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Kadri is Signed! And other off-season Leafs comments.

September 11, 2013

TorontoMAPLELEAFSlogoJust a short blurb to get back into the hockey swing of things. I do still love my hockey, after all and the season is starting soon!  The Leafs have been fairly busy this off-season, adding a solid goalie in Jonathan Bernier  and an effective, if somewhat overpaid feisty forward in David Clarkson. The additions aren’t bad, but I’m just not sure they were needed.

They bought out  a bad contract in Mike Komisarek and punted a good foot-soldier in Mikhail Grabovski.  Just because the coach doesn’t know how to make use of a good player, is no reason to humiliate the guy. Thanks for nothing, Randy.  Good luck, Grabo – we loved your heart here.

Mr. Nonis managed to give our top-scorer’s best pal a ridiculous contract (that would be Tyler Bozak if you didn’t know) and retained a defenceman that barely played during our first playoff run in years (Liles). While both are serviceable players, not sure either earned the contracts they received.

Now to the problems – the receding salary cap.  With those lovely contracts that MLSE has happily doled out – the Leafs are now in cap hell.  With two key young players, skilled sharpshooter Nazem Kadri and solid, heavy-shooting Cody Franson, still to sign, the Leafs started today with just under 5M in cap space. Not too much, considering they just recently tendered a PTO to Mason Raymond .

The good news is that Kadri has  signed a two-year bridge deal worth just under 3M / yr.  Now we turn our eyes to Franson. Will he be content with leavings?  Leftovers?    While there are quite a few d-men in the Leafs prospect pipeline, I think Franson has shown the necessary qualities at the top level. Maybe a bridge contract will work with him because it would be a shame to have developed him and then let him go because management was unable to juggle the salary cap correctly.

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