June 30 2016 09:01AM
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a gift and a curse right now, and that's the abundance of questionable, short term contracts remaining on their roster. Many of their veterans are getting paid more than their performance indicates they're worth, but those deals are also expiring in short order.
Jonathan Bernier is one of those players. The 27-year-old struggled for much of last year and appears to have been usurped by the dependable, slightly younger Frederik Andersen, and is now Toronto's $4.15 million backup goaltender for next year.
It's a sticky situation. But, if the Leafs wanted to rid themselves of it, they're in good position to do so starting tomorrow.
June 30 2016 07:00AM
Though the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft was must-see TV in the Toronto area and much of North America, Boris Dorozhenko didn’t see it live.
On Friday, June 24, at approximately 7:18 p.m. EST, Auston Matthews was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the first overall pick in the draft.
Dorozhenko, instructor at Next Generation Hockey schools, primarily based in Arizona, is the self-proclaimed creator of “Most unique & effective hockey player development system in the world”. He has been a coach of Matthews’ in one way or another since 2005.
But while Matthews was trying on his new sweater, taking photos and being interviewed by just about every reporter that could find their way to Buffalo, Dorozhenko spent his Friday afternoon in a Phoenix Arizona rink teaching a regularly scheduled clinic.
“Someone has to be working,” Dorozhenko said.
June 29 2016 05:41PM
Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS
Before we get into this topic, let's make a few things clear. Firstly, Steven Stamkos isn't a traitor for choosing to stay with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was under no obligation to sign in Toronto; ultimately, the choice was his, and he went with what he thought was best for him. Secondarily, this isn't the time to go "oh, well, the Leafs were better off without him anyway". Because that probably isn't true either.
June 29 2016 04:47PM
Photo Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
Not to rehash the old Space Balls bit into oblivion, but it turns out that your cousin's milksman's fellow parishioner's third husband's personal trainer - who knows Steve Stamkos and swears that he wants to come play in Toronto - was incorrect.
On Wednesday afternoon, as you've probably already heard, Stamkos made the decision to stay in Tampa Bay on an eight-year contract worth $68 million dollars. We still haven't seen what the structure of that deal looks like, but Craig Custance is reporting that it includes a no-movement clause.
The Stamkos contract seems to be something of a steal for Tampa Bay cost wise. An $8.5 million annual average value for eight unrestricted free agent seasons from the NHL's premiere marksman is a tidy bit of business for the Lightning. And it seems that Tampa Bay didn't even need to wield their eight-year cudgel to outbid rival suitors. If you take the total value of Stamkos' contract and extrapolate it over seven years - the maximum term any other team would've been able to hand out - the annual average value still falls short of $10 million. He left money on the table, that seems to be certain.
So how did the Lightning manage to play this so well? And what can the Maple Leafs learn from it?
June 29 2016 03:00PM
We're going to keep today's WWYDW very simple. After all, we all knew from the start what today's topic was going to be, it was just a matter of how it was approached.