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Author: Subject: NHL 2018-2019
Flash
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posted on 11-30-2018 at 01:38 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
So we're at like 40 ish hours from the Dec 1 5pm cut off for RFA's to sign by or they have to sit out the rest of the season; So it's crunch time for the Leafs and Nylander to figure out what they are going to do...

It's a crazy situation for a number of reasons:

The Leafs want to keep him, and to listen to coach Babcock he will be back with the Leafs soon, which would make you think that something is imminent or already in the bag and just being held off until the finish line due to some of the cap stuff I mentioned above (in a nutshell signing this year would skyrocket his cap hit for this year but lower it even more in subsequent years... Great for the Leafs, bad for a lot of other teams).... HOWEVER, the Leafs have sent word to teams that they've been talking with to update their trade offers as this is apt to go down to the wire and Toronto wants their best options on the table.

As an RFA Nylander is free to talk to any team and they could sign him to an offer sheet- depending on the value it would likely cost said team their first three rounds of picks with additional first rounders depending on how much he'd sign for... The Leafs would have seven days to match the offer or take the compensation (in this case probably 2019 rounds 1-3, and probably a second 2020 1st rounder)... Minnesota is said to have been heavily talking to Nylander's camp but are balking at his $8m plus asking price, plus they don't have the room this season to take the hit without clearing out some players... Also worth noting but other teams can only offer 7 years, Toronto (or if he's traded to another team) can offer 8.... Few teams have the room this season to take on a big contract.

This is why things keep circling back to Carolina; a team with cap room and players Toronto would covet... plus they just put some pricey contracts on waivers for purposes of demotion.

Could the Hurricanes try an offer sheet? Maybe... but as a team that's okay this season they likely know that even with Nylander in their ranks they are likely a bubble team that could just as easily wind up being a lottery pick team... Would you give up two lottery picks for Nylander? Probably not... I mean he's good, great some nights... but losing a whole year of prospects and even a remote chance to two years of high picks is too much probably for a budget team that needs to draft well and find value in their picks.

In other news the first GM of the year fell this week as Philly cut ties with Ron Hextall; former Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher is said to be the front runner for the job.

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Flash
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posted on 12-1-2018 at 11:52 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Nylander goes to the wire but signs, curious to see how the 6 year $41.4m spreads out... I'd imagine the Leafs were smart and front loaded it for this year as mentioned above this year counts differently because of the late signing, so if they gave him huge bucks this year, even after pro rated big money, the cap hit would be far lower for the life of the deal.He'll go UFA right away now, but whatever.

Kinda begs the question if you were conspiracy minded... Did the Leafs and Nylander plan this all along?

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bigfatgoalie
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posted on 12-2-2018 at 12:46 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
$6.969 million cap hit years 2-6. Yes please.

Also...Leafs still have cap room this year for a rental.

Iím cautiously excited.

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Flash
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posted on 12-16-2018 at 01:29 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Sounds like Josh Leivo is really getting a good opportunity with the Canucks playing on the top line with Boeser and Petterson and netting 2 goals and an assist in 5 games (by comparison in 27 games with the Leafs he had 4g and 2a) and is averaging 14:50 a game.

I always thought he had some nice potential... probably not top line stuff, but better than fighting it out for fourth line scraps and bench riding... Tough situation though when you're not that immediate catch fire star or guy seen with a bit upside, and if you do make it into games trying to find your stride and chemistry with limited minutes on a short leash... Plenty of guys in similar situations that ultimately wash out because there's more upside on testing a rookie in those spots, but here's hoping Leivo gets a happy ending in Vancouver.

St. Louis appears poised to burn it all down with their GM saying that outside of Jaden Schwartz and some recent picks no one on the team is untouchable... They sit in 28th place overall (baffling considering the team they have) and have some team changing players that could land a nice haul for them. TSN has Colton Parayko as tops on their tradebait list right now; Would love to see the big physical right handed shot D-man in a Leafs uniform... He's locked up for 3 years at a cap hit of $5.5m but I don't know if maybe a Kapanen or Johansson type package (even with picks) would necessarily be enough to land him... I wonder if there might be interest in Connor Brown; he's not getting it done this year but had 20 goals 2 years ago, and 14 last year; He's got another year after this one at $2.1m so he's a good player to roll the dice on as the potential is there and you've got an extended look at him at a low cap hit.

Curious is Edmonton could put something together?

[Edited on 12-16-2018 by Flash]

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bigfatgoalie
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posted on 1-15-2019 at 02:57 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Nylanderís advice to Marner and Matthews of ďget it done before the seasonĒ would be silly, if it wasnít true. Iím pretty certain at this point that Willyís season is a bust.

Also...the Leafs need to shake things up in some way. Maybe try Marner and Matthews together. Try Dermott with Reily. Something. Anything.

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Flash
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posted on 1-29-2019 at 04:07 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Leafs kick off the yearly trade deadline craze by getting a jump on things.

*Leafs get Jake Muzzin; $4m cap hit for this year and next before becoming a UFA. He shoots left but can play both sides and this season has 4g 17a and is a +10 on a really bad Kings team. He's going to slot in beside Reilly with Hainsey dropping down to the 3rd pairing with Dermott.

*Kings get the Leafs 2019 1st round pick; odds are this will be in the 20-30 range so with the Leafs depth this won't be a big loss. They also sent former 2nd round pick Carl Grundstrom; who's seen no NHL time but did have a bit of buzz about him a year or so ago coming over from Sweden and was seen as not quite as good as former Leaf Komarov, but still a nice two way agitator. While he wasn't under contract to the Leafs they also included 20 year old Sean Durzi, a right shot defenseman with the Guelph Storm (OHL) and also a former 2nd round pick of the team.

Good trade for both; Muzzin gives them a good defenseman who can play in different situations at a good cap hit, and depending on how things go with Jake Gardiner this summer (he's a UFA) they've got Muzzin for another year. They didn't give up anything on their roster or any A-list prospects like they would have had to for one of the guys out of Carolina. The Kings are looking to shed contracts and add some prospect depth to their ranks and this deal accomplishes that.

Analyst Scott Cullen with TSN once did a nice breakdown of a player's odds of making it to the NHL based on where they were drafted and being a top 4 d-man or top six forward and the Leafs basically gave up a first rounder that has about a %10-30 percent change of being an impact player, and the two second round guys come in around %10 (and that's probably lower given that they are more of a known entity).

*Winnipeg and the Penguins Brassard are said to be linked; The Jets are looking to shore things up going into the playoffs and are looking for a second line centre who can play up and down the line up if needed.

*Whole host of players on Ottawa (Duschene, Stone), (Carolina... take your pick) and Rangers (Hayes, Zuccarello) are all on the block due to expiring contracts but maybe the most interesting team to watch will be the Blue Jackets; they current sit comfortably in the playoffs but stars Panarin and Bobrovsky are both on expiring deals and neither seem to be in a hurry to sign... Both are game changers and given CBJ's small market status they can't really let either just walk away for nothing so unless there's strong cues coming from them that they'll resign before the off season you've gotta figure the Jackets will have to consider dealing them. Panarin can be moved, but Bobrovsky has a no movement clause.

I think they might consider moving them, but small market or not the Jackets do have a nice core of players there, and for as much you figure they'd hate to just let them walk they do have other players to consider resigning and some depth... We haven't seen the old trade a UFA for a first rounder weeks before July 1st thing so the other team can sign them before they go to market deal since they let players talk to other teams the week before free agency opens, but maybe they do something like that this summer if they can't keep at least one of them.

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OOMike
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posted on 1-29-2019 at 12:47 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
The feeling in Columbus is that nothing they will get for Panarin is worth what he is giving the Jackets right now. So it may be a case that they Jackets view it as a rental that they didn't have to pay for.

Bob on the other hand... Going into the season I would have bet money that he would have been the one to stay, but his performance has been erratic and not as sharp as he has been, plus some attitude conflicts, makes me feel that he could be the one traded before the end of the season, just I don't know how much they will get back in return. Add to the mix is that Korpi (backup) is an unknown with the kind of workload you will see down the stretch.





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bigfatgoalie
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posted on 1-31-2019 at 03:24 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
The Jackets are in a tough spot...like they could easily win a couple of rounds...or none. Ideally they should add and go for it...but...

They are one of the few teams with an internal cap. I canít see them adding at the deadline (despite having cap room), and good young players are also cheap. I know there were some people suggesting the Jackets could benefit from all the RFAs putting teams in a cap crunch this offseason...but...

Players are becoming aware that the cap is likely to go up a good chunk after the 2020-2021 season thanks to Seattle joining the league and the US tv deal expiring. The NHL isnít going to get NBA, or even MLB money. But thereís a good chance they could double the $200 million a year they currently get. With this, those star RFAs will likely sign cheaper, but shorter deals so they can cash in. The first guy linked to such a deal is Auston Matthews.

So yeah...Iím not sure what Columbus does. I think they are a good team, but not as good as Washington, Toronto, or Tampa.

As for the Muzzin deal...

His advance stats are so far ahead Ron Hainsey. I think regardless who he plays with the d should be better. How much better? I donít know. And I think it could take time to figure out who works with who.

Of course the Leafs are due for a PDO (fancy stat for puck luck) increase, so Iím sure theyíll win a couple of games and fans from out West will be tired of hearing about how great the deal was by this time next week.

Speaking of PDO...it was funny that the advanced stat community predicted the Leafs recent struggles and were warning folks not to worry about the team losing a bunch when Nylander signed...only the dip was much worse than expected. Iím trying to remind myself during the Leafs extended break that this is a really good team, while also bracing for some possible chemistry issues in the next couple of weeks.

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Flash
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posted on 2-7-2019 at 04:06 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
So Matthews as expected signs a 5 year contract extension with an aav of $11.6m making him the number 2 guy in the league money wise (McDavid is still #1)... It's not a terrible cap hit for a franchise guy, and given Matthews history of injuries the shorter term might be a good thing; so all told it's probably a good deal.

BUT...

The Leafs now have a serious cap crunch problem as Marner remains unsigned going into the summer and given his age, scoring prowess (remember he and Matthews don't always play together, so a lot of his points are him generating it and not a guy getting a bump from a superstar feeding him) and you know he's going to be looking for Matthews type money except the Leafs only have about $7.5 in cap room for next year now which means that Gardiner will definitely be gone, and probably someone like Kapanen as well, as with 15 goals and a half a season still to play he's likely to come in far to pricey for the Leafs to afford. Hainsey is also a UFA at seasons end, but they might be able to get him on the cheap, but really with him dropping down to the 3rd D pairing him going elsewhere won't be a big hole to fill. Sparks is probably due a minor raise though and has played well enough to keep around as backup.

The good news (if you are a Leafs fan anyway) is that in the 2020-2021 season the Leafs wind up with about $27m in cap space and will still have the likes of Reilly and Kadri un contract (whose current deals are very cap friendly and still have some term left on them), nevermind the rest of their core as Marleau's almost $7m comes off the books among other and the biggest contract hassle they'll have to contend with is Dermott (assuming Marleau retires, but really even if he doesn't a year to year situation isn't bad regardless of the contract). Muzzin's deal will also have expired, so if they like him they'll be able to keep him in the fold and odds are he won't be a break the bank type guy.

Even better news is that in 2021 Seattle will join the NHL so league revenues will go up, which means so too will the salary cap... There may even be so short term help depending on how the NHL calculates this as some of the money Seattle is paying to join the league has been paid this year (I think the entry fee was like $500m) meaning the cap like in past years will go up, and maybe moreso than in prior years given the hefty deposit.

So what's Toronto to do in 2019-2020?

They could work out something with Marner to sign a very short term one year deal... it'd be odd, but might be the best case scenario provided he had certain assurances that if he had a bad season they'd still break the bank to keep him on the following extension. Given that any player is just an injury away from being out of the league and that league contracts are guaranteed, I don't think he'd want to do that... yeah there's insurance, but to match the kind of money he would get he'd be paying a hell of a premium (I remember reading some story about Crosby's insurance before he signed his first big deal and it being quite high).

The trade route...

I think Gardiner walks, and Kapanen gets traded but those alone won't help as they aren't factored into the $7.5 room Toronto would have to resign the likes of Marner, Sparks, Johnsson, Hainsey... ect.

Brown makes about $2.1m and isn't getting much playing time; he's got a couple of great seasons under his belt and the cap hit is low enough that despite him not putting up much in the way of points the last couple of years the potential to risk payoff is pretty good.

Zaitsev at a cap hit of $4.5 a year with five more years after this one might be the best option... He'd free up cap space but really the Leafs are probably over paying as he's a bit lackluster at times, and the length of the deal would probably scare a lot of trade partners off; It's not so scary that a lopsided deal might not make him attractive to pick up though.

Kadri has been mentioned as expendable but really the guy has years left on his deal at $4.5, can play up and down the line up that he'd be the last guy I'd trade... He's a bargain with what he can do and when given opportunities he can put up points as well.

Nylander would probably be Toronto's best option to deal, but as outlined Toronto has cap room in the next few years and anything you'd replace him with would be a lesser option so I wouldn't do it. Plus Toronto's GM has said that while Nylander doesn't have a formal no trade contract he promised him he would not deal him as long as he was there... Six months later would leave him with egg on his face to go back on that one.

I think probably the way to go would be a Brown, Kapanen and Zaitsev package for a D-man who's cheap and has a year or so of term left to bridge them to something else... Depending on the quality of the player they'd probably have to give up some other stuff/picks, but they have some defensive help in the pipeline so it's really about bridging to the next year and letting them offer Marner something like $8-9m... There's some other stuff they can do with performance bonuses I do believe that wind up counting in the next season so there are some options, but Toronto definitely has some a problem this summer with few solutions at hand and would require a willing partner in Marner.

Really though if I was Marner I think you've got to look at stuff like how yeah Ontario has one of the higher tax brackets but NHL players are paid in US funds so what he loses in taxes the dollar difference helps make it up. He also has an endorsement deal with Intact insurance that's probably fairly lucrative, and is probably conditional on him still playing in Toronto (I mean his value as a spokesman for a Canadian auto insurer is little to nill if he winds up in Carolina for example)... Factor endorsement deals like that over years and some short term pain is probably nothing, so staying in Toronto where you do have a legit chance at a cup is probably worth it.

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bigfatgoalie
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posted on 2-7-2019 at 05:08 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
That 7.5 million is kind of untrue. Thatís what the Leafs have without putting Horton on LTIR. And with no increase to the cap.

On TSN Bob McKenzie laid out how the Leafs can give Marner $10 million, give Mango and Kappy raises, and have about $2 million for a 6th defenseman.

The only people theyíd have to let go and trade are Gardiner and Connor Brown.

Side note...Iíd love to see Jeremy Branco get a game or two in this year to see if he can convert some past team USA chemistry with Matthews at the NHL level. If so, I think they could move Kapanen AND Brown, and add another top four defenceman.

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Flash
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posted on 2-7-2019 at 06:10 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Ah- I'm actually happy to hear that. I was going off capfriendly's numbers, so I guess they didn't put in Horton's numbers yet (or more likely "can't" as he won't technically be LTR until like Sept 1 2019 for that season)... So that makes it better, but it's still bad.

I still think Kapanen's going to be too expensive for them... although there is a chance that given his limited number of NHL games a bridge contract in the $3.5m range might keep him in the fold (which I would be happy with). I also didn't chat about Johnsson too much, but he's not far off Kapanen's numbers but I see him as being more in the Brown type short term lower dollars type range than Kapanen would try and command... His contract is also up.

Even still 2019-20 is going to be a crunch year for the Leafs as let's go with the $12.5m range...

Marner $10m+
Kapanen $3.5m
Jonsson $2.1m
Sparks $1.2

Plus they'll need 1-2 defensemen for that sixth spot and it's always good to leave some cap room for trades and to avoid call ups hampering your cap space. Even someone like say Borgman or Nielsen getting that job is still about $800k

The only reason outside of cap crunch that I think Kapanen is disposable is that I think his return potential is far higher than Jonsson's. While Gardiner is prone to some mistakes he is going to be missed, and while I'm excited about Toronto's defensive future most of them are at least 1-2 years away I think (Liljegren, Sandin).

A nice package of Kapanen, Brown, and Zaitsev with probably a pick or two in there and I think you could pry loose one of Carolina's D-men not named Hamilton (Pesce, Slavin), all of which are on very friendly deals in the $4.5-5.5 range... It upgrades the defense and drops some guys into lower roles... Same cap crunch but better value I think.

You know one thing I'd be curious to see if the Leafs could do is "sell" some retained salary... in this case I was thinking the $1.2m still on the books from Kessel. It would help Toronto, and since it would only be 3 years and about $3.6 million a team like New York Rangers with lots of cap space and who are rebuilding it wouldn't hurt (Plus they are super rich and like Toronto afford it).

I wouldn't hit the panic button on anything yet though... It's worth finding out what the cap will increase by first, then get Marner signed... Then you can figure out what you need to do.

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bigfatgoalie
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posted on 2-8-2019 at 03:50 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Hereís the Bob McKenzie projection.



Kappy should be easy to cost control as he has no arbitration rights. So unless somebody gives him an offer sheet, keeping his salary reasonable should be ok.

Johnsson is arbitration eligible, but if if he wants too much he can be traded. Hyman, Marleu, and Brown are more than able to be your top 3 left wingers, and Trevor Moore can easily play on the 4th line, or fill a top 9 spot if/when somebody gets hurt.

Add either another Ennis type signing or giving Branco or Marchment a shot on the forth line with The Goat and Moore.

As for the d...

There was talk the Leafs wanted to give Liljegren the Dermott treatment and have him play some games THIS year. And Sandin is blowing folks away in the AHL. Both could end next year with the big club. Although Iím ok with the Leafs waiting a year to bring them up.

I also think you could fill the 6th spot with a veteran (or even Hainsey) for $1 million if Marner gets $11 million, instead of the $2 million Bob is suggesting. Oh and I think Zaitsev is easily tradable. So if the Leafs add a different 2nd pairing right d, they could move him to say, Edmonton, for futures.

I also think for Marner to get $11 million per season, the Leafs would need a 7 or 8 year term.

Even a doomsday scenario where they have to go as high as $13 million for Marner on a 7 year term and end up trading both of Johnsson and Kappy, the Leafs should be contenders next year. And theyíd have a bunch of cap space the next year plus whatever futures they got from shredding salary.

Basically...Iím not stressed about the Leafs cap situation....which is good because I can just be stressed about wanting them to win the Cup.





[Edited on 2-8-2019 by bigfatgoalie]

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Flash
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posted on 2-8-2019 at 10:08 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Nice find BFG...

You know it's funny seeing the depth chart, or even a projected one like that and I still have a hard time seeing that roster and just how good the Leafs have it... Yeah the D is a bit weak, but man that's a great team.

I really hope something bad happens to Tampa Bay... Like endless weeks of the flu in the playoffs, cause if Toronto can get hot and stay healthy I like their odds against most other teams.

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