May 29, 2018
Toronto Maple Leafs
2nd Favourite Team
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Isles777</b></div><div>You're right , things don't always go as planned. Just like the leafs were supposed to be Stanley cup contenders and now there's a decent chance they don't even make the playoffs.
The blues had a ton of players 30+ on their roster. Perron, maroon, steen, bozak. Boston has backes and krejci. The islanders will have players on ELC in the top 6 and by the time their ELC are up, most of those contracts will be off the books. That's what you fail to recognize. Did backes and his 6 mill cap hit (at times a healthy scratch) prevent them from making it to the SCF?</div></div>
Here is the thing though, the Islanders are counting on 2 things to remain competitive. You are counting on your young players all taking small short term deals or hope they give you discounts. And you are hoping none of these 30+ year olds decline at all.
What happens if Barzal wants a long term deal? Whats that going to look like? He's your best offensive player and looks like he's going to be one of the better top line centres in the league. That isn't going to cheap. Sure you can hope for one of those new bridge deals but the are entirely full of risk and will result in even more cap dollars spent in 2-3 years after that. What is the plan with the goaltending? Varlamov has never been as good as he is right now and is also 31, what if he starts trailing off? Comparing yourself to St Louis who was a top team in the West for years before finally getting over the top last year is a awfully bold comparison. Same with Boston, who have the most flexible payroll in the league. In Boston's case, they got lucky getting Marchand and Pastrnak under contract before they broke out. Both of those guys should be making over 10.
So like I said, you need a tonne of things to go right for there to be zero problems ahead. But the chances are, guys like Lee, Bailey, Nelson, Eberle, and Varlamov will start taking steps backwards because it almost always happens. Look at guys like James Neal, he was a lock for 25+ goals and 50 points and now he's a shell of his former self. Andrew Laad was the same, as was Backes. And you have 4 guys like that at the top of your payroll right now. If just 1 of them falls off a cliff in the next couple of years, that is a major problem for you. What happens if all 4 decline rapidly. Its far more likely to see that for all of them to stave off any sort of decline.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>palhal</b></div><div>I guess it's the chicken and the egg. The Leafs don't hit because they are not physical or are they not physical because they don't hit.
It isn't so much hitting, which I think is overrated, but some players avoid contact. It's my frustration with some Leafs and for years Kessel was the same. For instance a Leaf Dman will be engaged with an opposing forward for the puck. Nylander (for example) will just wait for the come out to him or poke at the puck. God man, all you have to is lean on the opponent and the puck will come to you or your defence mate.
And it's not like the Leaf players won't take a hit to make an offensive play, but it seems like they avoid contact to make a defensive play.</div></div>
That is the only part of Nylander's game that frustrates me. If he was just a little more inclined to go in and battle, he'd be insanely good and who knows, he's looked far more engaged under Keefe so far, maybe he'll be able to morph him into a more tenacious player.
As for hitting, I agree its an overrated stat, a big hit can fire up a team and Muzzin does deliver that from time to time, as does Holl and even Rielly every once and a while but often running around trying to hit everything leaves you out of position and can cause problems if you miss the mark. Also, if you have the puck more, which TO does, you don't have as many opportunities to hit.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Eli</b></div><div>And although we've already had the debate on whether Backstrom signs that kind of a term over cap hit deal, I think the salary is allowed to change by 1M a year? So he can end up earning 1M a year in years that essentially become player option years, and in which he might not have any trade protection, but start out making the 8M next year that he's certainly worth, while still leaving the team enough cap space to extend Vrana and Ovechkin the next summer.
I thought about asking for a 6th from Detroit, but didn't want to get into too much of an argument about it. If each team gets prospects at positions where it needs depth, then hopefully both can call it a win.</div></div>
I am fairly certain that you can pay whatever you want across any years but the cap hit is the same regardless and there is the term limit. That prevents teams from giving guys those ridiculous long deals where the last years are 1 million. However, if you look at Tavares's contract, I am pretty sure the later years are super cheap since most of the money is given in bonus money. Doesn't help the cap situation. I'd wager that Backstrom would rather go for shorter term, like 4 years at a premium and re-evaluate after that. If he's still operating at a high pace, he'll sign another high cap deal but again shorter term.