June 18 2015 11:00AM
Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports
This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy!
Paul Martin, 34, is getting a bit long in the tooth, but he remains a sturdy defensive defender with the ability to transition the puck and win the territorial matchup against top-of-the-roster competition. If you're sensing that the theme of our unrestricted free agent countdown is "he's useful, but kind of old!" then you're catching on.
The American-born Martin will be among the best blue liners available on July 1, and has the ability to significant improve the complexion of a club in need of an upgrade on the back end in the short-term. He's 34 though, and we might reasonably expect him to begin to incur diminishing returns going forward (and there's reason to believe he might already be on the down swing).
Read on past the jump for more.
June 18 2015 09:33AM
It looks like "The Zaitsev saga" has finally come to a conclusion.
Earlier we had a Leaf bolting across the pond when Brandon Kozun was reported to have left for Jokerit, then news began to emerge that Nikita Zaitsev of the KHL's CSKA Moscow may be joining the Leafs. But there were definitely some mixed signals.
According to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, Zaitsev was visiting Toronto, and the Leafs are interested in acquiring him, but he will return to the KHL for the 2015-16 season.
June 18 2015 08:59AM
As the Draft Numbers series starts to wind down it's time we tie up some loose ends. Today we'll be taking a look at the forwards playing in the SM Liga as well as the forwards and defensemen playing in the three major Swedish leagues (Swedish Hockey League, Allsvenskan, and SuperElit) in an attempt to get a better idea of how some of the top players in this year's draft class fare by the numbers historically.
Quick refresher: what we'll be doing is looking at the players from these leagues drafted in a specific range of the first round since 2005. Then we'll be plugging in the top players from this year's draft class playing in those leagues to see what sort of company history puts them in. From there, we'll see if we can start to come to any meaningful conclusions about the top players from those leagues from this draft class. Here we go:
June 18 2015 08:59AM
Here's one free agent the Leafs won't have to worry about; Brandon Kozun is off to the KHL after signing to play with Jokerit, based in Helsinki, Finland, for the upcoming season.
June 17 2015 03:58PM
A couple weeks back we looked at the the Top 5 Trade Destinations for Toronto's top player, Phil Kessel. Today, we do the same for team captain Dion Phaneuf, who will almost certainly be shopped around the league as the Leafs look to strip down their roster, clear cap space, and rebuild through the draft.
In recent years, Dion seems to have lost a step, and our own Ryan Fancey discussed how quickly and dramatically Phaneuf could regress by the time his current contract is up. With a cap hit of $7M over the next six seasons, the Leafs would be better off moving on quickly. Phaneuf doesn't exactly help the rebuild, and you may as well try to get as much value out of him now as possible.
Click past the jump for the Top 5 Trade Destinations for Dion Phaneuf...