Thanks to Elliotte Friedman and 32 Thoughts for reminding me that January 1 is the first day that pending UFAs on one-year deals can sign an extension. He mentioned that he doesn't think anything is imminent with Tyler Bertuzzi. This makes sense because the Leafs need to sort out William Nylander first.

That said, here are the eligible Leafs:

  • Tyler Bertuzzi - $5,000,000
  • Max Domi - $ 3,000,000
  • William Lagesson - $775,000
  • Ilya Samsonov - $3,550,000
  • Martin Jones - $875,000
  • John Klingberg - $4,150,000

If the top name isn't imminent, the bottom name is never getting a contract in Toronto for any money. But what about Martin Jones?

You know what can waiver-proof a guy? Term. And beyond that consideration, he's done more than anyone had a right to expect. If he wants another year, why not do it now when it's most tactically useful.

William Lagesson could do with a reward for also rolling up and getting it done.

Of course there's a pair of other pending UFAs to consider:

  • Bobby McMann - $762,500
  • TJ Brodie - $5,000,000

Brodie seems totally necessary to the Leafs and McMann, frankly, should be just on the roster from now on. But again, Nylander has to come first.

The Leafs might decide to just go dark on contracts until the season is over. That's usually their way. But I can't help but think that gambling on Jones for another year is a low-risk roll of the dice.


Yesterday Canada beat Germany at the WJC in the last preliminary round game, one the meant nothing to Canada. Even a loss would have left them in second place. Germany and Norway finished last in each group and will play one game on January 4 to decide who is relegated.

All four quarterfinals are on Tuesday, January 2. Slovakia plays Finland at 6:00 am, Canada plays Czechia at 8:30 am, USA vs Latvia is at 11:00 am and Sweden vs Switzerland is the final game at 1:30 pm. All times Eastern.

The winners are reseeded for the semifinals on January 4.


The first ever PWHL game is today! The preview will be out this morning, and the pregame show is at noon. Broadcasters will be listed in the preview for you, but it's free to watch via streaming in the entire world.


If you were totally under a rock, the Leafs waived Ilya Samsonov yesterday, which means the waiver news and attendant Leafs press release will happen IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GAME. So they can just do their goalie stuff without me.

Ilya Samsonov on waivers

Oh, wait, yeah, there's some game outside today... hmmm. When is that on...

Winter Classic more than just an outdoor game for Golden Knights’ Marchessault
The ice will be a touch sticky on New Year’s Day and Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy expects a few pucks to get lost on the darker-than-normal centre ice logo.

That article does not tell you when it's on! But it seems to be scheduled for 3 pm Eastern. Note, these games sometimes get delayed for weather or unexpected sun in the sky reasons.

This WHL trade is a great big deal, apparently, and I mention it only because this is Fraser Minten's team now. I leave it to others to understand why this Swedish player is a superstar.

Blades complete New Year’s Ever blockbuster acquiring superstar Suzdalev from Pats - Saskatoon Blades
Saskatoon, SK – The Saskatoon Blades beat the clock before midnight on New Year’s Eve acquiring Washington Capitals forward prospect Alexander Suzdalev (’04) and a 2025 sixth-round pick (REG) from the Regina Pats. Headed Regina’s way is rookie forward Zach Moore (’06), import defenceman Samuel Barcik (’05), rookie defenceman Dayton Deschamps, a 2025 fourth-round pick (SAS),…

I had thought I might do a sort of state of the blog report today, but there's too much going on. Some other day.

Happy New Year Everyone!