February 13 2016 12:02PM
Six years ago today, the Canadian national men's ice hockey team were just three days away from their opening game against the Norwegians in the Vancouver Olympics.
Today, a much worse Canadian hockey team in the Toronto Maple Leafs makes their way to that same arena, as the Leafs take on the hometown Canucks to face their third Western Canadian opponent in a row.
February 13 2016 08:49AM
There's no tip-toeing around it - Joffrey Lupul's contract is ugly as sin. With a cap hit of $5.25M for two more seasons, it's the last of the large, unwanted contracts that the Toronto Maple Leafs have to deal with. Lupul is still scoring - 11 in 46 games so far this season - so he's by definition still a 20-goal guy. At 32-years old, though, Lupul's mobility is beginning to fail him, and he's looking less and less like a consistent contributor. As such, his contract is practically immovable.
Note that I said practically, as dealing Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators may have changed things. One of the most shocking factors of the Phaneuf trade was that Toronto retained zero of his salary, giving the Leafs a significant amount of flexibility going forward. And we already know that no contract is immovable to the Leafs if they are able to leverage their financial might. See: David Clarkson. All Toronto has to do is eat some of that Joffrey Lupul salary.
February 12 2016 01:47PM
One ball. One lousy ball.
February 12 2016 11:21AM
Okay, so selling 2016 Daniel Winnik isn’t exactly as exciting as selling 2015 Daniel Winnik. There won’t be a second and a fourth to be had here, but you could very well still find a Zach Sill type throw-in player.
I wouldn’t have even considered Winnik to be someone the Leafs could or would sell at the deadline. He has just 13 points so far this season, his 47.4 CF% is third worst among Leafs forwards, and he carries another year of term at $2.25M AAV (though his salary next season will only be $1.8M).
There could be a market for the banged up Winnik, and there’s little doubt that the Leafs are exploring all options, it’s just Winnik doesn’t stand the chance of bringing too much back in the way of return for the Leafs.
February 12 2016 07:18AM
It's the time again. The Leafs lost three straight games since we last graded their performances, so sharpen your pencils because this one's going to be fun. Get clicking, people.