September 10 2013 07:33PM
One day before camp, Nick Kypreos is the one to break the news:
That's a hell of a price for the Maple Leafs. Dave Nonis was stone cold during this negotiation. It got a little messy, but he did what he had to do, and there may, just may be space to get Cody Franson under contract with the money the Leafs have left to spend. Here's the official release from the club. Per Darren Dreger, the annual average value is $2.9-million, just slightly higher than Logan Couture's bridge deal that wound up being a bargain for the San Jose Sharks.
September 10 2013 04:40PM
September 10 2013 09:27AM
The situation is very clear: the Toronto Maple Leafs don't have the salary cap space to sign both Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson unless they a) move some salary or b) Dave Nonis is secretly a wizard. Barring the latter option, it makes sense to explore the names of players it makes sense to move. The preference is John-Michael Liles, but I'm getting a little antsy seeing Nik Kulemin's name pop up ever so often. His name has been dangled as trade bait every day for the last God-Knows-When.
Kulemin is a most interesting player. While there's a bit of excitement for Mason Raymond joining the Leafs in training camp, Kulemin has been a 30-goal scorer more recently than Raymond has been a 25-goal scorer. Their games are different—Kulemin is a more physical player while Raymond's talents (before his injury) lay in puck-possession, controlling the game in the offensive zone, and playmaking.
He's worth $2.8-million this season, but is stuck behind an excellent contingent of top six wingers headed into training camp: Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul, David Clarkson and James van Riemsdyk. He's under contract for one more year and $2.8-million isn't what you want to pay a third liner in a cap crunch year. Let's explore. Yay.
September 10 2013 01:09AM
I remember Stuart Percy's draft day.
While covering the 2011 Memorial Cup in Mississauga, I met Percy about a month before his draft day. Percy was playing for the host Mississauga St. Michael's Majors (now the Steelheads), and while he wasn't the biggest name on the team, he was making some of the biggest headlines.
Ranked 53rd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, it looked like Percy would go somewhere around the 3rd round. Brian Burke spoke very highly of Percy however, and suggestions came out that not only would the Leafs like to draft him in the 1st round, but that he may not even still be available by that point.
I was DMing Stuart on Twitter the day before and the day of the draft. Nothing in particular, until around zero hour.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 09 2013 11:58PM
As we've made very, very clear here on TheLeafsNation.com, Tyler Bozak is probably being paid too much for too long to play in a role he probably shouldn't be by the Toronto Maple Leafs. With that considered, we've all beat up on him quite a bit all offseason. Some (points fingers at self) of us to his face. But hey, I bet one can think of some things we do like about them. Steve and Adam asked me on yesterday's podcast to see if I was able to think of some, and you know what? There are a few things worth bringing up: