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Toronto Maple Leafs signed Cody Ceci (1 Year / $4,500,000 AAV)

Was this a good signing?
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Jul 4 at 11:25
#26
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 110
Likes: 77
Quoting: pharrow
LOL

I guess there goes the, they won't sign him hope.
It could be worse, it could be multiple years. But he's awful. He doesn't play the body, and he doesn't play the puck. Not sure what he's doing out there half the time, and I don't think he is either.


They never had an option to not sign him, Ottawa had already extended him a qualifying offer of $4.3M, and I believe if he goes to arbitration they may lose the ability to structure the deal, and could end up stuck with either having to walk away, or possibly even an award of an amount that is worse than the $4.5 that they can't walk away from. If they put this as mostly signing bonus, I think the plan is to play him, and if he doesn't work out, he should be easy to move once the blue line is healthy.
Jul 4 at 11:27
#27
Jetsfan
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,426
Likes: 499
Wow...no signing bonus...smile
Jul 4 at 11:40
#28
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 427
Likes: 61
Quoting: AwesomeMatthews
Technically Nathan Horton doesn't go on LTIR until the season starts so. It may look like they have no cap space but they actually do


still only 9mil in space
CMac66 liked this.
Jul 4 at 11:48
#29
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 110
Likes: 77
Quoting: vmach
I would take Zaytsev over Ceci any day, for sure. Z was actually good in playoffs, easily TORs second best D.


The comparison is not Zaitsev versus Ceci, it's committing to 5 years of Zaitsev versus 1 year of Ceci. Neither player is worth what they are being paid, but Zaitsev's contract was an anchor.

Also, Zaitsev was not the Leaf's 2nd best D in the playoffs, he was 3rd at best, and only because Gardiner and Dermott were both playing hurt. Although his play was tolerable, I think Dubas had to use that short window of good play to get someone to take Zaitsev while he had a chance, if not, he would be paying $4.5M for a bottom pair D for the next 5 years with no way out.
Jul 4 at 11:50
#30
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 110
Likes: 77
Quoting: KennyBoi
still only 9mil in space


Not really, They already have a projected 23 man roster without Marner, Realistically a 3 or more of those $700K contracts will be waiver or buried before the start of the season. The Leafs likely loaded up on them so that if they waive 3-4 the same day everyone else does, they won't lose them all in case they need to recall someone later. With even three moved down at $700k a piece, that leavs over $11M in space.
thelastlongbow liked this.
Jul 4 at 11:52
#31
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 7,357
Likes: 1,481
Quoting: Danny12357
They never had an option to not sign him, Ottawa had already extended him a qualifying offer of $4.3M, and I believe if he goes to arbitration they may lose the ability to structure the deal, and could end up stuck with either having to walk away, or possibly even an award of an amount that is worse than the $4.5 that they can't walk away from. If they put this as mostly signing bonus, I think the plan is to play him, and if he doesn't work out, he should be easy to move once the blue line is healthy.


its all salary and that was the point. Let him walk away. who cares.
Jul 4 at 11:55
#32
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 427
Likes: 61
Quoting: Danny12357
Not really, They already have a projected 23 man roster without Marner, Realistically a 3 or more of those $700K contracts will be waiver or buried before the start of the season. The Leafs likely loaded up on them so that if they waive 3-4 the same day everyone else does, they won't lose them all in case they need to recall someone later. With even three moved down at $700k a piece, that leavs over $11M in space.


still pretty close to the cap, leaves very little wiggle room for players to get called up from marlies or any trades
Jul 4 at 12:00
#33
Laughs at NYI Fans
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 170
Likes: 57
Ceci will thrive in Toronto just like Zibanejad did in New York. Good signing, low risk.
thelastlongbow liked this.
Jul 4 at 12:07
#34
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 328
Likes: 89
Quoting: Danny12357
The comparison is not Zaitsev versus Ceci, it's committing to 5 years of Zaitsev versus 1 year of Ceci. Neither player is worth what they are being paid, but Zaitsev's contract was an anchor.

Also, Zaitsev was not the Leaf's 2nd best D in the playoffs, he was 3rd at best, and only because Gardiner and Dermott were both playing hurt. Although his play was tolerable, I think Dubas had to use that short window of good play to get someone to take Zaitsev while he had a chance, if not, he would be paying $4.5M for a bottom pair D for the next 5 years with no way out.


TOR put themself in this situation where every contract will be an anchor. Look they have no D signed past next year. If they sign Marner and plan on keeping the core, they will have to play ELCs every year, but their ELC pool is getting smaller. Can't even play Bracco next year, what if he is good? can't sign him. What if Mikheyev good, can't sign him next year. What if Berri good, same, can't give him raise next year and he is not playing for $2.7M. Can't list 20 players, can't have 6-7 rookies every year. You have to build a team that knows each other, not just top 2 lines. Dumbass is too scared to let a star player go, because media might rip him a new one, but thats must be done.
Jul 4 at 12:50
#35
Rhianna gets it
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 656
Likes: 140
Quoting: pharrow
LOL

I guess there goes the, they won't sign him hope.
It could be worse, it could be multiple years. But he's awful. He doesn't play the body, and he doesn't play the puck. Not sure what he's doing out there half the time, and I don't think he is either.


Its funny, he's not that bad a hockey player, he's just not a top 4 guy. So all of his weaknesses are exposed especially against top players. He also never had a chance to work on his weaknesses. Thrust into a top 4 spot at 19. It just made no sense. Then management said, well he was the 3rd best Dman in pre season... Well maybe you should get better dmen you dope. I hope he can figure something out with the leafs or elsewhere.
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Jul 4 at 12:52
#36
Rhianna gets it
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 656
Likes: 140
Quoting: Loops
Ceci will thrive in Toronto just like Zibanejad did in New York. Good signing, low risk.


Thrive is a strong word... He might be adequate... In a bottom pair role
OldNYIfan liked this.
Jul 4 at 3:58
#37
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 2,283
Likes: 493
Don't bother to buy any Barrie or Ceci hockey jersey's because they won't be on the team next year.
Jul 4 at 6:27
#38
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 3,123
Likes: 559
So do their two most recent signings mean Marner isn't returning? They only have a little over 3 million in cap space.
Jul 4 at 6:32
#39
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 110
Likes: 77
Quoting: vmach
TOR put themself in this situation where every contract will be an anchor. Look they have no D signed past next year. If they sign Marner and plan on keeping the core, they will have to play ELCs every year, but their ELC pool is getting smaller. Can't even play Bracco next year, what if he is good? can't sign him. What if Mikheyev good, can't sign him next year. What if Berri good, same, can't give him raise next year and he is not playing for $2.7M. Can't list 20 players, can't have 6-7 rookies every year. You have to build a team that knows each other, not just top 2 lines. Dumbass is too scared to let a star player go, because media might rip him a new one, but thats must be done.


The Leafs have their top 3 lines signed through next year (other than Marner) and assuming he comes in at $10M, they will have just over $65M committed next season. They will need to do a lot on D with that, re-sign Dermott, and probably end up having to let one of Barrie or Muzzin walk, but they will have cash to take on some salary or make other changes without any tough negotiations on the immediate horizon.

There is this constant freaking out about paying stars, but when teams are in cap trouble, it has far more to do with wasted money. Dubas will have cleared the decks of any wasted money by next summer (with Ceci's salary being the last real bit of over spending), so while he may have some difficult decisions to make when it comes to signing players as they command too much term depending on their age, he has shown a willingness to let players go when they price themselves out, such as Komoarov, Bozak, JVR, and what likely Gardiner.
Jul 4 at 6:46
#40
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 110
Likes: 77
Quoting: KennyBoi
still pretty close to the cap, leaves very little wiggle room for players to get called up from marlies or any trades


They won't have much, but they will also gain some space by putting Hyman and Dermott on LTIR to start the season. It's going to be tight, but it was always going to be that way, and it will usually be that way for any competitive cap team.
Jul 4 at 6:55
#41
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 110
Likes: 77
Quoting: pharrow
its all salary and that was the point. Let him walk away. who cares.


I think you are missing the fact that they can't let him walk. Not as in they need him, but with respect to the CBA, if he's already been tendered a qualifying offer, it isn't Toronto's decision to just let him go. They either pay him at least what he made last year or let him go to salary arbitration, if they choose salary arbitration, i believe they can only walk away if the award is over $4.6M and change. Given Ceci's previous salary and performance, it's likely if he elects arbitration he could end up getting a deal aroudn the same anyway, so avoiding that process with a player who is basically damaged goods is likely the reason to just get it out of the way now if they hope to try and recoup any of his value.

I do find it puzzling that they did load up his contract with signing bonus, they did that with so many others, I would have assumed it's just standard practice, but it would also make moving Ceci later in the season far easier if it came to it.
Jul 4 at 8:46
#42
Nazaleaf
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 99
Likes: 90
It really seems like all naysayers have the same thing to say... "Leafs have 1 D signed past next season". As if it's a magical quote that somehow strengthens their point. We get it, they have work to do.

The point is the roster is better, now! They'll address the contracts. Once that happens though I'm sure there will be something else.

And somehow Matthews salary, signing JT and an unsigned Marner contact are bad things! Haters gunna hate eh?

Anyhow, 1 year deal is good with me. It's a show me contract and Ceci will be a motivated player. Just like Spezza will he motivated to show he can still hang.
Jul 4 at 10:50
#43
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,720
Likes: 707
Quoting: HabsForEver
Leafs only have 1 NHL defender signed beyond this year.. YIKES


All in...in 2020
Jul 5 at 12:25
#44
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 328
Likes: 89
Quoting: Danny12357
The Leafs have their top 3 lines signed through next year (other than Marner) and assuming he comes in at $10M, they will have just over $65M committed next season. They will need to do a lot on D with that, re-sign Dermott, and probably end up having to let one of Barrie or Muzzin walk, but they will have cash to take on some salary or make other changes without any tough negotiations on the immediate horizon.

There is this constant freaking out about paying stars, but when teams are in cap trouble, it has far more to do with wasted money. Dubas will have cleared the decks of any wasted money by next summer (with Ceci's salary being the last real bit of over spending), so while he may have some difficult decisions to make when it comes to signing players as they command too much term depending on their age, he has shown a willingness to let players go when they price themselves out, such as Komoarov, Bozak, JVR, and what likely Gardiner.


Dubas is managing this team as if this was a Fantasy Hockey who scores more points stays. You need Bozak and JVR and Komarov, and Hyman and Kadri to win. You don't need Nylander and Tavares cause you already have Marner and Matthews. Look at CHI 3 cups, well balanced team, thru out including D (Keith, Seabrook, Campbell, Oduya, Hjamarson). Look at PIT, they are super top heavy and yet, top 4 players make $30M, while TOR now top 4 will make $40M. Thats not going to work. You can't win cups this way, who you go on D? Berri? why? you need shutdown people not point getters, you already have F core that can score a ton... I don't get it... I guess management wats sell tickets, and jerseys and could careless about cups.
Jul 5 at 8:14
#45
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 110
Likes: 77
Quoting: vmach
Dubas is managing this team as if this was a Fantasy Hockey who scores more points stays. You need Bozak and JVR and Komarov, and Hyman and Kadri to win. You don't need Nylander and Tavares cause you already have Marner and Matthews. Look at CHI 3 cups, well balanced team, thru out including D (Keith, Seabrook, Campbell, Oduya, Hjamarson). Look at PIT, they are super top heavy and yet, top 4 players make $30M, while TOR now top 4 will make $40M. Thats not going to work. You can't win cups this way, who you go on D? Berri? why? you need shutdown people not point getters, you already have F core that can score a ton... I don't get it... I guess management wats sell tickets, and jerseys and could careless about cups.


Toronto is going a little heavier on skill than a lot of teams in the past have, but there is a strong indication that skill wins, not this idea of gritty pros. Pittsburgh won a cup, but then when they traded away Staal because they thought it was too difficult to win if you were top heavy, they spread their cap around and didn't win again until they added another high skilled player who doesn't play D, and doesn't hit. After those cup wins they seem to be sliding as they traded away smaller skilled guys to get grittier, and have made room for Johnson and Tanev at the expense of Kessel and Sheary.

Chicago was a pure skill team. It's great they were lucky enough to have some grittier skilled players, but they stayed competitive by keeping a core of Toews, Kane, Hossa and Sharp together and made room by moving out high end secondary guys. It's when the core started aging itself out that they started sliding, and became reliant on just a couple of superstars rather than a strong group overall.

You chose Bozak and JVR as the types the Leafs need? Why is JVR more important than Nylander? He's older, neither is physical, he's worse defensively, and costs the same against the cap, so is being less skilled going to help? Bozak is an expensive third line center, but again, they had him and didn't win, keeping him so you can't afford Tavares doesn't make your team better. He was part of a cup winner who used him to supplement things, but they won using the one real strategy shown to be effective. They had a competitive team for a long stretch of time, they kept making hard choices on non-core pieces to make sure they didn't completely wreck their cap (this is a team that let "heart and Soul Captain" Backes walk), and they kept extending their window until they caught the right breaks.

Look at past winners and teams that are successful, Washington, Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, LA. They all had lengthy windows built around solid cores. A team like LA started to fall off when they started giving out big money to legacy guys, and buying into the idea you needed certain types of players to win, rather than adjusting around their core and making some tough decisions as guys were at an age where you know a contract will be an anchor.

If anything Chicago was it's best when needing to basically reshape their D and bottom part of their forward group every year to fit under the cap, it's only when they started deciding near 30 year old bruisers like Seabrook, and guys like Bickell deserved big money that they started tying up their cap money to less than stellar contracts that basically tanked their success. Now they have started leaning harder on skill again (Debrincat, Gustaffson, strome) and their top tier guys are still effective and they look a little more competitive again, but that Seabrook contract, and the Saad trade were a team that declined because they started favouring Grit over skill.
Jul 5 at 8:27
#46
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 435
Likes: 124
I am surprised the leafs didn’t go with the heavy bonus in this situation. If he doesn’t fit into the system it makes it a lot easier to move him, and add a very comparable if not better defender at the trade deadline for a much cheaper cap hit
Jul 5 at 10:12
#47
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 110
Likes: 77
Quoting: HabsForEver
He still played quality minutes on Ottawa last season. There are things he could say that would get him close to 5 Million


Yeah, if it goes to arbitration, usually high amounts of ice time against top quality competition means a raise no matter what, if the Leafs point to sub par results in those minutes, he would just point to a salary like Vlasic, who provides little offense as well, and say that's already accounted for with $4.5-$4.75M because if the stats were better I'd be asking for $7M.

I am not sure the exact number but I beleieve it's somewhere just over $4.6M that if the arbitrator awarded, the Leafs would not be able to walk away. I think signing him to a $4.5M was just to avoid being given a decision that was either to completely walk away from any redeemable value he may have or accept a cap hit a couple hundred thousand more, so by signing him to $4.5 they can just be done with it and move on.

I am surprised it isn't bonus heavy, not just because I think they would want the option to trade him, as I never really thought the plan was to flip him soon, but it's virtually the only contract they have that doesn't have signing bonus, so it's weird to me this one wasn't given any.

Either way, this contract sure is getting analyzed a lot considering it is what it is. If he was traded with 1 year left at $4.5M there wouldn't be much to talk about. It would be trading 5 years of Zaitsev at $4.5M for just one year of Ceci at $4.5M, for long term cap management, you do that all day. Brown for a 3rd is the other part of the deal, which is what he was reported to be going for anyway.
Jul 5 at 10:17
#48
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 110
Likes: 77
Quoting: Jeff_Fingers_Agnet04
I am surprised the leafs didn’t go with the heavy bonus in this situation. If he doesn’t fit into the system it makes it a lot easier to move him, and add a very comparable if not better defender at the trade deadline for a much cheaper cap hit


Yeah, it seems really weird, especially considering they give out signing bonus like candy on all deals anyway, so it looks like they went out of their way to not do this as a signing bonus deal. Maybe there is some financial ceiling that ownership said they weren't prepared to spend on a guy like Ceci? Either way, it seems strange that when you look at Kapanen, Johnsson and Kerfoot's deals, they look like they were using signing bonus to keep AAV down and to make them easy to move toward the end of their deals if they needed to, even though those are cap hits that look like Bargains that you would want to keep, but Ceci who seems like a good candidate to get shipped out later in the year if he isn't a fit is getting all salary?

Seems weird.
Jul 5 at 10:23
#49
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 110
Likes: 77
I wonder if there is actually a limit to what MLSE is willing to spend in a short time, and that is why we are seeing no signing bonus on Ceci.

Right now they have forked over just shy of $50M in cash signing bonuses since July 1, with over $5M paid to players on their way out, and Marner likely getting an immediate signing bonus of something north of $10M when he does sign his deal. Essentially, the Leafs could be in a situation where they pay out more in signing bonuses in July (if Marner signs), then Ottawa will pay out at all this year.
Jul 5 at 11:54
#50
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 555
Likes: 73
Quoting: Broad93
Does anyone know if his salary is 4.5 million? Or is it heavy bonuses with a small salary so he'd be a good trade piece?


4.5 mill base salary, $0 bonusses
 
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