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Discussion Starter #1
What the hell were the Leafs thinking when they signed Tim Connolly? Thats a big contract for a player like him. His health is a MAJOR question, his has skill but has never really shown it. Who is gonna be the player they throw a dumb contract to? Gomez? LOL And will they sign Luke Schenn or will someone put in an offer sheet?
 

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The dollar figure for Connolly is high, but not ridiculous. What makes the deal is the term.

You pay him 4.5 million on a 2 year deal, which is actually 1 playing year and 1 lockout year.

When you see all the teams throwing around 5-10 year deals for crazy money to average players, you can see why the dollar figure for Connolly is high. Years were taken off the table.

What you need to remember with the Leafs is that even after they sign Schenn (~ $4 million) they will still have $3 million of cap space. When Lombardi goes on LTIR they will have $6 million plus of cap space.

So from the Leafs perspective the goal was not to get players to sign to reasonable dollar figures, they want reasonable term. The only players the Leafs have under contract past the upcoming lockout are:

Kessel
Brown
Phaneuf
Komisarek
Reimer

And they are all under contract for 1 year under the new CBA.

So here is the deal, they have tons of cap space so salary doesn't matter, they wanted to have minimal commitments under the new CBA, so that they have tons of flexibility, after the last CBA the teams that had the fewest players under contract where in the best shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For the money they are spending and the players they are getting, they are not gonna make the playoffs in the near future IMO. I am not a Leaf fan but the wife is and i get to laugh at her every year. She became a Leaf fan in 99 and i have gotten to laugh at her almost every year. And knowing that my team(the Flyers) were the last team to beat them out gives me more power over her. LOL
 

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I think you missed the point...

What better players were available to be signed in comparison to Connolly?

Richards? They tried.
Fleischmann? Too much term. (and same injury concerns)
Leino? Too much term. (only 1 good year)

The Leafs were in on those guys and they didn't sign because they took longer deals than what the Leafs were offering.

Will the Leafs make the playoffs this year? Honestly probably not. I see them in the 8-10 range again, depending very much on how Reimer plays. And Reimer is far from a given.

The question is: Would the Leafs be better off having not signed Connolly and having 10 million in cap space instead of 5? That is the question.

Its not like Connolly is preventing them from making another move. The simple fact is, that with this years free agent crop it was Connolly for 2 years or nothing. They signed Connolly and traded for Liles as place holders hoping like hell that in 2 years guys like Colbourne, Kadri, Blacker and Gardiner will be filling those roles.

The Leafs are still one of if not the youngest team in the league, and they needed to fill out some roster spots. Before signing Connolly, Dupuis, Zigomanis, and trading for Lombardi they only had 4 centers in the entire 50 man roster. And that 50 man roster needs to fill out the Leafs and the Marlies.

Say what you will about spending too much money, they gained flexibility, since lets be honest this team doesn't have a real chance for at least another 2 years.

As for spending too much money. Didn't the Flyers just trade their 2 best players so that they could sign 31 year old goalie for 9 years, for big money, right after he completely choked and got swept in the playoffs? (GAA = 4.36, SV%= .879)

That must burn extra hard after another eastern power house signs another good goalie for $1.5 and didn't have to blow up the team to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am fine with the Flyers signing Bryzgalov for that long of a term. As for how he played during this years playoffs, well he didn't have ANYONE in front of him playing worth a damn except maybe Yandle. And he had to try and hold of the whole Red wings team himself. Plus with all the stuff in the back of his mind like the team moving and being a UFA and where should he go for next year, i am sure that played alot on his ability to focus. Now in regards to the Leafs, i think i might have gone the trade route instead of signing Connolly. They could have went after some UFA's like Patrick O'Sullivan or Samsonov, Prospal, Zherdev,Comeri, or even maybe Kovalev. Or gone the RFA offer sheets for players like Callahan, Dubinsky, Purcell(since they are tied up with Stamkos). Or go the trade route for players like Cogliano, Esposito or Filatov. Maybe they didn't know some of these players were available via trade but i am sure the GM's of those teams did some tire kicking.
 

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I am fine with the Flyers signing Bryzgalov for that long of a term. As for how he played during this years playoffs, well he didn't have ANYONE in front of him playing worth a damn except maybe Yandle. And he had to try and hold of the whole Red wings team himself. Plus with all the stuff in the back of his mind like the team moving and being a UFA and where should he go for next year, i am sure that played alot on his ability to focus. Now in regards to the Leafs, i think i might have gone the trade route instead of signing Connolly. They could have went after some UFA's like Patrick O'Sullivan or Samsonov, Prospal, Zherdev,Comeri, or even maybe Kovalev. Or gone the RFA offer sheets for players like Callahan, Dubinsky, Purcell(since they are tied up with Stamkos). Or go the trade route for players like Cogliano, Esposito or Filatov. Maybe they didn't know some of these players were available via trade but i am sure the GM's of those teams did some tire kicking.
As far as RFAs. That involves giving up draft picks, which like you said could be a high draft pick, so it better be a damn good player.

Do you really think that O'Sullivan, Samsonov, Prospal, Zherdev, Comrie or Kovalev are a better center option to play with Kessel?

Money/cap space aside. Non of those players help the team any more than Connolly does.

I will say this again, if your only argument is that Connolly makes too much money, then fine. He does. Almost every free agent that signed in the first week makes too much money. But the Leafs are not up against the cap. The money doesn't matter. They got a player for nothing. They have no budget, and don't have a cap problem.

They could still go out and get one of: O'Sullivan, Samsonov, Prospal, Zherdev, Comrie or Kovalev. If they feel it will make the team better.

It is well known what Connolly is and isn't.

He isn't going to play 82 games. 70 would be great. He isn't going to get 70 pts. Probably somewhere between 40-65. He is overpaid, but he fills a role on a short contract because there is nothing else available right now.

I am sure that Burke was going to try to make a trade, but he missed out on Richards, didn't want to pay a lot for Carter, and when the Avalanche went stupid and traded their first for Varlamov suddenly Stastny wasn't on the block anymore.

The thought going into the off season was that Stastny and Weiss were going to be moved for salary reasons. When the floor went up, they couldn't move them because they needed that salary.

The best option that could be acquired for no assets was Connolly. There is still a ton of cap space, so a trade or signing may still happen. The salary of Connolly is completely irrelevant.
 

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I am fine with the Flyers signing Bryzgalov for that long of a term. As for how he played during this years playoffs, well he didn't have ANYONE in front of him playing worth a damn except maybe Yandle. And he had to try and hold of the whole Red wings team himself. Plus with all the stuff in the back of his mind like the team moving and being a UFA and where should he go for next year, i am sure that played alot on his ability to focus. Now in regards to the Leafs, i think i might have gone the trade route instead of signing Connolly. They could have went after some UFA's like Patrick O'Sullivan or Samsonov, Prospal, Zherdev,Comeri, or even maybe Kovalev. Or gone the RFA offer sheets for players like Callahan, Dubinsky, Purcell(since they are tied up with Stamkos). Or go the trade route for players like Cogliano, Esposito or Filatov. Maybe they didn't know some of these players were available via trade but i am sure the GM's of those teams did some tire kicking.
And who's place would they take?
Even Filatov is too big of a gamble to waste good assets on.

If they're not swinging for the fences the Leafs should just stand pat.
 

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As far as RFAs. That involves giving up draft picks, which like you said could be a high draft pick, so it better be a damn good player.

Do you really think that O'Sullivan, Samsonov, Prospal, Zherdev, Comrie or Kovalev are a better center option to play with Kessel?

Money/cap space aside. Non of those players help the team any more than Connolly does.

I will say this again, if your only argument is that Connolly makes too much money, then fine. He does. Almost every free agent that signed in the first week makes too much money. But the Leafs are not up against the cap. The money doesn't matter. They got a player for nothing. They have no budget, and don't have a cap problem.

They could still go out and get one of: O'Sullivan, Samsonov, Prospal, Zherdev, Comrie or Kovalev. If they feel it will make the team better.

It is well known what Connolly is and isn't.

He isn't going to play 82 games. 70 would be great. He isn't going to get 70 pts. Probably somewhere between 40-65. He is overpaid, but he fills a role on a short contract because there is nothing else available right now.

I am sure that Burke was going to try to make a trade, but he missed out on Richards, didn't want to pay a lot for Carter, and when the Avalanche went stupid and traded their first for Varlamov suddenly Stastny wasn't on the block anymore.

The thought going into the off season was that Stastny and Weiss were going to be moved for salary reasons. When the floor went up, they couldn't move them because they needed that salary.

The best option that could be acquired for no assets was Connolly. There is still a ton of cap space, so a trade or signing may still happen. The salary of Connolly is completely irrelevant.
Exactly. Connolly is the perfect stop gap for 2 years.

All of a sudden, if Lombardi can get healthy the Leafs should have 3 solid lines. :eek: How'd the heck that happen?
 

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I am fine with the Flyers signing Bryzgalov for that long of a term. As for how he played during this years playoffs, well he didn't have ANYONE in front of him playing worth a damn except maybe Yandle. And he had to try and hold of the whole Red wings team himself. Plus with all the stuff in the back of his mind like the team moving and being a UFA and where should he go for next year, i am sure that played alot on his ability to focus. Now in regards to the Leafs, i think i might have gone the trade route instead of signing Connolly. They could have went after some UFA's like Patrick O'Sullivan or Samsonov, Prospal, Zherdev,Comeri, or even maybe Kovalev. Or gone the RFA offer sheets for players like Callahan, Dubinsky, Purcell(since they are tied up with Stamkos). Or go the trade route for players like Cogliano, Esposito or Filatov. Maybe they didn't know some of these players were available via trade but i am sure the GM's of those teams did some tire kicking.
Bryz has proven to be "good" but a lot of "good" goalies come and go. If I were a Flyers fan (I do like them) I would be wondering why they just didn't go after Roloson 2 years ago, and let the young russian develop under him - wasn't Rolly traded for a 3rd rounder or something? Bryz is good but there are lots of goalies just as good or better and Rolly put Tampa over the top last year, and Edmonton in 06.

As for the other comments regarding trading Richards and Carter. Carter was more to get Bryz but Richards had problems in the room as soon as Pronger got there. Pronger is another level type of leader. He's the type of guy that when the boys are out partying he'll give them s**t right in the room in front of everybody, he will let you have it. So how does Pronger lead this team to a cup when their captain is 24 years old and hasn't won a thing. They had to move Richards, now Pronger will wear the "C" as it should have been.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bryz has proven to be "good" but a lot of "good" goalies come and go. If I were a Flyers fan (I do like them) I would be wondering why they just didn't go after Roloson 2 years ago, and let the young russian develop under him - wasn't Rolly traded for a 3rd rounder or something? Bryz is good but there are lots of goalies just as good or better and Rolly put Tampa over the top last year, and Edmonton in 06.

As for the other comments regarding trading Richards and Carter. Carter was more to get Bryz but Richards had problems in the room as soon as Pronger got there. Pronger is another level type of leader. He's the type of guy that when the boys are out partying he'll give them s**t right in the room in front of everybody, he will let you have it. So how does Pronger lead this team to a cup when their captain is 24 years old and hasn't won a thing. They had to move Richards, now Pronger will wear the "C" as it should have been.
IMO Philly just didn't want a goalie for a cpl of years and Bryz is signed for awhile and he will backstop the Flyers very efficently. Look at his number on a team like the Coyotes. They were damn good now just put Phillys defense in front of him and he should have a GAA of about 2.00 give or take a tad. He will be a top 3 goalie in the league now and get paid like one. Roloson had his ups and downs and is a little bit old now. Vokoun could have been another choice but i bet the Flyers didn't know he was gonna sign so cheap, either did alot of us. Pronger being the captain is gonna do this team alot of good and when he is ready to be put out to pasture i think someone like Giroux or even Schenn might get the "C" next.
 

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IMO Philly just didn't want a goalie for a cpl of years and Bryz is signed for awhile and he will backstop the Flyers very efficently. Look at his number on a team like the Coyotes. They were damn good now just put Phillys defense in front of him and he should have a GAA of about 2.00 give or take a tad. He will be a top 3 goalie in the league now and get paid like one. Roloson had his ups and downs and is a little bit old now. Vokoun could have been another choice but i bet the Flyers didn't know he was gonna sign so cheap, either did alot of us. Pronger being the captain is gonna do this team alot of good and when he is ready to be put out to pasture i think someone like Giroux or even Schenn might get the "C" next.
Totally agree Pronger at the helm is a great thing. Unfortunately Vokoun went as cheap as he did because after Philly was gone he had no options. I understand where Holgren is coming from. Snider's had the biscuit and wants a tender, so Holgren gets him a guy who used to play behind Pronger - it makes sense, but the kind of money and term he got is never good. It's funny to me how the real proven cup winning goalies like brodeur or fleury don't get these huge deals, but unproven supposed greats like Luongo and Bryz do. My stance is this, no goalie, who hasn't STOLE playoff games on his own should ever get this kind of term and money, and Bryz has never outright stolen a playoff game.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think we will see him do that THIS year and years to come. Like i said before, he played on a crappy team the last few years and did what he could and now you put him behind a forward core like the Flyers have and add their defenseive core to that mix and you have one hell of a team.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Also, i find it really funny how some ppl in here think that you are trolling when you try to point out the flaws in the Leafs and their upper brass. WTF, take it in stride and live with it. You have lived with it this long, it isn't our fault that the GM and coach can't do a damn thing. And then the fans TRY and justify the signings the Leafs do. IMO the ONLY signing that was any good for them was Liles.
 

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Also, i find it really funny how some ppl in here think that you are trolling when you try to point out the flaws in the Leafs and their upper brass. WTF, take it in stride and live with it. You have lived with it this long, it isn't our fault that the GM and coach can't do a damn thing. And then the fans TRY and justify the signings the Leafs do. IMO the ONLY signing that was any good for them was Liles.
It´s pretty easy to think that you are trolling when you throw in random caps locked words and quite directly insult teams and organizations that other people might be really fond of.

I am not saying that you do not have a point and i agree with the fact that Connolly is a high risk acquisition and when you add Lombardi who also is injury prone they are playing with high risk. What it comes to Liles he is a good player in both directions, and has not missed as much games due to injuries as Lombardi and Connolly so he might be the "safest" acquisition.

I see that you have a lot of opinions, but take some time and get some ground to your claims. Also this is not any sort of "personal assault" on you i recommend this to everyone.
 

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Also, i find it really funny how some ppl in here think that you are trolling when you try to point out the flaws in the Leafs and their upper brass. WTF, take it in stride and live with it. You have lived with it this long, it isn't our fault that the GM and coach can't do a damn thing. And then the fans TRY and justify the signings the Leafs do. IMO the ONLY signing that was any good for them was Liles.
As a Leafs fan I don't like the Liles trade.

The Leafs had literally one prospect in the system when Burke takes over, so I never had any illusions it would take anything less than a few years to become respectable. It's no different than any other good team - they all have to suck for a certain amount of time, then with a good organization, they can stay good, but they still have to go through this some time. Toronto has been trading prospects since 67, 3 or 4 years of a real rebuild under this management isn't a big deal.

As far as the rebuild goes it's not bad at all. 3 30 goal men (all 25 and under), a very promising goalie (one of 3 good things left by the previous 10 years of GM's), and they are very young, I just don't get why they've done such a bad job.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Cause nobody wants to play in Toronto. When is the last time that a BIG free agent signed with the Leafs? A LONG LONG time. Not too many players like Burke and more don't like Wilson, and then the pressure of playing in Toronto
 

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Toronto is a high pressure city to play in, just like Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, and so on. Those teams are bringing in high end talent here and there, and the leafs will in time as well. One of the big things the leafs need to do for this is to begin putting up winning seasons. They don't have to be a top seeded team, just make the playoffs and I'm sure you'll start to see bigger names be more willing to join them for the chance to win. Burke is a business man and honestly he will do good things for the leafs. As for Wilson I cant comment on because I don't know a lot about him as a coach. I have never liked the leafs, for whatever reason they have always been one of those teams I have hated and it might go back to the first NHL game I saw where they beat the coyotes 3-1 in 97. That made them the devil in my eyes as a child which has held for me now haha but I do like their roster. They have a young, solid team and which age and wisdom they could likely become a great team. I wouldn't underestimate them this year because I feel they will actually make a strong push for a playoff spot. Will they win the cup? Probably not a chance in hell, but to me they look how a rebuilding team should and appear to be right on track for their future.
 

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Cause nobody wants to play in Toronto. When is the last time that a BIG free agent signed with the Leafs? A LONG LONG time. Not too many players like Burke and more don't like Wilson, and then the pressure of playing in Toronto
Like Burke said. He's looking for a King. Someone who is willing to step into this high pressure situation and lead the team back to the post season. Not many players want that kind of pressure on their shoulders. So it's understandable that Toronto doesn't get to many "big" free agents. But Connolly is pretty good. Could be a legitimate number 1 C if healthy. Not elite but a solid number 1.
 

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Cause nobody wants to play in Toronto. When is the last time that a BIG free agent signed with the Leafs? A LONG LONG time. Not too many players like Burke and more don't like Wilson, and then the pressure of playing in Toronto
Bolded parts are Complete and utter BULLS#*!

1. Tons of players want to play in Toronto.

2. The way Burke deals with players would make him one of the most desirable GM's to work with. You might want to research your own Bryzgalov's history with Burke. He is a man of his word and very loyal to his players.
 
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