September 27 2013 10:56AM
We know you're wrong because you have a Big Bang Theory t-shirt.
Ryan Lambert over at Puck Daddy wrote a column that went up this morning about how the Toronto Maple Leafs mishandled their salary cap situation this summer. It's tough to disagree with the overarching point, that Toronto once had lots of cap space where now they have none, and if Frazer McLaren remains injured, there is a non-zero chance that Toronto will have to skate with 17 players in the opener next week to become salary cap-compliant.
But it's also not as bad as it could have been. Technology is much better now than it was five or six years ago, and we can watch not only all the games we want to, but we can also watch the decision-making process come to life. There's so much more information with which to judge players. I can remember coming out of the last lockout even, we knew the goals and assists and time on ice of the players our teams picked up, but without a handle on context everybody sort of trusted the eyes of scouts and management.
September 26 2013 08:11AM
The bad news is that the Leafs are still a little over a million above the salary cap, according to Capgeek. While Leafs' assistant general manager Dave Poulin complained yesterday that Capgeek doesn't factor in the bonus cushion for Jake Gardiner, all the calculator apps on the site do. The Leafs will have to ditch two players on their current roster if they are more than $925K above the salary cap. For the sake of argument, let's say they are. What happens next?
September 24 2013 10:17AM
It's worth pointing out that I screwed up a lot of things about yesterday's Enforcers post surrounding the Marc Savard incident. I originally wrote that Matt Cooke never faced retribution, but other Penguins enforcers did (I mixed up my dates and missed the game where Cooke did fight Thornton, although Thornton took an extra ten minutes) and I'd also written than Savard never played a game afterwards, which is untrue. One of my favourite moments from the 2010 season was his overtime winner in the first game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
If I do make gross factual errors like that, kindly point them out to me and I will fix them. I try to read every comment posted on this website because there honestly aren't a lot just yet.
Another comment from that post wrote, and I [sic]: "You write for a site called "Theleafsnation" that covers a team that LED THE LEAGUE IN FIGHTING MAJORS last year and you write about how enforcers aren't needed".
Which brings me to David Clarkson, eventually:
September 23 2013 03:43PM
Per Mirtle... and a host of others.
Leafs have signed Mason Raymond.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) September 23, 2013
1-year 1 million for Mason Raymond.— David Alter (@DavidAlter590) September 23, 2013
The situation gets interesting considering the suspension to David Clarkson and possible suspension to Phil Kessel. It may have been wiser to wait and see whether anything comes from Kessel's suspension since that affects the salary cap going in... but perhaps the team has another move planned to clear up the salary cap space.
So... what do we have now?
September 23 2013 12:51PM
The enforcer debate re-surfaced today, what with the wake of the Maple Leafs and Sabres brawl Sunday night, plus the Edmonton Oilers claiming Steve MacIntyre off of waivers.
To some degree, there's a modicum of logic behind the utility of enforcers. With a tough guy on the bench, teams are going to be less likely to take runs at star players, knowing that any player is going to have to answer the bell. That era seems to have passed us, and the players that have become the most likely to take runs at others are the ones, ironically, designed to protect and serve the lineup.
John Scott has played 180 National Hockey League games. Among active players, he is the lowest in points scored among players with at least 150 games played, six behind Cam Janssen. He has scored one goal (somehow) and has 305 penalty minutes. Scott is designed to play with the Sabres for the purpose of protecting the Sabres from players like John Scott.