The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has agreed to a 1-year contact with Cody Franson worth $3.3 million dollars.

Franson played 79 games for the Maple Leafs in 2013-14, collecting 33 points (five goals, 28 assists) with 30 penalty minutes. He ranked second in NHL hits (282) and was third on the Leafs in blocked shots (111). He established single-season career highs in assists and points last season.

Franson has struggled defensively under former Leafs coach Ron Wilson and again under Randy Carlyle this past season in an increased role.  This isn’t the first time that the Leafs and Franson have been at odds with contract negotiations; Franson held out of training camp this past season and instead started camp with Ryerson University.

The native of Sicamous, British Columbia has played 322 career NHL games with Toronto and the Nashville Predators, posting 28 goals, 105 assists, 133 points, 106 minutes in penalties and a plus-eight rating. Franson was acquired by the Maple Leafs along with Matthew Lombardi from the Predators on July 3, 2011 in exchange for Brett Lebda and Robert Slaney. He was originally selected by Nashville in the third round, 79th overall, in the 2005 Entry Draft.

 

Franson on conference call with reporters:

Asked about what might have been, about the speculation that swirled around him for the three months between his last game and his new deal:
“I heard the rumours and stuff, but for me, it’s all rumours until my phone rings. “Toronto is obviously where I want to be. I’m always hopeful there wasn’t a ton of truth to all those rumours. But it’s business.” 

On who he will be paired with this season:
“Obviously, I want to play in the top four and I’m going to have to have a good camp to make sure that happens.” has no idea who he plays with this year, especially with new right – left shot combos coming into defence picture.

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has agree to a two-year contract with Peter Holland, worth $1.55 million.

Holland played 39 games for the Maple Leafs in 2013-14 collecting 10 points (five goals, five assists) and 16 penalty minutes. He recorded a career best two goals and three points December 14 against Chicago. The forward also played 14 regular season games for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies this past season during which he registered five goals and five assists with 10 penalty minutes. In 11 Calder Cup playoff games he led the Marlies in both goals (7) and points (15), while earning a (+6) plus/minus rating. The new contract means Holland is waiver prone, so there will be no bouncing up and down this season or else the Leafs would lose him.

The Maple Leafs acquired Holland on November 16, 2013 from the Anaheim Ducks along with Brad Staubitz in exchange for Jesse Blacker, Toronto’s second round pick and Anaheim’s seventh round pick (previously acquired) in the 2014 Entry Draft.

Holland has played 68 career NHL games for Toronto and Anaheim and has registered 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) and 24 penalty minutes. He was originally Anaheim’s first choice, selected 15th overall, in the 2009 Entry Draft.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has signed forward Jamie Devane to a 2-year contract.

Devane played two games for the Maple Leafs in 2013-14 going scoreless. The forward made his NHL debut October 5 vs. Ottawa Senators.

Devane also played 55 games for the Toronto Marlies (AHL) last season, collecting eight points (four goals, four assists) and leading the team with 146 penalty minutes.

Devane was selected by Toronto in the third round, 68th overall, at the 2009 Entry Draft.

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that Peter Horachek and Steve Spott have been named assistant coaches on Randy Carlyle’s staff.

It’s interesting that Dave Nonis has said since the announcement that he is looking to ease the media scrutiny on Carlyle and anticipates the two new assistant coaches doing more interviewing throughout the year than Scott Gordon and Greg Cronin did.

Spott is an extremely well spoken individual. He speaks in full sentences, directly and with candor. He has the communication skills of a good teacher, which was his profession prior to hockey. There doesn’t seem to be any ulterior meaning to any of what he says; he’s direct and honest. He seemed to really develop a rapport with the Marlies team in quick order.

Spott served as head coach of the Toronto Marlies during the 2013-14 season, posting a 45-25-6 record and leading the team to the AHL’s North Division title and a berth in the Western Conference Final. We can rest assure that Spott will definitely make a case for playing time for some of the Marlies who helped him earn this promotion. It’s doubtful he comes in without a few ideas of his own or that he simply meshes into the background knowing his personality.

Spott was named the team’s fourth head coach on July 3, 2013 after spending 12 seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. He spent his first seven seasons with the Rangers as an assistant coach under current NHL bench boss Peter DeBoer, during which the team won the Memorial Cup in 2003. Spott was named Kitchener’s head coach prior to the 2008-09 campaign, and over five seasons compiled a record of 187-121-32. He guided the Rangers to four playoff berths, including two trips to the Western Conference Final. Spott also served as Kitchener’s General Manager for five seasons.

Spott also has significant international coaching experience. In the summer of 2008, he was an assistant coach with Team Canada at the under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament where Canada captured the gold medal. In 2010, he won a silver medal as an assistant coach with Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Saskatchewan. The following year he led Canada to a gold medal as head coach of the under-18 team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in the Czech Republic. Spott was also appointed head coach of Team Canada at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ufa, Russia.

During his playing career, Spott registered 148 points (75 goals, 73 assists) in 121 games as a forward at Colgate University. He would go on to play 20 games for the Newmarket Saints of the AHL before finishing his playing career with Heerenveen in the Netherlands.

Peter Horachek served as head coach of the Florida Panthers last season after being named interim coach on November 8, 2014. In 66 games under Horachek, the Panthers posted a 26-36-4 record.

He served as head coach of the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage at the beginning of the 2013-14 season before his appointment with the Panthers. Prior to his stint in San Antonio, Horachek spent nine seasons as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators (2003-2013), serving his last two years as associate head coach. While working for the Predators, he helped the club advance to the postseason on seven occasions.

Horachek has also served as head coach for the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals (2002-2003), ECHL’s Trenton Titans (2001-2002) and the International Hockey League’s (IHL) Orlando Solar Bears (1999-2001), where he led the Bears to the 2001 Turner Cup.

Horachek played 10 years of professional hockey as a forward in the AHL and IHL with the Rochester Americans (1979-80 to 1982-83), Flint Generals (1982-83 to 1984-85), Saginaw Generals (1985-86 to 1986-87) and Flint Spirits (1988-89). He also played three seasons of junior hockey with the Oshawa Generals from 1977-78 to 1979-80.

It’s likely not clear to these individuals yet what their individual responsibilities will be in terms of special teams, defence pairs, however Spott did handle the defence when coaching with Pete Deboer in Kitchener. So we’ll wait to hear more on that front and we also wait to hear who steps into the Marlies head coach role. Do recall rumblings of DJ Smith, assistant General Manager of the Oshawa Generals, interviewing for the Marlies head coach job a month or so ago.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has signed Rinat Valiev to a 3-year entry level contract.

Valiev posted five goals and 23 assists for 28 points with 68 penalty minutes and a plus-27 rating in 55 games with the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League last season. The defenceman also appeared in 13 playoff games with Kootenay, collecting nine points on a goal and eight assists with 16 minutes in penalties.

A native of Nizhnekamsk, Russia, Valiev was selected 68th overall by the Maple Leafs at the 2014 Entry Draft in June.

 

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has signed Trevor Smith to a 1-year contract.

Smith made his debut on October 8 against Colorado, becoming the 900th player in franchise history. He went on to score four goals and nine points in 28 games. Smith was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Islanders in 2007. He has scored seven goals and 15 points with eight penalty minutes and a minus-4 rating in 52 NHL games with the Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins and Maple Leafs.

Smith also had 10 goals, 16 assists and 10 penalty minutes while serving as captain of the Toronto Marlies during the 2013-14 AHL season.

Below you will find:

  • Summary of the 2014 Maple Leafs draft selections (selections available per round)
  • History of 8th overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft
  • 2013-14 Maple Leafs in the NHL Entry Draft
  • Maple Leafs NHL Entry Draft selections – Last 5 Years

 

2014 Maple Leafs Draft Selections:

Round Selections Overall Notes
1 1 8 Toronto has its own selection
2 - - * Toronto’s own 2nd-round pick belong to Anaheim or Columbus (at Anaheim’s option)
3 1 68 Toronto has its own selection
4 2 94

103

** Toronto owns Calgary’s 4th-round pick
*** Toronto own 4th-round pick belongs to Chicago
**** Toronto owns Arizona’s (Phoenix) 4th-round pick
5 1 128 Toronto has its own selection
6 1 158 Toronto has its own selection
7 1 188 Toronto has its own selection

* Toronto acquired Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz from Anaheim in exchange for Jesse Blacker, Toronto’s second-round pick in 2014 Entry Draft and Anaheim’s seventh-round pick in 2014 Entry Draft. (November 16, 2013)

**Toronto acquired Calgary’s fourth-round pick in 2014 Entry Draft from Calgary in exchange for Joe Colborne. (September 28, 2013)

***Toronto acquired Dave Bolland from Chicago in exchange for Toronto’s second round pick (Carl Dahlstrom) in 2013 Entry Draft, Anaheim’s fourth round pick (previously acquired, later obtained by San Jose – Fredrik Bergvik) in 2013 Entry Draft, and Toronto’s fourth round pick in 2014 Entry Draft. (June 30, 2013)

****Toronto acquired Arizona’s (Phoenix) fourth-round pick in 2014 Entry Draft from Arizona in exchange for Matthew Lombardi. (January 16, 2013)

 

History Of 8th Overall Pick At NHL Entry Draft:
The Toronto Maple Leafs hold the 8th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The Leafs have previously twice selected 8th overall at the Entry Draft. In 1970 the Leafs selected Darryl Sittler and in 1992 Toronto chose Brandon Convery.

The following selections were made by NHL teams with the eighth overall pick in Entry Drafts dating back to 1994.

Year Team Player (Position)
2013 Buffalo Sabres Rasmus Ristolainen-D
2012 Pittsburgh Penguins Derrick Pouliot-D
2011 Philadelphia Flyers Sean Couturier-C
2010 Winnipeg Jets Alexander Burmistrov-C
2009 Dallas Stars Scott Glennie-RW
2008 Phoenix Coyotes Mikkel Boedker-LW
2007 Boston Bruins Zach Hamill-C
2006 Phoenix Coyotes Peter Mueller-C
2005 San Jose Sharks Devin Setoguchi-RW
2004 Columbus Blue Jackets Alexandre Picard-LW
2003 Atlanta Thrashers Braydon Coburn-D
2002 Minnesota Wild Pierre-Marc Bouchard-C
2001 Columbus Blue Jackets Pascal Leclaire-G
2000 Tampa Bay Lightning Nikita Alexeev-RW
1999 New York Islanders Taylor Pyatt-LW
1998 Chicago Blackhawks Mark Bell-C
1997 Boston Bruins Sergei Samsonov-LW
1996 Boston Bruins Johnathan Aitken-D
1995 Montreal Canadiens Terry Ryan-LW
1994 Tampa Bay Lightning Jason Wiemer-C

*Other notable players previously selected 8th overall include: Derian Hatcher (1990), Jeremy Roenick (1988), Shayne Corson (1984), Grant Fuhr (1981), Raymond Bourque (1979) and Bob Gainey (1973).

 

2013-14 Maple Leafs In The NHL Entry Draft:

Player Position Drafted
Dion Phaneuf D Calgary’s first choice, ninth overall, in 2003 Entry Draft
Cody Franson D Nashville’s third choice, 79th overall, in 2005 Entry Draft
Tim Gleason D Ottawa’s second choice, 79th overall, in 2001 Entry Draft
Jay McClement F St.Louis’ first choice, 57th overall, in 2001 Entry Draft
Mason Raymond F Vancouver’s second choice, 51st overall, in 2005 Entry Draft
Paul Ranger D Tampa Bay’s seventh choice, 183rd overall, in 2002 Entry Draft
Joffrey Lupul F Anaheim’s first choice, seventh overall, in 2002 Entry Draft
James van Riemsdyk F Philadelphia’s first choice, second overall, in 2007 Entry Draft
Peter Holland F Anaheim’s first choice, 15th overall, in 2009 Entry Draft
Peter Granberg D Toronto’s fourth choice, 116th overall, in 2010 Entry Draft
Colton Orr F Signed as a free agent by Boston, September 19, 2001
James Reimer G Toronto’s third choice, 99th overall, in 2006 Entry Draft
Drew MacIntyre G Detroit’s second choice, 121st overall, in 2001 Entry Draft
Carl Gunnarsson D Toronto’s sixth choice, 189th overall, in 2007 Entry Draft
Carter Ashton F Tampa Bay’s second choice, 29th overall, in 2009 Entry Draft
Troy Bodie F Edmonton’s 12th choice, 278th overall, in 2003 Entry Draft
Nikolai Kulemin F Toronto’s second choice, 44th overall, in 2006 Entry Draft
Tyler Bozak F Signed as a free agent by Toronto, April 3, 2009
Nazem Kadri F Toronto’s first choice, seventh overall, in 2009 Entry Draft
Morgan Rielly D Toronto’s first choice, fifth overall, in 2012 Entry Draft
Jonathan Bernier G Los Angeles’ first choice, 11th overall, in 2006 Entry Draft
Jake Gardiner D Anaheim’s first choice, 17th overall, in 2008 Entry Draft
Dave Bolland F Chicago’s second choice, 32nd overall, in 2004 Entry Draft
David Clarkson F Signed as a free agent by New Jersey, August 12, 2005
Phil Kessel F Boston’s first choice, fifth overall, in 2006 Entry Draft
***
Jerred Smithson F Signed as a free agent by Los Angeles, February 18, 2000
Trevor Smith F Signed as a free agent by New York Islanders, April 2, 2007
Jerry D’Amigo F Toronto’s sixth choice, 158th overall, in 2009 Entry Draft
Josh Leivo F Toronto’s third choice, 86th overall, in 2011 Entry Draft
Frazer McLaren F San Jose’s 8th choice, 203rd overall, in 2007 Entry Draft
Greg McKegg F Toronto’s second choice, 62nd overall, in 2010 Entry Draft
David Broll F Toronto’s sixth choice, 152nd overall, in 2011 Entry Draft
Spencer Abbott F Signed as a free agent by Toronto, March 28, 2012
Jamie Devane F Toronto’s fourth choice, 68th overall, in 2009 Entry Draft

 

Maple Leafs Entry Draft Selections – Last 5 Years:

2014
(Philadelphia June 27, 28 )
Player Overall Team
William Nylander 8 Modo
Rinat Valiev 68 Kootenay
John Piccinich 103 Youngstown
Dakota Joshua 128 Sioux Falls
Nolan Vesey 158 South Shore
Pierre Engvall 188 Frolunda Jr.
 
2013
(New Jersey, June 30th )
Player Overall Team
Frederik Gauthier 21 Rimouski
Carter Verhaeghe 82 Niagara
Fabrice Herzog 142 Zug Jr
Antoine Bibeau 172 PEI
Andreas Johnson 202 Frolunda Jr.
2012
Pittsburgh, June 22, 23
Player Overall Team
Morgan Rielly 5 Moose Jaw
Matt Finn 35 Guelph
Dominic Toninato 126 Duluth East H.S.
Connor Brown 156 Erie
Ryan Rupert 157 London
Viktor Loov 209 Sodertalje
2011
Minnesota, June 24, 25
Player Overall Team
Tyler Biggs 22 USA U-18
Stuart Percy 25 Mississauga
Josh Leivo 86 Sudbury
Tom Nilsson 100 Mora Jr.
Tony Cameranesi 130 Wayzata H.S.
David Broll 152 Sault St. Marie
Dennis Robertson 173 Brown University
Garret Sparks 190 Guelph
Max Everson 203 Edina H.S.
2010
Los Angeles, June 25, 26
Player Overall Team
Brad Ross 43 Portland
Greg McKegg 62 Erie
Sondre Olden 79 Modo Jr.
Petter Granberg 116 Skelleftea Jr
Sam Carrick 144 Brampton
Daniel Brodin 146 Djurgarden
Josh Nicholls 182 Saskatoon

 

Reimer, Franson File for Arbitration.

Hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to August 4, although in recent years very few cases have reached that stage. The player’s representative and the team will make a proposal based on performance, on comparable players who’ve yet to reach eligibility for unrestricted free agency, and other factors. The neutral arbitrator has discretion to come up with a dollar figure that differs from the two proposals. The team has the option of walking away from a player-initiated arbitration ruling, which would make the player an unrestricted free agent.

Without reading too much into it, seems clear that Reimer and his agent Ray Petkau are intent on sending a message to the Leafs that Reimer’s time as an affable back-up is over one way or the other.

Reimer is a Group 2 Restricted Free Agent (“RFA”) because the Leafs extended him a qualifying contract offer of $1.6 million dollars, which required the Club to offer him 100% his actual salary from the preceding season. This is Reimer’s final off-season as an RFA as he’ll be 27 years of age before June 30th of next year, meaning he will be a Group 3 Unrestricted Free Agent (“UFA”) – as provided by Article 10.1 – whenever his next contract expires.  Generally the Leafs (as the party being brought to arbitration) can elect whether the awarded contract would span one or two years, however, because Reimer is eligible to become a UFA next offseason the arbitrator will only be permitted to award a one year contract, meaning that barring a negotiated agreement Reimer will be a UFA at the end of the 2014-2015 season, at which time he’d undoubtedly shop his services to a club needing a viable starting goaltender.

Franson has a pretty strong case for a raise. He might not have had the best season defensively, but astoundingly, he had the most points for a Leafs defenseman last season. That will almost assuredly get him a raise over the $2 million he made last season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has signed free agent Petri Kontiola to a one-year; 1.1M contract.

Kontiola is a former seventh-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks and spent the last five seasons playing in the Russian-based league (KHL). The Finn also won a bronze medal while representing his country at the Sochi Olympics and earned a silver at the IIHF World Hockey Championship in May.

Known primarily as a playmaking centre, he amassed 112 assists and 175 points in 258 regular-season KHL games for Traktor and Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

In 12 NHL games with the Blackhawks during the 2007-08 season, Kontiola had five assists.

The player is believed to have paid 20 million Russian rubles — roughly C$620,297 from his own pocket to terminate the contract with Chelyabinsk and pursue a move to North America.

Where exactly Kontiola fits among Toronto’s group of centres is unclear. He joins Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak and Peter Holland on the NHL roster.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has signed free agent Mike Santorelli to a 1-year; 1.5M contract.

Santorelli had 10 goals and 28 points in 49 games last season for the Vancouver Canucks. He was on pace for a career year before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury January 16 against the Phoenix Coyotes.

It was a comeback season for Santorelli, who had 20 goals and 41 points in 2010-11 for the Florida Panthers, but was limited to 11 goals and 15 points in 94 games during the two ensuing seasons that concluded with a 10-game stint with the Winnipeg Jets in which he had one assist.

Santorelli was a sixth-round pick (No. 178) of the Nashville Predators in the 2004 NHL Draft and has 43 goals and 87 points in 257 games for the Predators, Panthers, Jets and Canucks.

Santorelli has skill, can cycle and will bring some sorely needed secondary offense in the bottom six. He doesn’t offer the same frame as Nikolai Kulemin, but he works tirelessly and he should replace his production at a much cheaper price. He adds more versatility and depth to the bottom 6 options.

Santorelli Scouting Report
Assets:
Creativity is the name of his game. Is shifty and a very capable playmaker. Can line up at all three forward positions, though center is clearly his best position.
Flaws:
Is lacking in defensive acumen, which limits his overall effectiveness at the NHL level. Also lacks the size to win puck battles in the corners.
Career Potential:
Skilled but undersized depth playmaker.
- Forecaster