There are many articles posted that offer Joe Random’s two cents on their favourite team and how they should trade for Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovenchkin. A lot of these articles come from ignorant leaf fans such as myself. Unfortenetly for those of you who are looking for an article that insists that John Ferguson Jr. should trade our garbage for pure goal scorers and first round picks, that is not the type of article this is. Hopefully this will inform leaf fans such as myself as too where the leafs stand and how the team can improve.

As of the start of this season (2007-2008) the leafs have 46 players under salary which is totaled to
$50, 009,103.00 (US Figures) with $571, 317.00 in ‘wiggle’ room. At the start of next year (2008-2009) the Leafs
will have $42, 729,167.00 (US figueres) dedicated to 28 players. At the end of this year the following Leafs will
be UFA’s: Sundin, Belak, Salmelainen, Clemmensen, Wozniewski, Harrison, Ling and Pohl. The following Leafs will be RFA’s at
the end of this year: Steen, Stajan, Wellwood, Cashman, Sifers, Foster, Harringtono, Mitchell and Ondrus.There is
the possibilty of all of these players re-signing but most likely some of them will be released. It is likely that
Sundin (if he does not retire), Steen, Stajan and Wellwood will be re-signed along with a couple of the Marlie players.
Alex Steen currently makes 900K, Matt Stajaj and Kyle Wellwood make 875K, all of which will likely have a pay increase.
All three will most likely have multi-year deals through the 2010-2011 NHL season, with Wellwood fetching around
1.5-2 Million per. Hopefully Mats does not retire after this season, if he does not he would most likely sign a
contract similar to the one he has now; 1 year at 5 Million with a No Trade Clause.

After this season Jason Blake has another 3 years left on his contract with the Buds at 4 Million per year. Blake
should be traded at years end while he has worth, he is potentially the next Jeff O’Neil. The leafs should cut their
loses as soon as possible and try and get as much as they can out of him. Bryan McCabe has another 3 years at 5.75 Million
per year along with a NTC. McCabe is probablly the hardest to move Leaf but if it can be done, it should be. Pavel Kubina
is another Leaf that should be moved, he has another 2 years left under contract at 5 Million per year. Kubina would
be easier then McCabe to move. Finally, Andrew Raycroft has only a year left with the buds at the end of this year with a
salary of 2 million. Raycroft will be hard to move with the availibilty of several goalies out there and teams searching
for a proven number one, not a possible number one.

With the current standings the Leafs are projected to choose in the top 10 of the 2008 draft. Currently, they would pick
9th overall. As of the ISS November scouting rankings the top 10 players for this years draft are; Stamkos, Pietrangelo,
Doughty, Filatov, Beach, Schenn, Teubert, Hodgson, Wilson and Bogosian. Steven Stamkos will not fall far enough in the
draft, assuming the Buds haev the 9th pick. There are many other high-talent prospects for the Leafs to take a real close
look at. One of whom is Kyle Beach. Beach of the Everett Silvertips, stock has fallen from his original ranking because of
attitude problems and issues within the locker room. This should not deter the leafs from taking a look at this player.
At 6’3, 203 lbs. he has good size and is blessed with a lot of talent. Hopefully other teams look over Beach, he would be
a good fit for the Leafs. It may be argued that the problems Beach has are enough to look over him, but these problems are
purely a maturity issue. Beach would not be expected to play right away but to mature as a player and mature off the ice.
Another potential player the Leafs should take a look at is Edgars Ulescenko who is playing for Riga in the Czech Elite
League, considers him the draft sleeper.


47 Responses to TML; A Fans POV

  1. Hockey75 says:

    YA FIRST COMMENT!!!! lol

  2. leafy says:

    Darn, you beat me to it!

  3. future_agent says:

    Sorry for the few spelling mistakes, apparently my word is as illiterate as I am.

  4. leafy says:

    In the draft, I'd like to see us get a skilled forward who's big and can skate.  If we pick in the top 10, the odds are pretty good we can get one.

    I have a question: if the Leafs are out of contention, do you consider trading Toskala?

    This guy is an excellent goalie that knows exactly what he's doing between the pipes (unlike Raycroft).  Teams would pounce on him like an attractive chick walking into a singles bar.

    What's the difference?  We're not making the playoffs anyway, and we have Pogge coming up soon.  Why not trade Toskala and get 2-3 quality young players or picks?  Then we can use the money saved to sign UFA's in July?

  5. MR40 says:

    Kyle Beach has a major attitude problem. It's more then just a maturity thing. He's even been bench/scratch this year because of his bad attitude. The Leafs would be taking a major risk by taking this guy.

    Take Mikeal Boedker. He's going to be a superstar. He's extremely talented.

  6. future_agent says:

    Thats a good question. I guess personally I wouldnt be willing to take that risk. I do not know if Pogge has what it takes to be a number 1 in the NHL. But it would be cool to see what teams would offer for vesa.

  7. azzkikr2100 says:

    Finally a respectable Leafs thread! woooo!

    I applaud you for being non-bias for the most part.

    The leafs are in a little bit of trouble with the cap. This year, they are strapped, but i am guessing Sundin will retire or go elsewhere (I know im going to get bashed for that one, but i believe the leafs can do better) – Not to mention Antropov is slowly becoming a force that can eventually replace Sundin. Unless Sundin takes a drastic pay cut, i dont see the leafs resigning him.

    As for the RFAs, Leafs might have to trade one of them before seasons end (If they want to dip into free agency this comming off season).

    But who knows what this Leafs organization will do next. (No Offense)

  8. ryrad8 says:

    knowing the way the leafs draft it will be Beach.

  9. jpmac says:

    If the ducks couldn't find any takers from bryzgalov, I am not sure what the leafs would get in return for Toskala.  Bryzgalov has a better GAA – 2.33 to 2.62 and also a better save % .923 to .909.  While he is a couple of years younger, and wouldn't cost as much. 
    The goalie market is pretty dry in the NHL these days thats all.

  10. ottislu says:

    So we have less than 9 million dollars to resign Sundin Wellwood Stajan and Steen for next year while needing to replace 2 forwards and a defenseman.

    Go Leafs Go

  11. jarcpitre says:

    Good work on the draft part, but most of the players you mention have been mentioned all along for the leafs to get rid of. I do like the draft part you researched, I hope there are more articles about the draft as the season finishes. Overall good job. Personally I would like to see the Leafs get as many 2008 and 2009 draft picks as possible and hopefully pick up a player like Tavares.

  12. jarcpitre says:

    I forgot, good work on the cap figures as well.

  13. habsrock99 says:

    Just keep in mind that the NHL now has the Draft Lottery, so just because you finish bottom 10, doesn't necessarily mean Top 10 pick.

  14. solid123 says:

    i am sure the cap will raise next year to 55 million just like it has gone up every year.

  15. Archion113 says:

    Look how bad that screwed the Flyers last year… the team by far deserved the first overall pick…

  16. Pronger44 says:

    Well at least you don’t have people freaking out on you like I seem to get with each spelling mistake in my posts.

  17. Pronger44 says:

    Great post though man. As a true Habs fan I do have to respect your thoughts and your post makes sense on what the Leafs really should do, unlike every other Leaf fan thinking trading for Marleau and every other top player is gonna make the difference, which is obvious won’t make this club any better. But one thing though, isn’t Blake signed for another 4 years after this season, 5 year/$25m deal to begin with, I may be wrong though.

  18. morrissey says:

    And how is your suggestion of successfully moving (i.e. giving away) the over priced hacks of McCabe, Blake, Raycroft & Kubina despite NTC clauses any less retarded than the articles suggesting the Leafs acquire a super star? Neither will happen. Absolutely no one will take on those ridiculous contracts. The Leafs are screwed, long and short term, live with it.

  19. litflyersfan says:

    My Flyers are in deeper waters than you be thankful.

  20. Habs_pm says:

    If the Leafs want to be a future contender they got to say Bye Bye to the playoffs for the next 2-3 seasons and start rebuilding. The worst thing that can happen to the Leafs is if they keep Mats Sundin and keep trying with what they have. It hasn't gotten them far the past 2-3 seasons and it won't get them anywhere in the future.

    If they get a top 10 draft pick (keeping in mind JFJ doesn't trade it away!) it may do some good and possibly give the franchise something to look foward to.

    Problems for the Leafs : JFJ & Paul Maurice

    As soon as JFJ gets fired and gets replaced with someone that has a great hockey mind then things will start to get rolling. JFJ has repeatedly given upsurd contracts to his players that aren't producing:

    Tucker : $3 Million – 4 goals
    Blake : $5 Million – 6 goals
    Raycroft : $2 Million – 2 Wins with a save% of 0.876
    McCabe : $7.15 Million – +/- of -4

    It goes on…Not to mention most of them of No trade clauses or No movement clauses.

    Paul Maurice:

    This guy is horrible…you can only point the finger at your players so many times. Calling out your players publicy and repeatedly, Starting Toskala 13 games straight and then he gets hurt…what did he expect? for Toskala to keep playing till March? The teams Defence stinks…Hes to blame. He isn't half the coach Pat Quinn was…

    Mats Sundin & Toskala are the guys who are keeping this team from finishing dead last. I can't think of anyone else…Maybe McCabe before he got injured…he was playing good hockey. But now Toskala is injured and won't come back for atleast another week or two. Raycroft can't stop a beachball and Clemansen will eventually choke.

    Oh well…Glad I'm not a Leaf fan!….Feel bad for you guys…its been 40+ years and counting!

  21. leafy says:

    You pretty much hit the nail on the head, bud.  I like the way you think.

  22. Pronger44 says:

    You should post that on the main wall. Your post is one of the better ones dealing with the Leafs then many others I have read since joining this site.

  23. leafy says:

    I don't think Rosie Dimanno is being fair in this article from today's Star.

    She accuses the Leafs of a con job for passing off Wellwood and other fringe players as marquee guys.

    Nobody ever said Wellwood is a superstar, but 42 points in 48 games last year doesn't look like "fringe" player numbers.

    Has she considered the possibility that Wellwood is not completely healthy, given that he's been a completely different player since he had his groin surgery?


  24. future_agent says:

    your right, that was a mistake on my part he is signed until the 2011-2012 season

  25. buds8 says:

    um, i think they leafs traded their 1st round pick in this year's draft to San Jose in the 2008 draft, didnt they?

    the leafs are stuck with all of Blake, Tucker, McCabe and Kubina and the only way to get rid of Raycroft is by waiving him….i dont think he is that crap but i do believe that the team has lost confidence in him and that is the issue.

    the Leafs should try to dump as many of their big salaries, including Mats, at the deadline becuase they are not making the playoffs and if they do they are not going very far….try to get as many picks and prospects as possible….fire the entire coaching staff and the GM and REBUILD already!

    here's hoping they wake up and do so!

  26. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Man, oh man.  The flurry of Toronto Maple Leaf tripe-filled articles continues.

    Your opening line suggests that there are 'many articles' posted on how the Leafs should trade for Ovechkin and Crosby.  Could you reference a few for me?  No?  How about referencing just one?  Still no, huh?  Is that because such articles don't exist?  I think so.  See, there are people in the general populace that go on conventional wisdom – i.e. many years ago before the salary cap the Leafs could afford to sign and trade for big names and y'all simple-minded folk still believe that is the case.  I look over most TML related articles and please believe me that no-one in their right minds would even post this opinion for fear of being mocked, laughed at and ridiculed. 

    And you have fallen into a trap that so many people do – you believe and regurgitate what the media tells you.  I was watching some entertainment program the other day and the hosts were expunging serious amounts of verbal diarrhea about how bad Kubina is, about how every time he is on the ice the puck ends up in the net and he's standing around looking lost.  Now, this is not me defending Kubina – he certainly hasn't played up to the contract that he was given, but then again, if someone offered to vastly overpay you, would you really say no?  But these commentators were clearly regurgitating what they had seen on the TV, or heard on the radio, or read in the papers and it made about as much sense as the crap you spat out in your article.

    So you suggest we should get rid of any or all of Blake, McCabe, Kubina and Raycroft, huh?  What immense insight you show to suggest getting rid of all of our expensive but underachieving players.  WHO DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO TAKE THEM?  What makes you even think that players with NTC's are even going waive them IF JFJ could find a taker?  You think there are GM's in the league that are willing to pick up Kubina and his $5 million per year deal, even for a player to be named?  Shake your damn head, man.

    Essentially, what you've written is akin to me saying that the world would be a better place if we stopped all racism, sexism, terrorism and all other bad -ism's, solved global warming and climate change, put an end to hunger, famine and disease, and made everybody hug everyone they know every morning.  Yeah, it's probably not incorrect, but it provides absolutely no insight or knowledge.

    And while I don't know much about the names that you listed as picks for the Leafs in the draft, drafting a good prospect is not the same as converting that prospect into a good player, something the Leafs have shown a huge lack of ability to do.  Alyn McCauley, Brad Boyes, Jason Smith, Steve Sullivan – all young players who largely failed while wearing the blue and white but went on to success with other teams.  Suggesting which players the Leafs should draft only addresses half the problem.

    Summarily, your article is not worth the paper it's not written on.  You point out the blatantly obvious and just leave that 'it should be resolved', even though there is little-to-zero chances of this happening.  You continue to show little understanding of the real cause of many of the Leafs problem, making reading this article and further writing this response a massive waste of mine and everyone else's time.

  27. mitchamac says:

    I think blake signed a 5 year deal 4 mill a year i could be wrong though (accourding to TSN)

  28. mitchamac says:

    No the leafs still got their 2008 first round pick. SanJose took logan Couture last year. Sanjose  had the option  of Last years draft or this years draft. Raycroft in my mind is a good goalie he just needs to get his confidence back. I think a few months or a year in the Ahl could help him out.

  29. mitchamac says:

    Ill write an article each day, just for you all about the leafs since you enjoyed this one

    Tomorrows Article may start with crosby and malkin for kilger and bell

  30. lafleur10 says:

    good,job habs pm this was nicely done and tells the whole truth!!

  31. future_agent says:

    ok bud, you should start by taking the sand out of your wide gaping vagina. I understand that there are no actual articles suggesting the leafs trade for crosby or ovenchkin but there are some stupid trade proposals posted. Yes, I agree with you being from the Toronto area I am biased and have been influenced by the media but that is only to a certain extent. I am more then capable of making my own opinion, rather then agreeing with the hockey guru that is Piere McGuire. I have my own ideas and two cents on who the leafs should try and trade for and how potentially they can trade the players i mentioned. but thats all they are my own opinions and ideas, no one can accurately predict trades and unless you are the GM, its all hearsay. So I am sorry if I offended you in any way or wasted your time with the article but your the moron who continued to read it and then took the time out of your day to post a respond. congrats.

  32. morrissey says:

    Hey little girl, don't cry because people criticize your articles. If you can't take it then don't post stupid crap about a stupid crap team of pussies supported by pussies like you. Run your bright ideas by someone with a brain before submitting yourself to public ridicule in the future, then you can go back to sucking your dad's *****.

  33. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Sweetness.  I'll look forward to reading it over my cup of tea in the morning!  And if you don't come up with something so ridiculous, I'm sure some of my citymen will and I'm absolutely sure they'll be posted as soon as they're received.

    Crosby and Malkin for Kilger and Bell?  No way!!  Mark Bell scored 12 goals four years ago so we're gonna hold on to him for as long as we can.  Maybe we'll give up Devereaux and Kilger.  No, wait.  Kilger had the hardest shot at the teams skills competition one year.  We should hold onto him, too.  Look, think about it a bit longer and harder and see if you can come up with something better.

    And the next day, can we go back to some Sergei Berezin for Paul Kariya rumors, just for old times sake?

  34. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Meanwhile, you make no mention of the Crosby/Lecavalier/Ovechkin to Montreal articles that have littered these very boards over the past few months.

    Dude, every fan base has its crazies (I'm not even counting myself out of this category) who think that the planets are going to align and bring a plethora of world class talent to their teams.  Sometimes it happens, although I can't remember the last time a big name unexpectedly went to a big team for a huge amount of money.  Those days are over in the new NHL yet some of you (and I am excluding myself from this category) don't acknowledge this.

  35. the_word says:

    Its not an NBA style lottery, the LNH has provisions so that teams can only minimally fall back in their draft position (I belive its only one position, but could be wrong).

  36. the_word says:

    Dude, could you change your screen name? Morrissey is the shit, but I'm constantly subjected to what are perhaps the worst posts on HTR every time I come across something you've typed. Well, maybe not the worst, but you're definitely a member of plebs. I wouldn't have an issue if you were simply another faceless pleb, its simply that I find you an embarrassment to the fanbase of a great band. I guess I'm little OCD when it comes to Morrissey. Also, please don't under the handle 'the Smiths'.

  37. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Oh, sweet pea, don't get your knickers in a twist here.

    Your article starts with a massive exaggeration based on nothing but senseless rant and fodder.  Then you proceed to state the blatantly obvious problems with the team and masterfully conclude that we'd be in a better position if we could resolve them.  Then you finish the article by dropping a few prospect names (best content of the article) without mentioning the Leafs inability to convert prospects into NHL caliber performers.  On top of this, the majority of your content is recycled from the flurry of the same articles that have been posted over the past few weeks, then you get all pi$$y and defensive when I get all pi$$y and offensive.

    If you do have your own ideas and two cents, then I'd love to hear them, but don't waste our time by repeating the same shallow crap thrown around in countless other articles.

  38. morrissey says:

    Like anything from a Leaf fan would ever be taken seriously, you support a joke.

  39. Gamble says:

    Blake signed a 5 year 20 million dollar contract. He'll make 4 mil a year for the next 4 years.

  40. tancred says:

    That was awesome, man! Hear hear for Morrissey and The Smiths!  🙂

  41. Gamble says:

    Got it more or less right on alot of points. It's hard to judge JFJ completely fairly. He is a hockey man, son of an old Habs favorite John Ferguson Sr. The lions share of the blame falls on MLSE. A rookie GM thrown into one of the most difficult markets in North American sports  and at a time where the league undergoes some of the most drastic changes ever. Combine that with the contradicting plans and ideas from the Board of Governors and a lack of job security leaves JFJ in constant panic mode.

    That said it's doubtful he would an overly competent GM without those constraints. Though he does have some excellent signings under his belt, such as Antropov (2.05 mil/ 2 year) and one of if not the best in Kaberle (4.25 mil / 5 year). 

    The problem is when he can't adequately evaluate players, gives into fan pressure or makes a signing to help save his job for another year. These are the signing like McCabe (5.75 mil / 5 year), Blake (4 mil / 5 year) and to a lesser degree Tucker (3 mil / 4 year). A lesser degree because many people felt the contract wasn't unreasonable at the time but Tucker's play has diminished greatly this year, not only because of less PP time but a lack of passion on the ice.

    Paul Maurice does deserve some share of the blame. How much is hard to tell since he has proven himself a good coach in the past. The fact that the team plays awful defense and is brutal inconsistant while good players are having some of their worst seasons in years. Not to mention his goalie policy is more than questionable.

    The entire franchise needs a complete overhaul to be truly successful again. New ownership would be ideal but the firing of Richard Peddie would be good enough of a start for me.

  42. mojo19 says:

    Good article. Couple of things. You can only carry 23 guys with the big club anyone who isn't up won't count against the cap except for the short period of time they're up.

    If you look at NHL numbers at a guy like Staffan Kronvall who was up for a short period of time, his salary is $550k or whatever, but his cap hit is like $60k (or whatever the actual number is), so we'll have slightly more room than that.

  43. zambo says:

    when the hell is john ferguson ever going to get fired? he always signs players 2 long term deals, with a high pay roll nd than they end up playing like sissys! nd by the way after this season blake has another 4 years to play with the leafs, he signed a 5 year, 20 million dollar contract.

  44. vindictiveb says:

    Doesn't San Jose get the Leafs first round pick in this years draft???????

  45. Pronger44 says:

    I thought it was an awesome signing for the Leafs and I still believe Jason Blake can turn it around, how this guy only has 6 goals shocks me considering how well he trains and how hard he works in practice, it’ll happen though, look at Ryder finally 2 goals and an assist against TBay tonight. It’s only a matter of time until Blake gets his game going.

  46. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    Actually, as the Leafs are currently 26th in the league, they would draft anywhere from 1st to 7th (in the draft lottery, a team can move up a maximum of 7 points, and can move down a maximum of 2, I believe).

    I really hope they continue to suck this year, because they have a chance at getting Stamkos…I'd love for him to be able to play in a Canadian city. Of course, Toronto would probably be better off selecting someone like Luke Schenn…a mean, tough-ass defensive defenseman.

  47. mitchamac says:

    no sharks made a pick last year

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