Because It's The Cap: Toronto Maple Leafs

Shawn Reis
May 22 2016 10:01AM

Over the next month, we at NHLnumbers are going to be taking a look at where each team in the league currently stands based on what we learned from them last season, and where they realistically can and should go this summer with the resources and cap space they have.

Leafs Twitter has been ablaze in recent weeks about what the best practices for the team would be this summer.  Should the team try to sign Steven Stamkos or not?  Should the team trade up or down with their second first-round pick?  What defensemen should the team go after?  How about the goalies?

I can't give you any definitive answers there, but what I can hope to do is clear the picture up considerably.  In taking a closer look at what the Leafs have both hockey-wise and salary cap-wise, we can begin to better understand what the Leafs both can and should do to help the team not just next year, but even more importantly, in the many years to come.

Let's begin.

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
May 20 2016 05:00AM

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Everyone wants Tyson Barrie, when putting value on draft picks goes wrong, is Mitch Marner NHL ready, Jets have assets to trade, coach talks Canucks struggles, Flames will have to trade for a goalie, is Oilers 4th overall pick undervalued, all kinds of draft news, playoff hockey and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.

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2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Finals Preview: St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks

Scott Maxwell
May 15 2016 11:28AM

The biggest story of the West has been the parity in this year's playoffs. The Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks, well known elite playoff teams, have all been bounced in the first round, while known chokers in the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues are the two remaining teams in the playoffs. So the question remains: which team will choke now?

No, that shouldn't be the storyline for this series. The Blues and Sharks are two very excellent, deep teams that have finally conquered their demons to get this far. The winner is going to be tested, as whoever comes out will not leave unscathed. It's a war of attrition, so may the deepest team win.

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Draft Pick Value and the Leafs' Stake in the Rest of the Playoffs

Shawn Reis
May 14 2016 12:00PM

There's at least one former Leaf on each of the four remaining teams in the NHL playoffs.  But the Leafs have a little more stake in what happens the rest of the way than just that.

You all know the Leafs own Pittsburgh's 1st-round pick in this year's draft courtesy of the Phil Kessel trade.  By now you've probably heard that if San Jose can reach the Stanley Cup Finals, the Leafs  get the Sharks' 3rd-round pick in 2018 instead of a 4th-round pick as part of the James Reimer deal.  The Leafs also own the 6th-round pick of the Blues in this year's draft thanks to last year's Olli Jokinen trade, which you might've forgotten about.

But just how much value do the Leafs get out of a different playoff result for each of these teams?  How much-added value do the Leafs get in Pittsburgh losing in the Eastern Conference Final versus them winning the Cup?  What happens to the value of St. Louis' pick if they were to lose out now or in June?

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2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Cam Lewis
May 13 2016 02:19PM

It’s been said that the second round series between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins was realistically the true Eastern Conference Final, thanks to this whole goofy division seeding thing in which the first and second placed teams in the conference have to meet in the second round. But to be fair, the Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t really a batting practice, pre-Stanley-Cup-Final team either, as we’ve been by the way they handled the Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders with relative ease. 

Even though, really, you’d expect getting by Washington to be enough to advance to the Final, the Lightning certainly belong in that same class as the three elite teams in the East, so I doubt this is going to be a cake walk. 

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