Some thoughts on Bozak, MacArthur and buyouts

Cam Charron
June 19 2013 03:41PM

A full assembly of NHL general managers are kicking around Boston this week for annual meetings. The group approved the rule tweaks proposed by the competition committee, which involved shallower nets and hybrid icing [links to come when it's more than just tweets] but those still have yet to be approved by the Board of Governors.

Regular muckraker and Sportsnet reporter Chris Johnston is kicking around the scene and got a couple of good quotes from Leafs GM Dave Nonis, while Nick Kypreos snapped the above picture of Nonis and new Oilers GM Craig MacTavish "POSSIBLY TALKING ABOUT A DEFENCEMAN FOR A PICK". There could be a few "agreements in principle" made this week to be announced once the Stanley Cup Finals are over, but so far the Leafs have been quiet.

Anyway, those quotes.

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Will the Leafs talk to Matt Cooke this summer?

Ryan Fancey
June 19 2013 05:49AM

Matt Cooke is a popular guy. I'd argue he's one of the most popular non-superstar players in NHL history. This is almost entirely because he ended Marc Savard's career with one of the most talked about hits in the past decade. 
Before that, it seemed like he was known throughout the league as a pest, but mostly in that Darcy Tucker or Leo Komarov kind of way. 

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Forecasting David Clarkson: Is he worth a big UFA contract?

Cam Charron
June 18 2013 02:39PM

Our pal Steve Dangle wrote a post on Monday afternoon about David Clarkson and why the Toronto Maple Leafs shouldn't sign him. His primary reason was that unrestricted free agents usually end up being disappointments. It's tough to disagree with that assertion. Generally, players peak in scoring between ages 24 and 27, not later, so signed UFAs on average are, well, disappointments.

But I want to get into Clarkson a little more as a commodity, and specifically, isolate his key characteristics—size and shots per game rate—and see how players that produced at his level from ages 26 to 28 produced ages 29 through 32.

Also, just to be clear before we get into it, I went into this bit of research firmly in the anti-David Clarkson on the Leafs camp, but mostly because I think Toronto has enough wingers to compete. I don't think their Top Six is too small and I think Jonathan Willis has proved that good teams aren't necessarily good because of size. Toronto's organizational strength lies in wingers.

However, I was open to the possibility that Clarkson's traits, particularly his 2.86 shots per game rate over his last three seasons, may make him more valuable perhaps than others.

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Jonathan Bernier on the Maple Leafs makes no sense

Cam Charron
June 18 2013 10:22AM

Odd tweet sent out here from Nick Kypreos:

I don't think that Jonathan Bernier is a bad goaltender. It may even be reasonable to suggest that Bernier would have success as James Reimer's backup. The Leafs will need a guy who can give the team 30 starts, but at this point in Bernier's career he wants to be a starting goaltender. As a restricted free agent, he's going to be looking for a contract worth more than that of a backup because there is going to be some team who sees "former first round pick" and pays for potential.

As for the Leafs? They have their young guy, and their Goalie Of The Future™. James Reimer is the same age as Bernier and has more experience than Bernier. Full stop.

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Should the Leafs take a chance on Danny Briere if he's bought out?

Cam Charron
June 17 2013 04:47PM

Here's an interesting possibility that's come up.

The Philadelphia Flyers did Philadelphia Flyers things today, signing 36-year-old Mark Streit to a four-year contract worth $21M. It's a big number, it's four years, and we know that the Flyers can't possibly fit this team under the salary cap.

That team simply has more money than brains, and after the ill-advised decision to sign Ilya Bryzgalov two summers ago, it's looking like a certainty that he'll be out. Darren Dreger and Bob MacKenzie have each theorized that the second amnesty buy-out used by the Flyers will be on centreman Danny Briere.

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