last year when Grabo was signed, and everyone here said it was a good deal while I kept on mentioning it was not a good deal. Although Grabo is a good player, were now stuck with that deal because not many teams would want to take that on.

            In this NHL, important to sign players to reasonable contracts and their value. Phaneuf good be Redden in 2 years.

            • mojo19 says:

              Grabo was a good deal under the old cap, but you did show good foresight about the new CBA and since the cap has come down from the projected $72-74 million it would have been next year to $64 million, Grabo doesn’t look good at all.

              But hey, that’s what the amnesty buyouts are for. Grabo, Liles, Komisarek, these are candidates, although I think we could get assets for Grabo. Legit assets actually.

            • Gambo says:

              Lol not everyone was saying Grabo’s deal was a good deal. There were many people hating the deal as soon as it happened, maybe more than there were people who liked it. You’re so narcissistic it’s not even funny.

              Above where you said Phaneuf is getting paid the same as Chara, Weber and Suter? Suter Makes an average of 9.4 million a year if you don’t count the bs 3 years at the end of his contract where he makes an average of 1.33m. Weber makes an average of 9.7million a year if again you don’t count the last 3 years where he makes 1m each of those years. Chara makes 7m a year, which was the max at the time he signed it. So you can’t complain that Phaneuf is overpaid by 1m and then say he makes the same as someone who makes 3m more than him. Actually, you can complain about anything.

              • LN91 says:

                Cap hit is the VALUE of the contract over the time. Who cares about Salary? That does not go against the cap? Brad Richards is making 10 mil this season?

                Phaneuf’s VALUE of contract, which is more important, is greater then most. It probably will be a high cap-hit when he’s resigned.

                Thing logically, yes, I’m a bit narcissistic. But, I have not been proven wrong here that much…

                • Gambo says:

                  You said he was getting paid the same amount as those players, which he’s not. With the new CBA those contracts wont happen anymore so the Weber’s and Suter’s of free agency will have a cap hit of 9m instead of 7.5m. You can’t compare players that were signed with the loophole of front loaded contracts to players who weren’t signed to hugely front loaded contracts.

                  • LN91 says:

                    That makes no sense. Who cares if it changes? Does it still justify Phaneuf having one of the largest cap-hits for defencemen in the league? NO.

                    He’s not an elite.

                  • leafs_wallace93 says:

                    This actually makes sense because it acknowledges (drum roll please) the CONTEXT of the new CBA.

                    Here is the deathblow, if you don’t overpay on guys like Kessel or Phaneuf you end up overpaying for guys like Komisarek or Connolly anyway. I’ll take the former over the latter.

                    • LN91 says:

                      Overpay on no one…Sign contracts that are reasonable for all players. Cannot load 15 million into Phaneuf/Kessel? You nuts.

              • leafs_wallace93 says:

                You hit the nail on the head Gambo, I don’t understand what UFA pool people think they’ll find a better defenseman than Phaneuf for 5-6 million. 5-6 million buys stiffs like Kubina, Hamrlik, Wizniewski, Ballard, Souray, Redden ect…. These players have really limited skill sets and become cap killers.

                Dion will brings consistency that these players don’t so he’s worth more on the open market.

                Weber is overpaid, he’s been as productive as Dion this year. Imagine Weber was a Leaf at that price? EVERYONE would be crying about it.

                • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                  Not trying to start an argument, but $5-$6mil per season gets you
                  Other than Wisniewski, none of those D-men you mentioned have cap hits over $5mil. Not taking sides, just stating facts.

                  • Gambo says:

                    They all resigned with their current team. All the guys Wallace mentioned were on an open UFA market. If the guys you mentioned(other than Burns) were to sign with other teams they would be looking at Suter type deals.

                    • Gambo says:

                      Sorry not all of the guys Wallace mentioned signed with a different team, but the majority did. You get the point.

                    • LN91 says:

                      Were not diving into the UFA market for D-men?

                      And I would take Weber over Phaneuf any day of the week…And so would mostly every team.

                      I would also take Suter over Phaneuf. He’s an actual shutdown offensive defenceman that can shut down teams…

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      I get the point but they were discussing re-signing Phaneuf and since the cap is going to be lower…Phaneuf is not likely to get more than $6.5 mil per year even on the open market. I honestly don’t think he gets a cap raise in the current market. Just my opinion. Some of the players I mentioned were signed recently when the cap was higher and I don’t see Phaneuf having more value than most of those defencemen. Since the cap is going down, I don’t think Phaneuf gets a raise when his numbers are less than when he signed the original contract. I don’t think Horcoff, Campbell or Paul Martin will expect a raise either, nor should they.

                  • LN91 says:

                    Good point.

                    $6-7 million gets you:


                    I think Phaneuf falls into the latter. Divided into elite and overpaid categories.

                    • Gambo says:

                      Again, 6-7m doesn’t get you Weber, Suter, Chara or Campbell.

                      -Weber, Suter and Campbell all have a CAP HIT greater than 7million. And Chara signed his deal of a 7m cap hit in a league where that was the max. You don’t get any of those player for 6-7m.

                    • LN91 says:

                      Gambo, with decreased salary cap comes/should come DECREASED salary. Everything changes, not one dimension.

                      I don’t see Phaneuf budging from his $6.5 million cap value…But he will probably have to, because that monetary value is greater then what he is worth.

                    • leafs_wallace93 says:

                      Let’s review that list, better than Phaneuf….

                      Chara, Doughty (although having an aweful year), Karlsson and Weber.

                      Boyle is about as valuable.

                      Suter, Timmonen and Campbell worse deals.

                      Phaneuf is middle of the pack on that list. It’s fair value, maybe not great value, but not poor value.

                    • mojo19 says:

                      Wallace do you actually care to back up your claim that Timonen’s is a worse deal than Phaneuf. He’s remarkably better than Dion from what I’ve seen. It’s not even close.

                    • mojo19 says:

                      Also Suter has about 23 or 24 point so far this year, whatever his number is its higher than Parise and Koivu. Ryan Suter is actually leading the team. I get that its a ridiculous 14 year deal, but this guy is ridiculous and at least for the short term, the Wild get to enjoy that amazing signing…. Not saying 5 or 6 years from now we’ll be singing the same tune, but for now, Suter is the goddamn King. And don’t even pretend Dion is close to him.

                      Not bashing Dion, just giving my 2 cents. I like Dion, but again he’s not a top 10 or 15 d-man in the league. I can say that with great confidence.

                • Gambo says:

                  Exactly, any UFA on the open market will be overpaid. You can overpay a little for one of your top players or you can overpay a lot on a couple of UFA scrubs.

                  • mojo19 says:

                    So why do we have to be one of the teams that has one of those close to $7 million d-men? Just ’cause we traded Stajan and White for him years ago? Who gives a shit?

                    Dion is a fine d-man but he’s not a top 10 or 15 in the NHL.

                    • Gambo says:

                      Because he’s a top 2 defenseman, he’s the captain and the team can afford to keep him. He’s probably going to resign for the same amount anyways.

                      They currently don’t have anyone that can take over the minutes he plays. You could argue Gardiner, but he’s not even playing in the NHL so it’s hard to throw him in there. Until someone shows that they can take over Phaneuf’s spot as the number 1 defenseman on the team, they have to hold on to him.

                    • mojo19 says:

                      Well you raise an interesting point Gambo, but for what term? What if Rielly and Gardiner really emerge in the next couple of years, and we can’t move Dion’s monster contract after we extend him.

                      We need to see Nonis show a little foresight here with what he does with Phaneuf. And I’m of the mind that Dion will hurt us if we sign him to a big money, long term extension.

                    • Gambo says:

                      I never really thought about that mojo, I guess it is a possibility that he resigns to a contract that would make it too difficult to trade him. If Nonis feels like that’s a threat then I agree he should be moved as soon as this summer. I just don’t think that having Phaneuf locked up long term will hurt the team in any way.

              • leafy says:

                Gambo, don’t call LN91 narcissistic.

                If he is wrong about something, tell him he’s wrong.

                But if he’s right, tell him he was right.

                • mojo19 says:

                  That’s your problem Leafy. You look at too many situations as being “wrong” or “right” when all of them are grey. There is no absolute yes’s or no’s here.

                  But you’re a good man.

      • reinjosh says:

        And who is going to replace what Phaneuf does for this team?

        Answer: No one. Gardiner/Rielly have no business playing the type of game Phaneuf does and no one in the organziation can do what Phaneuf does.

        Yet another case of Leaf fans actually underrating a player in their organization. Let Phaneuf go and bad things happen to this team

  2. mojo19 says:

    Where I stand on what the Leafs will do with their blueline –

    I thought we we’re at least a couple years away from competing and we are, though Randy Carlyle has made us very competitive, regardless we’re a couple years away from being legit:

    Phaneuf, I would love to trade for assets, meanwhile, Liles and Komisarek are buyout candidates.

    For the long term picture, that leaves:

    Holzer – Just signed a 2 year deal with a $0.800K cap hit.

    Franson – RFA after this year. This guy is playing great hockey and we should sign him to a 4 or 5 year big money deal after this year, say for $3-4 mil a year.

    Gunnarsson – He’s been pretty hot and cold coming off that hip injury. i don’t like seeing him skating the puck out of his end, etc. but most of his mistakes are correctable. Another RFA after this year who needs to be locked in for at least a couple years. I’m thinking a 2-3 year deal worth around $2.5 mil a year, give or take a bit would be worth while.

    Mark Fraser – Steady 3rd pairing d-man, and a safe bet to get an extension of some kind from the Leafs. Expect a 2-year one way deal to come for Fraser, in the $1.5 per season range (give or take a buck).

    Mike Kostka – UFA after this season, the 28 year old rookie has had his ups and downs, but for a rookie, much like Holzer there has been more good to focus on, then bad. The Leafs may have found a real asset with this guy. Both parties should be considering a 1-2 year extension worth around $7-8K similar to Korbinian Holzer.

    The Leafs also have promising blue liners Morgan Rielly, Jesse Blacker, and Stuart Percy who could be close to NHL ready, along with Matt Fynn who is probably a couple years away still.

    • Gambo says:

      Yeah Franson deserves a big raise. Wasn’t ever given the ice time in Toronto until now and he’s proven he’s a top 4.

      I haven’t heard much about Blacker recently. I remember him looking really good at camp a few years ago, how much longer until he makes the jump? And do you think Rielly will make the team out of camp next year? He seems ready, but you never want to rush him.

      • 93killer93 says:

        Eakins said he’s a lot more NHL ready now then he was before. He’s been having Blacker focus less on putting up points and more on being better defensively. Because of the lockout he was behind gardiner, fraser, kostka, and holzer in the pecking order. Now he’s been given increased opportunity. I think besides Gardiner he’s next to get a call up if there is injuries or trades.

  3. mojo19 says:

    Made the 200th, now here’s the 300th comment on this thread. Owooo!!!
    The 300th comment is dedicated to former (underrated) Leaf Mikael Renberg. A work horse and a stud.

  4. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I don’t expect Dion to be traded before the end of the season if the Leafs even trade him. Franson, is the guy I have been loobying to play all last season. I’m glad to see him get the ice time he deserves. I’m thinking he gets a 4 year $14 mil kind of deal. They should try and get it done asap, before he puts up 30+ pts in about 44 games. Franson should be their first D priority to re-sign.

  5. leafy says:

    Right after Thursday’s against Pittsburgh, I said I like the way the Leafs played.

    Well today I say without reservation I absolutely HATED how the Leafs played Saturday against Winnipeg.

    Clearly this team is on and off from night to night. This should be obvious to everyone now.

    So what’s wrong with the Leafs? Why are they so inconsistent?

    I’ll tell you the MAIN problem. The Leaf FORWARDS – that’s right, I said FORWARDS – have absolutely no idea how to play the game when the opponent has the puck.

    The D are not perfect by any means, but they are not the reason the Leafs get pinned in their own zone for long stretches, like we saw Saturday. The friggin forwards don’t know what the hell they’re doing…specifically meaning, too often out of position, lack of skill in playing the body, and inability to win puck battles along the boards. Watch the forwards. They are brutal at defence!

  6. leafy says:

    And I agree with Don Chery. I absolute loathe the shootout.

    The only people who like the shootout are those born after 1995 and American fans (ie, they hate ties in sports).

    Get rid of the friggin shootout!!!

    • Gambo says:

      I think the real reason Cherry hates the shootout is because of his record being broken. The shootout is entertaining for sure, but having a team miss the playoffs because of a shootout loss is just stupid.

  7. Gambo says:

    I think that Phaneuf will be a much better player once he doesn’t have to take on such a big role. If Gardiner or Rielly can take over all the puck moving work by being the ones doing the first passes out of their end or doing the rushing then Phaneuf can focus on a shutdown role.

    Phaneuf’s strengths are shutting down the top players(whether or not he’s been doing a great job at it this year), his big shot from the point, his big hits and his leadership.

    Phaneuf’s weaknesses are skating the puck out of his own end and often his decision making with his first pass.

    Both Gardiner and Rielly excel at the areas Phaneuf is weaker in. So the answer might not be replacing Phaneuf with Gardiner/Rielly, but playing Phaneuf with Gardiner/Rielly.

    • leafy says:

      You’re probably right. The Leafs clearly need an infusion of skill on the blueline (hope Carlyle takes his head out of his rear and sees this). Adding skill next to Phaneuf could make for good chemistry.

      For me the problem with Phaneuf is his salary. I don’t think he’s worth more than $4.5 to 5 mil (nor so much ice time), but that’s just my honest opinion. Clearly some people like him.

    • toronto77 says:

      THANK YOU!!! I have been saying this for weeks now. I don’t know if Phaneuf tries to do too much offensively because the defence overall is struggling offensively or if it’s because of his ego, either way. He doesn’t have to pinch deep or pass the puck, that is Gardiners and Rielly’s specialty, let them do it.

      I like how Carlyle is punishing players that are not playing up to their potential(like today in practice) but i DO NOT understand this stubbornness with not calling up Gardiner, he specializes in the quality that the team is lacking right now.

      • Gambo says:

        I agree with what you said about Carlyle. He’s a great coach, but ffs give Gardiner a chance at least! The thing that bugs me the most is that there are all these rumors of the leafs trying to acquire a top 4 defenseman, they have one that they’re not playing! Call him up, problem solved and you don’t have to give up anything in return except a roster spot.

  8. doorman says:

    And in other news Ryan Miller continues to be slightly outspoken this season, lol. Something has to give in Buffalo, one would think?

  9. nordiques100 says:

    I think Dion needs a partner and i’ll go back to Tyler Myers.

    He isn’t having a great year. Myers though, is huge has some offensive upside and can play a shutdown role.

    I also too think Farrish and Carlyle and Gordon can fix him if he needs fixing. Sometimes a change in scenery is needed.

    He is a RH shot and a bigger upgrade over Holzer. Keep in mind, Dion has played with a guy with a bad hip who shouldn’t really be playing, a first time NHLer, make that two first time NHLers with one being a career minor leaguer.

    He also had a cup of tea with someone who the team wrote off last year, Franson.

    He’s going up against the best of the best in the East. Staal in Carolina, Crosby in Pitt, Ovechkin in Washington, Vanek in Buffalo, Kovalchuk in Jersey. Its not an easy job. Especially without a strong 5 man unit playing with him.

    Look at Boston. Chara is awesome. But so is their goaltending in Rask, so is having Bergeron on one line and Chris Kelly (until he got hurt) on another. reliable checkers.

    Dion has the Ruskies as his checkers up front and the aforementioned partners on D. Its not an easy task.

    I think upgrading the D would help him. He’s not meant for that role to begin with but who do the Leafs have to do that? No one currently. I think adding a Myers to support him would go a long way to upgrading the Leaf team as a whole.

    I realize, yes yes, the biggest needs are probably the centre position, but I think we have to think about the team as a whole. Right now the D could use a boost. Of the players out there, I think Myers would be worth it. Its not a huge gamble IMO despite his big contract and his relatively poor play. I think he needs a change. And like i said, we have the coaches to help him. Even Eakins could help him.

    • LN91 says:

      As much as Myers have struggled, do not expect Buffalo to deal him. Unless you make Buffalo a force to be reckoned with 4 years down the road.

      And we all know how in-division trading has done for the Leafs.

      • doorman says:

        As much as I would happily take a chance on Myers, I do not think the Sabres are going to trade him. However in a cap era who knows, anything can happen, right?

      • nordiques100 says:

        I do actually. I think he is available.

        I think a lot of Sabres save for Vanek are available. They’re going to undergo a makeover I think.

        Probably their kids are going no where, Hodgson, Foligno, Ennis, but I think a lot of guys will be out there.

        As for division stuff. If the deal works for both teams, I think its not going to matter as much.

        • LN91 says:

          I think they will do a makeover, but it will be a youth makoever.

          In other words, Myers is only 22/23 and will probably try to create a core of Myers/Pysyk/McCabe.

          I think Vanek might be dealt…

          • It seems more like an upgrade to help Dion, rather than an upgrade to help the leafs defense. And if that’s the case, perhaps it’s time to look at the player than the overall d-pairing.

            • LN91 says:

              Good point, I’m just confused how Leaf fans think they have great players…But all of them need help to be great? Don’t great players do it by themselves.

              It’s not like Weber/Chara/Suter are playing with great players themselves. Unless Seidenberg/Roman Josi/Brodin have become 1B’s over night.

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                I have posed this question before. Is it worth spending another $5-$6mil per season on a so-called suitable partner for Dion? That would be $11-$13 mil tied up in our first pairing, so my answer was, and still is NO.

  10. LN91 says:

    Few rumblings I have been reading:

    1) Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek said Toronto/Detroit are heavily in the mix for Corey Perry. I would assume this would be the ‘Carlyle’ factor.

    2) Leafs and Chicago have been scouting each other recently. Both Ice Hogs and Marlies included. Minor league deal?

    3) NE battle (Leafs and Canadiens) for Ryane Clowe. Price is said to be high

    4) Joe Colborne has been a PPG player for the Leafs since the lockout ended.

    5) Mike Ribeiro to Toronto? Possibly.

    • nordiques100 says:

      speaking of the Ice Hogs did you see that weird brawl with the Chicago Wolves?!?! crazy!

      Jeremy Morin I think is in big trouble!

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      If there is a deal with Anaheim for Perry, I do believe Kessel will be involved.
      I doubt Ribeiro comes to Toronto…not the type of player that suits our current style of play.
      Colborne is big and healthy. Probably penciled in as the next third line centre,in the fashion they have done with Kadri.
      I still believe the Leafs will deal either Bozak or Grabo. If Bozak goes, Grabo becomes the first line centre, Kadri second and either McClement moves to third line or Colborne comes up. If Grabo goes, Bozak gets his 3 year $12 mil deal and as mentioned above happens for 2nd to third lines.
      People have mentioned Phaneuf’s leadership being an asset. I have to question it. In a game where we are fighting for a playoff spot and Dion and Gunnarsson possible have their worst games in a Leaf uniform is troubling to me. A good leader steps up during these kind of games. Lupul was by far the “leader” Saturday night. I am not saying strip Dion of his “C”, but no one could say Dion showed leadership Saturday in a game we needed it.
      Dion needs to decide what kind of defenceman he is. Is he going to be a tough shut-down guy? Is he going to be an offensive, jump into the rush guy OR a bit of a balance which would take better decision making by Dion.
      Like Dion or hate Dion, I do believe patience is running low with the Leaf brass. Dion needs to find a COMPLETE game, whichever kind of game that is. Although I do not think Dion will be traded this year…if the inconsistencies continue, he will be gone by next trade deadline.IMO

      • LN91 says:

        Dion has been a horrible leader since coming to Toronto. It’s just not in him or Kessel to lead.

        I still say Lupul. Crowd adores him, he comes to play every night, and he handles the Toronto media very well and is very outspoken.

        Isn’t that what you want from a Captain?

  11. leafy says:

    Nobody has commented on Grabovski not called upon during the shootout on Saturday, even though it went 10 players deep.

    That right there tells you the status of his relationship with Carlyle.

    • LN91 says:

      Funny though, I thought Grabo looked at his best when he started to work with Carlyle last season.

      Phaneuf and Franson’s attempts in the shootout were embarassing.

      • nordiques100 says:

        Miettinen’s attempt was the worst of the 20 and he’s a forward and a 30 percent guy in shootouts. So it wasn’t necessarily “embarrassing”

        I would say choosing them was a mistake more than anything.

  12. 93killer93 says:

    At practice Kulemin was dropped to the 4th line and Carlyle had Lupul, Kadri and Frattin as the 2nd line.

    • LN91 says:

      Interesting, why doesn’t Carlyle go back to the lines that were clicking at the beginning of the season?



      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        I was surprised not seeing Grabo shoot by yhe 4th or 5th shooter.
        I believe they are trying to ease Lupul in, minutes wise anyway. He will move back up the order as he gets a few games in.IMO

    • leafy says:

      I actually agree moving Kulemin down to the 4th line. He’s no longer an offensive threat. Give him a role player spot.

  13. leafy says:

    Here’s the key question for Leafs management (and Leaf fans).

    Clearly the Leafs are not exactly Stanley Cup contenders yet. So this means upgrades are warranted somewhere.

    The Leafs are so obviously up and down, both BETWEEN and WITHIN games.

    For now, let’s concentrate on FORWARDS. If you had to identify 3 roster spots that are in need of an upgrade to improve the team, whom do you ship out?

    The 3 candidates to be shipped out, i.e., “dead wood” in the current roster, as chosen by Leafy:


    I don’t know what it is, but I don’t like Grabovski. He doesn’t seem as effective as the last 2 seasons and I’m getting a feeling he’s already peaked. But might be tough to move his contract.

    Kulemin looks good at times, but he disappears like VD after a penicillin shot. No longer an offensive threat, but some gullible GM may be duped.

    Bozak would probably be okay as a third line center. But anything more than that, he’s a liability. His defensive play is totally suspect and his production isn’t enough to overlook that.

    That’s where I would target my upgrades.

    • nordiques100 says:

      I think in an effort to establish a stronger defensive presence, the improvement at the centre ice position would help, but so would adding someone in the top 4 on defence.

      It may be Gardiner, it may come outside, but it has to be something of significance.

      Dion is really the only true top 3 guy. Gunnarsson is a 4, Franson and Fraser are perfect for 5-6.

      Gardiner can be a top 3 guy, but what to make of this “issue” between team, coach, player and agent I dont know.

      If its not him brought in, they need someone at least at that level. Anyone lower would be what they have already to round out the D. A career minor leaguer, a rookie, a defensive liability and a guy they’re going to buyout.

      That’s why i mentioned Myers. He is an option but one of the options out there. But there is I dont think many to choose from. It could be slim pickings.

      As for the Centre position, well its going to be tough for Toronto to improve on it. Nonis will have to dupe some other GM to give him one.

      I would be surprised if they managed to find a taker for Grabovski. He could actually be the 2nd amnesty for team after Komisarek. I think the way he has gone, it sure looks like a stronger and stronger bet that he is bought out.

      My gut feeling is though Gardiner is the only “acquisition” they make prior to the deadline. They’ll call him up….but probably will make him “suffer” some in the minors thanks to those stupid tweets by his agent. the team cannot look soft. Even if its to the detriment of the team, they can’t appear weak and let the agent get his way. He’d probably be with the team now if it wasnt for the #freejakegardiner.

      I cannot believe the fall of Kulemin. I think a change in scenery will do him some good.

      Bozak at least wins draws. And he’s done fine in stretches with Kessel. He isn’t top line material but sadly who else do the Leafs have?

      • leafy says:

        Wow that’s an excellent post Nords.

        Agreed all the way around. Top 3 D and top center are the major voids clearly.

        Clearly the Leafs need more skill on the blueline. Myers will probably tough to get, but the good news is we got both Gardiner and then Reilly looming in the near future.

        A top center is a huge stumbling block. Either via trade or free agency, they’re tough to get.

        Agreed on Grabo, Kulemin and Bozak.

        • nordiques100 says:

          I think Grabovski was good under Wilson where the attention to defence was non-existent. He was around a plus player though at that time under the former coach.

          Also, I need to look back but I wonder if he was put in the situation like Kadri is now by Wilson having him play against 3rd pair Dmen. He certainly wasn’t always lining up against the best of the best of the opponents.

          I think he may have taken advantage of it and score points accordingly.

          But too though, what’s missing in Grabo’s game has been that bit of Komarov in him. Not necessarily hitting anything in sight, but you know, playing at a high energetic feverish pace.

          Maybe its the defensive responsibility, but still, i have not really seen Grabo play at 1000 miles an hour as in the past.

          Actually to be fair, the last 2 weeks or so the team has not been playing at that feverish pace as a whole. If they can get back to that, the wins will come. There will be no excuse Wednesday to not be guns blazing. they would have had 3 days rest in between games. There should be ZERO fatigue in their game.

          • leafy says:

            Yeah Grabo seems slower for some reason. Maybe it is the Wilson vs. Carlyle factor.

            No excuses is right. Even Saturday’s game was no excuse for them to play garbage like they did….against a team right behind them in points, right on home ice,…and against a team that beat them earlier the same week!! Terrible

        • LN91 says:

          Difference though Nords and Leafy, in terms of prospects, Leafs are deep in defence and wingers.

          When it comes to Centers, what do they do? They have Colborne, who has been fantastic, but he will most likely be a 2nd/3rd line center. Although, he does bring much needed size in the top-3 centers.

          But that’s it? You can try shifting JVR? That’s an option (that 75-25 will probably fail). UFA? Centers are usually small and not flattering when it comes to UFA. Trade? Is there anyone outside of Stastny…Who is probably not a good fit.

          That leaves one option…Draft, which is what many people here hate to do, but it’s the only viable option until another avenue possibly opens up.

          • leafy says:

            Totally agreed LN91. Teams hold on to top notch centers.

            Drafting is never popular or glamorous, but as you said, what other option do you have?

            I think the HTR users represent a small proportion of Leaf fans. Outside this website, ever single person I talk to at work or socially is totally PRO-draft. It’s only here where people hate the draft. Important to point that out.

          • nordiques100 says:

            The draft is always the best option. See Toews in Chicago, Crosby and Malkin and Staal in Pitt, Staal in Carolina, Philly had Richards and Carter and now Giroux. And so forth.

            They’re all 1st rounders. The only anomalies were the Wings with Zets and Datsyuk.

            That is why i am a big fan of keeping their 1st rounder. I think with the 2013 draft being full of a lot of good centres, the Leafs could land one either early if they end up there, like a Lindholm or a Nichushkin or late like a Domi.

            I guess the only way I’d move the 2013 1st is if they somehow some way found a way to pry Nik Backstrom from the Capitals.

            • leafy says:

              Yes Nords, I’ve been saying for eons that Detroit is an anomaly, not the norm.

              You’d be surprised how many people here have given me a hard time on this issue, constantly citing the Wings as an example.

              • nordiques100 says:

                The Wings model is effective in ensuring you give your organization depth, not to build your whole team. They remained competitive this way.

                Toronto and actually JFJ deserves credit for finding guys like Holzer, Komarov, Frattin, Gunnarsson, Kulemin and Reimer outside the 1st round. That’s 6 regulars. That’s tremendous. If only they succeeded like that with 1st round picks. Or at the least, not squandered them in deals.

                And Stralman and Stalberg were other mid round finds that were used as assets in future deals.

                I am hopeful some of BB’s mid rounders can contribute within the next, say 5 years. Like Ross, Leivo, Finn, Tom Nilsson who they just signed and maybe Ryan Rupert.

                The 1st rounders though are the bread and butter. Thats where the core guys come from.

            • Steven_Leafs0 says:

              Haha probably shouldn’t include the top 5 picks there since the Leafs are likely never to see one of those again for a while, but I agree with the others, Getzlaf, Giroux, Richards all selected mid-to-late in the 1st round. Right now, unless we are getting an elite center with size, we should keep our top picks and draft big center with them.

          • toronto77 says:

            If the leafs use their 1st round draft pick(which will be somewhere from maybe 12th to 20th) they will not be able to select a centre men to jump into the no.1 role next season, so I do not think it is even an option to draft.

            I am actually willing to move that 1st only, IF ONLY, that 1st round pick a going to be used to get a no.1 centre, AND NOTHING ELSE!

    • toronto77 says:

      I think it would be good to move Kulemin to Pittsburgh to play with his very close russian friend in Malkin. Those two could do some damage together and maybe Kulemin needs a change of scenery. Maybe we can get a 1st out of them, Pittsburgh doesn’t really have any players that I’m interested in(that would be available!) and not too many interesting prospects either, i’d like to take my chances with the first.

  14. LN91 says:

    Pierre Gauthier was scouting the Leafs, Leafs scouting AHL Chicago’s Affiliate.

    Only few players make sense for Chicago; Bozak, MacArthur, and Gunnarsson.

    I will say they’re scouting Bozak…As the only real need on that team is a second-line center.

    • LN91 says:

      Who knows? Maybe they’re scouting Grabo again?

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Grabo would require us taking back a contract…who would Chicago give up?

        • reinjosh says:

          Actually it wouldn’t at least according to cap geek. They have enough space come the deadline to add him and they have enough space next year to do it as well. They likely would want to send a contract back but thats a different issue.

          But I think Bozak makes more sense. I can’t see Chicago giving up a piece for Grabo off the team and I don’t see the Leafs being interested in trading Grabo away for futures.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            I wasn’t stating that as a cap issue, just a logical conclusion about Grabo. I could see the leafs trading Grabo for futures if they intend to re-sign Bozak. They would save about $1.5 mil per season by trading Grabo and signing Bozak. Kadri would be second line centre and either McClement or Colborne would slot into 3rd line.

        • Steven_Leafs0 says:

          Olesz. He was sent to the AHL recently and Chicago is currently eating 4M in cash, 3.75M in cap. They already have Steve Montador to buy out so this may be a perfect fit. Maybe try a deal like:

          Grabovski, ?????
          McNeil, Olesz, 1st

          Not sure what that 2nd piece would have to be but giving Chicago a scoring 2nd line center might get us some awesome pieces if we are willing to take on Olesz (and we should be).

  15. reinjosh says:

    Can anyone honestly tell me who they think is going to replace Phaneuf? (I’m not even going to talk about how moronic I find the notion of trading someone based on what they MIGHT ask for)

    Gardiner or Rielly? They certainly have top pairing potential but a top pairing is composed of two players. Gardiner/Rielly are not Phaneuf type players nor do they have any business replacing that type of player. They are the puck moving, steady offensive guys that you pair with teh Phaneuf type guys. The Suter/Keith type guys.

    Franson? He’s playing great. Except he’s not a top pairing potential guy. Top 4 yes. He’s a great PP option. But he’s not a guy you can count on to shut the other teams top line. Doing that is going to be just thrown a sheep to wolves. There is a reason he’s getting lesser competition.

    Gunnar/Kostka/Holzer? Nope they all seem out of place with Phaneuf. Liles? Again, not a top line guy.

    Finn, Percy, Blacker? Talented yes, but they aren’t top line potential players nor would it be a good idea to throw a rookie into a top line position. And only Blacker plays a physical game. The other two are more the low-key smooth steady guys.

    OH but that’s right. We can replace him in Free Agency. With guys like Visnovksy, Streit, Gonchar, Whitney, Leopold, Regehr, Hainsey, Zidlicky, Hakrlik, Scuderi, Murray, Redden, Clitsome?

    Seriously? You think Phaneuf is overpaid now, just look at what some dman have gotten in recent years. And none of those players are anywhere near Phaneuf’s level. Not a single top pairing player in the bunch outside maybe Visnovsky.

    And good luck finding that guy on the trade market. Philly’s being trying for years and even a massive offer sheet wouldn’t work (yes Wallace, this is for you).

    Like it or not, Phaneuf is going nowhere. He’s probably one of the few pieces on this team who isn’t replaceable. And thank goodness, because he’s far better than half of you give him credit for.

    • nordiques100 says:

      Well its shaping up to be one of the weakest free agent crops for defenceman in some time. When 38 year old Sergei Gonchar is arguably the best guy available, that’s problematic.

      So, the Leafs won’t find a Dion replacement there.

      If you are strictly looking for a Dman who can play 20 minutes at minimum, well the options could range from Anton Volchenkov who offers no offence, to maybe Lubomir Vishnovsky (a pending UFA) who is weak defensively.

      If you want a big minute guy, well there’s Bouwmeester, but he’s, well, Bouwmeester. He isn’t good at anything.

      Or maybe Brian Campbell. But I’d believe Nonis would channel his inner Burke and be appalled at that contract.

      A bit more high end would be Mike Green. But isn’t he as big a liability defensively as Dion? I think yes.

      They could try a couple other oft-injured but very talented guys like Brett Burns or Erik Johnson, but what would that cost? And do they upgrade over Dion?

      their best bet is to add to the D. Add to Dion and give him help.

      You thought Sundin had it bad. Hoglund? What about Kostka, Holzer, Gunnarsson and Franson? That’s Dion’s life. And now he’s being forced back to the off-side.

      • reinjosh says:

        Your point about Sundin is perfectly illustrative of Phaneuf’s position right now. Franson is arguablly our 2nd best dman currently and basically playing third line minutes and PP time. That’s atrocious that he’s probably our best dman right now. Him and Fraser have the makings of a great third pairing but everything between them and Phaneuf is just bad right now.

        In the entire league, only Campbell plays more time per game than Phaneuf. Seriously, it’s literally Phaneuf and then 4-7th guys. He needs someone to play with badly.Moving him is not a smart idea.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          The problem still is…if we don’t have a guy good enough to play with Phaneuf, how do you find one good enough to play with him from somewhere else? I am not a fan of overpaying another top pairing defenceman on this team and having $11-$13 mil tied up in our top pairing. How do we then afford a Perry or top forward.

          Some may not like this, but it MAY be better to trade Phaneuf for assets which include a top 4 D-man(who makes less)plus a prospect/picks/. You then let Gardiner and Reilly develop with Franson, Fraser, Dion’s replacement, maybe Gunarsson and a 4-6 veteran D you pick up from UFA or trade like a Douglas, Smid, Regher.

          I’m not saying trade Dion, but if we are not willing to play the players we have with him, then we may have to. He still needs to be more consistant either way.

          The Sundin/Phaneuf comparison isn’t really fair IMO because Sundin still performed at the highest level every year and led his team. Sundin overcame his lack of talent to play with. Phaneuf hasn’t overcome, but everyone makes excuses for him. The excuses Sundin got was he didn’t have the players to help guide us to a cup and I’m sorry but Hogland was no better than Kostka, Holzer, Gunnarsson and Franson. Phaneuf gets excuses for not even making the playoffs.

          I don’t dislike Phaneuf, but simply put, if he wants to captain this team he needs to lead and overcome. He cannot be our worst defenceman in important games (like Saturday’s) and then be compared to Sundin and his situation.IMO

          • nordiques100 says:

            Again, Burke made him captain. Wilson called him the best defenceman by a country mile. Not Dion.

            Dion has done well but he isn’t in the correct position. He’s a no. 2 guy, he isn’t a top no. 1. He’s played with fringe guys. He’s helped them some, but he too could use a hand.

            Like Kronvall in Detroit. He’s had his ups and downs this year. Not because he’s a bad player but look who he is replacing? Lidstrom. Kronvall was ultra effective on the 2nd pair and with a solid partner in Stuart. He now has Jonathan Ericksson. And now getting the extra 3-4 minutes a game. Now playing more against the best opponents. Now without the steady Stuart covering him.

            At some point good players need other good players around him. Kessel was his best last year with Lupul. They helped eachother immensely.

            Why is Frankie Beauchemin playing so much better? He’s helped by Souray and Allen. A couple of solid pro’s to help with leadership, and spread the minutes. There’s depth there in Anaheim and younger, learning players like Sbisa and Fowler are not being thrown to the wolves. The Ducks recognized the need for D depth and are thriving because of it.

            Why are the Hawks doing so well? Toews of course. many reason of course, but a full season with Oduya and adding Roszival is big. Nick Leddy isnt the no. 3 guy anymore. He’s their 6th D and thriving and the D is much deeper, steadier than last. Its taken pressure off of Keith/Seabrook who are playing much better, closer to their cup winning year level. Steve Montador was a main guy, now he’s out of the mix.

            And why the immensely talented Doughty has struggled? Well they lost Greene, they lost Mitchell. Its forced them to move Scuderi for balance and Doughty has played with the likes of Drewskie, Muzzin and now Ellerby. He’s lost that comfort level and safety net.

            Maybe if Gardiner returns at a high level, Dion gets more comfortable in his role. He’s prone to mistakes yes, but unfortunately with more minutes comes more time to make those mistakes. More time against top players who make others make mistakes. Right now though their 3rd pair is getting 2nd pair minutes and its like waiting for a bomb to explode waiting on that pair of Franson/Fraser to implode being exposed to more minutes.

            It can’t be denied Dion needs help.

            Yes he isn’t worth 6+ mil but who really is? Is Getzlaf worthy of the 4th highest paid cap hit? no. He won’t live up to it either but it’s the way it is.

            I think in the long run, with a Dion taking the heat, it will help Gardiner, help Reilly if they’re together, not trying ot be “the man” without Dion. I think its a huge, huge risk to ask those two kids and some spare parts like Gunnarsson to lead this D.

            And it will be ultra hard in a thin free agent market and teams not looking to really deal top 3 D to find his replacement. Unless a Karlsson falls into our lap, or the Preds say we can’t pay Weber, or they land Pietrangelo via offersheeting him from the Blues, there aren’t many options.

            I listed it above, Campbell, Green, JBo, they’re no better. Better the devil you know then the one you don’t applies in this case.

        • toronto77 says:

          I agree 100%, as one of the biggest Phaneuf haters on this site, what ticks me even more if that there are not a lot of available replacements for him, but like you just mentioned and I mentioned a lot is that you can make him better with a mobile d-man.

          We have so many past examples of a top pairing D group with a physical stay at home d-man and a mobile d-man:


          a Phaneuf-Gardiner/Rielly type of pairing could work the same way.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            As I said…IF we will not play him with who we have(which would include Gardiner and Reilly) then it MAY be best to trade him.
            Funny, I have asked this question before and no one answers it they just say how Dion could be better with a more powerful partner…which is obvious.
            I will ask again…Who is this mystery #1 D man we are getting outside our own club and how much will he cost? No one has answered that. I have said I don’t mind Dion. Overpayed? Yes. The point I was making is that it may cost too much to get him help…In that case, you trade him.IMO Where do we get this help from and what do we have to give up to get it? If there is no answer ot that, then you trade him for something else you need.
            No offense to the pairings listed above, but Phaneuf is not as good as any of those players…burns maybe. And what would talents like Pronger-Neidermayer cost against the cap nowadays? $15mil?
            Not trying to start anything, but you haven’t said anything I don’t already know Nords.
            The facts are still the same, Dion is the captain and he is inconsistant. I’m sure Dion’s captaincy was discussed with him and he accepted before it was announced. Therefore, HE has to accept the responsibility of the captaincy and lead since he accepted the responsibility in the first place. If he can’t handle it or thinks he is not living up to it, then he should step down as captain.
            Callahan has taken some heat in NYR as captain. I don’t hear anyone saying “it’s not his fault, Sather made him captain.” Alfredsson has taken heat in Ottawa in the past, so he elevated his game. THAT is what a captain does. That is what Dion needs to do instead of people making excuses for him. I like Dion..at times he is very solid, but not the vast majority of times. More and more I believe he is not a guy to build around and he is doing nothing to change my mind lately.

            • LN91 says:

              Callahan is my favorite captain in the league..Guy his a heart and soul player who tries 100% a night.

              Same with DB.

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                That’s my point LN91. Callahan will step it up. I like him as a captain, but when he takes heat for his play, he comes out and takes control in a game.

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              Plus there is not many teams spending over $11 mil or more on their top 2 defencemen which is what we are looking at to get that guy for Phaneuf. Most successful teams are playing 3-4 guys in the $3-$4.5 mil range. In other words load up on 2’s and 3’s instead of paying huge for a 1-2 combo and have nothing left but 5-7’s to fill the defence.

    • Is he? Because it seems like he’s riding name value right now. Can somebody eat those minutes and play just as out of position as him? Most likely. However, you won’t know until you give somebody that role. Maybe they do better. Maybe they fail horribly. I’d say before you trade him, give somebody on the team those minutes and see how they do. Seems like he gets a lot of credit for being on the ice doing nothing, just because he’s eating those minutes against top lines.

      I think there’s too much pressure on him. He should’ve been stripped the captain role a long time ago.

      I’m not saying try your best to replace him through free agency, but it may be time to look at other options than Dion as your top guy.

    • Gambo says:

      Thank you Reinjosh.

  16. LN91 says:

    Bye bye Corey Perry. Nice knowing yeah.

    • nordiques100 says:

      Its a great deal for him. You sort of figured they wouldn’t want to keep one without the other except for the fact they still did have Ryan, so if they traded Perry for like 3-4 assets, they’d still have a top scoring winger.

      I think now though Bobby Ryan is going to get traded. Jonas Hiller is on the block too most likely.

      With Rankell, Etem, Holland, Palmieri, Smith-Pelly and Cogliano, they’ll use these kids to support the big 2.

      Will that be good enough to compete for the cup? Hard to say, but they’re following the Pens model. 2 big guys, and lots of entry level guys or no-name role guys in support.

      Because they’re near the top, they’ll probably keep Ryan until the off-season, a la Staal in Pittsburgh. have one last run with the big guns, including Selanne, Koivu, etc, and clean house in the off-season to work the cap.

  17. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I am not that surprised they re-signed him, but I am surprised at the number. Selanne, Koivu and Lydman are obviously gone after this year unless they plan on trading Ryan, which I have suggested is an option for them. They could get a couple good roster players or roster player and prospect/picks for Ryan for either around the same money they are paying him or even less in the second scenario.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      Since many seem to feel the right move is to get Dion help by adding a top pairing D-man, which I am not against as long as it comes from within at a reasonable cap hit. Gardiner or Reilly most likely.

      From outside(trade/UFA) I think most would agree we are looking at another $4.5+ mil a year D-man. As I have been trying to say, that does not follow the logic behind most successful teams. And what if Dion demands a raise to stay after next year.

      For example, Dion has a $6.5 mil cap hit. Add another D man at a MINIMUM of $4.5 mil and the hit for the top pairing is $11 mil per season. This does not stack up well against the rest of the leagues best teams.

      Anaheim- no D makes over $3.667 mil per
      Boston- Chara-$6.917 next D $3.367 Total top 2$10.284
      Carolina-no D makes over $4.5 mil per
      Chicago- Seabrook $5.8 mil, Keith $5.551 Total top pairing $11.351
      Los Angeles-Doughty $7mil next $3.5 top 2 =$10.5
      Minnesota- Suter $7.538 mil Gilbert $4mil next $1.357 top 2 = $11.538
      New York Rangers- no D makes over $3.975 mil per
      Pittsburgh-no D makes over $5 mil per
      St. Louis- no D makes over $3.167 mil per
      Vancouver- 4 D between $4.2 and $4.6

      Only Chicago and Minnesota have cap hit over $11mil for their top 2 D-men and we are talking about Keith, Seabrook and Suter being the main reasons. The over $10 mil pairings are because of Chara and Doughty. Are we putting Phaneuf in the same categorie with Suter, Chara and Doughty? I hope not.

      Yes,Ottawa has $12 mil tied up in Karlsson and Gonhar. Karlsson may be the best defenceman in the league and Gonchar is not worth $5.5 mil. Gonchar will not be back next year at $5.5 mil.

      I don’t see how bringing in another high paid top pairing D-man via trade or UFA will work considering what Dion makes and brings to the table.

      Unless our plan is to pay over $12 mil on Campbell and Jovanovski like Florida did. Yea, that worked well for them.

      No trying to harp on it, but Phaneuf is not elite and therefore should not make elite money, nor should we throw money at top D-men to help Phaneuf. The top teams don’t do it, neither should we.

      • nordiques100 says:

        Keep in mind again that a) It was the Flames who signed him to that deal, and he was one of the original guys who started the craze of signing big after their entry deal expired. Calgary did it not the Leafs.

        and b) the alternative is to be currently paying Matt Stajan at 3.5 mil the next couple seasons, Ian White 2.7 mil to be a press box guy like he is in Detroit now, a team thin on D, and Nik Hagman/Jamal Mayers.

        So, in comparison its not like we gave up Hamilton/Seguin to get him.

        Those are key points that you need to keep in mind.

        Who knows what number Dion will sign for. Chara re-signed for less in Boston. Nonis may ask Dion to do the same. And if they’re not on the same page there, well then he walks. Apparently that’s not a big deal around here cause he is so “Bad”.

        As it is hard to assume he’d get signed to a discount, its equally hard to assume he gets an astronomical raise.

        Your analysis too would have to look at the top 6 as a whole. If it hovers around 18-20 mil, then they can make it work.

        It comes with having effective, useful depth guys coming cheap, like Kostka, like Fraser, like Holzer. It comes with ensuring the dough isnt used on a Komisarek or a Liles. If those two are subtracted, it wouldn’t be a big problem to add a 3.5-5.5 mil Dman to the group. Maybe mirror the Hawks sort of.

        Gardiner is still affordable for another year. Reilly will be around for certain at some point over the next 3 years so his entry deal will be cheap. Holzer re-signed affordably. I am sure Kostka and Fraser won’t cost a lot. Franson and Gunnarsson may be due to get a raise. Its those players you have to be careful on to not overpay.

        Its where those players, the Fransons, the Gunnarssons, if they’re getting upwards to 3.5-4 mil then there is the concern. 4th-7th Dmen with that kind of money isnt going to work.

        2-2.5 mil is more tolerable.

        So say Gunnarsson/Franson come in at a combined 5 mil. Gardiner at just over 1 mil and Reilly at 1.7 are still on entry deals. Holzer is at around 800K and if they bring back Fraser and Kostka at minimal raises for example, like say around 900K, these 7 D are at around 10 mil. Obviously not all 7 of these will be on the team considering there will need to be a spot for Dion and if they add someone else. If you include Dion and another player at say 4-5 mil. and subtract 2 names off the first list of 7, thats going to bring it to roughly 20 mil, a fairly competitive amount compared to many teams like Boston, like Chicago and so forth.

        You have to look at it more in that way.

        And I think another key would be continuing to have affordable goaltending. This is where you manage the cap. If the goaltending is cheap relatively, like say 5 mil for both goalies combined at max, then it leaves that kind of room for your other positions.

        If say though they end up with a big ticket goalie, like a Luongo, then that creates a domino effect. It may make the leafs think hmm, maybe i have to then move Dion now, with the dollars allocated to the G and a preference to keep the forward nucleus.

        Everything is all connected. If they find a big time centre somehow and pay him big dollars, well then they have to think about dropping the Grabovski dollars to make that room.

        If the big name goalie is the way to go, like a Kipper or Luongo or even a Miller, then maybe a rich and expensive D is not plausible. Especially true if it means a JVR or a Kessel has to go out the door instead.

        I think Nonis will hopefully be much better than BB at the cap management. Its finding that right balance. It will be tricky.

        It may be something used as leverage for Nonis. He may ask his captain hey, we want to pay you, but not more than what you make now. If we want a winner we need this number, not say the Suter number.

        Its something Chara accepted, Alfredsson did too in Ottawa. If the captaincy means something to Dion, he’d think about that too.

        Burke isnt in charge anymore and so I have less trepidation that the Leafs will throw everything at Dion as I would have expected Burke to do. Keep in mind too he’d loath giving players term so to accept less term, he’d throw more dollars. It was Burke’s way. But maybe not Nonis. that is another thing to keep in mind.

        Im rambling and I am not trying to say Dion is perfect, he is far from it. But I look at the other options and i am appalled to think Leaf Nation would prefer some of the other comparables like a JBo or a Campbell or even Vishnovsky or bringing back Kaberle over keeping Dion.

        Like I said, if a Karlsson or a Pietrangelo or Bogosian fell into our lap, then hey I am all for saying goodbye to No. 3. But how big of a longshot is that?

  18. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I like the Phaneuf trade. Always have. But I don’t see how keeping him and finding him a partner compared to not making that trade is relevant at this point really. I get what you are saying though.

    I don’t disagree with what you have said. But as you know, if we go UFA for a guy to fit with Phaneuf, we will be overpaying. I’m not saying you Nords, but many are happy giving Phaneuf a raise. My comments are more directed at that route of thinking.

    Our top 2 D is $11mil…Dion and Komi. We might pay another D the money we are paying Komi to play with Phaneuf…and if it doesn’t work? Then what?
    I hear what you are saying, but there is soooo many IF’s needed to keep Phaneuf at his pay, or higher AND find a suitable partner.

    If we can have goalies at $5mil or less(they still have to be good goalies)

    If our D can be signed for decent money (Franson, Gunarsson)

    If we find the right guy for Phaneuf and don’t overpay(who is available? no one has answered that yet.)

    If Gardiner comes at a decent price after next year(Gardiner is $1.117 and Reilly $1.775 right now)

    This off-saeson we have Franson, Fraser, Kadri, Gunarsson, McLaren, Orr and Komarov that need to be re-signed. There is also Bozak, MacArthur, Kostka due for contracts.

    The year after it’s Kessel, Phaneuf, Kulimen, McClement, Frattin, Gardiner, Reimer, Scrivins.

    There’s alot of raises due over the next 2 years- Kadri, Gardiner, Frattin, Franson, Gunarsson, Reimer, Scrivins, Bozak(if we keep him). Then you still have to look at what Phaneuf and Kessel will want.

    These are also things that have to be kept in mind.

    I don’t want Campbell, JBO, or Kaberle instead of Phaneuf either, but who is this guy we are getting for $4.5-$5 mil anyway? Top defencemen don’t come cheap. Are we stealing Markov, Bfgulein, Yandle, Myers (a little above your $5mil, but you get the idea) somehow without giving up a JVR, Kadri, Gardiner or Reilly. How do we get this guy here (Dion’s new partner) that so many are talking about being the best route to go? I understand we can trade Grabo, Kulimen, MacA, Bozak, Kostka, Liles, buyout Komi or/and one of the others. Who do we replace them with?

    All I’m saying is…it may be harder than many think to find that partner for Phaneuf at the cost we want. It seems that it may be better to move Dion for assets we could use.
    Just for argument sake, not saying this would happen. You like Myers. Say we could trade Dion to Buffalo for Myers(signed til 2019) and Foligno for instance. You now have a young, big D amn and a young, big power forward for the same price as Dion. It is easier and cheaper to find a veteran stay at home D to play with Myers then it is to find a top D to play with Dion. Buffalo could play Dion with Erhoff. We would have Gardiner, Myers, Franson, Fraser, Liles, Gunnar, Holzer and Reilly in the waiting. We also improved our top 9 with Foligno. Sign a 4-5 veteran D for about $2.5-$3.5 and as you said, we still have room to sign the guys we want to keep.

    It’s an option we should keep in mind.IMO

  19. doorman says:

    Holzer assigned to Marlies, probably a good move, but does gardiner get called up or not? I have a feeling they are going to leave him there.

  20. Gambo says:

    Looks like Jake Gardiner is about to be freed! Now lets just hope leaf fans don’t cry about trading him if he has a mistake.

  21. nordiques100 says:

    He probably could have came up a week ago if the agent of his didnt have that silly tweet #freejakegardiner.

    With Dion back to the right side, with Gunnarsson, I bet Gardiner joins his Marlies partner Mike Kostka on the 2nd pairing leaving Liles back to the press box with Komisarek.

    Gardiner will make mistakes. His speed though allows him to recover real well. The leafs could use him being able to take the puck from the back line to the blue line quickly.

    • doorman says:

      i THOUGHT HIS mARLIES PARTNER WAS hOLZER, LOL? oh we, either way I would keep Liles in and sit Kostka, but that is just me. I think you are right Gardiner will make mistakes and has the ability to recover. Like I said i hope he gets his fair shot, the two game stint after a head injury and his agents tweet, didn’t do him any favours.

      • Gambo says:

        This year Gardiner played with Kostka, Holzer was with Fraser. Gardiner said he loved playing with Kostka and that they had great chemistry. Gardiner also had good chemistry with Franson last year. Lol the D could go anyway. Maybe Komisarek will be back in :p

        • nordiques100 says:

          I think Komi is done. I think they’re going the way of keeping him out to not get hurt so they can buy him out.

          I think after he almost blinded himself breaking his stick and having it shatter near his eye, I think the team decided, forget it. we’re not taking any chances. He’s sitting.

          • doorman says:

            I am still not convinced he can’t be traded. I know lots will laugh, but a vetern guy who is well respected and known to be good in the room. Somebody could take a chance on him.

  22. leafy says:

    It’s about time Gardiner is called up.

    I seem to be the only one who think Holzer was overwhelmed by the NHL. Still needs a LOT of seasoning with the Marlies.

  23. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Gardiner called up? Plan the parade…

    Like what Rein said, it’s moronic to harp trade this guy and that guy because they’ll definitely demand more than 6 or 7 million two years from now?

    And to concede that YOU NEVER OVERPAY ANYONE, is equally silly because the Leafs (that billion dollar franchise) will spend to the cap and will replace star talent for overpaid plugs. I.E. Trade Phaneuf and sign the next Komisarek (progress?).

    The Leafs are never going to be that build through top five draft picks for years team. They can however be the next NYR/Philly spend spend spend and be forceful in the trade market. That’s how a big market operates, bully the smaller markets and that’s what the Leafs have to become. Burke wouldn’t do it on principle and I don’t have faith that Nonis has the ambition to be aggressive, he’s too passive.

    And the daily Phaneuf is better than him but not him… Does anyone remember how hopeless this franchise was before Phaneuf? the 0-7 starts, soft turn over machine blueline? Phaneuf made stable as musical chairs on the blueline where Aulie, Gunnerson, Schenn and Gardiner all where able to emerge. Trade Phaneuf then you’re throwing Gardiner to wolves and this market will eat him alive.

    How soon we forget how terrible this team was with a productive but ‘skill player’ Thomas Kaberle in the #1 slot, I’ll stick with Dion thank you.

    • LN91 says:

      Didn’t NYR and Philly build through the draft?

      Couturier, Giroux, Stepan, Del Zotto, etc?

      Also, didn’t NYR and Philly acquire most of their talent through drafting players? Nash, both Schenn’s, Voracek, etc?

      Only a few players were bought…Richards, Briere, Bryzgalov, Gaborik? And 3/4 of them are already wanted out of town.

      In other words, glad you agree that the Leafs need to build through the draft. Appreciate it 🙂

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        How many were top five picks?

        Schenns, Nash Voracek acquired through the draft?
        Those are called trades, I said be aggressive on the trade market, something Nonis won’t do. Pronger must have been a draft pick too then?

        Than Pronger trade was awesome for Anahiem they got two whole draft picks.

        Unless you’re suggesting that the Leafs should build through 10-20 overall picks like every other perpetually mediocre team in league history.

        Draft Schmaft forever 🙂

        • LN91 says:

          Luke Schenn for JVR (Philly pick)?

          Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds for Mike Richards (Philly pick)?

          Voracek and Couturier for Carter (Philly pick)?

          Rick Nash for Anisimov (NYR pick), Dubinsky (NYR pick), Erixon, and a 1st round pick.

          They drafted and used their prospects as assets.

          Drafting is how you build teams…

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      I don’t see how it’s moronic to trade a guy if you know you’re not going to sign him for what he will ask, especially if it is too much. You then get a return for him over letting him walk for nothing. Planning ahead is managing your cap. How is that moronic?
      Anyhow, I didn’t see anyone discussing trading a guy the last couple days because he may ask for $6 or $7mil in a couple of years, unless I missed it.

      There is no doubt we are better since Dion got here, but he is not the only reason for the turn around. There have been many acquisitions since Dion got here. Lupul, Gardiner, JVR, McClement, Franson, Fraser, McLaren, MacArthur, Liles. The emergence of Reimer, Scrivins, Kadri, Frattin, Komarov. There are very few players left on this team since Dion got here including the fact we still had Toskala and Gustavsson in net. Dion has made a difference for sure, but I don`t think he is the only reason for no more 0-7 starts.

      • LN91 says:

        I like how all teams can complete these kinds of moves all the time, but when it comes to the Leafs, it’s moronic.

        Leafs and their fans want to do everything unconventional, maybe that’s why they still suck.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          And if you don`t make the move, and you weren`t going to sign him for what he will ask…you get ripped for not moving him. New Jersey and Nashville are being second guessed for not trading Parise and Suter. People complain about Grabo`s and Liles contract. Both guys we overpaid to keep long term. I guess hindsight is better than palnning ahead:)

        • leafs_wallace93 says:

          How often to teams trade their top two players two years before their contracts are up?????

          Atlanta and…….

          All the time….

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        It’s an assumption that these guys are leaving and what they’ll sign for, nothing is set in stones as some are suggesting with the most pessimistic outlook.

        Look around the league, teams resign they’re top talent unless their in a strict rebuild. We’re hardly in a Kovalchuk or Hossa situation.

        We were much improved when we got Giguere and Phaneuf, it didn’t sustain long term but Phaneuf gave us another cornerstone, trading him will set this franchise back which is gravy for the Tank Nation/build through the draft for another eight years crowd but I can’t endorse that as….

        Toronto will never show the patience for that type of rebuild

        The Leafs are competitive now, this roster won’t be or should be blown up

        It’s a cowards mentality to think just because we’re not going into the playoffs in 1st place it not worth making the playoffs at all.

        Funny all these guys emerge after Dion gets here but he’s a terrible leader.

        I never said Dion was the savoir, no one player turns around an entire franchise. I said he brought some stability to the blueline.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          Fair enough. I disagree with you that trading Phaneuf would be our demise, but that`s fine. I don`t mind Dion, but I am not for trading assets or spending $5mil plus on a partner for him. Personally, I don`t think that is the best decision. That`s just my opinion.

  24. Gambo says:

    I’m disappointed that you didn’t have the 400th comment, Mojo.

  25. LN91 says:

    If anyone watches the Marlies, this team has been decimated by the end of the lockout…And these guys are still producing.

    Colborne had 3 points tonight, has been a PPG player since January and tied his point total from last year (in 7 less games, and he’s a +10 this year when he was even last year).

    Looks healthy, even if he is a 2nd/3rd-line center…He atleast brings much needed size in out top-3 centers.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      I haven’t seen many this year. I did see them last year a couple times live at the start before Colborne got hurt and he was by far the best player on the ice. I am hoping the injury was the set back. If so, He would add some needed size and skill up the middle on the big club.

      • nordiques100 says:

        Big guys take a while at times. Not everyone can be like Lindros, step in, be an MVP within the first 2-3 years as a pro right out of junior/college.

        Antropov took forever in Toronto, probably by age 26 he started to get going. Colborne is 3 years or so away from that age still.

        The speed of the game today is tough to adjust to. And keep in mind, he was in college and a lower level in canada before going there. Not the same as say guys in the CHL.

        He’s coming around…..like to see him stay healthy for a full season and do what he is doing over that time. Again, he’s a big raw guy, he’s going to take time. Not necessary to rush him.

        he may be able to provide a spark for a few games this year, but, lets not say put him as our no. 2 or even no. 1 centre now. Gotta break him in slow.

  26. leafy says:

    Happy Birthday to number 4, Bobby Orr. Turns 65 years old today!

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