Friday, February 13, 2009

The sun's not brighter here, it only sines on golden hair

In the past week, the Leafs have exposed Kronwall, Williams, Devereaux and Battaglia to waivers.

Kronwall was claimed by the Caps, Williams passed through to the Marlies (if he hadn’t, Canada might have been treated to the sight of Don Cherry suffering from a massive intraparenchymal hemorrhage on national TV during Coach’s Corner) and the fate of Devereaux and Battaglia will be known by noon on Friday.

Burke’s stated vision for the Leafs is to have six forwards that are offensive threats and six that can muck it up. If Williams can’t be in the top six (and it seems 29 other NHL GMs would agree with that assessment) he certainly doesn’t have the size, work ethic, or fists to be on the bottom six.

So what gives with the other three guys?

There’s a term in the CBA called the "Reserve List" which dictates the maximum and minimum number of players an organization can have at one time.

The Reserve List includes all the players a club holds the rights to, including all unsigned draft choices, all players signed to a Standard Player Contract (SPC) – even if they are not currently playing in the NHL – and all players who have signed an SPC but who have subsequently been returned to Juniors.*

An NHL team is permitted to have up to 90 players on their reserve list; however, only 50 of those players can be signed to a SPC.

With the Leafs carrying 22 players and the Marlies carrying 25, the organization has 47 players signed to SPCs. Add in goalie James Reimer (who for some reason isn’t on the Marlies web-page roster) and that makes 48. Kronwall would have put the organization at 49. With a max limit of 50, that doesn’t give Burke a lot of wiggle room at the trade deadline.

It’s been suggested that there’s some sort of altruism going on with Leafs management, that players are being waived so they can have one more shot at the bigs or they're being rewarded for their hard work and strong play with the Marlies.

That may be true, but my guess is the Leafs are exposing so many players in the hopes that one or two of these guys get claimed by another club, the Leafs SPC number drops by another body or two, Burke gets some room on the Leafs Reserve List and, most importantly, the organization has a bit more flexibility at the trade deadline.

*Players under 19 who have played 10 NHL games or less and are returned to Junior do not count against the first 50 on the reserve list, but do count as part of the organizational 90.

What's the strange title of this post all about? Click here.


  1. Anonymous3:50 am

    Great post. That's another point towards Burke doing what is best for the club not some altruistic move.

    He can't take on contracts unless he sheds them. Burke's BFF Kevin Lowe actually ran into the same problem last off-season I believe.

    As for why Williams passed waivers I think I figured it out last night. He has to go through re-entry waivers so if a team picked him up on the way down they could lose him on the way up. He's likely staying down for the season.

  2. Isn't Reimer languishing in the ECHL somewhere? If so, that would explain his absence from the website. I think the Marlies are only carrying Pogge and Munro, unless Pogge is called up for 15 minutes.