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10-12-2009, 08:24 AM
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leafs123
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Bold moves could avert Leaf disaster

People forget the Tom Kurvers trade actually worked for a while.

With Kurvers contributing 15 goals to a high-octane Leaf attack after he was acquired by GM Floyd Smith in October 1989, the Leafs played .500 hockey and made the playoffs.

New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello, however, had cleverly asked not for Toronto's 1990 first-rounder in exchange for the 27-year-old Kurvers, but for the Leafs' top selection in the '91 draft, otherwise known as the Eric Lindros draft.

Had the Leafs simply managed to tread water and play .500 again in Kurvers' second season, the deal wouldn't have gone down as one of the worst in franchise history.

Instead, the next fall the team started 1-9-1, head coach Doug Carpenter was fired and the Leafs finished third from the bottom, thus delivering Scott Niedermayer to the Devils.

Two decades later, similarly ominous signs are there for the Leafs again, this time because of Brian Burke's aggressive decision to swap two firsts and a second to the Bruins for Phil Kessel. At this moment, the deal looks lousy because the Leafs are dead last and Kessel hasn't played yet.

The Leaf GM does appear to be a wee bit boxed in, partly by the lacklustre state of his team after four games, and partly by the Kessel deal.

Burke can't afford to let the season go downhill and make it simply about developing the team's young players. Finishing at or near the bottom without a first-round pick to cash in on would be a major blow to his prestige.

Moreover, he can't trade more futures in the form of draft picks or prospects to get immediate help without attracting intense criticism, plus he has no cap room with which to work.

Burke also won't have the option of dumping players for picks – tanking – if the season doesn't improve because Boston owns his first-rounder.

Boxed in, you see.

So what options are available?

For now, Burke has to sit tight, at least for tonight on Broadway and tomorrow night at home against Colorado. If not, he could start calling up youngsters from the Marlies, but a decision was made that they weren't ready for the NHL and rushing them now would be counterproductive.

No, the most significant card Burke has to play to avoid disaster/embarrassment is money.

If the Leaf GM wants to be bold, he could clear up in the neighbourhood of $8 million (all figures U.S.) in cap space by sending goaltender Vesa Toskala and forward Jason Blake to the minors and eating their contracts. Neither player is making a positive contribution to the Leafs or seems likely to.

Toskala is in the final year of his $4 million per season deal, and theoretically another team (Calgary as a backup to former Sharks teammate Miikka Kiprusoff?) might want him as a backup at half the price after recall waivers.

Blake has this season and two more left on his oversized five-year, $20 million contract.

Unless Kenny Williams switches to hockey, nobody's going to want that contract.

With that newly created cap space, Burke could go in search of experienced players other teams would like to dump – a phone call to maxed-out Chicago would be a start – plus perhaps a suitable unsigned free agent. Too bad Dominic Moore signed with Florida just last week.

It now seems clear the roster wasn't turned over enough during the off-season, although a lineup with Kessel and injured Viktor Stalberg might have a better look. Otherwise, these appear to be the same soft, uninspired Leafs with a couple of willing scrappers grafted on to the roster.

But while Burke is boxed in, he's not trapped. Not, that is, if he's willing to be bold and MLSE is willing to swallow millions.

--------------------------------------------------
I agree with Cox and Burke should live up to his talk by burying contracts in the minors. Tlusty had 3 goals and 4 points in 3 games, Hanson 2 points, and Bozak 1 point...who would you call up? (please contribute to some intelligent discussion in this thread)

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10-12-2009, 08:39 AM
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totally agree, but that talk about having no problem sending high priced under achieving players to the minors was, alas, brian burke lip service, imo, if it wasn't the marlies would already be stocked with over paid stiffs

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10-12-2009, 08:49 AM
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totally agree, but that talk about having no problem sending high priced under achieving players to the minors was, alas, brian burke lip service, imo, if it wasn't the marlies would already be stocked with over paid stiffs
So by your logic they are deliberately dressing inferior players? What motivation would they have to do this?

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10-12-2009, 08:50 AM
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4 games ago Cox had us in the playoffs.

LOOKS LIKE HE COULD USE...THE PANIC BUTTON!

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10-12-2009, 08:58 AM
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Player movement along the lines suggested by Mr. Cox remains an option in my opinion. If I were Brian Burke's employer however, I would expect him to exhaust other options before flushing approximately $16M in salaries down the toilet.

The season thus far has been miserable to be sure but... panic moves after 4 games isn't what I want or expect from our GM. I thank God every day that the Leafs aren't being run by the rabbits that write about them in this town.

So... grab an unexpected win tonight boys and make this unbearable noise go away for a while.

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10-12-2009, 08:59 AM
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So by your logic they are deliberately dressing inferior players? What motivation would they have to do this?
MONEY, MLSE doesn't want to spend MONEY to ice a better team. burke was the one who said players will have to earn roster spots, do you really believe players like toskala, blake have earn a nhl job? dumping them in the minors frees up cap space to acquire a better player via ufa or trade, also sends a message to the entire team that if you don't perform, you might find yourself playing at richol not acc.

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10-12-2009, 09:02 AM
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4 games ago Cox had us in the playoffs.

LOOKS LIKE HE COULD USE...THE PANIC BUTTON!
Thats the key here, we are only 4 games in...and hey..at least we have 1 point

That being said, i think Burke has to make a move or 2....IMO the position that needs the most attention is in goal....

I say we send the Ducks Toskala (expiring contract) + prospect (say Dale Mitchell) for Giggy....

Our problem the past few seasons has been between the pipes, its time to try and fix it, and it isn't going to happen until Toskala is either the back-up or moved out of town.

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10-12-2009, 09:03 AM
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Sorry for the ignorance, but can somebody explain how the salary cap implications work if the Leafs did send Blake or Toskala down? Do we still eat their salaries, or half if someone picks them up? With Blake, is it over the course of his contract?

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10-12-2009, 09:06 AM
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MONEY, MLSE doesn't want to spend MONEY to ice a better team. .
oh you're one of those.

MLSE may be incompetant but they've never been known to be cheap.

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burke was the one who said players will have to earn roster spots, do you really believe players like toskala, blake have earn a nhl job? dumping them in the minors frees up cap space to acquire a better player via ufa or trade, also sends a message to the entire team that if you don't perform, you might find yourself playing at richol not acc
Obviously, they have NHL jobs. I don't believe that all this insight into players can be derived from a message board.

Again, what is the motivation to keep inferior players on the team?

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10-12-2009, 09:07 AM
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Sorry for the ignorance, but can somebody explain how the salary cap implications work if the Leafs did send Blake or Toskala down? Do we still eat their salaries, or half if someone picks them up? With Blake, is it over the course of his contract?
yeah, MLSE pays full bill, but it comes off the cap, therefore freeing up cap space. MLSE is too cheap to pay expensive stiffs to play in the minors. rather ice a laughable line up then spent more $$$$$

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10-12-2009, 09:07 AM
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Sorry for the ignorance, but can somebody explain how the salary cap implications work if the Leafs did send Blake or Toskala down? Do we still eat their salaries, or half if someone picks them up? With Blake, is it over the course of his contract?
the leafs continue to pay their full salaries for the length of the contract if they clear waivers and report to the marlies and their salaries do not count as a cap hit...if they are in the minors and the leafs decide to recall them, then a team can claim the players at half of the salary hit on the cap

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10-12-2009, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SteveV View Post
Sorry for the ignorance, but can somebody explain how the salary cap implications work if the Leafs did send Blake or Toskala down? Do we still eat their salaries, or half if someone picks them up? With Blake, is it over the course of his contract?
Quick explanation.

WDirectionClaimed?Hit on LeafsHit Removed
Waived DownNo$0$4,000,000
Waived DownYes$0$4,000,000
Recalled UpNo$4,000,000$0
Recalled UpYes$2,000,000$2,000,000

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10-12-2009, 09:09 AM
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stop starting Toskala, and sign someone like Legace or Feranadez

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10-12-2009, 09:09 AM
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So, if somebody claims them, we pay half, but none of it counts against the salary cap? With our deep pockets, this seems like a great scenario.

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10-12-2009, 09:10 AM
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yeah, MLSE pays full bill, but it comes off the cap, therefore freeing up cap space. MLSE is too cheap to pay expensive stiffs to play in the minors. rather ice a laughable line up then spent more $$$$$
this is pure speculation on your part without any substantial evidence...if they were so cheap, then players such as tucker and raycroft would have not been bought out and the leafs would not spend to the cap...very intelligent contribution on your part

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10-12-2009, 09:11 AM
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Are you people mental?

Nobody forechecks harder than Blake. Stalberg did in the preseason, he hasn't proven the same effectiveness in the regular. (albeit injured)

Blake is still our fastest more effective forechecker. It's not his fault he has to play the role Dominic did last year. Last year Dom was FIRST into the boards and could feed Blake. You think Stajan is going to fill that role?

Of course not. If Blake was playing with a fast center who could get him the puck, you'd see a huge difference. As it is, he's simply the Leafs best forechecker and best along the boards in the offensive zone. HOW SAD IS THAT?

Don't dump Blake. Get somebody else to start taking shots on net and feeding him off the rush.

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10-12-2009, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Panic Button View Post
Quick explanation.

WDirectionClaimed?Hit on LeafsHit Removed
Waived DownNo$0$4,000,000
Waived DownYes$0$4,000,000
Recalled UpNo$4,000,000$0
Recalled UpYes$2,000,000$2,000,000

Cheers. I say we start cleaning house then, and give these kids a chance.

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10-12-2009, 09:12 AM
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So, if somebody claims them, we pay half, but none of it counts against the salary cap? With our deep pockets, this seems like a great scenario.
no the leafs are still charged with half of the salary hit for the length of the contract if they are claimed on re-entry waivers

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10-12-2009, 09:13 AM
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no the leafs are still charged with half of the salary hit for the length of the contract if they are claimed on re-entry waivers
See: Avery to NY from Dallas.

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10-12-2009, 09:16 AM
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this is pure speculation on your part without any substantial evidence...if they were so cheap, then players such as tucker and raycroft would have not been bought out and the leafs would not spend to the cap...very intelligent contribution on your part
so you think these guys have earned their spots on the team? as for tucker and raycroft, if the leafs had any idea what they were doing, they wouldn't have signed those players to the contracts they got.........very intelligent contribution on your part.

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10-12-2009, 09:18 AM
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burke will eventually need to make some moves whether this team has results or not...if they continue to falter, then moves need to be made in order to bring in some younger players from the ahl...if they leafs turn it around, burke will still need to make some moves in order to accommodate kessel's cap hit when he comes back from long term IR

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10-12-2009, 09:19 AM
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We still have this season plus two more with Jason Blake? Still? Jesus.

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10-12-2009, 09:26 AM
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this is pure speculation on your part without any substantial evidence...if they were so cheap, then players such as tucker and raycroft would have not been bought out and the leafs would not spend to the cap...very intelligent contribution on your part
There are many that confuse incompetance with indifference. Some even goes as far as to say that if people stop going to games, the team will change it's ways. Such a retarded notion that words can't describe it.

Logic dicatates that every year MLSE would want to ice the best team and go as far into the playoffs as possible.

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10-12-2009, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ACC1224 View Post
There are many that confuse incompetance with indifference. Some even goes as far as to say that if people stop going to games, the team will change it's ways. Such a retarded notion that words can't describe it.

Logic dicatates that every year MLSE would want to ice the best team and go as far into the playoffs as possible.
thank you...i couldnt have said it better...i'm sick of people making comments without any sense of logic

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10-12-2009, 09:31 AM
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Are you people mental?

Nobody forechecks harder than Blake. Stalberg did in the preseason, he hasn't proven the same effectiveness in the regular. (albeit injured)

Blake is still our fastest more effective forechecker. It's not his fault he has to play the role Dominic did last year. Last year Dom was FIRST into the boards and could feed Blake. You think Stajan is going to fill that role?

Of course not. If Blake was playing with a fast center who could get him the puck, you'd see a huge difference. As it is, he's simply the Leafs best forechecker and best along the boards in the offensive zone. HOW SAD IS THAT?

Don't dump Blake. Get somebody else to start taking shots on net and feeding him off the rush.

Blake has had two seasons with us. One horrendous, one pretty good. He has a contract that sees him pass into the age where one generally sees a significant decline in production, so dumping him on waivers, if MLSE is willing to take the hit, is a reasonable decision, if not a bit premature.

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