UHS COACH NYE with LEAFS WATCH
WHO NEEDS A PROGRAM.
GET YOUR PROGRAMS HEREEE…….
Well you better get one because with all the ‘Shaking and Moving‘ going on yesterday, I’ve totally lost track of which player is playing for which team!
Wow what a day!
And what a day it was for the Toronto Maple Leafs, in fact what a past few days it’s been.
Let’s back track just a bit shall we and start off with a good draft day on the 30th of June. In my last post Leafs Watch-After The Dust Settles the Leafs had picked a future strong centre man in Frederik Gauthier of the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL. Then traded away 3 future picks for the rights of David Bolland via the Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks. A third line centre man which will be a shut down, last few minutes in the game type player that Coach Carlyle needed.
On top of all this on the 30th or about around then, the Leafs swung a deal with LA Kings and acquire goaltender Jonathan Bernier to ride ‘shot-gun’ with James Reimer this coming season. To me, not a bad 2 men system going into the 2013-14 season.
Now after the draft we anxiously wait for another few days to have the UFA Frenzy Day (thanks TSN for the coverage) and while the day approaches we keep hearing the rumours of this player coming to Toronto (Dave Clarkson) or that player going to Columbus (Horton from Boston) or even this player not signing with the Leafs and moving onto greener pastures (Tyler Bozak ). All so many rumours and tales flying around the sports radio shows that I had to stop listening and watching because I was even getting confused. (I know it doesn’t take much!)
Finally Friday July 5th arrives and the news of trades and player movements get going, and by 1:30pm in the afternoon there was almost 20 deals made by teams and their GM’s and even more to come (Full List of Transactions right here ) THN-Full Free Agent Tracking List I couldn’t believe some of the salaries being dished out and where some of the players were heading (Alfredsson to Detroit -Big Shock here) but I then again I wasn’t surprised on what our beloved Leafs were trying to do……. get stronger on the wings and in the top six of their line up. It never was a secret with GM Nonis in what they wanted to do and it was never a secret on who and how much they were willing to give up.
It all started really on Thursday the 4th of July (Happy Belated Independance Day to our Neighbours in the south) with the buy-out on centre man Mikhail Grabovski. By the way let me know if you still feel this was the right thing to do?
This allowed to free up some more cap room, well lets say up to $24.5 m of space to go ahead and sign a couple of free agents plus hopefully resign the Leafs that still needed contracts ( Kadri, Fraser, Fransen, Gunnerson) which I feel will be done before the end of next week. But I new some back room deals were already started and would be done in no time before the day ended on the 5th, and they were. So breaking down these deals have been done over and over for the past 24 hours, I would like to think the Leafs were heading in the right direction so lets take a look.
First Signing – Tyler Bozak
Well it’s a resigning but lets not get technical here ok. I do have to give Bozak’s agent some credit here. Actually it was brilliant manoeuvring by Bozaks team of representatives by setting the table of negotiations. With putting the proposal of a 8 year contract at what ever dollars it was, just brilliant. What this did was made GM Nonis take notice and look around and probably hear what most teams would, could be offering the kid. In turn GM Nonis could counter offer with a more reasonable offer that both sides new would be the right numbers for both in dollars and years. And you all think hockey people are dummies, not true, not true at all. With Bozaks re-signing they have accomplished several things here, the need of a centre man (you see I didn’t say 1st line), a good line mate for Phil ‘The Thrill’ Kessel and someone who Coach Carlyle can count on.
Second Signing – David Clarkson
Ok if you didn’t see this coming then you have been living under a tree! Come on this was going to happen no matter what everyone else thinks. Clarkson quotes, ” In my heart I knew where I needed to go. It’s a honour to be here.” I think that says it all really. Clarkson was offered more money and longer deals but as he stated he knew he was coming home to Toronto. A kid growing up just outside of TO in Mimico, Ont along with newly acquired David Bolland, it was a no brainer but will he give the Leafs what they need and did they over pay? Send me your thoughts on that one as well will ya because I have been hearing different things now.
He is Coach Carlyle’s type of player, that’s for sure. A crash and bang style with hands that get you some goals plus drop the mitts to take of business but that isn’t what he will be doing. On a line with Kadri and Lupul, Clarkson will be making some room for these boys plus collecting the perfect passes and getting him some goals along the way. I would even step out and say this line could be actually the number one line over Bozak, Kessel and J van Reimsdyk once all is said and done.
Third Signing – Jonathan Bernier
Once acquiring him GM Nonis still needed to get the youngster under contract and that was accomplished yesterday as well. With a 2 year 5.8 m contract all set this 11th overall pick in 2006 will now duke it out with fellow ‘Tender of the Twines’ James Reimer.
Other Signings -
Resigned and staying put will be Fraser McLaren. A good 4th line role player who knows where he fits in.
Kevin Marshall (D) was acquired by Toronto from Washington for forward Nicolas Deschamps.
Trevor Smith (LW) was acquired by Toronto from Pittsburgh.
T.J. Brennan (D) was acquired by Toronto and has signed one-year, $600,000 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He will be a depth defenseman with the Leafs, seeing time with the Marlies and the big club.
So there you have it Leaf Nation, a look at who is coming into Leaf Land for the up coming 2013-14 season or at least for now. You see anything is possible and I think the Leafs GM and his staff will be looking around even for some minor deals that may surprise us all.
As you can see with who has been brought in this is truly a Randy Carlyle type team, a team who can move quickly, are big along the boards, are deep in the centre spot, have steady dmen and a goaltending duel that any team would love to have.
Let the games begin!
Until next time.
See you after the game,