Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Looking at the Maple Leafs Training Camp Roster

The Maple Leafs roster has also dropped on Wednesday and looking down on this one, I really get the feeling that this roster will undergo some serious facelifts, even within its own walls. There are plenty of bubble possibilities with this team and some key decisions are going to have to happen before the season can start.

I am probably overstating that somewhat, I'm sure the coaching staff has a better picture in mind than I do, but they sure do have a lot of candidates for positions, if someone was to fall of the map a little bit in camp or even at the start of the regular season. The scoring may not be very deep, which will limit the amount of landmines that can be run over with bad picks, but I would still tread lightly.

What has already been penciled in for the start of the season is the understanding that J-S Giguere will be the starter, but I wouldn't be surprised if that changed at all. Not so much with some of the talent below, but with Jonas Gustavsson to start the year.

Plenty of questions surround the forwards and the defense as well, like who will stay and who will go, but I won't be getting into that argument right now.  I think its lengthy and I'm going to let the coaching staff determine most of those questions before I even ask.

Phil KesselTomas KaberleJonas Gustavsson
Kris VersteegDion PhaneufJ-S Giguere
Nikolai KuleminFrancois Beauchemin 
Clarke MacArthurLuke Schenn 
Mikhail GrabovskiCarl Gunnarsson 
Colby ArmstrongJeff Finger 
Tyler BozakBrett Lebda 
John Mitchell  
Fredrik SjostromMike Komisarek 
Mike Brown  
Colton Orr  
Daryl BoyceKeith AulieAndrew Engelage
Tim BrentJesse BlackerJames Reimer
Luca CaputiMike BrennanJussi Rynnas
Sam CarrickJosh EngelBen Scrivens
Joey CrabbSimon Gysbers 
Andrew CrescenziKorbinian Holzer 
Jerry D'AmigoMatt Lashoff 
Jamie DevaneJuraj Mikus 
Alex FosterDrew Paris 
Richard GreenopDanny Richmond 
Ryan HamiltonBarron Smith 
Christian Hanson  
Justin Hodgman  
Brayden Irwin  
Nazem Kadri  
Mike Liambas  
Greg McKegg  
Dale Mitchell  
Marcel Mueller  
Josh Nicholls  
Jay Rosehill  
Bradley Ross  
Kenny Ryan  
Greg Scott  
Robert Slaney  
Mikhail Stefanovich  
Mike Zigomanis  

Salary CapNo matter which question you tend to ask, everything really stems back into the salary cap questions, because as it stands, the Maple Leafs have a Summer roster of 21 players above, a buyout and a cap penalty, which brings their annual cap projection up to $60 million.  That puts them $600,000 over the salary cap ceiling, which could be manipulated through call-ups and assignments to the minors, but it might not sit well with the often-busy general manager, who might be in for a busy year with trades and other such deals.  Something will need to happen for this all to work out and I don't think its out of the question that it will be something bigger to allow for more moves.

I may not stray away from Maple Leafs, more of the sure things for points, but even still, I won't be out to give them more points than they deserve in an effort to get them before any other player in the league.  I like what Phil Kessel and Tomas Kaberle bring to the table, but in Toronto, I don't believe that they will have what it takes to blow anyone away on the scoresheet.  Some of their depth players might surprise and be good depth scorers, but I think "great" is out of the thought process completely.


Leafschatter said...

When looking at CapGeek, they seem to be ok with the cap as long as they use the bonus deferrals and Jeff Finger is demoted to the minors.

I agree with your belief Burke will try to work a big deal. In fact, he has to or else field three "second lines".

I have some blog posts on the big deal scenarios at

Leafschatter said...

Forgot to set the "e-mail" follow-up comments check box.

opiatedsherpa said...

Yeah, I can see Finger disappearing to the minors as well, if everything goes as planned. That would take care of a lot of those small cap concerns. Gotta think that Burke is keeping some space for either the stretch or to take on some cap space for a top pick...

Leafschatter said...

I think you are spot on about the next deal. The Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel trades shows us how it will be done. Interestingly, the Kessel trade shows he will give up a lot of quality draft picks and/or prospects to get that front line player.

I think Luke Schenn, Nazim Kadri, and Jerry D'Amigo are the pieces available to make the trade.

Leafschatter said...

Forgot to add....I don't think there is a market for taking a bad contract to get a top pick. If there was, we would have seen a deal by now.

I do believe there is a market for top prospects with heavy bonus contracts for teams who have cap problems but have not leveraged their bonus deferrals. What you get in return....hard to say...However, Bozak, Schenn, and Kadri have these types of contracts.

opiatedsherpa said...

Well, taking on that big contract will be a move when the playoffs are lost, the Leafs will work really hard to make that less of an option, but you know Burke has it in his back pocket.

I think dealing Schenn, Kadri or D'Amigo is definitely counterproductive... I know Burke likes his veterans, but looking at the Blackhawks & Penguins, building with youth is a definite plus.

Leafschatter said...

In general, it hard to advocate trading Schenn, Kadri, and D'Amigo because they are very good prospects.

If Burke takes on a "bad" contract, it seems like he will take on a short term one in exchange for a longer term "bad" contract as shown by trading Jason Blake.

I can't see him taking on a bad contract that doesn't expire at the end of this season because, as it stands, he is very close to having enough cap space next year to have room for a "max cap" contract. Stamkos and Doughty are RFAs at the end of the season. Imagine giving one of them a "max cap" offer.