‘Several’ teams after Mikhail Grabovski: agent

While “several” NHL teams have shown an interest in Mikhail Grabovski, the just-married centre remains in no hurry to decide his fate, according to his agent.

“I have several teams talking to Grabovksi,” said agent Gary Greenstin. “We’ll see what direction we go.

“He’s not worried.”

Greenstin said Grabovski remains in Toronto and will leave in a few days for his honeymoon. Greenstin said Grabovski’s expletive-filled tirade was unfortunate following his buyout by the Maple Leafs.

“He was under pressure,” said Greenstin.

The buyout — that turned him into an unrestricted free agent — came the day before his wedding. His wedding Friday was the first day teams were allowed to sign free agents. More than $300 million was spent on free agents in the first six hours. Grabovski was not among them.


86 Responses to ‘Several’ teams after Mikhail Grabovski: agent

  1. coyotes_bettman says:

    If I were the Red Wings I think I’d sign Daniel Cleary.

    Grabovski to the Hurricanes or the Blue Jackets.

    Former Leaf should have 10000 comments not related to the article but about Clarkson coming up 🙂

  2. mojo19 says:

    David Clarkson is a bad ass.

  3. leafy says:

    It’s too quiet. Where are the trades?

    • nordiques100 says:

      I agree, but the issue is the cap. I think when more and more of the RFAs get re-signed or dont, then maybe something breaks.

      but, the teams in cap difficulties have to do something, while the teams with cap space either don’t spend to the cap so don’t particularly want to add more salary, or they are like Toronto with RFAs to re-sign.

      I think after the draft and then free agency, teams are just taking a collective breath to see what they have.

      But overall, the cap crunch seems to be causing some issues and I think teams too are hoping to get one of the ufa’s cheap thus are going to wait that out b4 turning to trades.

      • leafy says:

        Yeah looks like it might be a while before there’s a big blockbuster. Hopefully there’s a salary dump somewhere that could help the Leafs, either a blueliner or reliable proven center.

  4. nordiques100 says:

    So what’s left for the Canadian teams?

    The Habs appear most set with them being up against the cap now at around $62 million (including bonuses) and just needing to re-sign Ryan White.

    Their forwards look like:


    There were a couple rumors out there they’re shopping Moen. But, being signed til 2016, might not be a lot of takers.

    Of their forward prospects, Leblanc is the closest, but time is running out for him.

    Thomas was a good, cheap addition. I think Collberg is coming over after signing his entry level deal. Bournival is also in Hamilton.

    The second wave includes top picks McCarron and De La Rose, Aturi Lehkonen and 2012 pick Charles Hudon.

    Their D is also set:

    Markov-Emelin (though could miss the start of year)

    Tinordi and Beaulieu are close if not ready. They may look for another cheap option on D too to add further depth.

    Price and Budaj will handle the goalie duties. Big year for Price as he tries to make the Olympic team and recover from a poor playoff. we’ve seen him come back before so don’t bet against it.

    Fucale gives the Habs an excellent goalie prospect to groom for a few years. Great pickup.

    The Sens were sure busy. They lost Alfredsson but acquired Bobby Ryan. It should be a real interesting year for them. They have a ton of cap space at just $51 mil committed (including bonuses), and with no 2014 1st round pick, they may be going hard to challenge for a playoff spot.

    With just Condra and Weircoch to re-sign, there should still be quite a bit of flexibility for the Sens.

    Their forwards

    Stone, DaCosta and Hoffman will be challenging for jobs next year. Its unlikely they pursue anyone else in free agency. I see them more being a potential deadline team looking to add then.

    Their D is less settled.


    I am curious to see if they make one more addition. They added Corvo, but he can’t log as much ice time as Gonchar and isn’t close to being as good. Maybe if affordable, they bring back Filip Kuba who had some success there before.

    I am wondering too, how long before they turn the no. 1 goalie role to Lehner? Probably not to start since Anderson is really good, but Lehner is an elite prospect that shown to be ready now.

    I like the pickup of Lazar. With him, Ceci and Peumpel, they have some nice prospects on the way to go with the guys who are already there or almost ready. Its why they could afford to make that 3 for 1 trade for Ryan.

    The Jets are not a cap max team and sit at $45 mil. But they have to re-sign Bogosian, Little and Wheeler which won’t be cheap.

    Great additions on their part to get Setogutchi and Frolik relatively cheap. They will add needed depth. I think they still need a centre and could make a pitch for Grabo (i think a few rumors said they have). Its unsure if Schiefle is ready or not. He’s pencilled in for now, but he doesn’t look NHL ready for his size yet.

    I think they could use a brawler too. Someone to add some needed toughness. They have a lot of size, but a few of them are rather soft. They could use someone so people like Ladd or Kane don’t have to.

    Forwards are:

    Of their key forward prospects, besides Schiefle, Cormier and Klingberg will vie for jobs.

    Their D appears set with


    I really like the pick of Morrissey. He should help them in a couple years. Couple him with Trouba, who may help them now, they have a good set of D.

    I wonder then, with some young D on the way, is Bogosian available?

    He’s a really intriguing piece for a lot of teams. If I were a GM, I’d be squeezing the Jets hard with an offer sheet. But, the problem is, there are so few teams able to do that, it seems like a pointless process.

    In goal, Pavelec will continue to be the no. 1 with Montoya backing him up.

    Check later for the Western Canadian teams.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Classic Nords season preview 🙂

      Montreal reminds me a bit of the late Quinn early JFJ Leafs, a lot of centers that will be forced out of place. I mean Briere might as well be Jeff O’Neil or Eller Stajan, Galchenyuk Steen (Gal has more upside obviously)…

      The difference, Habs have goaltending.

      Ottawa, I don’t care what they add, this isn’t an intimidating team, there better with Ryan but they’ll still play their pansy trapping let’s win 1-0 with plug goaltending because we suck and we’ll eventually get exposed.

      Winnipeg is forever in grid lock, they’re not good or bad and that doesn’t look to change any time soon.

      • nordiques100 says:

        The thing with Ottawa for me is that if one of their big guns gets hurt, there is no durable Alfredsson to carry the team.

        I know Ryan is a great player. But Alfredsson I think brought everyone together with a bunker mentality and carried the Sens emotionally to buy into the system and play that disciplined style.

        While they have that experience, who will be the man to step up when they have a tough time? I just dont know Phillips, Spezza or Neil are those types. I think they will be in huge trouble if they make Karlsson a captain. He is so far from being captain material its not funny.

  5. doorman says:

    Here is a trade Oilers aquirre Perron from Blues, details to follow

    • Steven_Leafs0 says:

      Paajarvi and a 2nd. Huge win for the Oilers. Perron is a great 2nd line LW for them.

      • reinjosh says:

        Not really a loss for St Louis though. I guess the argument could be made that they have so many forwards that they devalue some of them, but I like this deal for them. Perron is constantly injured, and the move clears up cap space to sign Stewart/Pietrangelo and frees up ice time for Tarasenko/Schwartz

  6. doorman says:

    LOL, Lets try acquire lol, ughh type too fast and no proof reading

  7. nordiques100 says:

    Curious the Oil getting another smallish, skilled winger.

    They have Eberle, a lock, they have Hall, not small but not a PF a la Lucic by any means. They have Hemsky (whenever he chooses to show up for games) as well as Yakubov and now Perron.

    Me thinks something must give.

    Perron will help though. Really highly skilled. Hope the concussions are a thing of the past for him.

  8. nordiques100 says:

    As for the Blues, smart call.

    a) they have smallish guys already with Oshie, Roy and Schwartz.

    b) some good, more seasoned, experienced Euro’s on the team like Steen to help bring Paajarvi along. He’s a player with a lot of potential still but nothing to show for it so far.

    c) Hitch. Great coach, will get the most out of him I think. Probably fits that system more with Paajarvi being a more defensive player thus far in his career.

    • mojo19 says:

      Ya Paajarvi is a nice pick up for the Blues. Perron had a couple really good years before his concussion, maybe he can pick it back up for the Oil.

  9. mojo19 says:

    Joe Colborne at $600K is a nice depth centre for us, could be a bargain if he has a good year.

    Gunner and Fraser going to arbitration is good, but I really hope neither guy ends up walking away for nothing, that would be balls.

  10. LN91 says:

    From what I’ve been ready…Josh Leivo, Dominic Toninato, Petter Granberg, and David Broll have been doing damage at the Leafs Development Camp.

    Petter Granberg has been described as a similar, but way nastier, Carl Gunnarsson. He was a key member for Sweden during their World Jr. win.

    I’ve always liked players we drafted in the fourth round…Toronto seems to do well there. In saying that, Toninato is a 5-year project…But he apparently possesses high end talent and have been developing nicely.

    In saying that, the difference between now and 5-years ago (good difference) is Toronto has so many first-round picks, that we don’t know who this guy is…Allows him to develop and just fly under the radar.

    • reinjosh says:

      Toninato is looking very nice. Finished top 10 in points in his first USHL, which is pretty good for a guy coming right out of High School hockey. Him going to the NCAA will be a nice way for him to develop slowly and physically. I’m a fan.

      Leivo is awesome. He’s developed steadily since he was drafted and he looked great in his short AHL stint last year. I’m excited to see what he can do this year in the AHL with top 6 time.

      I’m betting that Granberg makes the Leafs this year, likely with a little AHL season first, but my gut says he’ll see significant NHL time this season. Plus he’s a righty, which we could use on the NHL roster (not that this would be reason enough to have him on the team). A nastier Gunnarsson sounds fantastic. Him and Rielly apparently played quite well together in teh scrimmages yesterday.

      And it was nice to see Herzog get the only goal during the scrimmage. He’s coming over to the Remparts to play NA hockey, so he could get see some nice growth.

    • toronto77 says:

      I would add Verhaege to that list as well of dominating.

      Leivo probably won’t make the leafs but be very good in the AHL.

      Like i’ve said before, there has been a lot of talk and movement in the leafs top 6 lately but the bottom 6 seems very undecided.

      Top 6 is Kessel, Lupul, JVR, Clarkson and 2 of 3 of Kadri, Bozak and Bolland

      3rd line options are 1 of Kadri, Bozak and Bolland, Kulemin

      4th line options are McClement, Orr, McLaren

      So the bottom 6 still really needs to be addressed, and possibly at a very cheap price the leafs decide to promote from within with D’Amigo, Leivo, Ashton, Biggs.

  11. nordiques100 says:

    Keeping on the topic of the Oil, I think they have a few more things to do to improve their team.

    The additions of Hamilton, Gordon and Brown give them some sandpaper but they need a couple of players to be physical presences at the top 6-top 9 level.

    I like Perron. Great skilled guy. I wonder now though, Hemsky, or dare I say Yakubov on the block and on their way out?

    I cannot see them trading Hall or Eberle. And unless they get a big centre back in return, Gagner and RNH will return.

    MacT did say he’d be prepared to do something really significant but we haven’t seen it quite yet.

    There’s been some rumors out there about Miller and/or Vanek from Buffalo. i find that a bit hard to believe they’d get both, but very possible they’d get one or the other.

    Their forwards line up now like:


    Hartikainen has a shot to make the team. Pitlick is their best forward prospect but he could be a season away still.

    Again, upgrades and changes are needed.

    But what about their D?

    Nurse was a great draft addition. He should help in a few years. Klefbolm is their best D prospect. He may take a year still to really have an impact. Marcinin is a big blueliner they are high on and Musil they are high on too.

    But their parent team needs help I think.


    Ference was a nice addition and Smid is good, but Petry and Schultz need to grow a bit more. If this group forms some decent chemistry they’ll be ok but there doesn’t appear to be a no. 1 or even a true no. 2 D in this group.

    While I like Labarbera, I think the Oilers could have gotten someone better to join Dubnyk. Would the rent Miller for a year and try and sign him long term? I have no idea, but I don’t believe Dubnyk can take them to where they need to go. He’s too inconsistent.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      How hard is it to trade for a goaltender? Just nut up get one already MacT, that team is going nowhere with there blueline without a true number one.

      • nordiques100 says:

        totally agree….i am puzzled like i said about Labarbera.

        Good backup goalie….but isn’t Dubnyk a backup too? or at best a 1B?

        • Depends who you talk to. Some Oiler fans love him and think he’s capable of being a starting goalie on most teams. They blame their defense more than anything. Others say he has potential but is not quite there yet.

          Personally, I never saw anything special in him.

  12. leafs_wallace93 says:

    9.7 million to resign Kadri, Gunnersson, Franson and Fraser?

    I figure Fraser walks after arbitration given he’ll get a million or more.

    The Leafs will have to trade or demote Liles (not sure about the rules post the last CBA can teams still bury contracts in the minors?) and give around 4 million to those three? Would love to see Kads, Gunner and Frans locked up on four year deals in the 3-4 million range.

    Though with this roster pretty much set having James, Phil and Dion all due for raises something might have to give.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      Just my opinion, but I don’t see the Leafs giving Gunnar $3+ or the arbitrator awarding that much. He is often injured and I think it will be about $2-$2.5 kind of deal. I see Fraser around $1 mil like you said. Who knows with arbitrators though.

      Franson and Kadri, I think the Leafs are looking at 2-3 year deals in the $2.75-$3.25 mil per range for each. Not saying those players aren’t asking in the $4 mil range, but I can’t see the Leafs paying it on any of them unless they prove themselves more.

      As for Reimer, Phaneuf and Kessel. Phaneuf and Reimer may be trade bait at deadline depending on their play. If they play well, Leafs will likely wait to see how much the cap is rising before making an offer. Kessel is going to depend on if he continues to play with a higher compete level as he learned to do last year. If he does, I see him getting in the $7 mil range, if he goes back to his old ways…not sure what they will do him.

      • reinjosh says:

        I see Kadri getting one of two contracts.

        1) A short term “prove it” contract. Two/three years at exactly what you said, 2.5-3.5 million dollars. Gets a raise but has that bridge contract to earn huge money right afterwards. If he is what he showed, he could potential earn a massive payday in two seasons. Short term loss for long term gain.

        2) Long term 4-5 million dollar contract. Bypass the short term bridge contract and hope that his potential is at or higher than he showed this last season. Kadri gets long term safety but Leafs take a risk.

        Kessel will be fine. He’s not going to drop to 60 point again. He was only ever at that level because he had no one to play with.

        And I suspect only Reimer or Bernier will be trade bait. Not Phaneuf. You know why I believe that already so I won’t bother starting that conversation again.

        • DannyLeafs says:

          I agree on both. I think it depends on what Kadri would want on a long term deal for Nonis to consider it. If we would take Bozak type money on 5-6 years, I think Nonis would consider if he can make everything else work. If it pushes 5 or even north of 5, I don’t think he gets that, as there is still potential for regression.

          I don’t know how abitration will go. It’s dicey, some players get overpaid and some not so much. Luckily in terms of comparables defensemen didn’t get as wildly overpaid contracts this summer. Ryan McDonagh as an RFA got 4.7 mil, Gunarrson is nowhere near McDonagh in terms of talent or potential. Scuderi is a proven top 4 guy with cup experience who is a UFA, he got 3.25, so I don’t think it will be too bad.

          I am more worried about Fraser getting overpaid. He’s a bit of a tweener. He had fantastic numbers on paper for a 5-6 guy. He excelled in that role, which is why I would love to keep him, but he hasn’t proven he can be a top 4 guy, doesn’t play those minutes, and I wouldn’t want to rely on him to. I would hate to see an arbitrator come back with a 1.75-2 million dollar deal and put him in the middle of legitimate top 4 guys and the 5-6 guys in terms of pay. That would essentially ruin his value. It wouldn’t be unheard of. He leafs defenders with hits, blocked shots and plus minus, which is great, but he did it playing and containing 3rd and 4th lines. He did an excellent job for his role, but hopefully those numbers don’t push an arbitrator to make a silly ruling.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        From what I’ve read getting Kessel signed is the top priority of this off season. Buying out Garbo to make room for Bozak would support that as well.

        There is no way their going to sit on Kessel and make him prove he’s legit or give him cause to test the UFA market.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          I’m not suggesting that Phil has to prove he is legit or they are worried about point production.
          I am saying if he still shows a willingness to battle for pucks, go to the net and even use his body some to win battles for pucks, is what will depend on if he gets his $7mil range.
          If he is not extended before the season, it’s how Phil competes will determine the outcome of his contract. I don’t expect the Leafs to be thrilled offering him $7+mil per if he regresses in the compete level.

    • nordiques100 says:

      If I am the Leafs i am giving Fraser less than a mil and tell him hey, you’re 27 and this would be your first ever one way contract. take it. Otherwise, have a nice life as the next Jeff Finger, buried in the minors and passed over for younger guys in a year.

      Liles I think is tradeable. For nothing much, maybe a 5th round pick, but i see some teams with needs for a player like that.

      Like why not the Islanders as a semi-replacement for Streit?

      That would help Toronto big. just give themselves that breathing room in case they need it.

      I am guessing

      Kadri 2 years 3 mil per
      Gunnarsson 2 years 2.5 mil per taking him to UFA and doubling his salary.
      Franson 3 years 3 mil per almost tripling his salary and taking him to UFA.

      So around 9-11 mil is about right i think for the amount to re-sign these 4.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Your numbers are pretty much what I have said as well Nords, but I think Gunnar and Fraser filed for arbitration, which changes things a bit because it might be out of managements hands now.
        I think, correct me if I’m wrong guys,
        1) they can still try to sign him before the arbitrator rules and that ends the process.
        2) they(player and team) have to accept the arbitrators ruling on term and cost when he makes a ruling.
        3)If the Leafs decline to sign at what the arbitrator rules, the player becomes a UFA.

        Is that not basically it?

        What if the player refuses to sign what the arbitrator decides?

      • toronto77 says:

        Finger sucked at everything he did. Fraser was very smart defensively and very calm with playing the puck and also a very good penalty killer. It’s a minor signing but I think it is very important to re-sign Fraser.

        Fraser and Gunnar filed for arbitration. So what happens now?

  13. reinjosh says:


    Interesting article.

    Kadri led the league in penalty plus/minus, which is basically just the difference between penalties drawn and taken. It’s a good thing. Kadri had drew more penalties than he took by a huge margin. Not only did Kadri lead this, he demolished it. Interestingly enough, we have the 2nd worst player for this in Orr (to be expected I guess) but also the top dman for this now in Brennan.

    • blaze says:

      I’m excited to see what playing with Clarkson will do for Kadri, seems like a given they’ll play together.

      I think Clarkson will really help bring out the nasty side of Kadri’s game.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Did anyone else have the the nagging feeling that Kadri would eventually be labeled a diver and stop getting calls throughout last season. Every game it was ok, laying it on a bit thick Nazem. So long as he doesn’t embarrass a ref it’s great intangible.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Simply put. YES. lol

      • nordiques100 says:

        He is a diver. He needs to clean that part of his game up.

        i hope though he remains an agitator. Though i dont know how long Clarkson will enjoy cleaning up his messes lol

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          Before Kadri cleaned up his act in the AHL, he would start shit and then back away expecting his teammates to take over…It drove me nuts when I was at a game and see it.
          Apparently Eakins had a chat with Kadri’s Dad and told him about Kadri being lazy, out of shape coming into camp and not working hard at the start of last season. He then told Kadri he would be letting his family and city down if he didn’t smarten up and would tell his Dad everytime he slacked. Eakins said he had run out of ideas to get through to Kadri what it takes to be an NHL’er and this was his last resort.
          If the story is true, It seems to have worked. I think Management will be leery of giving him a big contract though until he proves it was not a one year commitment on Nazem’s side.

          • leafy says:

            This is proof that it’s not just talent alone that’s needed to get to the NHL.

            It’s a combination of talent, hard work, discipline, self-sacrifice, and perseverence.

            I guess that also applies outside of hockey as well.

            • mojo19 says:

              Kadri isn’t a diver, he’s exactly like Grabo’s first big year, when he was just a light guy, who had no fear, and would get knocked down or tripped up when trying to do too much.

              Kadri is always cutting across the middle, slipping the puck through. When a d-man plays him normally, he’s bound to trip him up from time to time, resulting in a penalty.

              The problem is, when Kadri starts to put on the weight it will take for him to be more effective (and inevitable weight from aging) he will start to get hurt with this style of play. I’m more concerned about him blowing his knee, rather than being labelled a diver, which I don’t think he is.

              • DannyLeafs says:

                I hope you are right, and I tend to agree. Either he is what you said, just easier to knock down then most guys, or he may be the craftiest diver in the game.

                There are some falls that you question, but I didn’t see any that I could say without a question of a doubt was a full on dive. I am not saying that he never dove, just that he didn’t seem to have any of those embarrassing dives that you can clearly see he was never or barely touched, or his embellishement wasn’t so extreme.

                We will see as he gets stronger if that is the case.

  14. leafy says:

    The Leafs believe that 1st rounders Stuart Percy, Tyler Biggs, Morgan Rielly and Frederik Gauthier, could be ready to challenge for NHL jobs.

    Another name to watch out for is 20 y old blueliner Petter Granberg. The Leafs say he has the toughness and size to excel in the NHL.

    • toronto77 says:

      Biggs I can see him taking the currently vacant RW spot on the 3rd line.

      Rielly and Gardiner will battle like crazy for a spot on the number 1 pairing, the least competitive one will get a spot on the number 2 pairing


      would be amazing.

      maybe Rielly’s emergence is giving the leafs confidence to not give Gunnar the money he wants.

      Percy? I think he’ll spend the full season in the AHL, and on that topic I think former 2nd round pick Finn makes the leafs before former 1st round pick Percy.

      Gauthier? I would love for him to make the team just because of what he bring to the table. But with Kadri, Bozak, Bolland and recently signed Colborne, how the hell do they expect Gauthier to make the team?? it’s almost impossible for Colborne.

      Also, I do not undertsand signing Colborne to a one year contract. McClement is penciled in as the 4th line centre men. I think Colborne will be a great centremen, but I do not see him out playing either one of Kadri, Bozak or Bolland this up coming season. So how the hell is Colborne supposed to make the team?? I think he’ll be traded at the deadline.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        Colbourne didn’t want a two way contract so the Leafs had to bite, all things considered 600k is a sweetheart deal, nothing but upside.

        No reason to rush Rielly ect…. and burn eligibility.

  15. reinjosh says:

    I’d take out Biggs from that list and add in D’Amigo instead as players who could challenge for a job this year. Biggs desperately needs time in the AHL to develop the offensive part of his game. He’s not ready for the NHL at all.

    • leafy says:

      Yeah I think the Leafs said that too, Biggs needs to at least start the season in the AHL.

      I can’t wait to see Reilly. I really haven’t seen him for long stretches.

    • nordiques100 says:

      I don’t think D’Amigo is an NHL player.

      At least not one who’d make an impact. Hope to be proven wrong but not a lot of high hopes.

      Same with Percy. He has Nolan Baumgartner written all over him. Journeyman 6th D. I hope I am wrong too. But i am not counting on them to be significant impact pieces to the future.

      I do like Biggs and think he’ll have a big impact. Same with Reilly and I like Leivo. He has finish.

      Granberg and Nilsson I think will have a shot, but could be a bit of time. That’s fine.

  16. mapleleafsfan says:

    Kovalchuk retiring?!?!!? WOW!! Good luck NJD

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      WOW is right. Wasn’t sure if you were kidding so I looked it up.LOL

      • mapleleafsfan says:

        No kidding, I refreshed the TSN page to see if it was hacked or something haha. What a surprise. He had been really improving as an all round player. New Jersey must be pissed.

    • reinjosh says:

      What the fuck. This has to be the most unexpected news coming out of this offseason.

      The onyl thing I can think of is something to do with a degenerative injury issue. Something that he’s concerened enough to not play any more.

      He’s 30 years old…

      He’s got to be the league’s most expensive trade and sign in history. Oduya turned out to be a pretty damn good player, they lost a first that could have been used to get Coyle or Etem plus it ended up losing them Parise and a first round pick which could end up being a lottery pick next season.

      This could end up going down as one of the most disastrous days in Devils history.

      • reinjosh says:

        Woops, Oduya came with Kovy. My bad

      • mapleleafsfan says:

        It says he’s retiring from the NHL. My guess if he didn’t like where the team was headed and bolts to Russia (or are there rules against this?).

        But yea. Imagine being a devils fan right now. Parise, Clarkson and Kovy all gone in 2 years. Imagine next summer Kessel and Phaneuf walk and Lupul retires. I think we’d riot.

      • leafy says:

        He’s almost young enough to be Jagr’s kid.

      • toronto77 says:

        And NJ still has to forfeit a first round pick!!! wow this sucks.

        Nj is in the worst position in the east. lost pairse for nothing, lost clarkson for nothing and now lost kovalchuk. They gained Schnider for the soon retiring Brodeur, but doesn’t mean squat because the rest of the team is terrible.

        NJ needs to rebuld bad!!! but what sucks is that a strong goaltending tandem like Brodeur/Schnider will keep them competitive enough to challenge for a playoff spot but the overall team is too crapy to get one.

        this team may end up picking in the 8th-15th range in the 1st round for the next 5 years. They need a couple of top 3 picks.

        Schnider may be exiting his prime before this team becomes competitive for a cup again.

  17. nordiques100 says:

    The Kovy retirement helps the devils in terms of fixing their financial mess they have with near bankruptcy.

    But its pretty selfish. the Devils will lose their 1st because of him, they lose their best player and the guy they made the face of the team at the expense of Parise.

    Its a bad day to be a Devils fan.

    • leafy says:

      It’s a surprise move and agreed it’s a bad day for Jersey. But I don’t think it’s selfish. He simply may have lost the will to play and compete at that level. You either have the drive or you don’t. I don’t think it’s a question of selfish. And he certainly doesn’t need the money.

    • LN91 says:

      It is wrong to call him selfish, you’re going a bit too far.

      He made a classy statement, but the reality is he misses home and wants to be closer to his family. I hate when Cherry or other people say its because they don’t want to play here. Europeans do, because they get more, but it’s also very hard being in a foreign place and not feeling at home.

      For 2 years, I played sports at college in the USA…Although it was only the USA, I did not feel like I was home and alone at times when all I wanted to do was see my parents. It’s tough!

      • nordiques100 says:

        He sign in good faith. The devils are penalized for it with the fine and lost pick.

        Also he isn’t retiring from hockey. He’s going back to Khl to make the same money if not more to play hockey there.

        That’s a tad selfish imo

        • leafy says:

          I posted earlier and at the time I wasn’t aware he’s going to the KHL.

          But like LN91 said, it’s complex. These people have families remember, they’re not prostitutes. Who knows?

          But your point is valid too. There’s an inherent risk in signing Russian players in that they could bail out any time. Hey it happened to the Leaf with Komorov!!

          • nordiques100 says:

            I was wondering if you knew the KHL angle to all this. He’s signing tomorrow with St Petersburg.

            and the timing of this too. Very selfish. Put the Devils behind the 8ball. Perhaps their strategy is different at not only the draft but in free agency.

            Their moves were with the intent Kovy would be there. But now he is gone and the Devils will have to scramble.

      • mapleleafsfan says:

        Lol. You’d think he would realize he doesn’t like it after 11 years. Not cash in on some of the heavy front loaded years of his ridiculous contract and then bail. It’s completely selfish. You don’t wanna play here, don’t sign a decade long contract.

        • nordiques100 says:

          Actually he didnt completely cash in because he has some big money years coming up.

          The reason to leave is he’ll make more in Russia. And not be taxed as much as you are in Jersey (i think its 20% difference). Salary could be as high and he’ll get better endorsements there too.

          We’ll see him again in Sochi you can bet on it.

          He’s going to sign with st petersburg over in the K and be named captain. I’ve been reading on twitter and that’s the big rumor.

          Its selfish in that the poor devils were penalized to give him what he wanted plus the fact as i said above, he did it now as opposed to 4 weeks ago. Maybe they don’t spend 3 mil on Zubrus or sign the slow afoot Clowe to nearly 5 mil had they known their big scorer was leaving. Maybe they attack free agency differently.

          Maybe the draft is done differently. Maybe they’d had drafted the highly skilled Max Domi instead of trading for Schnieder.

          Schnieder now is their best player. Everything changes for them. And maybe they don’t care if they finish last and forfeit the 1st overall pick but that’d be really bad.

          They werent great to begin with without Kovalchuk. But if you watched them this past season they were absolutely dreadful without him in the lineup.

          I wonder if the league pursues penalties. Otherwise i think OV is next.

  18. nordiques100 says:

    Leafy mentioned above Komarov leaving to go back. I have doubts we’ll see him again.

    Dmitri Vorobiev a Leaf pick from a few years ago is still on the organization’s depth chart but will likely never leave Russia.

    Minor leaguers Jiraj Mikus and Marcel Mueller came and went and will likely not return.

    That leaves Kulemin. A free agent at season’s end, what to make of him? Or now Gunnarsson for that matter, a RFA? I don’t imagine them leaving…but now who knows!

    And while signed til 2015, if Holzer isn’t on the team, does he go back to Germany? I’d imagine he’d be traded to another NHL team first before finally giving up North American hockey.

    I guess the one advantage Toronto does have is its multi culturalism. But, i guess the lure of “home” could be too much.

    Its been interesting to see the shift in the Leafs at the draft table.

    From 2003 to 2007, the JFJ drafts, the team picked 10 canadians in total out of 32 picks and 16 Europeans. in those 5 drafts only 3 players, regardless of nationality, out of the OHL.

    In the 6 drafts since, the team selected just 9 Euros out of 42 picks and regardless of nationality 14 players from the OHL. 4 other picks were convinced to go to the OHL after they were selected. 22 players overall were Canadian.

    What does this mean? Well i don’t think the team will suffer too badly with any defections.

    5 of the 9 Euro’s they picked were from Sweden. There are 2 Swedish greats, Mats Sundin and Borje Salming to help Thommie Bergmann with convincing them to come and stay in Toronto so I bet for the most part, the Swedish pipeline continues. We’re lucky that way i guess.

  19. leafs_wallace93 says:

    The worst of my internet addictions (really I just check HTR, emails and youtube) was the Kovalchuk off season, I was obsessed with the possibility of him becoming a Leaf during Burke’s ‘two year rebuild’, Kovalchuk are distilled awesomeness, a 230lbs skilled winger (does anyone respect what it means to be 230 and good in the NHL? I mean the amount of cardio NHL requires and being 230, if Kovalchuk was relatively clean that alone is amazing).

    Hats off to him, his kind of game paired with his nationality never gets respect, he turned down more money from NYI to play for the Devils. He wasn’t a selfish player he was an unsung mega star that produced. As Josh mentioned it’s harder for people leaving home, let alone leaving your culture on top of that, would have loved to have seen him in a Leafs uniform, happy trails 17.

  20. LN91 says:

    Petter Granberg’s accomplishments in the last 2 seasons:

    – 2012 World Jr. Gold Medal in Calgary, Alberta
    – 2013 IIHF World Championship Gold Medal in Sweden (with the likes of Tallinder and Edler on the squad)
    – 2013 SEL Championship with Skelleftea (Men’s league)

    Pretty impressive for a kid that is still 20, turning 21. What a great fourth-round selection!

    • LN91 says:

      Let’s not forget about countrymen Tom Nilsson:

      Nilsson vs. Jevpalovs:


      Nilsson vs. Filip Forsberg:


      Okay, this guy is a mobile tank:


      The Leafs have done well with drafting D-Men, except Matt Finn is starting to look like the next Carlo Coliacovo.

      • toronto77 says:

        Wow, Nilsson looks almost offensively talented as Gardiner and as physical as Luke Schenn, what a package!

        Granberg looks pretty physical too.

        Granberg and Nilsson both look like they have the potential to be better than Gunnarsson, no wonder the leafs haven’t re-signed him yet with these two kids on the rise.

        I agree Finn is starting to look as injury prone as Coli, but I still think that Finn has a higher potential then Percy.

        • LN91 says:

          I think Finn has a tremendous ceiling potential, he’s very good two-way. I thought it was another mistake by Team Canada to not let him tryout for the 2013 World Jrs. Unfortunately…I think he’s had mono, concussion, and numerous injuries in the last year. It might ruin his career.

          Granberg and Nilsson are both very good defensive defencemen. I think they will be better then Gunnar, maybe why the Leafs have not signed him to a long-term deal.

          Not to mention, Victor Loov has received some great reviews as well.

          Over the last few years, Toronto has done extremely well using later picks to draft unknown defencemen from Sweden. Good drafting.

  21. 93killer93 says:

    I’d like to see the Leafs take a chance on Peter Mueller and Jonathon Blum. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.



    Part of me wants to see Rielly make the team this year, and part of me wants to send him back to Moosejaw to develop.

    • DannyLeafs says:

      If the Leafs can make the money work as is, I would like to see a Liles for Brewer Swap. Both teams need the other type of player more, salary’s are an exact wash. Brewer is older and more injury prone, but a good veteran presence for the younger guys, very steady, and when healthy he is a phyical D-man that can play 20 minutes a night in important defensive situations. He also has one less year left on his deal. Tampa could use a puck mover, Hedman, Salo, Aulie and Ohlund are more defensive minded, and Carle is a mobile two way guy. They don’t have a guy that is a natural puck mover, or who is comfortable skating the puck and joining the rush. Seeing the way their team is built up front, it seems a glaring hole.

  22. DannyLeafs says:

    What does NYR do now? They have 3.3 million left in cap space with Stepan and Zuccarello left to sign. Zuccarello could sign for 600-900k, but Stepan will likely want, and get over 3.3 million per season. They can’t afford to let him go, he was easily their best forward last year, and I don’t see him signing a prove yourself deal, as he has progressed steadily and not missed a game in 3 years. He was also used in all situations last year, and played 20+ minutes a night, so even if he doesn’t sustain 75pt pace offense, he is probably a 60 pt two way center top 6 center. That doesn’t come cheap.

    They have the type of guys they can demote for some cap savings, but I can’t see it being a comfortable fit.

  23. We have 2 players on waivers that haven’t come off the books yet. It’s about 1.8 million. If they can completely trade Asham for a late pick, then it goes to 2 million off the books. I don’t see Stepan being a problem unless a huge offer sheet comes his way, but Zuccarello could be the odd man out. I heard Pyatt could possibly be moved.

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