On today’s episode of Hockey Central At Noon on Sportsnet 590 The Fan, co-host Doug MacLean said he “talked to a guy this morning” with the Leafs about the Mason Raymond tryout. MacLean spoke about how thrilled the Leafs are with Raymond so far in training camp, and then revealed the Leafs already have a deal in place with him, provided he makes the team.
$925(,000), it’s already done. The deal is done at $925.
When they make the decision that he’s made the team, the deal is in place at $925.
You can listen to the segment here (scroll to the bottom of the page where the “Podcasts” section is). MacLean starts talking about Raymond around the 4:08 mark and continues until around 4:42.
It’s obviously important to consider the source of the information, as MacLean isn’t exactly known for his journalistic prowess. Bob McKenzie, he ain’t. But the idea that Raymond’s agent has been talking with general manager Dave Nonis isn’t far-fetched at all. It makes sense for the Leafs to try and figure out how much it would cost to get Raymond locked-up, since they have the Cody Franson contract situation dangling like an anvil over their heads.
I still have concerns about the Leafs being able to get Raymond signed. I thought Raymond might try to leverage his strong play in the preseason thus far to get a richer deal from another team. It would make sense for him to try and get the best deal he can. But then again, he and Nonis have history together from their Vancouver Canucks days, and he may have already decided this is the best situation for him to be in, since he’ll probably get some significant playing time in the Leafs’ top-nine.
If these reports turn out to be true, one year at $925,000 is right around where most figured Raymond would get from the Leafs. An interesting little fact is if the Leafs demote John-Michael Liles to the Marlies that will save them exactly $925,000 in cap space. Coincidence? We’ll see.
If the Leafs demote Liles, they’ll still need to make some more moves to open up enough space to sign Franson. A Colton Orr demotion would get them close to $3-million in cap space total, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen. Darren Dreger of TSN said during an intermission of last night’s preseason game that the Leafs could be looking to “cut bait” with Joe Colborne (he starts talking about him at 3:42 of the video) if he doesn’t establish himself as a key player. I’m not sure why the Leafs would be looking to trade a young, cheap player with some skill who can fill a role on the fourth line, but very few decisions this team makes seem to make any sense.
At any rate, let’s just hope the Franson situation gets resolved quickly, because lengthy holdouts just plain suck for everybody involved.