A look at the Leafs’ potential trade targets

You can say this much about Brian Burke: he is not a last-minute shopper.

So while most other teams are waiting for the Feb. 28 deadline to tinker with their rosters, the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager is already taking calls and could be weeks, if not days, from making a deal.

“I have never been a deadline guy,” Burke recently tweeted. “Historically, January is the month where I have been most active.”

Last year, Burke acquired Joffrey Lupul and Jake Gardiner 19 days before the Feb. 28 deadline. Two years ago, he acquired Dion Phaneuf more than a month before the March 3 deadline.

“As a GM, your job is to improve your hockey club. You field those calls 24/7, 365 days a year. But right now, nothing is imminent.” With six weeks until the deadline, here are some players the Leafs might be looking at:JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK


31 Responses to A look at the Leafs’ potential trade targets

  1. dumbassdoorman says:

    I am not holding my breath for any blockbuster moves to be made. I do think Burke will tweak the roster but thats about it. While I like the idea of Ryan, but am more then willing to wait and see if Parise could be had as a UFA(if he makes it there) for no assets. I am still hoping for a horrid 15 game losing streak so we can fire Wilson, lol, not a trade that might save his job!!!

  2. TheLeafNation91 says:


  3. blaze says:

    Just playing the devil's advocate here but since your thoughts seem to be fairly common in Leaf Nation, what if you're all wrong and the coach isn't the problem?

    What do you do if Eakins is promoted next season and the team is actually worse under a rookie coach?

  4. blaze says:

    So far this season coaching changes have not been very successful.

  5. blaze says:

    And also for the record, Eakins 'system' is the exact same as Ronnies. The whole reason Gilbert was fired was so Burke could bring in his guy and have the Marlies game mirror the Leafs game for cohesion from the AHL to NHL.

  6. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Tell that to the city of St. Louis. lol.

    And yeah, I'm on the fence on this one. Granted, on one side, he's been on this sinking ship for three years.

    On the other, when given decent personnel at the Winter Olympics in 2010, he out coached every coach their (Sorry Babcok, but true).

    I still think the players are a huge part of the issue. Though some Leaf faithful have bestowed greatness upon them, I have zero issues in trading Grabovski, MacArthur, Kadri, and Lombardi if it meant an upgrade would make this team better down the road.

    It's easy to forget, finding top-six forwards is probably the hardest part in the rebuild. The lower lines (more likely the third-line) can easily be fixed with cheap vets or up-and-coming prospects.

    So yeah, I trust Burke and know he'll make the correct decision. If it means trading Schenn, whoever, or not to do it.

  7. blaze says:

    Oh for sure a coaching change can have a huge impact, I just don't like how some (many) think it's a foregone conclusion that it will be a good one. I find it funny considering how rookie coaches are all the rage ATM the one by far the most successful was the most veteran of coaches (Hitchpenis).

    My official position on Wilson has been the same since the off-season, make the playoffs you get another year, miss you're fired. Really this just continues with Burkes reputation. If you're a player or personnel you know you'll get a fair shake under Burke. Doesn't sound like a big deal but people in the business are aware of this.

    The Olympic point is a good one, espcially since everyone considers Babco ck the best of the best. Also worth noting is Wilson has yet to have consistent goaltending in his Toronto career. Remember last year love affair for the hottest young coach Guy Boucher? A year sure can change a lot.

    Throwing a rookie coach into the rabid market is also something to be wary of. It's a pressure cooker, wait till the first losing streak. Whoever it is better have thick skin. Even still should the Leafs miss my personal choice remains Eakins.

  8. blaze says:

    If Wilson was Canadian I doubt he'd take this kind of flak. If Fletcher hired Tortorella who is equally arrogant with the media and also will call players out I don't think we'd be hearing the same thing from Leaf Nation.

  9. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I would've preferred DeBoer, Dineen, or even MacLean now.

    In a perfect world, I would love Barry Trotz. No offence to Bab***** or Lindy Ruff, but I'm 1000% confident to say he's the best coach in the league.

    He's built good Nashville teams without every having a franchise forward. Unless you count Paul Kariya, but thats a stretch.

  10. dumbassdoorman says:

    I look at Wilson outside of star players, look at the pk, seldom do most teams use all stars and ours is horrid for a forth straight year. I do not overly care how he is with the media, but i do not like how he continues to throw players under the bus. It is never a coaching problem, just a player problem according to him.

  11. dumbassdoorman says:

    You can have systems that are close even the same but get different results through different people. You always and I mean always hear players who have been on the Marlies talk about Eakins how easy he is to talk to and you can see they love to play for him. You do not see the same reaction for Wilson, some guys you will go to war for others you wont

  12. blaze says:

    It's a fair point. So far I havn't heard of any dissent from the players though. It's a fine line between accountibility and throwing a player under the bus.

  13. blaze says:

    MacLean is my guy, great 'stache.

  14. reinjosh says:

    I'm with dd on this. I'm not really against Wilson being in the face of the media and not being a "media friednly" coach. In fact its one of the things I like the most about him.

    But this is his 4th year as coach and the PK hasn't seen any improvement. He's the one thing thats been consistent through those 4 years. And sometimes coaches just don't fit in a city, just like players might not. I don't think Wilson fits here. 
  15. blaze says:

    Not to say I disagree with you, but there has been one other thing outside of Wilson (who no longer runs the PK) that has been consistent for the past 4 years. Inconsistent goaltending. When was the last time the Leafs had solid tending for a season?

    It's not like they don't work on the PK. Is there any other coach who was dragged ropes onto the ice to really hammer it home? Your best PKer should be your goalie and it hasn't been in Toronto since the lock out.

    Would you anti-Wilson guys fire him mid-season?

  16. reinjosh says:

    I actually disagree with that. January to April last year we had pretty consistent goaltending. And besides, from that point till now we've had two young guys with little experience. Not something I blame them for.

    If Phoenix can make Mike Smith into a legit starter, surely Ron Wilson could improve the PK to between 15 and 18. 
    No I blame Wilson for this. Goaltending has changed, players have changed, PK coaches have changed. Only Wilson remains.
    And yeah I would fire him if they continue to drop. I never understood Burke's idea that a coach shouldn't be fired mid season. It's no different than a trade and if they continue falling he should be fired. No, a trade isn't the change this team needs. It needs a new head coach. 
  17. blaze says:

    Dave Tippett is a trap man extradonaire. I very much doubt Leafs fans want Toronto to start trapping and you can say goodbye to Kessel and Lupuls production. Mike Smith is an average goalie coming into his prime on a trap team it's not a big surprise really.

    The one stretch we had consistent goaltending the Leafs we're a top 5 team in the league points wise, what does that go to show you. Greg Cronin is in charge of the PK not Wilson, and he was only hired this off-season. The Leafs are one of the better teams in the league at 5on5 which is what Wilson is running.

    What will you do if Eakins comes in and the team is worse? The only way I would fire Wilson mid-season is if the wheels completely fell off and I mean all the way to the bottom, and even then I mean whats the point at that point. Bring you're guy in on the off-season and give him a clean slate with his new team. Not get adjusted on the fly as rookie coach in a pressure cooker market.

  18. reinjosh says:

    I want no part of Ryan Malone of Derick Brassard. Malone's contract is too costly and really, he's not much of an improvement on Colby Armstrong. Brassard has potential and sure he's playing well recently but I don't see his top line potential. We need a guaranteed top 6, not a potential one anymore. So please let those rumors die. We need to take a step forward, not one sideways with greater potential to move backwards rather than forwards.

    Carter I'm not exactly a huge fan of. yeah he can score but we have enough wingers like that. He isn't a top line center and as we're seeing with Nash, he doesn't exactly work well with top line wingers. I'd give it a shot if the price were less than what Columbus gave up, but at the same time that contract is scary.
    We all want JVR and Getzlaf, Ryan too. If the price is right, go for it I say.
    I think Stastny is an interesting option. He's suffered from lack of ice time but he would get that here. His contract is big but it could be managed. He could hit 80 points again with Kessel and Lupul. He may not be 100 point Getzlaf but he is a top line guy. If he continues to struggle he could be available for cheapish.
    I'm interested in Ruutu as well. Big bodied guy, relatively cheap contract, has playoff experience and can hit with the best of them. I'd love to see him be a Leaf. Plus he might not be a massively expensive piece. 
    How would people feel adding Ruutu and Stastny over Getzlaf (I'm doubting he's available now)? Both might be had for cheapish pieces and both would significantly improve the Leafs. 
    Maybe something like Aulie, Lombardi, MacArthur for Stastny? And 2nd, Ross/Holzer for Ruutu?
  19. reinjosh says:

    Well then I was wrong but come on. Wilson has been in charge of this team for 4 years. He's been giving multiple different pieces, multiple new assistants and things still aren't improving. When do you stop making excuses for teh guy? I'm sorry but this is getting ridiculous. It's his job to take the pieces we have (which are playoff pieces) and make them into a playoff team. Burke got him new PK pieces, new PP pieces, new pieces and still nothing has changed. Yeah he's not directly running the PK but you have to think he would think, "hmm this isn't working out, maybe we should try something no".

    No, I'm done hearing excuses for Wilson. If we miss the playoffs this year, he has none left. He should be fired at that point. 
  20. blaze says:

    Oh I agree, that's been my stance since the off-season. Playoffs or bust, he makes it in he gets a year. He misses hes gone.

    The thing is though they have tried things on the PK there's only so much you can do with the players you have. The went with an agressive 2-2, to a passive 2-2 back to an agressive 2-2.  They could try a 1-2-1 but barely anyone does that. They beat the PK to death in practice, did you see the size of the ropes they had on the ice to really illustrate to our young guys the size of the perimeter they have to establish. It's not like Wilson is ignoring the problem.

    Goalies need to battle harder and our young PKers (which is quite a few them, watch how many penalties Schenn and Gardiner kill) need to continue to mature and gain experience.

  21. dumbassdoorman says:

    Agreed but he needs to put a system in place to help them, PERIOD!!! When he arrived from SJ, he talked about how he was going to fix the special teams as he had so many times in the past….lol…good job Ronnie. FAAAAAK I would rather have Ronald Mcdonald coaching this team

  22. blaze says:

    lol cmon DD I always enjoy and appreciate your comments and insight but there very clearly is a system in place. What system would you prefer them to use?

  23. blaze says:

    The even spent a good chunk of practice, practicing skate placement when in shooting lanes to minimize deflections towards the nets and more towards safe areas. That's getting awful nit picky.

  24. dumbassdoorman says:

    Picking up up the guy in front of the net alone is the system I would love to see them play, right up there with the only one dman per side of the crease chasing the puck at a time system lol…..I don't like wilson obviously, and he is a good coach, i just don't think it is for this team. But you do have some good points as well.

  25. dumbassdoorman says:

    I think Stansty would be a great pick up and love Ruutu….he plays hard man….you know who I would love though is Tim freakin Gleason, he is a beast and can go with the big boys…….read Bruins in check….plus he is a very smart player.

  26. dumbassdoorman says:

    Hey does that mean you didn't like my Ronald McDonald idea? lol

  27. dumbassdoorman says:

    This is exactly why we need a guy like Gleason who can play…. http://youtu.be/vof4zI72rTE

  28. reinjosh says:

    Getting all three would be sweet.

    First line center, top 6 winger with size and grit, and a mean dman with playoff experience? Sure I'm down. 
  29. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Gleason's skill level is very underrated.

    Lest we forget that play in game 7 vs NJ.

  30. MystifoLeafs says:

    Gleason comes in. Who is shipped out? Ideally I would like Komisareak but someone on the D line would need to be shipped out.

    I would also love this if we acquired Statsny, Ruttuu (Misspelled name me thinks.) and Gleason Would make us tougher. (Change Statsny to Getzlaf and our toughness problem is a thing of the past.
  31. toronto77 says:

    Since Wilson is shaking up the lineups and has finally decided to split lupul and kessel apart. than if we trade for bobby ryan, maybe our lineups could look like this:

    Ryan – Bozak – Kessel
    Kulemin – Grabovski – Lupul

    Next season I would put Colborne on the top line and Bozak either lose him or put him on the third line. Even if we get Getzlaf were not going to win the cup this year, so I don't understand why Burke would want to give up a big part of our future for him. It will cost less to get Ryan and just have him and Kessel on the wings and wait one more year for Colborne at a very cheap pirce because he is already in the system.

    Ryan-Colborne-Kessel have the potential to do some damage, maybe not as much damage as Lupul-Getzlaf-Kessel, but for the price I would rather go after Ryan.

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