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In praise of Maple Leafs’ brilliant rebuild

In praise of Maple Leafs’ brilliant rebuild
in-praise-of-maple-leafs’-brilliant-rebuild
A great way to rebuild in the NHL is to do two things: 1) Have the will to be http://www.officialphilliesproshop.com/WOMENS-STEVE-CARLTON-JERSEY.html bad for a while, and 2) Have a lot of money on hand The Toronto Maple Leafs have both. This is now the second summer in a row in which the Leafs have mostly made smart, small moves that probably improve their team marginally in the short term, but will likely have benefits lasting far longer than the contracts will. One must assume that this has a lot to do with assistant GM Kyle Dubas and new team president Brendan Shanahan entering the decision-making process last year, because the Leafs made just a handful of NHL unrestricted free agent signings ahead of the 2014-15 season. These included Stephane Robidas, Mike Santorelli, David Booth and Daniel Winnik were all brought aboard. And if you're thinking one of these things (Robidas) is not like the others, well, please keep in mind that Randy Carlyle was still running the show at that point. Santorelli and Robidas were the only two signed before Dubas came aboard. The Leafs spent a lot of money to be a very Teemu Selanne Womens Jersey bad team last season, but these deals were, mostly, not the reason for it. The Robidas contract is inexcusable — three years and $3 million per for a 37-year-old stay-at-home defenseman coming off a broken leg — and it's especially problematic because he only played 57 games last season, a number that is not likely to improve. But the other three were all tidy bits of business: Santorelli got $1.5 million for one year, Booth $1.1 million for one year, and Winnik $1.3 million for one year. What's important to keep in mind here is that all three were something like advanced-stats darlings whom the traditional scoring numbers never really supported at having a ton of utility, and all of whom were probably going to be looking at show-me contracts anyway. All three drove possession for their various teams pretty convincingly, albeit in limited roles, in the four seasons leading up to that summer, and had often been hampered by injuries. They likewise generated more scoring chances but fewer goals than their teammates, often owing to bad luck (all had PDOs well below 100). These players, then, basically had profiles that scream “value” and the prevailing inefficiency of the NHL free agency market at the time allowed the Leafs to exploit that value. That's three apparently useful, proven NHL players http://www.officialstlouisblues.com/Blue+Patrik+Berglund+Jersey for a combined $3.9 million, with no long-term cap commitment, who suffered bad luck (small fluctuations in percentages, represented by PDO, have a huge impact on goalscoring). They were betting relatively little that these players would prove to be useful NHLers, and all those bets paid off to one extent or another. Relatively to the numbers posted by teammates when they were off the ice, Winnik and Booth had positive possession numbers, Winnik drove scoring chances, and Winnik and Santorelli provided improvements in goalscoring. The value was very much there, and demonstrably so, even as the team spiraled into the shambling disaster the season became. And all these things are important for what Spurs Kawhi Leonard Jersey the Leafs plan next. Because the plan, probably all along, was to wait for the percentages to normalize, and see these positive-possession players become positive-goalscoring players as well, then spin them off when other GMs around the league notice, “Oh hey, this guy is posting pretty good numbers on a bad team.”

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