Mr. Burke cleaned house. He got rid of Vesa Toskala who I personally think may be a better goalie and value at this stage of their careers as well as Jason Blake for Giguere. He let go of Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Ian White, & Jamal Meyers in the Phaneuf deal which also saw him acquire Fredrik Sjostrom and minor leaguer Keith Aulie.
The cap sure does make things more interesting. Here’s the cap breakdown. Arriving: Phaneuf $6.5 for the following four seasons. A big salary, but not that huge a risk unless Phaneuf is a head case or can’t handle Toronto. Giguere is $6 Million for one year, while Sjostrom is $750K for one more year.
Leaving: The only salaries dumped after this season by the Leafs are Blake’s $4 Million for the next two seasons and Hagman’s $3 Million hits. All the other Leaf players traded were UFA’s.
Both deals are interesting and as of this moment I would suggest that Mr. Burke has come out a winner at the end of the day. If Giguere is capable of playing another season at near his level then it gives Toronto more time to groom Gustavsson. They say in sports the team that wins in a trade is usually the one that gets the best player. In this case Phaneuf is clearly the best player in all of the trades. At his age, and with his skill set he could be a steal even at his salary. The Leafs actually will get a bit more cap space from this deal after next season.
They still are missing some pieces and still probably are not a Stanley Cup threat, never mind a threat to make the play offs, but I have a hunch they just reduced that value of that draft pick they sent to Boston in the Kessel deal.
What do you think Cornwall and Canada? Did Burke do well? If you’re a Leaf Fan is this your morning?
In other NHL news it looks like Flames Free Agent Olli Jokinen is on his way to the Rangers. LINK
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