The Off-Season Plan
The Leafs had a chance this year to stock up on young players and draft picks, Mats Sundin and Darcy Tucker were both highly desirable assets, but Tucker signed a 4-year deal and Mats Sundin is a pending UFA, the trade deadline has passed. With the cap going up and the amount of free agents out there the Leafs can make an impact this off-season, the best we can do is to be a 4th-10th place team in the East.
Before I talk about my plan here are the players who’s contracts are set to expire after this year and their current salaries:
-Mats Sundin-6.480 Million Dollars
-Michael Peca-2.5 Million Dollars
-Jeff O’Neill-1.5 Million Dollars
-Nikolai Antropov-1.007 Million Dollars
-Alexei Ponikarovsky-0.725 Million Dollars
-Bates Battaglia-0.500 Million Dollars
-Yanic Perreault-0.153 Million Dollars (the Leafs only have to pay the remainder of his contract)
-Carlo Coliacovo-0.902 Million Dollars
-Andy Wozniewski-0.475 Million Dollars
-Ian White-0.513 Million Dollars
-JS Aubin-0.525 Million Dollars
As of right now the Leafs have 1 million dollars in cap space,With the cap projected to go up to 48 million dollars, and after all of the contracts expire they will have 15.64 million dollars in cap space.
The Leafs have a club option of 5.320 Million Dollars for Mats Sundin’s contract next year. 5.320 is too much money for him, so I think his contract can be re-worked to better fit the Leafs salary situation.
Here are the key players that I think should be re-signed and for how much:
-Mats Sundin-2-year contract/4.5 Million per year
-Michael Peca-1-year contract/2 Million
-Alexei Ponikarovsky-2-year contract/0.8 Million per year
-Carlo Coliacovo-2-year contract/0.9 Million per year
-Andy Wozniewski-2-year contract/0.7 Million per year
-Ian White-2-year contract/0.7 Million per year
-Bates Battaglia-2-year contract/0.7 Million per year
-Jeff O’Neill-1-year contract/1.7 million per year
Total Cap Space After Signings: 3.64 Million Dollars
Players Let Go:
The Leafs need a back-up goaltender, I think we can bring up Pogge to back-up Rayzer, the minimum salary will be 0.69 Million Dollars, so 0.69 will count against the cap, which leaves the Leafs with 2.95 Million Dollars in cap space.
These are the players the Leafs should send to the minors:
-Wozniewski-0.7 Million Dollars
-Deveraux-0.69 Million Dollars
Total Cap Space After Players Sent Down: 4.34 Million Dollars
The Leafs off-season move:
Sign Peter Sykora to a 1-year/3 million dollar contract
Total Cap Space: 1.34 Million Dollars
This will give the Leafs space come deadline day if they are in a push for the playoffs and need an extra player.
The team will look like this:
This team will score more goals if healthy, but thats the only major change, everything else stays the same.