Cliff Fletcher was not lying when he said that there would be big changes to the Toronto Maple Leafs. So far this summer, Fletcher has bought out Darcy Tucker, and put Kyle Wellwood and Andrew Raycroft on waivers.
Fletcher is also currently trying to get Bryan MacCabe to wave his no-trade clause. If Fletcher can not get MacCabe to wave his no movement clause before training camp, it has been reported that Fletcher will tell MacCabe to stay at his home in New York.
Also the Toronto Maple Leafs have granted the Montreal Canadiens permission to talk to Mats Sundin about a contract. Tucker,Wellwood and Raycroft will not be back this season. Should Sundin sign another contract with the Canadiens, and MacCabe is told to stay home, that's potentially five players that will not return to the Leafs.
As a Leafs fan not one of those moves disappoints me. I will break down why I'm not sad to see any of these players return below.
Darcy Tucker- His age is starting to show, he is starting to loose his feet, he has also been recently struggling to put the puck on the net. The first season after the lockout, there was not one shift that Tucker played that every player was aware that he was on the ice. The way he plays now $3.5 million a season is just to much in the new NHL.
Kyle Wellwood- The Leafs depended on this player to much and they paid for it. It seemed like he was injured every other game with some sort of nagging injury. Wellwood had potential to be on of the most dynamic centers in the game.
You could say that the Leafs ruined his career. Despite injuries, he had the speed and the moves and he played defense in his own end, which is what the leafs desperately need right now.
Andrew Raycroft- One of the most inconsistent goalies in the NHL. He was set to make $2.2 million next season. Through 19 games Raycroft won only two of them. So that adds up to 1.1 mill for 1 win. The Leafs can’t afford him when Scott Clemensen or Justin Pogge can come in and do a bang up job as a back up.
Mats Sundin- Made the Leafs good enough to get a bad pick in the entry draft. Sundin was one of the best captains in the game right now. But the Leafs are looking to rebuild, in skill level and in age. Sundin is just too old to have around a team that is looking for a younger style.
Bryan MacCabe- Hell of a point shot but $7 million is too much for a defenseman who can’t play defense. To me it was Tomas Kaberle that really made MacCabe shine on the pp. With the next contract that he signs he won’t be making any where close to $7 million.