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Marleau’s Deal Is Expensive But Smart

Marleau’s Deal Is Expensive But Smart

So the Leafs finally made a splash in this year’s free agency with the signing of Patrick Marleau. It seems like every July whatever we do, ends up being a colossal fuck up. The name of the game in free agency is ‘who’s throwing their future down the drain?’. The Leafs have a bad track record of signing guys with big money that never pan out. Names like David Clarkson, Tim Connolly, Jeff Finger, and Jason Blake should make you fucking cringe. The Shanaplan is still in full effect and some are wondering why the hell we just signed a soon to be 38 year old to a 3-year deal at 6.25 million. Is this an overpay? Yes. Is this an aging player on his decline? Yes. Is this a terrible deal? No. At least I don’t think so.

Sweet Lou may be old fashioned but the man can grease a good deal. Some are crying Ryan Clowe 2.0 and you must be out of your mind to think that. The Marleau deal is front loaded. Meaning he will be paid 8.5, 6 then 4.25 in his last year. Not only is most of the money paid in his first two seasons but a large chunk of it is signing bonuses. After July first on his last remaining year, Marleau will only be owed 1.5 mil at a cap hit of 6.5.

Why is this significant? Well by year 3 of this deal the Leafs are going to have to sign Mathews and Marner. With a cap hit of 6.5 on a 41-year-old this would not bode well for our situation. Marleau was also given a full NMC meaning he would have to waive that to be traded. So how is this not a fuck up?

Possible Year 3 Scenarios

1) We trade him back to San Jose where he will retire or play his final season for the Sharks. This is a win for both parties. The Leafs may have to eat a bit of salary depending on the Sharks situation but I don’t think Marleau would put up a fight going back to San Jose.

2) Marleau knows he wants to retire and we trade him to a low spending team looking to hit the cap floor (Vegas, Ottawa, Arizona, Carolina etc.). The Leafs can send Marleau to a team looking to boost their cap without actually spending any money. That’s a 6.5 million dollar cap hit at the price of 1.5 million dollars. It might take a bit more convincing and we may also have to send a complimentary draft pick. But the Leafs are going to be a win now team at that point anyways so hoarding picks will not be our strategy. Marleau is retiring anyways so waiving his NMC will not matter.

3) Marleau is still playing high caliber hockey and we trade him to a team and retain bit of salary. This is not ideal, the cap might be super tight but I’m sure it would be manageable. He would also have to waive his NMC.

4) Marleau insists on playing and refuses to waive his NMC. Well, Lou has a one-way ticket to Robidas Island. Unfortunate, but very unlikely.

Chill The Fuck Out

Shanahan, Lou, Hunter, Dubas and the Babs have turned this franchise around. The Leafs are far ahead of schedule on this rebuild and from performance alone, I have absolute faith in this management team. It’s hard to predict what will happen but to think they haven’t thought this deal through would be completely asinine. The deal is CLEARLY constructed to be movable in its third term and whether they have a handshake deal with Marleau or a master plan to move it before it’s a hindrance, they know exactly what they are doing.

So instead of crying about the money as if it were coming out of your pocket, be happy we signed a veteran presence. Marleau still has some gas left in the tank putting up at least 50 points in his last 2 seasons. He can skate with the best of them and hasn’t missed a game since his 09 season. He is a perfect fit for this young squad and whether he is worth the 6.25 or not, the Leafs without a doubt just got a lot better. I for one would much rather celebrate this as a win now move as opposed to being worried about what “could” happen. So relax and get excited about this upcoming season you fucking jagaloons.


Jamie Scott is a photographer, writer, comedy fan, and an avid sports enthusiast. When he isn't traveling the world you can be sure to find him talking sports and enjoying the company of his amigos. Jamie is always keen for a laugh and he's got the perspective to find something funny in everything.

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