Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.


$2.5m, $875k (one way), $901k, one left and Daly

It is official. JFJ really does have a Peca, and I'm glad he does. At first I wasn't sold on the idea of Peca joining the Leafs, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Peca fits the new-NHL mold better than both Lindros and Allison. He also should be a capable cog in Maurice's puck-pressure system. On the production side, Peca leaves something to be desired, but on the defensive side he should handle the opposition's top trio well. And when mis-matched Peca's line should be able to create more offense than you would think.

It'll be interesting to see who Peca is paired up with. Steen perhaps? Though maybe Maurice should spread out the defensively responsible players. I'd like to see Stajan's skating ability used in conjunction with Peca's smarts (even though I like Stajan down the middle). Kilger would be a nice forechecking comrade. UPDATE: Tucker even wants to be on his line.

A prediction to note comes from Howard Berger claiming "I'm convinced the Toronto Maple Leafs have landed one of the gems of the 2006 free agent market." He could be right, because Peca is what usually defines a great free agent; an impact player. His contributions should translate to an overall marked improvement in team play.

JFJ also inked Wellwood to a two year, one-way, $875k average deal. I'm still puzzled about the initial two-way offer. Was it to get Wellwood in to negotiate a two year term? Who knows? Kyle stays up. Good enough.

Carlo accepted his qualifying offer of $900k, though it still appears to be a two-way deal, just like Harrison, Bell, and Newbury. Carlo, Harrison, Bell, White, Woz, and Kronwall will be fighting for two spots on the big club. Matt Stajan remains the only unsigned RFA. As of this writing, the roster is set at $42.8m.

I'm interested to see which Marlie forwards stick with the club. Does Earl, Williams, or Bates make it?

Possible Leaf Lines
(UPDATE:That Simmons is one smart cookie)

excess: Belak, Williams, Earl, Suglobov, Ondrus, Westrum

Possible Leaf Pairs

excess: Woz/Harrison/Bell/Kronwall

And on a somewhat related note (Kulemin) check out the set on Bill Daly and his reported stance on how this will all work out.
Our position is that while we think the transfer agreement is important and beneficial to the sport, if it doesn't get done the players are going to come here anyway.
Damn, son.

UPDATE - David Johnson has a Leafs off-season report up today as well.


  • At 12:46 PM, Blogger PPP said…

    I agree with Daly. If teams want players they will find a way around it. And Peca is a HUGE signing.

    I'm not sure about moving Antro and Poni up to play the wing with Sundin.

    My friend probably put it best: If Antropov is on the top line we might as well forfeit the season. The best he could pull off is the Ukrainian version of Jonas Hoglund.

    The tough thing about predicting lines is that no longer can you just say 'he does not deserve to be there but Quinn loves him' you actually have to try to guess where Maurice might play him.

  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    Poni himself thinks he is on the no.1 line, and Antro is just another big body. He might not stay there, but Antro plays better with Poni.

  • At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Leafs fan in exile (NB) said…

    I'd say Poni's probably ready for some time on Sundin's wing and keep Antropov on the block with a view to trading him and one of the young D-men for a decent scoring fwd. I'd see the first two lines something like this:

    Poni - Sundin - Steen
    Kilger - Wellwood - Tucker

    With Peca on the 3rd line, at least he and Tucker won't have to play regular minutes together and they can always end up on PK1 and PK2, where they'll be most useful.

  • At 2:50 PM, Blogger PPP said…

    The thing is that Poni and Antro play very well together so you have to keep them together. So if Poni does score a top line spot then Antro moves up by default. They also kill penalties well together (as evidenced towards the end of last year) so that covers PK2.

    PK1 will definitely see Peca on it. IMO his partner would be Sundin (he will be getting A LOT more ice time) Kilger, or Tucker (the whole bad blood thing being over done).

    I have a different idea on the lines but I don't really see a problem with Peca and Tucker on the same line. Unless Maurice decides he needs one human missile per line.

    And I think that JFJ has the bodies to make some moves (Carlo, Antro) so even though no new signings are coming through there could still be some action.


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