Bell, Devereaux and Battaglia Anyone?


We are just past the half way mark and mere days before the All Star break….Deadline dealings will no doubt heat up shortly.  Not all cup contending or playoff wannabe (in some cases “needtobe”) teams will be looking for this years version of Marian Hossa….Many teams will be looking for lower priced, small pieces of the puzzle….vets that can handle playoff pressure or simply more 3rd and 4th line depth to deal with injuries.  We all know about the Kaberle’s, Kubina’s and Antropov’s that we hope Burke can morph into picks and/or prospects….But there are a few vets on the Marlies that I believe the Leafs should consider recalling to see (and demonstrate to potential suitors) if they have anything left at the NHL level that could net more, albeit lower, picks in this years draft.   I’m referring to Mark Bell, Boyd Devereaux and Bates Battaglia.  Bell especially; who apparently has played extremely well of late (read Sun Article by Steve Buffery).  Before you laugh – I know that the league is probably filled with guys like these and that there will likely be very few teams interested in our older farmhands….but why not give it a try?  All three will be UFA’s after the season so it’s our last chance to get any value for them and there is no downside for the acquiring team as there are no long term commitments.  Drafting is a numbers game; especially in the later rounds….there are lots of great stories of low picks becoming good NHL’ers…why not try to parlay one or all three of these guys into late picks?  One might argue that playing these guys will stunt the development of others….Well, for a few games, I see no harm in asking vets like Mayers and Hollweg (who doesn’t play regularly anyway) to sit and sending a guy like Deveaux back down to the AHL for a few weeks.  If you think I’m way off – especially on Devereaux and Battaglia…at least give me Mark Bell. 

Another consideration (and perhaps most damaging to my suggestion above) is the risk of losing these players on re-entry. I’m not an expert on the CBA but after reading the rules (Article 13) I believe all three players mentioned would have to clear waivers if recalled…(someone correct me if I’m wrong).  So, we could risk losing them for nothing.  So perhaps the ultimate question is….is it worth it to attempt to bring them up to demonstrate their worth at the NHL level vs. trying to peddle them based on their AHL performance?  Another option is to focus on other moves and simply let them remain with the Marlies and ride off into the sunset at the end of the season. 

 What do you think?

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January 21, 2009 12:24 pm

great argument. great rebuttle. let us know when you’re finished debating yourself so we know where you stand on this.

January 21, 2009 12:35 pm

LOL…what ever do you mean??

January 21, 2009 1:41 pm

Hahahaha….Perhaps I needed an end statement….I’d do it…why not.

Wannabe Leaf
Wannabe Leaf
January 22, 2009 12:37 am

If these guys are claimed on RE-ENTRY waivers Toronto will have to pay half of their remaining contract.. But I agree. Bring them up they don’t get paid much anyway. If no one claims them and they play well up into the deadline they may be able to get you something in return….

January 22, 2009 1:41 am
Reply to  Coach

Raises an interesting point/question. If a guy is on your roster- you pay his contract and it counts against the cap. If you waive him and send him down, you pay him but it doesn’t go against the cap. If you recall him and someone claims him, you lose him and half to eat 1/2 the payment and it goes against your cap? If you can stick a player in the minors and not have the cap hit….why bring him up (that’s a rhetorical question)….

Wannabe Leaf
Wannabe Leaf
January 22, 2009 5:12 am

Well… In the case of Mark Bell, his contract is 2.1 mil.. So if someone claims him now, your looking at 525 k hit (on the cap) I think. You may want to think about that one. As for the other two guys (Devereaux/Battaglia) their contracts are 600k(150k cap hit). Well worth the risk. Besides, I don’t think the Leafs will have to worry about the possibility of these guys getting picked up…

January 22, 2009 9:13 am

Unless the Leafs want to have cap space available to execute on a deal for picks/prospects that requires them to also be on the receiving end of a salary dump…I don’t see cap space as being an issue…especially with the amount the Leafs have and the number of games left that we would have to pay for the incoming overpaid player.

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