Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Grange of Sportsnet,
The temptation is there. Within the Toronto Maple Leafs front office it’s likely bordering on something near a compulsion:
We must trade Dion Phaneuf or Phil Kessel – and ideally both – before the 3 p.m. Monday NHL trade deadline.
I’m here to say: don’t do it. This is not the time to shed the Leaf’s best forward and best defenceman.
The reason is simple: The Leafs don’t know if they’re going to draft Connor McDavid yet, and won’t until the NHL draft lottery is held after the regular season ends.
Drafting McDavid could change everything, including the potential roles for the likes of Phaneuf and Kessel. At the very least their value doesn’t diminish between now and then.
The case for getting rid of the pair is obvious: Each are symbols of a maddening, bloated, rotted present and relics of a failed past, full of wrecked transport trucks and seasons that start out full of promise before crumbling under the weight of their own analytics.
Every time I decry the supposed virtues of the salary cap, I'm surprised to hear from fans who think it's the best thing the NHL and Gary Bettman ever did.
Sorry, but "thumbs down" - yet again - to that belief.
The level playing field the cap is supposed to create shows a current gap of 46 points between first and last place in the NHL standings. It figures to grow larger.
In the season (2003-04) before the advent of the salary cap, the first and last-place teams were separated by 50 points. A small-market club or fan that needs a way to make sure teams like Toronto and Philadelphia don't bury the opposition with unlimited spending should realize the obvious - the way to keep the Leafs and the Flyers from becoming superpowers is to encourage and allow them to spend as much as they wish.
Because look how they spend it.
-Dave Hodge of TSN.
Watch the David Desharnais goal below...
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Until Mike Babcock commits to the Detroit Red Wings going forward, the Maple Leafs are of the belief there remains a considerable chance he will be their coach next season.
They are of the mind — and you can doubt this all you want, and I have — that in Babcock’s world of decision making it’s Detroit first, Toronto second, everywhere else after that.
The notion that Babcock wants no part of a rebuild is dismissed by MLSE upper sources. They believe Babcock has the mentality of a mountain climber. He loves the great challenge. And this is comparable to being at the base of the impossible mountain.
“This is a man who loves challenges,” said an MLSE source. “What challenge in hockey is bigger than this?”
continued plus more topics...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- So the old adage, “If Wayne Gretzky was traded, anyone can be traded,” should be replaced by, “If Scott Gomez and David Clarkson were traded…”
The Maple Leafs essentially cleared $10.5M in cap space by dealing Clarkson to Columbus for Nathan Horton—Clarkson’s $5.5M they shed plus Horton’s $5M they will be able to replace when and if the club hits the upper limit and places the incapacitiated winger on LTI.
The Leafs finally have a management that is willing to take advantage of its financial might.
- Oh, and the best thing for Horton is that the NHL has a job waiting for him when he goes on LTI.
read on for the latest on Mats Zuccarello...
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
So much for the untradeable player with the unmovable contract. That species of player, thought to be alive and well in the salary cap era, does not exist. In fact, he never has because GMs such as David Nonis and Jarmo Kekalainen can cook up deals like the one they did Thursday afternoon.
In swapping the ill-suited and much maligned David Clarkson for the seriously and likely permanently injured Nathan Horton, Nonis and Kekalainen conspired to help each other out of contractual straitjackets that were paralyzing their rosters. This deal was so much more than just swapping one bad contract for another one.
And it’s the kind of deal the salary cap and all the machinations the owners have tried to put in place since the lockout in 2004-05 have been trying to prevent. The salary cap, which causes more problems than it solves in your correspondent’s humble opinion, was supposed to prevent teams from buying their way out of their mistakes. It was supposed to take away that competitive advantage that the big-revenue teams used to enjoy.
But lo and behold, what we have here is legal circumvention of the salary. Brilliant, innovative and clever legal circumvention of the salary cap, but circumvention nonetheless.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The first thing you need to know about the Toronto Maple Leafs escape from salary cap jail is that it was the Columbus Blue Jackets who first proposed Thursday’s stunning David Clarkson for Nathan Horton swap.
In fact, the Leafs probably wouldn’t have even believed such a transaction was possible with Horton’s career in jeopardy because of a serious back injury.
However, they learned in recent days that Horton’s contract wasn’t insured and Columbus didn’t want to pay the veteran winger $26.1-million over the next five years to not play. Given that Toronto no longer wanted to pay Clarkson $27.5-million for the next five years to play, there was a perfect fit.
Everything basically came together in a little more than a day.
"The money lined up, which was a big part of it," said Toronto GM Dave Nonis.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
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.
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