July 05 2013 09:28PM
There's something problematic about the Toronto Sun's Wendel Clark comparison of newest Maple Leaf acquisition David Clarkson. While I don't dispute that Clarkson is a good player that's tough, can score goals, and will be a positive player for the Leafs for two seasons, the Leafs had better hope that Clarkson is much more durable than Wendel.
Clark played his last NHL game when he was 33 years old and 191 days. The Leafs signed Clarkson until he is 36 years old and 92 days. Is three years much of a difference? Well, it depends on how Clarkson performs in the latter part of the contract.
July 05 2013 07:55PM
It wasn't a particularly good afternoon for Dave Nonis, but Nonis finished it off during the evening landing about the right price for goaltender Jonathan Bernier, at a manageable term.
TOR signs Jonathan Bernier to two year deal worth a total of $5.8M. CHI signs Nik Khabibulin to one year deal.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 6, 2013
When searching for comparable players after the trade was made, I determined that goaltenders in Bernier's situation landed salary cap hits of about $2.7-million. Bernier lands $100k above that. With the two-year term, there isn't a lot of risk on the deal, although still a lot of questions as to why the Leafs decided that they had to spend to upgrade a goaltender that was named almost unanimously the Maple Leafs' MVP this past season by our readers at TLN.
July 05 2013 02:40PM
According to the TSN panel and multiple insiders on Twitter, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed defenceman T.J. Brennan.
Brennan's deal with TOR is one year with $600K AAV.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 5, 2013
Bobby Mac gives you the financial details there - it's a fine depth signing at nearly a minimum cost, a necessity for the Leafs given that, prior to this move, they had a hair over $14M in cap space left to sign their six remaining restricted free agents and two more players to fill out the 23-man roster.
A friendly $0.6M cap hit for Brennan, who will slot in as the number seven of eight defenceman (or, as Jeffler points out, on the Marlies' top pair). This is a better low-cost signing than the Orr/McLaren types, simply for the reason that Brennan has more upside and potential than the other two.
July 05 2013 01:45PM
When looking at the David Clarkson deal, I think it's important to take into consideration the contract length more than the salary cap hit or the quality of the player. The objective fact of the matter is that the Leafs paid too many years for a player past his prime and relatively unproven.
If you just looked at Clarkson's season on statistics website Behind the Net, you'll find a player that led the New Jersey Devils in Corsi, doing it with even competition and zone starts. If you look at the previous season, you'll find a player that was slightly above average in Corsi at +2.7 facing even competition and zone starts.
In both seasons, Clarkson's PDO is below 1000 and this is worth pointing out. Clarkson has scored 45 goals in the last two seasons. He is one of 50 players to score at least 40 goals the last two seasons, and he has done so taking 3.19 shots per game (15th of the 50) and hasn't needed a real huge shooting percentage to get it done. At just 11.0%, Clarkson is 44th in shooting percentage.
July 05 2013 11:25AM
The Toronto Maple Leafs went to free agency with four unrestricted free agents left unprotected, plus the two players that Toronto used compliance buy outs on. What happened to them early on?
It was surprising that Mike Komisarek, rather than perhaps the more highly-coveted Mikhail Grabovski or even Tyler Bozak, that signed the first deal of the six available Leafs. He got a year at $700k in Carolina, which is a risk-free redemption contract for a player that's already made his money.
Komisarek though, had trouble on the top pairing for Toronto's AHL club, but I can see why a team would be willing to give him a short term deal to see if there were any distractions in Toronto.
The second Leaf to sign though stings a little bit more. While Mike Komisarek will probably not come back to hurt the Maple Leafs, Clarke MacArthur playing in Ottawa certainly will. Though they felt the need to sign Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren to two-year deals, MacArthur never fit for some reason.