July 05 2016 04:29PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs are now on the clock with a few of their restricted free agents. Peter Holland, Martin Marincin, and Frank Corrado have all filed for player-elected salary arbitration, in an effort to give closure to their contract status as soon as possible.
July 05 2016 11:47AM
Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS
Remember back in 2013, when we were all yelling about shooting percentages creating a mirage for the playoff-bound Leafs? A mirage which involved the Leafs scoring way beyond their means, James Reimer looking like a Vezina candidate, and everything going from zero to amazing until the last ten minutes of the season?
A mirage that led to acquisitions to make the team tougher, grittier, and more leader-y to make sure the Leafs wouldn't get burned in their next playoff run? Yeah, well, that wasn't great. Anyway, it's a different group now, and the circumstances are a lot different. This year's Leafs team was absolutely wrecked by bad puck luck and are in a position to get some revenge. The concepts are the same as they used to be, but lets see how the odds end up in their favour.
July 05 2016 07:01AM
One common refrain among hockey fans is that there's no need to worry about overpaying players, as long as you don't overpay them by too much. It's the big mistakes that ruin a team, according to this line of thinking, things like signing David Clarkson to a nearly $37 million contract. Smaller mistakes, then, aren't worth fretting about, so long as you don't make any major blunders alongside them.
There is a level on which this sentiment is true. Overpaying a single player by, say, $1M a year isn't going to be the difference between missing the playoffs and winning the Stanley Cup. No team, after all, is perfectly efficient in how they use their salary cap space. If a hockey team slightly overpays one player and never squanders money elsewhere in the lineup, there's not much to worry about.
The problem is that teams almost never make one mistake and then stop. Overpayments and wasted money will typically show up in a number of places in terms of how teams allocate their salary cap room, and over time those overpayments do add up, and they can cause real problems. Let's take a look at some of the ways that the Leafs are currently using their cap space as a demonstration.
July 04 2016 07:29PM
Photo Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY SPORTS
A couple of days back, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a big splash. They listened to the demands of the fans, and they brought in a brand name, right-handed defenceman. That defenceman? Well, they brought back Roman Polak. Hey, he's a brand name here at least!
Anyway, here are a few thoughts on the signing, from my personal perspective.
July 04 2016 01:07PM
Just hours after the Toronto Marlies announced the signing of Marc-Andre Cliche to go along with Colin Smith, two more moves have been made. Or, better said: two more roster moves have been revealed. The Marlies have agreed to terms with Rich Clune, while 2015 draft pick Dmytro Timashov has revealed his plan for next year.