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Did the Leafs learn absolutely nothing?

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Old
07-06-2013, 02:33 PM
  #1
DocBrown
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Did the Leafs learn absolutely nothing?

They buyout Grabo, who was making 5.5 million over 5 years, who consistently put up or was on pace for 50-ish points and 20 goals give or take with the exception of this past year where he was on the 3rd and 4th line and immediately replace it with a worse contract (7 years, 5.25 million, NTC ?) for Clarkson who's scored 40+ points once in his career.

The whole thing seems like fantasy, even more odd is the attitude towards Grabo compared to Clarkson.

If Grabo's numbers were disappointing, is Clarkson expected to outperform him, cause thats not likely, he's a grinder that can put back some dirty goals infront of the net.

I can't see how this contract won't be immediately regretted once this season gets near the halfway point.

Is Clarkson's success measured differently, if so why? Honestly, fill me in on what Clarkson needs to do to make this contract worth it, cause I'm at a loss to understand what just happened over the course of the past few days.

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07-06-2013, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
They buyout Grabo, who was making 5.5 million over 5 years, who consistently put up or was on pace for 50-ish points and 20 goals give or take with the exception of this past year where he was on the 3rd and 4th line and immediately replace it with a worse contract (7 years, 5.25 million, NTC ?) for Clarkson who's scored 40+ points once in his career.

The whole thing seems like fantasy, even more odd is the attitude towards Grabo compared to Clarkson.

If Grabo's numbers were disappointing, is Clarkson expected to outperform him, cause thats not likely, he's a grinder that can put back some dirty goals infront of the net.

I can't see how this contract won't be immediately regretted once this season gets near the halfway point.

Is Clarkson's success measured differently, if so why? Honestly, fill me in on what Clarkson needs to do to make this contract worth it, cause I'm at a loss to understand what just happened over the course of the past few days.

The beauty of it is you don't have to understand anything. Men are paid millions of dollars to understand it. So don't worry about it

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07-06-2013, 06:29 PM
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hockeysmitten
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That was a legit question. Looks like Cremona doesn't have an answer either

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07-06-2013, 06:35 PM
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The evidence suggests no, the Leafs haven't learned much post-Punch Imlach. We'll see how this one turns out though ...

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07-06-2013, 06:36 PM
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Well I don't agree with the Grabovski buy-out but it seemed like more of a case where Grabovski and Carlyle just didn't see eye to eye. I don't think it was necessarily production based, Grabovski just couldn't be utilized properly because he lost that 2C spot to Kadri.

You can't just compare players in a vacuum like that. Grabovski was redundant on the Leafs and the coach clearly wasn't a fan of him. Clarkson fills a need not just for a 2nd line winger, but a powerforward and some grit in the top 6, and is exactly the kind of guy Carlyle loves.

This is coming from a guy that hated the Grabo buy-out and thinks Clarkson contract isn't very good. I just think the comparison is stupid and only works if you remove all context.

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07-06-2013, 06:46 PM
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DocBrown
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Originally Posted by hockeysmitten View Post
That was a legit question. Looks like Cremona doesn't have an answer either
On the plus side I have a stock answer for any question he ever posts now.

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Originally Posted by MastuhNinks
I just think the comparison is stupid and only works if you remove all context.
I think the question was asking for context. Grabo's contract was lamented as gross over payment for his production, and LOST his second line duties for putting up clarkson-esque numbers. He's cut and replaced with a WORSE contract for a player that historically scores less than grabo, and he's put on the second line?

How is Clarkson a 2nd line player, and given that he's on the second line will 15 goals and 10 assists for the year be enough to make the contract worth it as long as he plays with those "Immeasurable Qualities" that make clarkson so "valuable"?

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07-06-2013, 06:56 PM
  #7
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Say what you want but Lupul - Kadri - Clarkson will be a nice line and a pain in the ass to play against

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07-06-2013, 06:56 PM
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sarahjane14
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I just can't believe there wasn't a trade possible for Grabovski.

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07-06-2013, 07:00 PM
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pigpen65
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It doesn't have to be about actually getting better. It's all about appearance. As long as the fans dig it and renew their season tickets, it's successful.

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07-06-2013, 07:22 PM
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50MissionCap
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Ray Ferarro had a good comment on the first day of Free Agency. Basically he said that these guys get crazy crazy amounts of money thrown at them and people judge them, or elevate them based on how they are earning. He said people are going to look at Clarkson and have the highest of hopes for him (multiple 30 goal seasons, even saying some would think he'll score 40 goals since he's paid more now!).

I think that's the case with some people and Clarkson, they're going to expect more than he can offer, and be disappointed.

But let's get down to the core question, namely:

Is Clarkson a bad pickup? maybe. For what we signed him for? yes.

Why? Well, for one, he's 29. That's not the best, then couple that with the fact that he plays a very rough and physical style, and he won't be having too many prime years. I'd put the number at 3-4 at the highest.
Then there's the fact that he's in Toronto, where he will be under a lot of pressure, and pressure to score 30 goals constantly (even though that's entirely unrealistic, but due to the money, we'll have him marked to produce at that pace).

What does he offer us? Toughness, grit, a good room presence, and garbage goals.
And those are things we signed him for and things we need a bit more of.
True, he doesn't offer a lot of goals or production (15-20 goals average per season is probably fair) But that is what he should be payed for. Not scoring 30+ goals a season, which is why 7 years and 5.5 per isn't worth it.

The worst part is that we lose Graboviski, and his steady point production, for a contract which is equally if not just as worse as his.

To me, I don't really like the deal. If, by some miracle, it could have been done on the cheap (and the short term) it would have been fine. But 7 years is just too long for a player like Clarkson. Not to mention that picking up rugged wingers from established teams hasn't really worked too well for us before (see: Owen Nolan).

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07-06-2013, 07:25 PM
  #11
Stephen
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Originally Posted by sarahjane14 View Post
I just can't believe there wasn't a trade possible for Grabovski.
So you think the Leafs actually decided they'd rather sign a cheque over for X millions of dollars instead of making 29 phone calls?

Grabovski didn't deserve to play on the first or second lines, and he didn't excel on the third line. So why not just "trade" him for a guy who can play on the first, second or third lines?

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07-06-2013, 07:26 PM
  #12
v00d00daddy
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Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
They buyout Grabo, who was making 5.5 million over 5 years, who consistently put up or was on pace for 50-ish points and 20 goals give or take with the exception of this past year where he was on the 3rd and 4th line and immediately replace it with a worse contract (7 years, 5.25 million, NTC ?) for Clarkson who's scored 40+ points once in his career.

The whole thing seems like fantasy, even more odd is the attitude towards Grabo compared to Clarkson.

If Grabo's numbers were disappointing, is Clarkson expected to outperform him, cause thats not likely, he's a grinder that can put back some dirty goals infront of the net.

I can't see how this contract won't be immediately regretted once this season gets near the halfway point.

Is Clarkson's success measured differently, if so why? Honestly, fill me in on what Clarkson needs to do to make this contract worth it, cause I'm at a loss to understand what just happened over the course of the past few days.
Well your first mistake is comparing Clarkson and Grabo. Grabo was bought out because the Leafs had 3 second line level centres in Bozak, Grabo and Kadri. No clear cut number 1 and they had to decide where to spend their money. In essence, they saved over 1 million dollars at the position by buying out Grabo and signing Bozak to less than what Grabo was getting.

As for Clarkson, he basically replaced MacArthur. The Leafs paid a ton to do it and gave a crazy long term (not a huge fan of the contract but I'll wait to see how he performs before I write it off) but at the end of the day they upgraded by letting MacArthur walk and slotting Clarkson in to their wing depth chart.

Comparing Clarkson's points to Grabo's makes no sense. Apples and oranges. Grabo is a shoot first centre that fell out of favour with the coach and had stopped putting up the points people expected from him. Clarkson is a guy who will chip in with 15-20 goals and play a role on a line (likely with Kadri) that will help insulate his line mates. Clarkson plays the style of game that Carlyle wants to play and that's the simple reason they went out and got him. As long as Clarkson chips in with some dirty goals and makes life difficult for the opposition while protecting guys like Kadri and Kessel things will turn out just fine.

Here's another difference between Grabo and Clarkson.

Clarkson had several suitors and apparently left money on the table in Edmonton to choose the Leafs. So...there were other teams that wanted him at the price the Leafs paid and above.

Grabo on the other hand cleared waivers and wasn't touched at the contract he was on. Now he'll re-sign for much less elsewhere.

Clarkson is a 5 million per year commodity and Grabo is not.

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07-06-2013, 07:28 PM
  #13
Stephen
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Originally Posted by 50MissionCap View Post
Ray Ferarro had a good comment on the first day of Free Agency. Basically he said that these guys get crazy crazy amounts of money thrown at them and people judge them, or elevate them based on how they are earning. He said people are going to look at Clarkson and have the highest of hopes for him (multiple 30 goal seasons, even saying some would think he'll score 40 goals since he's paid more now!).

I think that's the case with some people and Clarkson, they're going to expect more than he can offer, and be disappointed.

But let's get down to the core question, namely:

Is Clarkson a bad pickup? maybe. For what we signed him for? yes.

Why? Well, for one, he's 29. That's not the best, then couple that with the fact that he plays a very rough and physical style, and he won't be having too many prime years. I'd put the number at 3-4 at the highest.
Then there's the fact that he's in Toronto, where he will be under a lot of pressure, and pressure to score 30 goals constantly (even though that's entirely unrealistic, but due to the money, we'll have him marked to produce at that pace).

What does he offer us? Toughness, grit, a good room presence, and garbage goals.
And those are things we signed him for and things we need a bit more of.
True, he doesn't offer a lot of goals or production (15-20 goals average per season is probably fair) But that is what he should be payed for. Not scoring 30+ goals a season, which is why 7 years and 5.5 per isn't worth it.

The worst part is that we lose Graboviski, and his steady point production, for a contract which is equally if not just as worse as his.

To me, I don't really like the deal. If, by some miracle, it could have been done on the cheap (and the short term) it would have been fine. But 7 years is just too long for a player like Clarkson. Not to mention that picking up rugged wingers from established teams hasn't really worked too well for us before (see: Owen Nolan).
Or, there's a chance that Clarkson brings a brand of hockey Leafs fans will learn to fall in love with because he'll help us be a nasty team to play against.

Think of it this way. We started out with Grabovski, a round peg who didn't fit into a third line "square hole," and a 27-28 year old, speedy utility scoring winger like MacArthur. We replaced Grabovski with the square peg on the Chicago Blackhawks (Bolland) and turned MacArthur into a gritty winger who adds a dimension we didn't have enough of.

What's the problem again?

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Old
07-06-2013, 07:30 PM
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Komisarek brought a brand of hockey that the leafs would love. looks like an overpaid scrub, smells like an overpaid scrub, must be a...

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07-06-2013, 07:35 PM
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It doesn't have to be about actually getting better. It's all about appearance. As long as the fans dig it and renew their season tickets, it's successful.
This is it, right here ^^^^^^^^^. To answer the OP, yes, nothing has changed and the Leafs haven't learned anything. They don't have to. They still will lead the League in revenue and will sell season tix for a while. The team is owned or co-owned (depending how you perceive it) by the Ontario/Canadian telecom monopoly (Rogers and Bell). The organization has deep pockets but profit is #1.

They have always been about PR and image. That hasn't changed. They don't need to make a splash on the FA market but do have to sign some 'big names.' Ya gotta sign the one player who WANTS to play for Toronto and wow, what a nice story.... favorite team is Toronto and the fav. player is the beloved Wendel Clark....wooo hooo.... gotta sign this guy. Clarkson asked for the moon but still gets a long-term exorbitant contract. Or he goes somewhere else and the Leafs had to get somebody.

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07-06-2013, 07:36 PM
  #16
DocBrown
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Originally Posted by v00d00daddy View Post

Clarkson is a 5 million per year commodity and Grabo is not.
Grabo was a 5 mill per year commodity last year, this year he is not.

Clarke is a 5 mil commodity this year, next year he won't be.

thats the comparison, and thats why i'm asking how the Leafs didn't learn anything from the Grabo contract.

There's nothing wrong in letting Edm over pay for clarkson and relearn the Horcoff lesson.

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07-06-2013, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Or, there's a chance that Clarkson brings a brand of hockey Leafs fans will learn to fall in love with because he'll help us be a nasty team to play against.

Think of it this way. We started out with Grabovski, a round peg who didn't fit into a third line "square hole," and a 27-28 year old, speedy utility scoring winger like MacArthur. We replaced Grabovski with the square peg on the Chicago Blackhawks (Bolland) and turned MacArthur into a gritty winger who adds a dimension we didn't have enough of.

What's the problem again?
Lupul was the round peg who didn't fit into the square hole of a RC team just a few years ago.......is he making the same mistake with Grabo?

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07-06-2013, 07:38 PM
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It was Burke who decided to give Grabovski that contract, which was a mistake. It was a mistake done in retaining a player and not by signing a free agent. So it is a little different.

Nonis did not learn from Burke's mistake in giving out hefty contracts, but Clarkson is a good player. Good contract, no...but good to have him around. Almost every contract given out to big free agents looks like a mistake at some point. I'm going to reserve full judgment until later.

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07-06-2013, 07:39 PM
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Grabovski just wasn't a good ol' Canadian boy.

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07-06-2013, 07:41 PM
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Why do people care so much about the Leafs if they hate them?

We bought out a whiny player that played 19:06 seconds for 7 playoff games, was -10 and had 2 measly assists. He gets bought out and whines about the 6 minutes he once got in a regular season game.

Grabovski was given the perfect opportunity to redeem his garbage play and failed to do so and the Leafs did not want him any more...and by the looks of it, other teams are having serious reservations to signing the guy after his rant.

Grabovski's buy out was justified. He was garbage under Carlyle...how do people forget this?

Grabovski is a 55-60 point player the same way MacArthur is a 60 point player. Playing good on bad teams =/= you're a good player.

Clarkson will not get you 60 points but what he brings is an element the Leafs have lacked for the last 8 years. Net presence, knack for scoring dirty goals around the net, toughness, grit.

I can guarantee that the Leafs will be a much harder team to play against next year. Bolland, Clarkson are great additions and Tyler Bozak as a package is a much better player than Grabovski.

Bozak is never going to be a #1C but the guy is a jack of all trades. He doesn't really have any particular weakness and outplayed a 5.5M Grabovski with all while playing with a shoulder injury in the playoffs.

Bozak, Kadri, Bolland >>> Bozak, Kadri, Grabovski.

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07-06-2013, 07:41 PM
  #21
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Originally Posted by sarahjane14 View Post
I just can't believe there wasn't a trade possible for Grabovski.
Seeing how no one has signed him without giving assets and at a lower cost, is it that hard to believe?

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07-06-2013, 07:42 PM
  #22
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Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
Grabo was a 5 mill per year commodity last year, this year he is not.

Clarke is a 5 mil commodity this year, next year he won't be.

thats the comparison, and thats why i'm asking how the Leafs didn't learn anything from the Grabo contract.

There's nothing wrong in letting Edm over pay for clarkson and relearn the Horcoff lesson.
If you're choosing between two overpaid players: Grabo and Clarkson; Clarkson is what the leafs need more than Grabo. He brings a RC game, Grabo doesn't and had become redundant.

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07-06-2013, 07:44 PM
  #23
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OP, you can't compare Grabovski to Clarkson directly like that just in terms of money vs production. They are different players serving different roles.

Grabovski became redundant on the team: doesn't mesh with Kessel, role diminished due to the emergence of Kadri, and not well-utilized on the third line. Simply, he wasn't pulling his own weight in terms of that exorbitant cap expenditure. So the Leafs brought in Bolland, better fit for the 3rd line, and Clarkson, who fills a need on RW and whose playing style compliments his potential skilled linemates.

You can choose to see it as bad contract replacing bad contract, but that forward group improved on paper without question. As a rival fan, I like what Nonis has done this off season. The Leafs are looking good.

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07-06-2013, 07:45 PM
  #24
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Lupul was the round peg who didn't fit into the square hole of a RC team just a few years ago.......is he making the same mistake with Grabo?
If you did not notice, the first thing Carlyle did when he came to the Leafs was apologize and admit his mistake about Lupul.

Carlyle wasn't exactly wrong about Lupul though. It is not easy to switch from RW to LW or vice-versa. Was Ovechkin not struggling to start the season @ RW?

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07-06-2013, 07:47 PM
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If you did not notice, the first thing Carlyle did when he came to the Leafs was apologize and admit his mistake about Lupul.

Carlyle wasn't exactly wrong about Lupul though. It is not easy to switch from RW to LW or vice-versa. Was Ovechkin not struggling to start the season @ RW?
Exactly my point. How long until RC is proven wrong about Grabo?

Like Lupul on the ducks, he wasn't really even given a chance.

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