Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Leafs Out with the Old, in With the New

The Leafs played hardball with Peter Holland this week, waiving him and leaving him exposed to picked up, then signing him before Peter's arbitration hearing.

I have enjoyed Peter's progression through last season. I can see him being a solid third line centre on the Leafs roster. He is solid in the defensive end. He contributes now and then in the offensive game. Whatever he gets is a pure bonus.

It is the potential I see in him that the Leafs have to consider. This is the reason I am very happy we signed Peter. I think he has the skill enough to score 15 to 20 goals in his career. He will be a valuable asset to have during this painful rebuild.

The Leafs should sign Enroth. He is the perfect backup for Anderson. He will be able to spell him now and then. We do not need to overwork our first string goalie going down the stretch. Enroth was a pretty solid in goal for the Kings, giving them a chance to win in his starts. He knows his role and accepts it.

My mouth is watering with the potential superstar potential of the Leafs prospects in the next upcoming years. Think about it; we have Nylander, Marner, and of course the Stud Matthews. And that is not mentioning the Russian Soshnikov, who has a ton of potential.

The problem is the Leafs need to make room for them. So that means some of the vets have to be gone; Tyler, Bozak, Joffrey Lupul, and Brooks Laich.

The problem there is cap hits. They have worn out their welcome. Trying to find a team that will take their cap hit will be hard.

Lupul is the hardest $5.25 million for two years. Too injury prone. Lupul is a solid player, just made of glass.

Next is Bozak, who is $4.2 million for two more years. His cap hit would not be bad for a second line centre. The problem is he not; maybe a third line forward.

And finally, Laich, $4.5 million for one more year. Which is way too much for a role player. Fortunately, that contract is only one more year.

So they have some work ahead. Can they do it? Only time will tell.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Analysing Russell

I am hearing everyone who is a Leaf fan from here to China, yelling 'no' to Russell.  I completely understand with his salary demands; there is no way he is a $5 million player.

Chris is not a unique defencemen. He does not stand out in any way.  His one specialty is blocking shots. At times, he will block everything in sight.  He is pretty steady in his end.  But he is not a five mil number one defencemen.

Kriss will give you heart and defensive reliability in the defensive zone.  He is an effective communicator and will be a leader in the dressing room.  He leads by example and will do what it takes to win.

The main problem with Russell is his offensive skill.  For this reason, I think the Leafs should stay away from him. They need more of a complete player.  The Leafs need a little more offense from their defensemen.

So watch the Leafs go ahead and sign him.  What do I know anyway?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Calgary Flames - Now What

Reblogged from Flames Jambalaya

Well, how did the Flames do at Free Agency Frenzy?  Going into the Frenzy, the Flames needed a right wing and a backup goalie. Check right wing, and check back up.

General Manager Brad has said he is not done and would like to add defencemen.   It is evident that Brad will have to make another move to make that happen.

The Flames did well fixing the goaltending issue with Elliot and Johnson.  Brian Elliot's stats speak for themselves. He is a  solid goaltender who knows how to win.  For the first time in years, the Flames have a goalie who will be consistent and give them a chance to win every night.

Chad Johnson gives the Flames an established goaltender.  They needed a backup goalie who can steal a game or two.  It is vital for the Flames to have a  backup and be competitive.

The Flames signing Troy Brouwer is huge.  Troy is a solid player, who knows what it takes to win. He is a stable influence on the younger players, who will look up to him for his leadership skills. Troy will be a good fit for Monahan and Gaudreau, who have been looking for an RW since the end of time.

Let's talk about assets that the Flames could trade to get the defenseman Brad said he would like to acquire.

In no particular order, these are the assets I would consider moving:

Lance Bouma

Lance put himself out of favour with the Flames' management with his antics last year. Lance can easily be replaced.  The problem is that every other team also knows about his actions.  But hopefully, there will still be plenty of takers looking for the agitator in their lineup.

Dennis Wideman

It is common knowledge that Flames are shopping Dennis.  But finding a home for 5.23 million dollar powerplay specialist can be difficult. Dennis can still potentially be useful.  Many teams who could be in the market looking for a powerplay defensemen.

Mikael Backlund

This is the last resort, but if the Flames feel that Sam Bennett, is their 2nd line center, that might make Mikael expendable. Backlund could fetch a pretty good defender for the Flames.

Could the Flames consider trading a player for picks to make room?  The Flames could go the free agency route. If they do, I hope the Flames go with Patrick Wiercioch. He is a good number five stay-home defensemen.

I think the Flames are looking for a number four or a number three.  They will have to trade a player from their roster for two reasons: first,  salary cap, and secondly, you have pay something to get something.