Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Maple Leafs After Season Report: Restricted/Unrestricted Free Agents


 

In part seven of our continuing look at the Toronto Maple Leafs season we’re examining the potential moves that will shape the Leafs for the 2014-15 season. We’ll break down all the restriced and unrestricted free agents the Leafs have. Part eight of this series will look at who can step up in the Leafs farm system and possible free agents on the open market.

 

RFA’s: Carter Ashton, Jake Gardiner, Cody Franson, James Reimer, Peter Holland, Jerry D’Amigo, Kenny Ryan, Spencer Abbott, Jaime Devane, Cameron Abney, Brandon Kozun

 

Ashton (RW): 3 points in 32 games (Leafs), 23 points in 24 games (Marlies)

Current Contract: $840,000

While he hasn’t found any scoring touch for the Leafs, a solid job for the Marlies shows Ashton is a solid depth player who will be back on the cheap. He shouldn’t be expecting a raise and may be offered less. The former first round pick still needs time to develop if his potential as a power forward is to be reached.

 

Gardiner (D): 31 points in 80 games (Leafs)

Current Contract: $875,000

Gardiner was tied as the second highest scoring Leaf defencemen, despite not being on the top power-play unit the majority of the season. Will definitely be back and is due a big raise. A comparable contract saw Franson go from $1.2-million last season to $2-million this season. Gardiner may get more than that, depending on how long a deal he signs.

 

Franson (D): 33 points in 79 games (Leafs)

Current Contract: $2-million

Franson is going to be looking for money, plain and simple. Under league rules, regardless of term this will be Fransons last time as a RFA. As such the Leafs either have to commit to term with Franson or trade him so he doesn’t walk away for nothing. With Gardiner due a raise and the Leafs needing to improve on defence, Franson may be the odd man out.

 

Reimer (G): 12-16-2 in 36 games (Leafs)

Current Contract: $1.8-million

Considering Bernier got a raise to $2.9-million before the season started, and given that their sv% is similar, Reimer will be looking for a raise. He’s likely on his way out of town as one of the few tradable assets the Leafs have.

 

Holland (C): 10 points in 39 games (Leafs), 10 points in 14 games (Marlies), 9 points in 10 games (AHL Norfolk Admirals)

Current Contract: $870,000

The former first round pick is an affordable depth centremen for the Leafs, who may start next year as high as the third centre or as low as the Marlies second centre. Either way he’ll be back, at a similar salary, though he may get a raise.

 

D’Amigo (LW/RW):  3 points in 22 games (Leafs), 33 points in 51 games (Marlies)

Current Contract: $870,000

A defensive forward who can chip in with some offense, D’Amigo’s best shot at cracking the Leafs is in a fourth line, penalty kill specialist role. He likely splits time between the Leafs and Marlies next year at a similar salary.

 

Ryan (RW): 16 points in 50 games (Marlies)

Current Contract: $690,000

The 50th overall pick in 2009, Ryan hasn’t rounded into form as some would hope. A defensive forward with a thick build, Ryan is still years away from even getting a sniff of the Leafs. He’s behind several players on the depth chart but is still young at only 22. He’ll be back at a similar salary.

 

Abbott (LW): 0 points in 1 game (Leafs), 69 points in 64 games (Marlies)

Current Contract: $650,000

The highest scoring Marlies forward, his one pro game was the Leafs home opener. Offensively talented, his size at five-foot-nine kept him from being drafted and leaves questions about how big an impact he can have at the NHL level. He turns 26 next Wednesday, so his window is closing rapidly. Should be back on a short term deal and given a shot to prove himself again at the AHL level, with the possibility of promotion due to injuries.

 

Devane (LW): 0 points in 2 games (Leafs), 8 points in 55 games (Marlies)

Current Contract: $574,444

A far less skilled version of Troy Bodie, a big enforcer at six-foot-five and 220 pounds. His skating has improved but he’s an AHL quality enforcer who sits behind McLaren and Orr on the enforcer depth chart and Bodie on the fighter with some ability chart. Shouldn’t ever get any time with Leafs but is cheap depth for the Marlies.

 

Abney (RW/D): 2 points in 13 games (ECHL Orlando Solar Bears), 5 points in 24 games (ECHL Bakersfield Condors)

Current Contract: $588,333

Part of the Mark Fraser trade to Edmonton, he came to the Leafs along with prospect Teemu Hartikainen. He was dealt from the Oilers after looking out of his league for the four games he played for their AHL affiliate. In the ECHL he’s been a non factor who takes heavy penalty minutes. He’s a strong candidate to be released, and would only return at the minimum. The fact that he was taken in the third round by the Oilers one spot ahead of Kevin Connauton and three ahead of Cody Eakin, both of whom are playing in the playoffs for the Dallas Stars, should tell you all you need to know about Oilers scouts.

 

Kozun (RW): 17 points in 32 games (Marlies), 29 points in 43 games (AHL Manchester Monarchs)

Current Contract: $550,000

At only five-foot-seven Kozun is speedy and elusive, with offensive ability that’s seen him put up around the 50 point mark for four straight years in the AHL. He was traded to the Leafs for Andrew Crescenzi. Kozun is still on the young side, but being so badly undersized has limited his potential. A possibly injury callup for the Leafs in the future, Kozun may be an undersized career AHLer who puts up good numbers.

 

UFA’s: Dave Bolland, Nikolai Kulemin, Jay McClement, Mason Raymond, Troy Bodie, Paul Ranger, Drew MacIntyre, Brad Staubitz, Ryan Lasch, T.J. Brennan, Jerred Smithson, Trevor Smith

 

Bolland (C): 12 points in 23 games (Leafs)

Current Contract: $3.375-million

Bolland is probably the single most important contract decision the Leafs face this year. Bringing him back will cost big money and possibly term, locking the Leafs into their top three centres for years. Bringing him back also may rule out the possibility of landing a key free agent. While we’ve covered Bolland more in depth before, the basic’s are simple, he’s an injury prone third liner who could be replaced cheaper. He should not be back.

 

Kulemin (RW/LW): 20 points in 70 games (Leafs)

Current Contract: $2.8-million

While Kulemin is an effective defender and can chip in with offense, cap space will probably be the determining factor on if he returns. Kulemin sounds great at $2-2.5-million. Anything more than that is money better spent elsewhere.

 

McClement (C): 10 points in 81 games (Leafs)

Current Contract: $1.5-million

A defensive centre with little to no offense, McClement was the Leafs best centre at the faceoff circle. As such he is somewhat reliable in limited minutes, in defensive situations and late in the game for defensive zone faceoffs. That’s about all he’s good for though. His current contract is too expensive for what he brings, a raise would be far worse. Management loves him though, so he may be back.

 

Raymond (LW/RW): 45 points in 82 games.

Current Contract: $1-million

He’s getting a big raise, either in Toronto or somewhere else. Having never made truly big money in the NHL and being reduced to a tryout last year, Raymond is likely to go to the highest bidder. He was excellent for the Leafs this year, though he cooled late. Raymond at around $2.5-million or less would be a good price-tag.

 

Bodie (RW): 10 points in 47 games (Leafs), 8 points in 17 games (Marlies)

Current Contract: $600,000

While Bodie is a UFA and could go anywhere, he’s not likely to get many offers and is incredibly likely to stay. He’s the son-in-law of MLSE President Tim Leiweke, comes at a low price, can fight and chip in with offense while being far more defensively responsible than other enforcers like Colton Orr. If he’s not on the Leafs to start next season, he’d be near the front of the line for injury callups.

 

Ranger (D): 14 points in 53 games (Leafs)

Current Contract: $1-million

While often a healthy scratch this season, Ranger is a capable injury fill in. Late in the season when the Leafs rolled seven defencemen, Ranger seemed to benefit from having limited minutes. With the Leafs having several borderline ready defencemen in the AHL, Ranger seems like an obvious casualty, but could return at a similar cheap contract.

 

MacIntyre (G): 0-1-0 in 2 games (Leafs), 29-15-3 in 48 games (Marlies)

Current Contract: $600,000

An excellent year for the Marlies has shown that MacIntyre can be counted on as a possible backup next year in the NHL. Reimer is one of the obvious assets that could move this off-season, and if left with no other option MacIntyre could be a very cheap backup. That being said, he’ll be 31 next year and has played in parts of exactly six NHL games. More likely to be re-signed and returned to the AHL, as Garrett Sparks looks unlikely to be ready to fill in as the starter for the Marlies.

 

Staubitz (RW): 4 points in 48 games (Marlies), 0 points in 6 games (AHL Norfolk Admirals)

Current Contract: $637,500

At 29, Staubitz chance at an NHL career are all but over. As part of the trade that brought Peter Holland over, Staubitz job was to provide experience. With 21 points in 230 career NHL games, Staubitz has next to no offense, but can be a leader and a physical presence. He was second on the Marlies in penalties, despite limited minutes.

 

Lasch (RW): 36 points in 54 games (SEL Vaxjo Lakers)

Current Contract: $625,000

Undrafted out of college, Lasch headed to Europe to get noticed. After signing a deal with the Ducks and being traded to the Leafs, he floundered. He played 11 games with the Marlies last year, before heading over to Sweden where he met moderate success. Small and speedy, Lasch is a playmaker that’s unlikely to return. He’s had issues at the AHL and ECHL level and is likely looking at a future in Europe, and not in the AHL.

 

Brennan (D): 72 points in 76 games (Marlies)

Current Contract: $600,000

A cheap addition made by Nonis last year, Brennan was named the AHL’s best defencemen. A point a game player in the AHL, Brennan has a strong upside as an offensive defencemen. Brennan also has a solid physical game and at six-foot-one and 214 pounds, he doesn’t shy away from contact. One of his great offensive elements is his hard shot. Having just turned 25, Brennan is running out of time to make the jump to the NHL. Clearly deserves a shot, but may jump to another franchise where he’ll have a better shot at cracking the lineup.

 

Smithson (C): 0 points in 18 games (Leafs), 11 points in 51 games (Marlies)

Current Contract: $550,000

A depth centre brought in as an emergency replacement and then played way to many games for an inexplicable reason, Smithson is a solid lower line AHL centre who can provide leadership and be ready to fill in in emergency situations at a league minimum salary.

 

Smith (C): 9 points in 28 games (Leafs), 26 points in 24 games (Marlies)

Current Contract: $550,000

Unlike Smithson, who is a depth and emergency fill in, Smith has far more offensive talent. While on the older side at 29, Smith can provide offense and leadership at the AHL level. Again at a league minimum Smith is affordable, but unlikely to ever get a prolonged shot at the NHL level. He should be back again to captain the Marlies.

 

That’s it for the restricted and unrestricted free agents. In the final After Season Report we’ll look at the who from the Marlies could contribute next season, the state of the farm and what the Leafs will be looking at through free agency. If this is your first after season report, you can read about the top six forwards here, the bottom six forwards here, the defence here, the goaltending hereHead Coach Randy Carlyle here and General Manager Dave Nonis here.

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Tags: After Season Report Toronto Maple Leafs

  • jimithy

    These are all good hockey players at the moment. But once ensconced in the aimless direction the Leafs like to tack they’ll become just as confused. It must be the water in the city.