NHL Rumors: Brodeur, Maple Leafs FAs and Coaches, and Jones

  • Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger: Martin Brodeur is “80 percent sure” that he’ll play next season and hasn’t ruled out remaining with the Devils.

    “I’m not closing (the door) here at all,” Brodeur told The Star-Ledger. “It will be a decision I’ll make after offers are brought to me. It might be July 1st or it might be way after July 1st.

    “It all depends on what is on the table, whether it’s in New Jersey or somewhere else. I’m open-minded about it. I’m looking for specific things some teams probably can’t give me. And that’s understandable at my age. But if I feel I can play and people want me, we’ll see.”

    Brodeur’s requirements:

    “I’m not going to sit more than I sit this year. That’s not something I want,” Brodeur said. “If I come back, it’s not a question of money. It’s because I still love it and I still enjoy the game.

    “And I want to be in a position to have another shot (at winning), no matter what role I’m in. To me it would seem empty to leave without having a chance of winning something. Hopefully it will be this year and that will change a lot about my decision and what I’m going to do in my future.”

  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “When you look at the 4 UFAs that the Leafs will key on are Bolland, McClement, Kulemin & Raymond” … “Bolland still identifies for me the identity that this team will play with.” … “It’s up to Bolland does he chase the dollars that will pay him $5 million elsewhere? That’s up to him” … “The only given that stays of those 4 UFAs is McClement and that’s only if Carlyle stays because of the appreciation RC has for him”
  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “How do you replace a man like Carlyle? Is there anyone better out there than Carlyle? Are Trotz or Laviolette better than him?” … “Do the Leafs look at Steve Spott or Luke Richardson? Those are drastic moves”
  • Josh Cooper of the Tennessean: Predators Seth Jones thinks he could be ready to return on Friday.

    “It’s a process. You think you’re good, and the brain will tell you otherwise sometimes,” Jones said. “There are steps that are required to come back and I’m kind of in the midst of those right now.”


  1. Chris

    March 31, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Leafs need to prioritize what they need. I like Bolland and Kulemin. I also like Raymond. But the question is, can you find a player to do what they do for less money? I think in most cases the answer is yes.

    It will cost the Leafs 5 mil to keep Bolland, 3-4 mil to keep Kulemin, 3-4 mil to keep Raymond and probably 2 mil to keep McLemant.

    Of those guys, McLement is the only guy financially worth keeping. After wasting 5 mil of cap space on Clarkson and with the Cap hit of Phaneuf and Kessel going up next year, the Leafs need to be way smarter with their cap management. Keep your 3rd liners in the 2-3 mil range and your fourth liners in the 1-2 mil range.

    I think a guy like Troy Bodie, who has a cap hit of 500k, is a perfect 4th line fit. He makes 5 mil less than Clarkson, has the same number of points and probably does a 4th line job better.

    And that’s the point. Rather than go out and overspend on 3rd and 4th liners, populate those 3rd and 4th lines with cheaper options. Peter Holland, Carter Ashton, Troy Bodie, Jerry D’Amigo, Jay McLement and perhaps a veteran UFA for leadership, would give the Leafs cap space to re-sign Gardiner and maybe add what they really need which is a top 2 or 3 d man (if they can get it).

    When you look at this team you see one line providing most of the scoring anyway so why not populate the bottom six with guys who will listen to the coach and play a good defensive game? Young players are perfect for this. Look at Colorado or how Calgary have been playing; they’re not stocked with huge talent in the bottom six or on d, but they work hard and play the system. It would be different if guys like Bolland or Kulemin were getting 50 points but they’re not. Clarkson would be put on the 2nd line and that could help him; in any case it’s not like that 2nd line is providing consistent offense anyway.

    The Leafs need D. Franson and Reimer could be traded for prospects and picks, Ranger let go, allow a young d man like Percy a shot and make the #1 priority this summer getting a top 4 d man who can play big minutes. You also need to count on Gardiner and Rielly getting better next year. They will. Gardiner is 10 times better right now than he was four months ago and Rielly is starting to look like the real deal. Having a good top 4 verteran d man would give them the stability they need.

    Oh and Carlyle is not getting hte job done. He’s a good coach but not for this team. He’s clearly lost the room.

  2. Dave

    March 31, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I’ve never liked Kulemin, I want him gone. Raymond was a steal @ 1mill obviously, so if they can get him for no more than 3-3.5 mill keep him. I also really like Bolland, but he should only be resigned for no more than 4 mill per(if they can get him for less even better).

    The real problem is what to do with Phaneuf. If he’s only going to continue to be a defensive liability with diminishing offensive abilities then he needs to go, but it may be tricky to offload that massive contract and buyouts always suck.

  3. Dave

    March 31, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Also on the D side, I would not be upset to basically see every D gone except Riely and Gardiner. Obviously can’t drop em all, but honestly none of them are getting it done and other than Riely and Gardiner the others have no real future potential IMO.

  4. Chris

    March 31, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Phaneuf isn’t as good as his paycheck but he’s not as bad as he’s made out to be. Like it or not, he’s the Leafs best defenceman.

    I think the Leafs would be in a good spot if Phaneuf anchored the 2nd pair with somebody like Gardiner or Rielly. If the Leafs goodou get a top 2 d man to play with the underrated Gunnarson and put Gleason/Rielly as the 3rd pairing, they’d actually be better for next year.

    But the Leafs can’t control who’s available and what it might take to get them. I don’t like fan trade spectulation because it’s usually a load of crap.

    Raymond and Bolland are good but not great. They haven’t helped the Leafs become a better team. If they could keep Raymond instead of Clarkson that would be great but I’m afraid their stuck with Clarkson.

    The team needs to improve defensively. That doesn’t just mean defense. The whole team needs to change its mentality.

    How that happens is not up to me. That’s up to Nonis. Only he knows what goes on in the room, whether or not the coach still has the players’ ear, who wants to re-sign and at what price as well as who might be available.

    What’s important is that they get a group of guys to buy into, and exectute, a competent defensive system. Right now it’s like a fire drill out there with all the running around and missed assignments.

    your move Nonis.

  5. MattG

    March 31, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Going to be big changes this year for the leafs, Carlyle just isn’t the coach we need for young players especially a skill based team. Not the defensive based team that he trys to force on them. Unless we bring in lots of defensive players, carlyle has to go. Trade Franson and Reimer for picks and get a top 3 D-man with some leadership on this team.

  6. Steve

    March 31, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    This is as good as the LEafs will ever be…They need to do a house cleaning and a proper rebuild.
    Nonis signing Clarkson and Phaneuf to contracts was a fatal mistake. Nonis should be let go for many other reasons also.
    Carlyle…A defensive minded coach with the most shots against in the league…Obviously he doesnt know what he is talking about.
    Phaneuf is NOT a Captain.

  7. Chris

    April 1, 2014 at 10:23 am

    I disagree. They are the 2nd youngest or youngest team in the NHL. They will get better.

    It’s that kind of thinking that had the Leafs get rid of guys like Alex Steen before they knew what they had. Kadri, Gardiner, Rielly, JVR etc. are all unde 25 while Kessel, Bozak, Gunnarson, Franson, Bernier etc. are all well under 30.

    What is a ‘proper’ re-build? Tanking for picks? Worked out great in Edmonton.

  8. Dave

    April 1, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Burning the house down is probably not a good idea. If they could change out a couple of the weaker D (Franson, Ranger, maybe give Phaneuf a few less minutes) and make a couple tweaks to the 3rd/4th forward lines(and re-sign appropriate players) they could look good imo.

    I also think Reimer should stay and we should stick with the 1A/1B situation.

  9. Chris

    April 1, 2014 at 10:32 am

    The only way to re-build is to commit to development. You need very good drafting and a bit of luck but without commiting years to developing those picks (extra year of junior, at least 1 full year in the AHL followed by spot duty in the NHL while staying as an NHL regular for 1 or 2 more seasons) will you ever get anywhere.

    So in my mind keep your young core, commit to helping the likes of Gardiner, Kadri, Bernier, and Rielly improve while continuing to develop the likes of Holland, Gauthier, McKegg, Leivo, Percy, Biggs etc. in the minors. They should get a good pick in the top 10 this year which, while it isn’t ideal, is at least something.