We Did It!

Peca a Leaf!
That's right, JFJ has succumbed to the combined forces of common sense and fan pressure. According to Kenny Campbell, the Leafs will today announce a deal at 11am to sign hometown boy Mike Peca for one year at $2.5M. The best part of hearing this last night on Sportsnet was that infamous Leafs hater Sean McCormick (Update: Maybe we are having an effect there too. This makes two straight non-antagonistic posts in a row from Seanny.) had to announce the departure of another key piece of the Oilers Stanley Cup run and to Toronto no less. The best part of reading the news was this:

The Peca signing also ends the possibility that Jason Allison will return to the Leafs.

I guess JFJ reads these blogs.

These signings put the Leafs up to a payroll of $42.8M (salary cap of $44M) which leaves very little wiggle room for making any deadline deals if we have any injuries (knock on wood). Although, that $1.2M translates into a much higher salary since the acquired player would have already been paid all his salary save for his last two or three paycheques.

JFJ was doing his best impression of a student cramming by doing most of his summer's work in one day. Here are the rest of the signings that he completed yesterday:

Kyle Wellwood
Finishing 9th in the NHL in rookie scoring (11-34-45 in 81 games) and second on the team behind only Alex Steen has earned Kyle a two-year deal worth $1.75M. That translates into a $875K cap hit per season.

The good news is that the deal is one-way so Wellwood looks to be a feature on the team for at least the next two seasons. He will also have a larger role on the second powerplay unit where he will get to exhibit his passing skills.

Jay Harrison
After a good spell of eight games in which he was +5 Jay is poised to get a shot in the third defensive pairing. I spoke to his brother over the Christmas holidays and at that point it seemed like Jay was tired of Quinn and ready to move on to get a shot. Hopefully this season will see him claim a permanent spot on the blueline.

Brendan Bell
He got the same two-way, league minimum deal that Harrison did. He only got one game in last year during the Great Marlie Defencemen Tryout so I am guessing that this will give him one more year on the Marlies to keep showing the kind of potential that saw him collect 6-37-43 in 70 games last year. He is a fellow '83 so he is still has some time to put in on the Marlies (since D are such notoriously slow developers)

Carlo Colaiacovo
This bit is interesting because Carlo only signed a one-year, TWO-way deal. Previously, he was almost traded as part of the Raycroft-Rask deal for Nick Boynton. And most importantly, he does not feature in my forthcoming potential lines. Three strikes against Carlo means that JFJ will probably continue to shop him around in an attempt to get something for him.

Kris Newbury
File this under "Who?". Apparently, he is "gritty" and a "winger" so maybe this is JFJ's solution to the Sundin Question. Either way, it is a two-way deal so he will have to earn that top line spot.

Matt Stajan
Not signed yet but,

"We've discussed something longer than a year," Ferguson said. "Things are ongoing with Matt and we'll see where it ends up."

I think the 'new' NHL has really suited Matt and look forward to seeing him improve on his 15-12-27 in 80 games (+5!). I am glad to see that JFJ is tying our young centremen to something more than one year qualifying offers. Stajan will be anchoring the fourth line but Maurice will have a lot of high energy wingers to choose from in fleshing out the unit.

JFJ's Plan
Holy crap, this looks like it might indicate a plan:

"We're looking to be a harder team to play against," Ferguson said. "We've added and we're continuing to add to that part of the game."

Generic but at least it is something.

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