July 03 2013 10:20AM
Not five minutes after I hit "publish" on my last post, theorizing that the right-handed defenceman that the Toronto Maple Leafs so desperately need would have to come by trade and not by a free agency signing, news broke that the Minnesota Wild were buying out Tom Gilbert, a 6'3" defenceman that moves the puck well for his size.
He's not a big lug on puck possession, and was a heavy TOI guy in Edmonton playing upwards of 22 minutes a night on average. He was traded last deadline for the more defensive Nick Schultz, in a move that was roundly panned by Edmonton Oilers bloggers, some of the sharpest on the net.
And now he's available. He's a big right shot and was forced out of ice-time now that the Wild have signed Ryan Suter and have developed Jared Spurgeon into a top four defenceman. There's some quality on the right side, and the decision by the Wild to buy him out stems from the fact there wasn't more than one bidder for the year left on Gilbert's deal worth $4-million.
July 03 2013 09:39AM
This isn't exactly breaking news since it happened some time last night (and had been rumoured since June 23), but Mike Komisarek is done in Toronto after being the first of the Toronto Maple Leafs' compliance buy-outs. He had been playing the second half of the season with the Toronto Marlies after requesting to be sent down just so he could get some playing time.
Komisarek was that rare combination of a bad player tagged to a bad contract. He was due to make $3.5M this season, but will now have to settle with making $1.155-million over each of the next two years. His $4.5-million cap hit is erased from the books, but Komisarek is still paid out two-thirds of his contract over twice the remaining years.
The buy-out itself is just as disappointing as the player, actually. While I can say that there is no known universe that features Komisarek on a Leafs Stanley Cup-winning team, ultimately the a number of really poor decisions has totalled up the cap space saved by this buy-out. With better decision-making in the past, the Leafs could have saved this buy-out for next season and perhaps grabbed a good piece from the Philadelphia Flyers or Pittsburgh Penguins, two teams that are committing lots of money to lots of players.
July 02 2013 02:15PM
The Leafs got Dave Bolland and I'm so happeh!!
July 02 2013 12:38PM
It's a real nice day out today and, to be quite honest, I don't want to spend it inside blogging, so I'll throw together a few items for your daily consumption. Today's a good day to opinion on all things David Clarkson, Tyler Bozak and Leo Komarov.
David Clarkson vs. ???
I don't know whether the Leafs have interest in David Clarkson or not, but after trading Matt Frattin and likely losing Clarke MacArthur, the Leafs are going to need another winger to fit into the Top Six. Not that Frattin or MacArthur spent a whole lot of time up there last season, but the Leafs suddenly went from being very strong and wing to somewhat thin.
July 01 2013 02:21PM
With their final selection of the day, the Toronto Maple Leafs took Swedish winger Andreas Johnson in the seventh round, 202nd overall.
"He's a skilled, strong winger. Not tall, but he's got a thicker build. Very intelligent and skilled… We wanted to take a chance on that skill," Dave Morrisson told reporters of the Johnson pick following the draft.