Near the end of the season, on my personal Blogspot Leafs From Rivers, I kicked off a series of posts discussing predictions of how the Leafs would settle with their restricted free agents (RFAs). Now that all of them have signed contracts, I wanted to take some time to review how I did.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to complete posts in time on Joshua Leivo and Morgan Rielly, so they are absent from this list. The way I structured each post was I gave an optimistic, realistic, and pessimistic outlook on how the situation might settle, in order to make it feel less “crystal ball”-ish. All the individual posts are linked below so if you’re looking for some detail on where I got the numbers, or if you want my take on quick player analyses on each of those players, please take a look.
Nazem Kadri: My “realistic” contract was a 1 year $4.1M contract, and the Leafs gave him a 6 year, $27M contract ($4.5M AAV). I don’t think I did very well at anticipating what the Leafs wanted from Kadri at the time. There were trade rumours circling and I wasn’t very confident that Kadri was part of the Leafs’ long-term future. They proved that he was by giving him 6 years of term. I was within 10% on the AAV which is pretty good, but the term was obviously way off. In fairness to myself, my “ideal” contract was 4 years at $5M AAV so that would have been much closer.
GRADE: C- (Reminder, these grades are reflective of my predictions, not how the Leafs did)
Stuart Percy: While I think that the decision to not qualify Percy was sensible (as I outlined here), I was definitely not expecting it. I didn’t even include it as my “pessimistic” option for him, so clearly I was caught off guard. My realistic case was that the Leafs would not bring Percy back, however, suggesting that he might be traded at the draft. The contract he eventually signed with the Penguins for 1 year and $575k was also way off my “ideal” and “pessimistic” re-signing estimates at $900k ideally and $1.2M pessimistically (read about what I was thinking there in the post, I promise it makes some sense).
Colin Smith: Once again, I was caught completely off guard by the Leafs deciding not to issue a qualifying offer. The Leafs, instead, convinced Smith to join the Marlies on an AHL contract. This doesn’t preclude Smith from getting an NHL contract along the lines of what I suggested (1 year $600k realistically), but clearly the Leafs disagreed with me that he had shown enough to earn that contract.
Sam Carrick: Finally, I got something right! The writing was pretty clearly on the wall that Carrick was not a part of the Leafs’ future, not earning a call up throughout the prospect-carousel that was the post-trade-deadline Maple Leafs. He was not issued a qualifying offer from the Maple Leafs, which was my “realistic” option in the post.
Frank Corrado: I was along the right lines with Corrado. The Maple Leafs settled outside of arbitration on a 1 year $600k contract. My realistic and ideal options were the same length at $900k and $700k respectively.
Garret Sparks: Sparks had a good stint with the Leafs, enough that I thought he might earn a backup role next season. It seems the Leafs aren’t going in that direction, with the Enroth rumours floating around. Sparks signed for 1 year at $575k (two-way deal). My realistic was $650k one-way, but my ideal and pessimistic were both two-way deals at $700k and $825k. Not too far off, but still not great.
Connor Carrick: Given that Carrick is still in “prospect” territory, I really didn’t expect a 2 year deal for him. He signed for $750k in each of those 2 years (one-way deal), showing the Leafs really want to develop him into a regular roster player. My options were all 1 year in length, at $750k, $700k, and $900k, which were definitely very close.
Peter Holland: I was 100% certain that Peter Holland would be traded. I didn’t even both to explore contract numbers, only looking at potential trades. He ended up signing with the Leafs, outside of arbitration, for a 1 year, $1.3M contract. I clearly missed the mark here. That said, I still think some of the trades I suggested are interesting enough to justify giving this one a read.
Scott Harrington: Instead of trading Holland and signing Harrington, they signed Holland and traded Harrington. Whoops. Still, my contract estimates for NHL-level salary are pretty close to what he signed for in Columbus (1 year $632,500 two-way contract), thinking $600k, $750k or $875k. However, all of these were one-way deals, not expecting Harrington to stay in the minor leagues next season.
Martin Marincin: Marincin is the most recent signing on this list, and was the last episode of the series. He signed with the Leafs for a 2 year $2.5M contract ($1.25M AAV). My ideal and realistic estimates were both two year deals($1.5M AAV and $2.2M AAV), so I think I was pretty close on this one. Didn’t really expect the AAV to go that low, however.
Going into this, I thought I did pretty well. I envisioned giving myself a B grade overall, before I looked into the exact results. However, after really digging into it, I don’t think I did well at all. My wins were easy wins, and my failures were far off the mark. I’m going to give myself a C overall this year. I hope I’m able to do the same series next season, and improve on my analysis.