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Leafs Free Agent Decisions

Posted 10:15 PM ET | Comments 7
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After the leafs disappointing end to the season, they must quickly make decisions on the 11 players set to become FA’s on July 1.

I think we will see be a big turnover this year with most of the Maple Leafs free agents either walking or being traded. With the core of the team set for the forseeable future, I believe if Leafs management make the right moves this summer they can be looking at a possible division title next year.

Up front the leafs are most likely to let Nikolai Kulemin and Dave Bolland walk, due to the lack of production for Kulemin and the likely high asking price for Bolland. One can assume that Jay McClement will stay because of his vital role in key defensive situations for the Leafs in the past few seasons. Also Mason Raymond will most likely be staying after having a decent year with minimal ice time.

Now where the most changes need to happen…the defensive core. Seems hard to imagine any scenario where Dion Phaneuf is traded therefore you can lock him in one of those positions along side the home grown Carl Gunnarson who both remain under contract. Tim Gleason gave the back end a bit more grit and the shot blocking they could have used last year in game 7, which leaves us with 3 more spots to fill. Morgan Reilly had a fantastic rookie year and is one of the few untouchables on this roster leaving the futures of Cody Franson and Jake Gardiner in question. There have been many rumours surrounding Gardiner this season but i do believe he will resign as he had been improving as the year went on with flashes of offensive brilliance similar to other franchise defensemen around the league. Therefore Franson will be the odd man out after a very disappointing season for Cody in his own end.
That will leave one spot which needs to be filled by a solid top 3 defensemen.

Lastly, we come to the free agent James Reimer. After the way he was treated by the organization you can almost bet on the fact that you will never see him in a Leaf uniform again, opening a spot behind Bernier which needs to be filled by a goalie such as Vokoun or another solid veteran.

Other Notable FA’s: Paul Ranger (unlikely to return), Drew MacIntrye (Unlikely to return), Troy Bodie (Possible return after strong finish to season), Carter Ashton (likely to return with a 1 year deal)

Thanks for reading will be back with more offseason Leafs news, as well as playoff blogs

Justin Cimini
Filed Under:   Leafs   Free Agents   Toronto   Maple Leafs  
April 17, 2014 1:54 PM ET | Delete
So our d was one of the worst in the league yet were going to keep 5 and replace 1. Makes no sense to me. Way more turnover is needed than that!
April 17, 2014 3:48 PM ET | Delete
lol. You move out Franson, Bolland, Kulemin and say the Leafs will contend for the division title??? What a laugh. They will contend for McDavid. If there are not major moves they will be terrible again. The 2 best possession players on the team were Gardiner and Franson.
April 18, 2014 7:14 AM ET | Delete
I think Iggysbff is an Oiler fan...so , he know BAD. As a Leaf fan< I agree that several significant moves need to be made . If all goes well with those moves, the Leafs may contend ....for the number 8 spot. They wont contend for McDavid, because, well, the Leafs , no matter how bad, would find a way to not be close to the top draft position . They are Murphys Law on skates.
April 18, 2014 10:35 AM ET | Delete
Leafs need to rebuild down the middle , that means going after 2 of the following Tavares, staals x2, Kane , kesler and ORielly ... They all could be had for the right price ...... And yes " NHL 14 " trades could work, nonis just needs to ask .... Trade chips, kadri, reimer one of franson or Gardiner, phenuef and 1st rounders ... Once this done, then go after 2 steady mid priced defense man
April 19, 2014 2:50 PM ET | Delete
Honestly I suspect you will see some major changes to the roster. Up front I would expect Kadri gets moved, and Mason Raymond will want more money and likely be gone. Third line I would suspect Bolland might well sign and stay but Kulemin will be gone. not worth the money to retain for little return, especially if they can use what he makes now to bring back Komarov. Bodie is a cheap commodity and honestly I doubt we see Orr or McLaren around so Ashton and Bodie return to play with McClement giving us a more energy and productive 4th line. Defence I would suspect the only two real safe bets are Gleason and Rielly at this point. Gunnarson isnt offensive enough nor physical on defence enough. Phaneuf I think gets moved too cause you cant just strip him of the C and not have issues. From the sounds of things the schism in the dressing room likely has to do with him on one side of it. Franson with two holdouts already likely is a goner, and I dont think they keep Gardiner either. Between trades and UFA I suspect there is a total d overhaul. Between the pipes I suspect a vet backup for Bernier and Reims is moving on too.
April 19, 2014 4:37 PM ET | Delete
I agree,hope we see lots of changes ....it all starts with moving phenuef and adding size and depth to the middle
April 21, 2014 2:38 AM ET | Delete
Iggysbff is an idiot anyways
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