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so looking through my blue and white goggles ive come up with a few scenarios that the leafs could take from now to the next season and see if maybe this team could be a playoff team/contender in 1-2 or 3 years down the road.

the most glaring need for this leafs team after the trade and signing of freddy anderson (G) is a top defender to go along side morgan rielly if we can obtain that i think we are well on our way after the 2016 draft this is where i would look.

defensive players that fit the mould for this year would be-

UFAS
dan hamhuis
jason demers
roman polak??

RFA or trade targets
kevin shattenkirk
hampus lindholm or cam fowler
one of phillys young D provorov, hagg, ghost?


expansion draft protected D (3 D)
1.) morgan rielly
2.) jake gardener
3.) one of the above

we dont really have much to lose in the expansion draft D wise because we have a ton of 5/6 defenders we can afford to lose, so trading for a top Dman would not be wasted assets. zaitsev would be protected automatically due to his pro status and if we got one of phillys D in the minors i believe they would also be protected.

Defensemen (4) $10,825,000 | 14.83% of cap
Morgan Rielly D 22 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000
Jake Gardiner D 25 $4,050,000 $4,050,000 $4,050,000 UFA
Matt Hunwick D 31 $1,200,000 UFA
Andrew Campbell D 28 $575,000 UFA
Nikita Zaitsev D 24 $925,000

we have 10.8m used on D we could afford another 5-6.5m guy and we need him if we plan on contending. adding a 3m servicable d like a polak could also be in the cards to make it around 20m total on D (im well aware of the cap for this year and understand the stamkos situation ill get to that later).

assets for trade -
Tyler Bozak C 30 $4,200,000 -2 yr
Nazem Kadri C 25 $4,500,000 -6 yr
Frederik Gauthier C 21 $863,333 -2yr
Peter Holland C 25 RFA
Stuart Percy D 23 RFA
Josh Leivo LW 23 RFA
Brendan Leipsic LW 22 $653,333 1yr rfa
Martin Marincin D 24 RFA

3rd rd picks + unless we get something massive any 1rd pick top 10 protected

non assets willing to get rid of-
Joffrey Lupul LW 32 $5,250,000 NTC $5,250,000 NTC UFA
Brooks Laich C 33 $4,500,000 UFA
Milan Michalek LW 31 $4,000,000 ufa
Colin Greening LW 30 $2,650,000 ufa

our goalie situation is a little more clear now with freddy anderson. he will be our number one goalie this year and we could trade bernier for a 4th-5th rder just to get the cap hit off the books. if not thats also fine as we could carry the contract this year and have it off the books next year.

Frederik Andersen G 26 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 .. UFA2021
Jonathan Bernier G 27 $4,150,000 UFA
Garret Sparks G 22 RFA
Antoine Bibeau G 22 $655,000

now we move to the forwards as of 6/26/2016 this is what our forwards would look like

Joffrey Lupul LW 32 $5,250,000 NTC $5,250,000 NTC UFA
Brooks Laich C 33 $4,500,000 UFA
Nazem Kadri C 25 $4,500,000 $4,500,000 $4,500,000 NTC . UFA 2022
James van Riemsdyk LW 27 $4,250,000 NTC $4,250,000 NTC UFA
Tyler Bozak C 30 $4,200,000 NTC $4,200,000 NTC UFA
Milan Michalek LW 31 $4,000,000 NTC UFA
Leo Komarov C 29 $2,950,000 $2,950,000 UFA
Colin Greening LW 30 $2,650,000 NTC UFA
William Nylander C 20 $894,166 $894,166 RFA
Frederik Gauthier C 21 $863,333 $863,333 RFA
Peter Holland C 25 RFA
Tobias Lindberg RW 20 $693,333 $693,333 RFA
Sam Carrick C 24 RFA
Byron Froese C 25 $575,000 RFA
Kerby Rychel LW 21 $863,333 $863,333
Nikita Soshnikov RW 22 $736,666
Brendan Leipsic LW 22 $653,333
Mitch Marner C 19 $894,166

we got alot of cap crunch trades involved with our forwards in milan, greening, laich and our very own joffery lupul we also have nathan horton sitting out at 5.3m and robidas on ltir at 3m that covers our 10% overage at 8.3m. with the cap being 73m that means we can go 7.3m over the cap to 80.3m leafs cap situation currently is-

$65,982,417 / $73,000,000 not counting ltir ($7,017,583 cap space)
$65,982,417- $7,300,000 = $58,682,417 when you count ltir ($14,317,583 cap space)

so with 14.3m cap space what can the leafs do?
sign stamkos @11m + trade bozak OR kadri+ rfas and picks for stud d making 6-8m

sign stamkos @12m trade bozak and kadri for big dman making upto 7m + get dman upto 3m

dont get stamkos keep kadri and trade bozak +rfas and picks for defender and go for tavares next year?

our current top 12 is ok but could use some rounding out (getting rid of certain guys lupul greening milan and brooks) rumor has it lupul will not play so ill assume thats in the cards here

forwards 2016/17

Van Riemsdyk –Kadri – Soshnikov
Nylander – Matthews – Marner
Komarov – bozak – Michalek
Leipsic/rychel – Laich –Greening

ok this setup looks great on paper but these kids are still developing and we cant expect that lineup to make the playoffs.they could contend for a cup maybe 3 years down the road, this lineup gets us to that point but not this year marner might not even make this team but he should nylander also should make the team along side sosh but all these guys are on elc contracts paying them nickles and dimes compared to what they will be making what if we made a couple moves?

forwards 2016/17

Van Riemsdyk –Kadri – Soshnikov
Nylander – Matthews – Marner
Komarov – bozak – Michalek
Leipsic/rychel – Laich –Greening

VS
forwards 2016/17

Van Riemsdyk –STAMKOS – Soshnikov
Nylander – Matthews – Marner
Leipsic– KOMOROV – Michalek
rychel – Laich –Greening

this setup removes both kadri and bozak as they are traded for defense , komorov moves to his natural center ,leipsic and rychel both make the team, we add lets say 12m cap hit stamkos and take away 8.5 on kadri and bozak giving a 3.5m addition of cap, giving us around 10.5m cap space for that defender we picked up.

defense
rielly- SHATTENKIRK
gardiner- zaitsev
hunwick-???? could be any of the other 5/6 d we got or some free agent as we got the $$

getting kevin shattenkirk could make us a better team today and for years to come he comes in at a 4.2m cap hit this year and we would have more then enough to resign him to what he wants come next year because of the contracts coming off the books hes 27 (looks 40 without helm) and is a stud we have the assets in bozak and kadri to get a deal started with potential addons? if not shatty then we could go for a hamhuis (not as flashy) or a lindholm (id kill for) to fill that same role.

if we dont get stamkos and shattenkirk of another defensemen this year we likely wont make the playoffs but thats not a bad thing we got plenty of years of this young team going forward. tavares is ufa next year we could get him, defense is a little early to do any predictions on cause they usually will get signed, so next year around this time is the best time to look for defensive options ufa or tradewise. also next year we will have alot more money to play with as around 12m comes off the books + 3m robidas ltir contract. stamkos is in his prime but there are health and declining stats that should concern anyone looking to dish out 12m a year ,tavares could be the better option in the long run. or who knows what else pops up.

anyways guys if you read this entire novel thanks its my first blog on here im a huge leafs fan and i try and keep up with all aspects of the team from salaries managment and prospects to the big team.
Filed Under:   leafs   stamkos   shattenkirk   lindholm   tavares   playoffs   cup  
June 28, 2016 11:08 AM ET | Delete
Not a bad article, good cap analysis. I personally think Kadri is the odd man out, hes not a third line centre, and probably our best trade chip for a quality d man. Bozak would make for a great third line centre behind Mathews and Stamkos, this is presuming we sign him of course.
June 28, 2016 11:41 AM ET | Delete
With Stamkos and trade of Kadri:JVR - Stamkos - MarnerBrown - Matthews - NylanderKomarov - Bozak - ShoshRychel - Laich - MichalekRielly - Larsson (Kadri trade)Gards - ZaitsevHunwick - Carrick
June 28, 2016 12:16 PM ET | Delete
great input guys kadri def has more value and a guy like larsson would be a top notch addition im just not sure nj would actually part with him. you guys think we could maybe do a kadri 2nd for hamonic? good rhd servicable good cap hit but from what im hearing they want more then that possibly for hamonic
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