Sunday, June 23, 2013

Leafs situation heading into the Draft and Free Agency

The Leafs shored up their depth in goal today adding Jonathan Bernier. I like it, although there are still lots of question marks around our two goalies, both guys are young and show a lot of promise.

Here's how the rest of the team looks -

1. Mikhail Grabovski - $5.5 million *Buyout candidate
2. Nazem Kadri - RFA
3. Jay McClement - $1.5 million
4. Joe Colborne - RFA

We need to add another Centre into the mix for sure.

1. Phil Kessel - $5.4 million
2. Joffrey Lupul - $5.25 million
3. James VanRiemsdyk - $4.25 million
4. -------------------
5. Nikolai Kulemin - $2.8 million
6. -------------------
7. -------------------
8. Colton Orr - $0.9 million

We could add 3-4 wingers. One or two the spots could go to a kid at camp, or re-sign Fraser McLaren, but we should see Nonis trade for/sign at least 1 or 2 (if not 3) new wingers.

*Jay McClement also plays all forward positions so Nonis could add another centre and move Jay over, so there's some flexibility there. Anyway you slice it we're looking at 4-5 forwards who need to come in.

1. Dion Phaneuf - $6.5 million
2. -----------------
3. Cody Franson - RFA
4. Jake Gardiner - $1.1 million
5. Carl Gunnarsson - RFA
6. John Michael Liles - $3.9 million *Buyout candidate
7. Mark Fraser - RFA
8. -----------------

We'll need a depth dman, could be O'Byrne re-signed but he'll have to come in cheap ($1.7 million last year). And we need a top 4 as well. If Liles is bought out, we'll need another depth guy, but these depth guys could come from within, where defence is a position of strength in the Leafs organization.

1. James Reimer - $1.8 million
2. Jonathan Bernier - RFA

We have about $39 million and change committed to these players right now. I'm just going to throw some rough numbers out on our RFA's -

Kadri - $3.5 mil
Colborne - $1 mil
Franson - $4 mil
Gunner - $3 mil
Fraser - $1 mil
Bernier - $2 mil
total = $13.5, let's call it $14 to be safe. We'll be at around $54 million, with roughly $8-9 million to spend on 6 players to fill out the roster. If Liles is bought out, we'll have $13-14 million to spend on 7 players.

I think we should buy out Liles, not because he's bad but because he's making too much and he hasn't been as impact-full since his concussion. Then if we could replace our two vacancies for depth D from within or with cheap UFA's in the million $ range, and two of our spots up front the same way, we could be looking to land:

1 impact defenceman
1 impact forward
1 quality role playing forward

With about $9-10 million of cap space. Seems pretty do-able. We're in an interesting spot.
*Also wanted to mention that I think Liles could have some trade value, if we could move him for a cheap depth dman, then we could save one of our compliance buyouts. The first buyout will obviously be used on Komisarek, this is just for the record, not even worth discussing.

No comments: