WWYDW: What now?

We’re going to keep today’s WWYDW very simple. After all, we all knew from the start what today’s topic was going to be, it was just a matter of how it was approached.

The Stamkos dream is dead. He’s staying in Tampa Bay, and the team sure as hell isn’t going to start counting the days until 2024.

Toronto still has roughly $7 million in cap space, and an ability to put at least $5.3 million into LTIR via Nathan Horton. They’ve got more picks than their normal seven once again, and an abundance of “on the cusp” prospects to the point of logjam.

What’s the new plan for the offseason? We’re all ears here.

  • CMpuck

    I’m convinced Lou and Shanny were lukewarm on Stamkos all along.

    There are some serious health concerns, declining stats the last three seasons and he’d be taking up about 15 percent of their salary cap.

    So this decision works out for everyone.

    The Leafs can stay on track with Matthews, Kadri. Marner, Nylander, Rielly, JvR, et all, while Stamkos avoids a media circus while enjoying the sunshine and beaches of Florida..

  • Harte of a Lion

    You guys are covering this story all wrong as the leafs didn’t lose anything. The leafs interviewed with Stamkos who looked great on his paper resume and after the meeting the leafs decided to move on as he wasn’t the right fit for the role.

    Lou always gets his man and if he wanted Stamkos he could have gotten him. The here reality is more that the leafs didn’t feel after the interview that Stamkos was what the leafs need at this time.

    • Jeremy Ian

      Slightly different take; Stamkos only made sense under the right conditions. I wouldn’t say that Lou and Shanny snubbed Stamkos; they just put the best deal for the Leafs on the table — and it wasn’t comparable to what Stamkos would get in TB.

      But what to do with the cap space? (Something CMPuck asked the other day).

      One of the other posters had suggested using it to soak up a few more bad contracts in return for more picks/prospects.

      I’d say that sounds smart, but the Leafs are rolling in those right now. But there are now more teams in cap trouble, so those picks/prospects might come in handy for some artful trades down the line.

      That’s what I would do.

    • Harte of a Lion

      Great insight leafer2020, I felt bringing Stamkos on board at this time of the build was the wrong move and hoped that management agreed.

      Let’s get Babcock to work with the kids this year, and everyone must remember that there could be 6 or more rookies on this team, Matthews, Nylander, Hyman, Soshnikov, Brown, Zaitsev plus others that may surprise at training camp. The veterans such as Michalek, Greening, Laich and Hunwick should be traded for more draft picks and prospects, depending on their seasons success at the deadline.

      This team as it is currently constructed, in my best case scenario, should play 500% hockey and accumulate 82 +- points thus picking in the top ten in next years draft. That pick will hopefully translate to a top defencemen at the BPA. After a year with Babcock, the defence will come together and Zaitsev is going to be way better than anyone Suspected.

      The time to bring in a star/superstar would be the 2018 season after Babcock has ingrained his systems in the young team and they are ready to take the next major step.

      No to Stamkos Yes to Tavares or an offer sheet to McDavid?

      My first reaction to the Subban and Hall trades is that for the foreseeable future, the Leafs will be looking at both those franchises in the rear view mirror.

  • Capt.Jay

    Wait till the season or trade deadline when teams are tight against the cap and desperate and trade for their bad contracts which also would involve their draft picks, propects or young roster players. Time to also package some of the boat load of 1B prospects we have for 1A’s.

  • Jeremy Ian

    The thought of offer sheeting McDavid at any point is ludicrous. Oilers will hold on to him like Montreal to a bad coach.

    I think we can expect some more deals like the Kirby Rychel one. Trading pieces to get more targeted pieces back. I’m happy with where the Leafs are now, and I think they are too. I don’t expect any huge trades or signings.

    • Harte of a Lion

      Offer sheets are not ludicrous and McDavid might get tired of the circus. I admit it an unlikely scenario but strange things happen … See the Subban or Hall trades.

      • JB#1

        Welcome, Harte of a Lion, I’ve been waiting for others to join me in the “Offer Sheet McDavid” loony bin.

        Though, are we the crazy ones?

        Riddle me this all you doubters:

        1. Are the Oilers really going to be able to get their ship on the right course over the next two seasons? After which McDavid exits his ELC and becomes an RFA and eligible for an offer-sheet.

        2. Can the Oilers really stop themselves from making bad decisions? I’m just praying that they sign Lucic to a horrendous contract and keep backing themselves further into a Cap Hell corner.

        3. Will the Oilers really be able to match a max offer sheet when it will mean having to jettison a good portion of their other players just to be able to pay/keep McDavid? Another four years of 30th place finishes to get McDavid in a good mood leading up to the off-season when he can go UFA?

        Let the trashing begin….

        • Gary Empey

          It’s not a crazy idea, and immediately more possible without Stamkos on the books.
          The Oilers will have ~$36.7M on the books when they need to re-sign McDavid (after signing Lucic for $6M). The Leafs currently have ~$19.7M committed to that year – 2018. The Oilers will be in cap hell, while the Leafs have tons of flexibility.
          Is it merely ironic that Lamoriello signed for three years ending in 2018, or is setting up an offer sheet for McDavid his swan-song?

  • FlareKnight

    Honestly, not much.

    Stamkos was an option and certainly one you had to go after.

    But, it’s not a huge loss that he isn’t there. It just means the plan continues. Bring up some of the young players and mix that with the vets you still have. Have those guys take the next step in their development and continue moving forward.

    We’ll get more points this year, probably avoid a bottom 5 finish and let that be that. I don’t see anyone on the UFA market that we need to get. We’ve added to the blueline with Zaitsev and have guys ready to make a jump.

    Sign the RFAs we have, figure out the lineup, and get ready for next season. The Leafs are building, they aren’t under the same gun as teams like the Oilers who have to turn it around this season.

    • Gary Empey

      Wipe your goggles off. You have been looking through that grunge at the bottom of tank for so long you have lost the ability to see clearly.

      Lamoriello may very likely make a trade for a 1 one draft pick with a team he feels will end up in the bottom of the tank. Canucks might be a good place to checkout. There are a few other teams around skating on old legs that will fail to make the cut.

      To tank again this year will risk all the good will the Leafs built up last year. I am sure the Leafs will look close at how the team has progressed at the trade deadline. But TANK. There is no appetite for tanking anymore. Win, lose or draw. play your best is the way forward.

      • CMpuck

        Two high end rookies are turning around a dead last team in one year.

        Look at Calgary, they’re much deeper in their rebuild and still a bottom five team.

        Maybe you need to start thinking clearly yourself.

  • Gary Empey

    I see the Leafs, like most every other teams, searching for one more solid defenceman.

    Also a top defensive forward who wins faceoffs, and plays the PK to replace Bozak.

    If Lou can’t make a fair deal that makes sense, then the Leafs will continue to wait for our existing prospects to develop, making some minor deals as they pop up.

    As for the playoffs, I am more optimistic than most. Tampa’s resigning Stamkos will keep them in the top two, in the Atlantic Division, along with Florida. That leaves the third spot that Detroit squeaked into last year up for grabs. So far neither Detroit, Boston, Buffalo, Ottawa, or Montreal have done much yet to improve their teams.

    Toronto on the other hand has added an allstar defenceman, a better goalie, a number one draft pick that Babcock says has already made the team. From what I seen of the Marlie callups, they look like the real deal. Reily is likely to continue to improve. There is a fair chance Marner makes the jump. There is one thing that resonates through out the whole lineup. There is nobody left who doesn’t play hard for the whole 60 minutes.

    I understand commonsense should tell one, they need at least one year to adjust. It’s hard to argue with that. I factor in Babcock’s coaching. His ability to teach and have the players respond so quickly to his instruction.

    • Gary Empey

      Dear Captain CapsLock, Are you aware that the cost of an offer sheet can be as high as four 1st round draft picks?

      Under $1,239,226 No Compensation

      $1,239,227 to $1,877,615 Third Round Pick

      $1,877,616 to $3,755,233 Second Round Pick

      $3,755,234 to $5,632,847 First and Third Round Picks

      $5,632,848 to $7,510,464 First, Second, & Third Round Picks

      $7,510,465 to $9,388,080 Two Firsts Round Picks, One Second & One Third Round Pick

      $9,388,081 or higher Four First Round Picks

  • Gary Empey

    I think this upcoming year will be all about the growth of our young core. Not only Matthews-Nylander-Marner, but Soshnikov, Hyman, Kapinen, et al. Before the Leafs can be seriously competitive, our young core will need to gain valuable experience over the next 2 seasons.

    Personally, I would sign some veteran players (preferably defencemen and 3rd/4th line guys) to short-term contracts. This season, my goal is not the playoffs, it’s growth in the core.

  • M&Mdynasty

    It seems fairly clear. Our forwards are stacked. Now let them develop. We have a goalie for the next 5 years.
    So we need to build a proper defense. Obviously we need someone to play right side on our first line. With no blue chip d prospects we’ll need to trade. Fortunately there’s no rush. We can afford a year but as soon as a lindholm or trouba becomes available for the right price I’m sure Lou will jump on it. Not sure anymore if Bozak or bernier needs to get traded right away (at least not until the deadline). Hopefully they can be used in a trade towards that stud d, athough I have a feeling someone like Gardner or Komarov would have to go the other way (I’d hate to lose them).