Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Domi, RFAs and JFJ


Check your watches, circle the date and make a note in your diary – if reports in the Globe and Toronto Star are to be believed - I’m sending some serious love JFJ’s way today.

Where to begin? RFAs or buy-outs.

OK, buy-outs it is.

The papers are reporting that the Leafs will buy out Tie Domi’s contract by this Friday and that the Leafs will take a $1.25 million dollar cap hit this season in order to say buh-bye to number 28.

Yeah, I can already hear the complaints - he only plays about 8 minutes a game and has been a great fixture on the philanthropy circuit for a decade; he’s best pals with the captain; I’d rather have prospects get real ice time with the Marlies than 8 minutes a game in the NHL; yadda yadda yadda.

Quite simply, the tools Domi brings to the rink are not the ones that are in demand these days. He doesn’t drop the gloves any more and when he does, he chooses to recieve (fast forward to the 30 second mark and try not to shudder); he doesn't stand up for team mates anymore (as the turn and circle after Ondrus got drilled from behind into the boards in Pittsburgh last year amply demonstrates); he doesn’t put the biscuit in the basket (a stretch of 49 games without a goal last season); and he’s taken on a terrible me-first attitude that has no place in hockey, nevermind from a fourth line player. To quote Dr. J, “Being a professional is doing the things you love to do on the days when you don't feel like doing them."

Domi’s two-year, $2.5M contract was a disaster and I don’t care if it was Peddie, Quinn, JFJ or some evil combination of Rumsfield and Cheney that are responsible for it, I’m thrilled to see JFJ step-up to the plate and fix it.

According to the papers, the buyout won’t happen until Friday in case the Leafs are able to deal Domi, but as the buy-out makes Domi an UFA, I can’t see any rational reason why a GM would bite on the current contract, let alone give up a resource in return for Domi, when they’ll be able to negotiate with him free and clear in a week.

With the salary cap officially announced at $44M it’s still a horrible use of resources (nearly 5% of the cap to see the backs of Domi and Belfour) but it had to be done.

On the Restricted Free Agency (RFA) front, the Leafs tendered qualifying offers to 11 players 10 of their 14 RFAs (if anyone has a complete list of the 10 who got offers and the four who didn’t, please post it in the comments section, I’ve only been able to turn up a list of 8 of the 14) and have finally posted the complete list of RFAs tendered qualifying offers.

  1. Andrew Raycrof-G. Qualified by Boston - One-way
  2. Matt Stajan-C. Qualified One-way
  3. Ben Ondrus- Qualified Two-way
  4. Brendan Bell-D. Qualified Two-way
  5. Carlo Colaiacovo-D. Qualified Two-way
  6. Jay Harrison-D. Qualified Two-way
  7. Kyle Wellwood-C. Qualified Two-way
  8. Nik Antropov-C. Qualified Two-way
  9. Jay Harrison - D. Qualified (terms not released)
  10. Kris Newbury - LW. Qualified (terms not released)
  11. Roman Kukumberg - RW. Qualified (terms not released)

Of note, only Stajan and Raycroft were given one-way contracts.

Antropov has arbitration rights and with the offer of a $95K minor-league salary on the table, I would not be surprised to see him seek an arbitration hearing. That said, given that the oft-injured Kazahk has seen his stats pretty much flat-line at 55 games/ 27 points a season, I don’t like his odds going into arbitration, but I do love the low-ball offer from the Leafs.

I never thought JFJ would step-up like this. It's like the ending of Scared Straight when you're so pleased to see the troubled kids back on the straight and narrow. I'm just hoping the free agent season doesn't cause any sort of pre-CBA recidivism...


  1. According to this Ondrus isn't on the list, but Ian White is.

  2. I guess it would be too much to expect the Leafs to post a comprehensive list to their web-site.

    The Star lists the following RFAs as receiving qualifying offers:
    One-way: Matt Stajan; two-way: Kyle Wellwood, Carlo Colaiacovo, Brendan Bell, Jay Harrison and Ben Ondrus.

    Hopefully someone will post a complete, authorized, list soon.

  3. seriously, mapleleafs.com is lacking to say the least.

  4. The fish stinks from the head down. If Ferguson won't speak to the media, why should we expect the site to reveal everything?

    As long as the current ownership group is behind the curtain at the ACC, fans are never, ever going to know the full story on anything. It's up to us to watch what they do and gauge accordingly.

  5. A day late, but at least the Leafs got their list up on their site. The release even includes a hotlink to the CBA chapter on Free Agents...hopefully they'll be a little quicker off the draw when UFA season starts on July 1.

  6. Think we had anything to do with that? I like to think so.