August 01, 2005

No Pono?: Alexei Ponikarovsky, a RFA, who played extremely well along side Nik Antropov, has not been tendered a qualifying offer by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jeff O'Neill got his wish to become blue and white foilage. With Roberts and Nieuwendyk becoming relatives of the puma, AlMo's hip-induced retirement, Ronnie Francis not capable of skating faster then 10 km/h, and Tie Domi wishing to become the royal guard of the house of Lemieux, the Leafs are a little thin up front. I'm hoping this is a 'you're too expensive, so let's sign you for cheaper' move.

posted by garfield to hockey at 03:25 PM - 26 comments

Actually, as I keep digging, I'm not sure if he's under contract - he isn't according to this - but he seems to be still with the team. Help a Leaf fan out.

posted by garfield at 03:38 PM on August 01, 2005

Apparently, he played for Khimik Voskresensk of the RSL last year. Still no word on whether he'll be back with the buds for the 05-06 campaign.

posted by garfield at 03:43 PM on August 01, 2005

At first I was pretty pissed that the Hurricanes only received a conditional pick in return for Jeff O'Neill, but I don't how well he would do anywhere except Toronto given his life lately. He got a second DUI in Raleigh over the summer then his older brother died when his trucked rolled over just a few weeks ago. Apparently his family appealed to Jim Rutherford's better side to trade him to Toronto so he could be home. So yeah, this is the only move that Rutherford could have made with Jeff.

posted by NoMich at 03:48 PM on August 01, 2005

I had read Rutherford was thinking about not re-signing Jeff. Any truth to that? Pono isn't a UFA. I'm dumb.

posted by garfield at 03:58 PM on August 01, 2005

Well, I'm sure Rutherford wrestled with re-signing O'Neill. His qualifying price was $2.8 million. Is today's Jeff O'Neill worth $2.8 million in today's NHL market? I hardly think so, especially when you consider that he will be a UFA next year. But who is there to replace his potential 30+ goals if you don't re-sign this fan favorite? Not really anybody right now. Justin Williams? Eric Staal? I don't know. I'm sure he went back and forth and had sleepless nights, but when his family called, that made his decision for him. At least that's the way I see it.

posted by NoMich at 04:29 PM on August 01, 2005


posted by tuffy_earl at 04:43 PM on August 01, 2005

Jeff O'Neill is a hell of a player, and I would have loved to see him play for the Bruins. It seems like everytime the guy plays against Boston he has a least one point. As it is, so far Boston has only traded a fourth round pick for Brad Isbister. Isbister is a huge guy, but never really became the power-forward everyone said he'd become. Most B's fans' seem to see him as a thrird line guy, but to be honest, I think he's wasted there. He's not exactly a Selke candidate, and I think he's going to be tried out as a replacement for Knuble on Thornton's wing. Isbister is a better player than Knuble was when Knuble was acquired from the Rangers, so I'm optomistic here. The Bruins have apparently been looking at the guy for years, and I hope he ends up finally putting it together this year. We'll see.

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:29 PM on August 01, 2005

Garf, the puma is the same thing as a panther, except for fewer letters in the name. Sorry for getting all discovery channel on you and stuff, but someday this information may save your life. Like if you're ever face to face with a big cat that asks you questions about the cat family or something.

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:36 PM on August 01, 2005

I'm no hockey fan, but I just have to know...does anyone expect the NHL to really recover from this blunder?

posted by jadaru11 at 08:53 PM on August 01, 2005

I had to stay on theme and get my facts wrong.

posted by garfield at 07:02 AM on August 02, 2005

A front-page post about Alexei Ponikarovsky? Geez. LeafFilter! Looks like Columbus just sign ol' Adam Foote for a simply ridiculous amount of money (4.5 mil/year). It's getting interesting! I'm amazed he signed for that much, really. I was expecting this to be the year of the $3M contract for big free agents. Maybe the PA didn't lose after all. Okay, yeah they did.

posted by Succa at 07:07 AM on August 02, 2005

Isbister is a huge guy, but never really became the power-forward everyone said he'd become. Tell me about it. This guy was supposed to be the next Todd Bertuzzi. I've wasted a fantasy pick on him for the last four years. Each time around, he's bound to break out, and each time around he's a dud. Good point about Knuble, though. If Thornton made this journeyman a star, he may well be able to pull off the long-awaited Isbister miracle.

posted by qbert72 at 08:15 AM on August 02, 2005

Ah, the Leafs had Roberts for a long time, and the rest of this bunch and they didn't win a Cup so maybe this off season is an opportunity to truely rebuild the team (or reload, but whatever). O'Neill is a good start - now let's see just how much cache the Toronto name really has. Hears to seeing some new blood. Rumor has it Naslund and Forsberg are trying to package themselves a la Roberts and Niuwendyk. First line of Sundin between these two sounds, well, hard-on inducing. But likely impossible.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:29 AM on August 02, 2005

I just don't understand this. Jeff O'Neill is worth $1.5M on a two-year deal and is to be had for a third- or fourth-round pick, but Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk are each worth $2.25M for two years? O'Neill is $750K cheaper, 10 years younger and, before a lousy 2003-04, averaged damn near a point a game for his career with a pretty crappy team. How is this a bad trade-off for the Leafs? As for Naslund and Forsberg coming to Toronto, forget it. The Leafs would have had a shot if they had shed Belfour's contract, but they simply don't have the room to take on two big names. Hell, they may not have room for one.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:56 AM on August 02, 2005

How is this a bad trade-off for the Leafs? It isn't. It's a great trade-off for the knowledgable fan. It's a terrible trade-off for the fan that calls into the radio after a Leaf loss and demands that the GM trade Sundin RIGHT NOW! Just wait until Domi signs with some other team... I can't believe that Florida signed those guys for so much. It's mind boggling. The only way this pays off is IF the Panthers make the playoffs. At that point, Roberts becomes Superma, and Nieuwendyk (if he hasn't shattered into a thousand pieces) becomes one hell of a role player. But they won't be the guys that carry Florida to the playoffs in the first place.

posted by grum@work at 11:12 AM on August 02, 2005

No, that's Jacques Martin, and he doesn't count towards the cap.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:11 PM on August 02, 2005

Speaking of fantasy sports...when does the Yahoo! league open? I've been saving a Grum-whoopin' for two years here!

posted by Succa at 12:41 PM on August 02, 2005

B's just picked up Murray again to play with Thornton (as per Joe's request), and signed former Thrashers Captain Shawn McEachern, who will be a good third-liner and will provide some leadership for the kids. I'm liking Boston's moves so far.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:33 PM on August 02, 2005

Calgary loses Gelinas but picks up McCarty and Amonte. Nice (provided that Iginla signs, of course).

posted by gspm at 08:46 PM on August 02, 2005

I've been saving a Grum-whoopin' for two years here! I fear I'm going to get creamed this year. I've completely lost track of all the younger players, and have spent most of my time tracking baseball. That said, I'm pretty sure I could still beat Succa, since it's an annual thing: like the Leafs beating the Senators.

posted by grum@work at 09:33 PM on August 02, 2005

That said, I'm pretty sure I could still beat Succa, since it's an annual thing: like the Leafs beating the Senators. Oooh. That's gotta sting. As a representative of the Bruins, I'll kick asses all season, and then fall short of the big prize when it really counts. Just like last time, and just like the real Bruins.

posted by Samsonov14 at 11:19 PM on August 02, 2005

Chris Pronger's now an Oiler (in exchange for Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch).

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:28 AM on August 03, 2005

Nazzie is still a 'Nuck. Modano, still a Star. Straka becomes a Ranger to placate Jagr. Yesterday was nuts. Niedermayer to decide today.

posted by garfield at 09:05 AM on August 03, 2005

That's cold,, so cold. Anyway, how huge is Pronger to the Oil! Pretty good pickup if you ask me. Brewer has long been overrated in my book. I think Calgary had the best day yesterday, though. Amonte and McCarty for practically nothing. And it looks like they've just re-signed Iggy. Things are looking up in Alberta these days. Still waiting for the other Canadian teams to make a splash...

posted by Succa at 10:32 AM on August 03, 2005

My thoughts on the Pronger deal are here (shameless link). How about that pay cut for Bobby Holik? That reduction ALMOST makes the lock out worth it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:35 AM on August 03, 2005

I guess I'm not as dumb as I thought PONI'S PREDICAMENT While restricted free agent Alexei Ponikarovsky remains unsigned, general manager John Ferguson said the young winger remains in the Leafs' plans for 2005-06. "Nothing is done at this point," Ferguson said. "But we are anticipating he will be part of our club

posted by garfield at 09:43 AM on August 26, 2005

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