Sunday, April 08, 2007

If I woke up on Monday and was a majority shareowner of MLSE, here's what I would do:

1. Fire JFJ.
2. Hire Mastermind GM
3. ---
4. Win Stanley Cup


I vented earlier about the Leafs man games lost to injury meme and sure enough in the very first post-elimination story to hit the wire (filed by Pierre Le Brun for CP) there it was: the most man games lost to injury.

Boo hoo.

Yeah, the Leafs did miss 353 man games, but before we use that little meme as a crutch let's have a look at how that total is generated:


PlayerGames Missed
Wozniewski 59
Ponikarovsky 11
Misc. Scrubs79

Knock of Woz and the day to day injuries suffered by the likes of Newbury and suddenly 130+ of those games disappear.

Antropov is good to miss a quarter of the season every year, so let's not let JFJ's tear ducts go into overdrive just yet. Add in Cola's trips to the IR and that total of 353 is down to 150 or so, which is likely low for for most NHL clubs.

Did injuries hurt the Leafs? Yes, but is the league-leading stat really all that revealing or is it a red herring? Unless Woz is the missing link for the Leafs, this shouldn't provide any sort of excuse for JFJ not to be jettisoned.

I thought I'd provide a quick update on contract status and cap hits for the Leafs roster as I'm sure we'll all be playing armchair GM for the next few days. (In fact, I'm going really get into playing armchair GM this year. On Tuesday, I'm going to pretend it's NHL trade deadline day. In the spirit of JFJ, I'll be cleaning up my files, setting up some iPod playlists - really digging The Island's Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby - going for a long lunch and generally sitting on my hands. It's going to be a great day of wasted opportunities. Just to be safe, I'm going to leave my cell phone at home...

The Leafs have a number of UFAs that they need to walk run away from and a surprising number of RFAs that should make for some interesting negotiations (even though noted Grandma pusher Bobby Clarke isn't a GM anymore, I wouldn't be surprised to see one or two of the Leaf RFAs like White have a stupid bucket of money thrown at them).

I'd like to fill in these charts to indicate who has a no-trade clause and who has a no-movement clause to make roster reconstruction projects a bit easier.


PlayerPosStatus 06-07 Cap Hito7-08 Cap Hit
KilgerFSigned to 2009 $900K $900K
NewburyFSigned to 2009 $450K$450K
OndrusFSigned to 2008$475K$475K
PohlFSigned to 2009$463K$463K
StajanFSigned to 2008$875K$875K
SteenFSigned to 2008$901K$901K
TuckerFSigned to 2012$1.59M$3M

Club option


Signed to 2008


Signed to 2008





PlayerPosStatus06-07 Cap Hito7-08 Cap Hit
BelakDSigned to 2008 $670K$670K
GillDSigned to 2009$2.075M$2.075M
KronwallDRFA $625---
KaberleDSigned to 2011 $4.25M$4.25M
KubinaDSigned to 2010$5M$5M
McCabeDSigned to 2011$5.75M$5.75M
Wozniewski DSigned to 2008$463$463


PlayerPosStatus06-07 Cap Hito7-08 Cap Hit
RaycroftGSigned to 2009 $2M$2M


  1. Anonymous7:47 am

    Hold on here. The Leafs were without their best goal scorer (Tucker) for almost a third of the season and probably their best pure playmaker (Wellwood) for over 40% of the season and maybe their best penalty killer (Peca) for almost 60% of the season. Considering the PP struggled significantly during the time Wellwood and Tucker was out and the PK struggled most of the year as well, to suggest injuries were not a significant factor is rediculous. Try comparing Toronto's injuried to the Rangers, Islanders and Tampa, the teams they were chasing, and you will find a significant difference.


  2. Oh God! More Leaf excuses from David Johnson. The Leafs were 6th in the league in goals scored. They didn't really miss Wellwood or Tucker that much. Did you actually watch them play in their own end? Did you see the goaltending? Tucker was a team worse -11 so with him out of the line up they could only be better defensively.

  3. re. Man Games Lost, my point is this: injuries may have hurt the leafs, but no more than they hurt any other club.

    It's a very misleading claim when you look at what men were lost for which games. It drives me bat shit crazy that the media just spit these things out whole without providing any context or details.

    The Woz is 17% of the Leafs injury total, yet once he was healthy he was scratched more than he played. Are his 50+ games on the IR really excuse worthy?

  4. Anonymous12:33 pm

    It didn't seem to matter who was in the lineup, the Leafs seemed to play at the same mediocre level. If the main players (Peca, Wellwood, Tucker, et al.) had played the entire season perhaps it might have made a difference, but it's impossible to know for sure. The team seemed to always find someone to step up whenever there was an injury, but the PK really missed Wellwood and Tucker. Perhaps that alone might have cost them that extra point that would have them playing Buffalo this week. Who knows?

    As for playing armchair GM, I'd bring back Devereaux, Ponikarovsky, Sundin, Colaiacovo (but not much over his current salary with a games played bonus), Harrison, Kronwall, and White and let everyone else walk. I can see JFJ extending contracts to Antropov, Battaglia, and Peca and then regretting it afterwards. Antropov will be injured for 20 games again next season and simply disappear for another 30. Battaglia will chip in the occasional goal and look good on a few assorted shifts but won't be able to maintain that level for the entire season. Peca will be decent as he always is but not worth 2.5 million.