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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Decisions Ahead For The Leafs

from the Toronto Sun,

Ferguson must make a decision on unrestricted forwards Jeff O’Neill, Travis Green and Michael Peca and restricted defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo. It’s unlikely all three forwards will be back, with the 33-year-old Peca having to take a salary hit if he wants to stay and prove a broken leg hasn’t affected his game. O’Neill’s 20-goal ability was not enough to keep him from being a healthy scratch at the end of last season.
The most interesting call could be in goal, where coach Paul Maurice had indicated he would like the hot-and-cold Andrew Raycroft to play 65 to 70 games again, while Ferguson has spoken of bringing in a veteran to both spell off Raycroft and push him for the No. 1 job. Ferguson says that doesn’t mean UFA Jean-Sebastien Aubin is through here, but it’s likely the GM won’t extend the $525,000 one-way deal he had last year.

more

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What Are The Leafs Thinking

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

Antropov, 27, is often injured and has seldom contributed for elongated stretches. He skated onto the Toronto scene in 1999-2000, and in the past four National Hockey League seasons he has missed 83 of a possible 328 games he has been eligible to play in because of injury. Yet his truncated participation and mediocre production resulted in his salary being doubled.
The likeable Kazak has never scored more than 18 goals in a season. Heck, Jeff O’Neill scored 20 goals this past season. Is Ferguson going to double O’Neill’s $1.5-million salary, too? Not likely.
Sure, Antropov has played on the right side of captain Mats Sundin for a couple of years now. But that doesn’t justify Antropov’s new deal. The last time we checked the Leafs haven’t won many playoff series with him.

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Smyth Will Be Involved In A Bidding War

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Once Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson gets Mats Sundin signed, before the June 15 deadline to pick up the option on Sundin’s contract, and then gets himself signed to a contract extension by the end of the month, he will set his sights on a more important signing, at least as far as the team’s immediate future is concerned.
Ferguson’s No. 1 target on the free-agent market, according to those who know him best, is winger Ryan Smyth. Then again, you could say this about every GM in the National Hockey League with a minimum of $6-million (all figures U.S.) per year to spend.
There are four top-end forwards among the pending free agents - Smyth and centres Chris Drury, Daniel Briere and Scott Gomez. Given Smyth’s pedigree as a gritty character player who can score, he will be the object of the fiercest bidding war.

continued

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Antropov & Yashin

To answer a few of your emails all at one time, Nik Antropov has NOT re-signed with the Leafs.  Perhaps close to signing, but not a deal yet.

added 12:04pm, Fan590 in Toronto reports the Leafs have agreed to a contract with Antropov, 2 years for $4.25M.  Contract hsa not been finalized.

Now, what about Yashin, who wants him?

added 11:12am, from an open letter to Yashin from The Maven,

Who could have figured the nosedive that followed the wonderful Spring war with the Maple Leafs? Not me.
But it happened—and it was messier than a spilled Samovar.
You know what I’m talking about. The business about this coach not handling you right; and Steve Stirling not being your kind of mentor and Michael Peca being a pain in the prose.
And this and that and the other thing and you being the captain as well.

read on

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Status Of Two Leafs Contract Talks

from the Toronto Star,

Talks are continuing between Leafs and the camps for both Mats Sundin and Nik Antropov.
Leafs general manager John Ferguson and J.P. Barry, the agent for Sundin, are said to be close to a two-year, $11.5 million (all figures U.S.) deal. Both were taking in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals Monday night….
Talks between the Leafs and Don Meehan, Antropov’s agent, seem further apart.

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Leafs Closing In On A Deal With Sundin

from the Toronto Sun,

Mats Sundin is on the verge of remaining a Maple Leaf through the 2008-09 season.
Just one month before the long-time captain is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent, the two sides are close to agreeing on a two-year deal worth about $11 million US.
As of tomorrow, the Leafs have a two-week window to pick up a team option on Sundin’s existing deal. While the option would pay Sundin $4.56 million, it would still cost the Leafs about $6.33 million in cap space.

continued

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Is Gary Bettman Afraid of the Leafs?

From Alan Adams at Sportsnet.ca,

News item: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman isn’t sure a second franchise in Southern Ontario is a good idea.
“Frankly, I live in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area and it’s tough for all the clubs to get media attention, particularly when they’re having tough years on the ice. There’s some real downside to having multiple teams in one market,” Bettman said Monday in his state-of-the-union address.
My spin: Is Gary Bettman that afraid of the Toronto Maple Leafs? Do the Leafs have that much power that they can veto a second team coming to Southern Ontario?

continued…

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Could Have Been Leafs

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Corey Perry grew up little more than an hour down the highway, played his junior hockey two hours from the Air Canada Centre, and never had the chance to be a Maple Leaf.
For Toronto, he is yet another symbol of what has been lost in the quick-fix generation,
Wojtek Wolski was born in Poland, grew up around the city, played his junior hockey in Brampton. Like Perry, Wolski would have been a perfect Leaf.

continued

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More “Hip” Talk

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

This is a dangerous game the Maple Leafs are playing with Mats Sundin.
And this is a dangerous game of sorts Sundin is playing with his own future.
After seeing an orthopedic specialist in Sweden yesterday, it was determined that Sundin will not require surgery on the tear he has in his hip. Apparently, a summer’s rest is what the doctor is ordering here—or is it Sundin himself who is making the call?

continued

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Leafs Raise Ticket Prices

from the Toronto Sun,

An across the board hike of roughly 5% has been approved by the board of directors of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. after a two-year freeze coming out of the lockout. Prices for 2007-08 will range from $37 to $182 for season-ticket holders, slightly more for the few thousand seats that are on public sale.
“We’ve spent a good deal more off the ice since last year,” said Richard Peddie, president and CEO of MLSEL. “We have expanded our coaching staff, there are travel costs and it has become more expensive for everything from player insurance to turning the lights on at the ACC for a game. We also have to pay 900 employees every game night.”

continued

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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