Heaven Forbid the Buds Use Free Agency to get Better

Heaven Forbid the Leafs Spend money on Free Agents to improve their team just because the rest of the NHL does.……

  Burkie, in his infinite wisdom, decided to stay away from Free Agency on Canada Day. Once again I’m left wondering why the Leafs can’t be like the rest of the NHL. I had high hopes when he was hired but he has provided little of substance in the time he’s been GM. I’m afraid to say that his ship has sailed. As far as I’m concerned he is surviving only on past accomplishments. I’d hope that the new ownership (Bell/Rogers) send him packing in short order as their first order of business.

In the meantime the only way this team can be brought into contention is through trades.  This past season 25 NHL teams finished higher in the standings than the Buds. The last time the Leafs won the Cup was 1967. The last time they made the playoffs was 2004. They have not made the playoffs under the guidance of GM Bryan Burke. How could we possibly be confident that Burke can right the Leafs ship before he gets canned? Yet hope we must for as Leaf fans hope is all we have.

THE MAPLE LEAF NEEDS

The Leafs need  a number of things to make them a better team.

#1 on the Shopping list is a starting goalie and rumour has it that the Leafs are interested in Jonathan Bernier. Now that Los Angeles has signed Johnathan Quick for 10 yrs Bernier may be available. Bernier has a cap hit of $1.25 M

Here is the offer I would make for Bernier.

Los Angeles gets CLARKE MACARTHUR, NAZEM KADRI and JESSE BLACKER. Leafs get Johnathan Biernier.

#2 on the Shopping list is a veteran goalie and rumour has it the Buds are in the Roberto Luongo sweepstakes. The kicker is he has a cap hit of $5.3 for 10 yrs. In my humble opinion the only way the Leafs would trade for him is if they could ship out a couple of players that earn big $$$ to help ease the hit on their cap that Luongo would make. The latest rumour has Luongo trying to force a trade between Vancouver and Florida.

Here is the offer I would make for Luongo.

Vancouver gets MIKE KOMISAREK,MATTHEW LOMBARDI and JESSE BLACKER. Leafs get Roberto Luongo (he of the big contract) Reasoning behind offer: Leafs get rid of (2) bad contracts and one prospect for one bad contract.

#3 on the shopping list is a big 1st line Center. Paul Stastny of Colorado fills the bill. He also is a long time favorite of Burkie. He has 2 yrs remaining on his contract at $6.6M per yr. He is said to be available for the right price. To get him the Leafs need to offer younger players.

Here is the offer I’d make for Stastny

Colorado gets -

NIKOLAI KULEMIN (RFA) Cap hit last year $2.2 M

CODY FRANSON (RFA) Cap hit last year $800,000

CLARKE MACARTHUR Cap hit last year $3.25M

Toronto gets  PAUL STASTNY (Cap hit last year $6.6M)

Reasoning behind offer: Leafs get best player in the deal. Can afford to lose

Kulemin & Franson both RFA Stastny better than MacArthur.

#4 on the shopping list is a big 1st line winger. Bobby Ryan  Anaheim has long been a favorite of Burkie. He has 3 yrs remaining on his contract at $5.1M per yr. He will not come cheaply but might be had for prospects who make less money.

Here is the offer I’d make for Ryan… Anaheim gets JESSE BLACKER,CODY FRANSON,JOE COLBORNE and NAZEM KADRI. Toronto gets BOBBY RYAN

Reasoning behind offer: Leafs get best player in the deal. You have to pay a good price for a top player.

#5 on the shopping list is a big 1st line winger. RICK NASH (LW) Columbus is the type of player that the Leafs could use in a heartbeat. However the problem with NASH is the same as with LUONGO. He has 6yrs left on his contract at $7.8 M per year.

Here is the offer I’d make for NASH.

Columbus gets..NAZEM KADRI,JOE COLBORNE, CODY FRANSON and CLARKE MacARTHUR. Toronto gets RICK NASH. Reasoning behind offer: Leafs get best player in the deal. You have to pay a good price for a top player.

  As was expected the Leafs did little in the Free Agent Frenzy so it appears the Leafs will have  to be active on the trade front if they wish to remain competative. Of the remaining Free Agents (list below) I expect the Leafs will be in the hunt on a few but probably fall short in their offers.

FREE AGENT TARGETS

The remaining Free Agents that I feel the Leafs should target fall Into (3) categories

TOP 6 Forwards – TOP 4 D-Men – Bottom 6 D-Men

Here is a list of the remaining targets and the offers that should be made. * NOTE I am only listing the remaining players that I feel should be targeted.

1. Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes   2011-12 salary: $4.55 million RW Age 35 OFFER – 2yrs @ $4.0M per year

2. Matt Carle, Philadelphia Flyers      2011-12 salary: $3.8 million  D  Age 27 OFFER – 4yrs @ $3.50M per year

 

BOTTOM 6 Forwards and 5th/6th/7th D-Men

1.Daniel Winnik – San Jose  LW Age: 27 Cap Hit $950,000

OFFER – 2yrs @ $1.00M per year

2. Brad Winchester San Jose Sharks LW Age 32 cap Hit $750,000

OFFER – 2yrs @ $900,000 per year

3. Randy Jones – Winnipeg Jets 2011-12 Cap Hit: $1.150  D Age: 30

OFFER – 2yrs @ $1.75M per year

—- El Puncho

Clearing More Cap Space

If the Buds want to take a run at some high priced talent
they have only $12,846,667
worth of cap space to do it with.
They desperately need to improve their bottom 6 forwards and to add a goaltender to back up/tutor James Reimer.

Here are the cap hits of a number of players who might possibly be moved
in a trade. Of course, the cap hit is a big part of any potential deal.
Other than trades it is possible to clear cap space using the waiver wire or a buy out such as the one used to get rid of Darcy Tucker.

Joe Colborne…………….$1.1M
Cody Franson…………… RFA
Matt Frattin………………. RFA
Nazem Kadri……………..$1,720,000
Nikolai Kulemin……….. RFA
Carter Ashton………….. $1,040,000
Tyler Bozak…………….. $1.5M
David Steckel…………. $1.1M
Clarke MacArthur …… $3.25M 
Colby Armstrong……. $3.0M …………..bought out
Tim Connolly…………. $4.75M
John-Michael Liles… $3.875,000  
Mike Komisarek…….. $4.5M
Matthew Lombardi…. $3.5M

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
Joey Crabb…………….UFA
Jay Rosehill……………. UFA
Jeff Finger……UFA
Mike Zigomanis ……UFA
Philippe Dupuid….UFA
Matt Lashoff…..UFA
Ryan Hamilton…UFA