The SBN Mock Expansion Draft was held last Thursday and the results have been revealed. Our mock General Managers were Gabe Desjardins of Behind The Net and James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail who drafted for the newly incarnated Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques respectively. James, being a Leafs-centric writer now, selected Colby Armstrong and Jean-Sebastien Giguere. That leaves the Leafs light one established NHL goalie and one established NHL forward.
The $9M increase in cap space is great as it gets the team down to $50.4M. However, the extra space is only as good as the Leafs employ it. The remaining UFA goalies list is actually hilarious. I would not promote any of the goalies in the Leafs system because they need the development time. In terms of forwards, the decision is much less straight forward.
After the jump, I'll share my picks and then you can go nuts with hypotheticals.
Considering how well things worked out for the Leafs the last time they scooped up a discarded Ottawa Senators' goalie I think Ray Emery would be an interesting option. The starting job is clearly Jonas Gustavsson's to lose in this scenario but it would be good to have a guy that could theoretically step into the starter's role if need be. Ther only other palatable option is Jose Theodore. Ultimately, this would probably be the best fit. Theodore's run in Washington would have made it pretty clear that he was no longer a # 1 option but if Gustavsson struggled, based on last year's play, he could handle the load until Gustavsson recovered.
Last year's cap hit: $2.925M
Blurr wrote the definitive post on the possibility of bringing O'Sullivan to Toronto. He'll be making about $1.3M over the next two years after being bought out this summer so he could come cheap and would likely be looking for a chance to re-prove his worth. He would give the Leafs an offensively inclined player that could do well on a sheltered secondary scoring line. Having said that, I wouldn't sign him.
Potulny can play both wing or centre so he'd give the Leafs' some flexibility. He was a positive force in terms of moving the puck up ice. His scouting report reads: "Has great hands and goal-scoring ability at lower levels. Is a smart player with or without the puck. Owns a nose for the net that cannot be taught. Can play either center or wing."
Dawes' buyout is one of many signs that Darryl Sutter has no idea what he is doing. Scroll through his Corsi results (any of them really) and the conclusion is that he gets the puck going in the right direction. He'd be my pick to sign for a similar deal. Added to the buyout and he'd be making about $1M.
My main thought with these three is that they are cheap enough to be competition for the kids and so that it wouldn't be the end of the world if they were replaced. Competition would hopefully be increased via signing these guys.
Now, the tables are turned. Who would you guys sign? Would you go with Bill Guerin? Or just promote two kids?