Phil Kessel is about to get paid

Cam Charron
August 29 2013 11:03AM

via Chris Peters

The National Hockey League now caps contracts at eight years, and the change most fans will notice in the coming years is that this will mean a higher salary cap hit for most of the league's star players. In the last agreement, the long-term "back-diving" deals which are now outlawed saw players paid a pittance at the end of a deal because the salary cap hit simply averages out the salary paid out over the years of a contract.

A good example to use is Miikka Kiprusoff, who was paid $8.5M, $7.0M, $7.0M, $6.0M, $5.0, $1.5M over his long-term contract that expires next summer. However Kiprusoff retired at the end of this past season, so he won't play this season for $1.5M. In theory, his salary cap hit was $5.83M, the average of $35M spread over six years, but in practice his cap hit should have been $6.7M, since he was really paid out only $33.5M over five years.

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TLN Top Twenty Prospects: No. 12 - Greg McKegg

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
August 29 2013 01:03AM


Name: Greg McKegg
Position: Centre / Left Wing
Hometown: St. Thomas, Ontario (near London)
Size: 6'0, 185 lbs
2013 Team: Toronto Marlies (AHL)
Acquired: Drafted 62nd overall (3rd Round) in 2010 Entry Draft 

Trying to get a feel for McKegg's potential has been a bit of a challenge since the day he was drafted. On one hand, the Leafs could have had a steal, picking up one of the most improved players in the OHL (18 points in 64 games in 2008/09 to 85 points in 67 games in 2009/10). On the other hand, it could have just been the case of a player going up the ranks and making the most of an opportunity handed to him. But everybody was prepared to see him through. After all, he appeared to have an uncanny ability to find ways to score, and at the worst case, the Leafs were down a mid-range draft pick.

Lets hit fast foward a bit. 

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James Reimer, Jonathan Bernier, and the hot-hand

Cam Charron
August 28 2013 03:49PM

"The one thing that you always try to do is you create, 'you win you're in,'" Caryle told reporters earlier this summer. "And winning is what we're here to do. We're here to win hockey games."

This paragraph surfaced in a story written last week by Sean Fitz-Gerald at the National Post, with Randy Carlyle speaking about this goaltenders James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier and how he plans to use the two for a tandem. I'm not going to bicker about Carlyle in this post because 99 per cent of hockey coaches fall into a trap of thinking that streaky play is predictive of the future.

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Quick Thought: Stat Tracking

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
August 28 2013 12:25PM

Michael Traikos had an interesting piece in the National Post about Jay McClement, his big year last year, and his thoughts on the Leafs moving forward. That's cool, and deserved - McClement was a massive help to the penalty kill last year, and produced above everybody's expectations. But a couple of things stated are a bit peculiar and are worth noting/counter-pointing:

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Steve Dangle
August 28 2013 08:52AM


Name: Garret Sparks
Position:  Goalie
Hometown:  Elmhurst, IL
Size:  6'3, 205 lbs
2013 Team:  Guelph Storm, Toronto Marlies

Acquired:  Draft, 7th Round, 2011

We’ve ranked Garrett Sparks as the Leafs’ 13th-best prospect. So what? What does that even mean?

I know for me personally, Sparks changed places more times than any other Leafs prospect while I was making my ranking list. The main reason for that is because he’s a goalie, and he’s the only goalie who made the Top 20 list. Is Sparks a better goalie than Carter Ashton is a forward? What about Greg McKegg or Jerry D’Amigo? How about Matt Finn as a defenceman? That’s difficult to judge. I must have bumped Sparks up or down a spot 10 times before plunking him here at 13.

What we were able to agree on as a staff here at, is that Garret Sparks is the Leafs’ best goaltending prospect.

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