Joe Yerdon

Suspensions will affect Toronto’s salary cap situation


Last night’s line brawl between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres will see repercussions come down against players on both teams. One thing Toronto’s front office won’t care for much is how it’ll affect their ability to do business.

The Leafs are looking at losing David Clarkson for 10 games for leaving the bench to fight John Scott. While that was noble of him to do that, his big, new salary cap hit will stay on the record while he sits.

That goes the same way for any player who is suspended as well and as Chris Johnston of Sportsnet shares, both Cody Franson and Mason Raymond may suffer for it.

Franson has been sitting out in a bid to get more money from the team in negotiations and that won’t be happening for the defenceman in the near future. Raymond will have to sign at a bargain price, while adding Franson will be less of a priority with cap space so scarce.

The salary cap aspect of the impending action makes this very awkward for Toronto. Coach Randy Carlyle even recognized this after the game in reference to Clarkson saying he, “made a mistake and now we pay for it.”

That they will and now GM Dave Nonis will have to get really creative through the opening part of the season.

PHT Morning Skate: The day after fight night in Toronto


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Things got a bit busy last night, didn’t they? There’ll be more to come about all the shenanigans that let loose in Toronto between the Maple Leafs and the Sabres. In other, less punchy news:

The Lightning are looking to provide more of a family atmosphere for the team and that doesn’t mean having clowns roaming the stands. (Tampa Tribune)

Pittsburgh’s Jeff Zatkoff is ready to seize his opportunity to be Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup now that Tomas Vokoun is out with a blood clot issue. (Penguins)

Kyle Okposo is shaking off an eye injury he suffered on Saturday night against the Devils. (New York Newsday)

Coyotes 2013 first-round pick Max Domi is still battling for a spot to make the team this season. (AZ Central)

One thing that may come of last night’s fights are even more difficult salary cap issues for the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Sportsnet)

Finally, Buffalo’s Ryan Miller summed things up in a way Ron Burgundy would understand via Twitter.

Thankfully, no one got hold of a trident.

Lupul (back spasms) set to make preseason debut tonight

Joffrey Lupul is about to get his first taste of preseason action.

Lupul says he’s ready to roll for tonight’s preseason game in Toronto against the Buffalo Sabres. He’s missed the previous four thanks to a case of back spasms. Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post finds out Lupul is champing at the bit to play.

“We’ve put in a lot of hours this week, and I’ve done some stuff on my own in shooting, and I feel good,” Lupul told reporters after Sunday’s game-day skate.

Leafs coach Randy Carlyle added Lupul is “110-percent ready to play” which means the Leafs will have a great idea of just how ready to go he is.

Lupul’s health has been an issue throughout his career thanks to a myriad of misfortune.  Three years ago, a bacterial infection kept him out of action and nearly derailed his career. A tricky back should be nothing compared to what he’s already been through.

Tortorella: Schroeder has bruised foot, doesn’t trust Edmonton x-rays


One of John Tortorella’s recent trademarks is his desire to have players block shots. As Vancouver Canucks forward Jordan Schroeder found out last night, that can be pretty painful.

Schroeder blocked a Nail Yakupov slapshot in the second period of Vancouver’s 5-2 loss to Edmonton. It was his first game back since having his shoulder operated on this summer.

Some were worried he broke his foot, but as Ben Kuzma of The Province reports Tortorella had other issues.

“He had x-rays but I’m not so sure about the machine,” said Tortorella. “We’ll wait until we get home and right now it’s a bruised foot.”

I’m sure there’s a joke to be made here about Tortorella not trusting technology and some wisecrack about Twitter, but I got nothing for you.

As for Schroeder, he’s gunning for a job as the Canucks’ third line center. Any further setbacks like this won’t do him any favors in trying to stay full-time in the NHL.

Sharks sign ’13 first-round pick Mueller, send him to juniors

Mirco Mueller was San Jose’s 2013 first-round pick, 18th overall, and now he’s officially in the fold.

The Sharks announced they signed Mueller to his three-year, entry-level deal and are sending him back to his junior team, the Everett Silvertips of the WHL.

Mueller was the WHL rookie of the year last year after putting up 31 points, second-best amongst rookie defensemen in the league. After getting a chance to show the Sharks what he’s got early in camp, he’ll head back to his junior team to continue his development.

As it is, San Jose’s blue line corps didn’t offer much hope for competition to start and Mueller would’ve needed to be other-worldly in his play to stick around. At 18 years old, he’ll be just fine back in Everett.