Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
July 06 2013 01:56PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs made a lot of comittments yesterday, signing a couple of free agents, bringing back a few players, and letting a few walk. This comes shortly after a pair of buyouts and a trade acquisition. Opinions are all over the place: Some people hate the end result, some people are okay with it, some like and dislike certain parts, and others are taking the "waait and see" approach. Myself? I feel that this offseason will be seen as Dave Nonis' defining moment here, the one where he let a glimmer of hope and his personal reputation for being cautious to get to his head, making brash choices that only suit the short term.
But something I will admit, now that everything has sunk in? The Leafs are better suited for the now then they were a few weeks ago.
July 06 2013 09:22AM
First thing’s first: Mikhail Grabovski is an absolute gem. Whether or not you think it’s appropriate, you have to laugh at the crazy rant Grabo went on to Jonas Siegel after he was bought out on Thursday. Can’t say I blame him, or that he was wrong on any of those points.
There has been some discussion on Twitter and via articles as to whether Grabovski was a good player, a victim of circumstance and underappreciated or a guy blown up by #fancystats who just couldn't get the job done. It hasn’t been a back and forth so much as people restating their opinion over and over again, with analytically minded people (or people who watch the games at both ends of the ice) thinking this move is asinine and some main stream media people and Bozak fanboys supporting it. There are people in between those poles but those extremes yell the loudest.
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.