A New Look Leaf Team…a different approach.
Now that players suggested the last time I wrote and article have been dealt and or acquired, I think there is a very competitive and different approach the leafs could take.
That is the approach of the super-pests of hockey.
I have previously written that we should acquire large and talented players to complement who we already have, such as Bertuzzi and Handzus.
Now that they are gone, I think the leafs can really take the approach of a team of super-pests easily.
In my opinion it would take two small easy acquisitions.
They would be PECA and AVERY.
Peca is UFA. Avery is UFA.
They could both be had for a reasonable price.
Avery for 2.5 or less.
Peca has already stated publicly he would take less money than last year to not only play but to stay a leaf. Probably could be had for a million in late summer.
Now, I was skeptical of Peca when he first came. Never really liked him all that much. But I admit he was silencing my criticism because he did exactly what was expected of him and more, right up to getting hurt. He was even going on a little tear prior to his season ending injury.
Avery whom has shown improvements in the last few years, nearly exploded once he was given the opportunity to play with better players and more meaningful minutes.
Now combine those two with Tucker and Blake already on the team, not to mention that Peca and Blake are best friends. And you have a very condusive relationship, and a team that no one will want to put up with. The leafs may very well be the most penalised team in the league, but that would only be new to them in the post lockout-post Quinn era. It certainly would not be new in the last ten years.
And the leafs would have very good PK once again, and many players that are able to draw penalties from other teams to even things back up.
Combine that will the ability to have a line up of guys averaging more that 6-4 and 220 pnds, when you line up any of Sundin, Antropov, Poni-boy, Bell, Kilger. Now Sundin is almost wasted playing with these guys, but could and did have success at some parts with Poni and Antro. And could be lined up on occasion or PP to really take it to the opposing teams.
Add that to a Defense who boasts:
Gill 6-7 250
Harrison 6-4 211
Kronwall 6-3 209
Kubina 6-4 230
Wozniewski 6-5 221
And that is before you add the top pair of McCabe and Kaberle, or the shifty up and coming White and Colaiacovo.
That could be one troublesome team to play against.
Gamache, Kilger, Newbury, Pohl, Deveraux, Williams, Ondrus, Westrum
Harrison, Wozniewski, Stralman, Belak.
Sub in Harrison ans Wozniewski for extra size, or Belak for an enforcer and your defence is huge.
This is one hard team. They have size and speed, Grit and peskiness.
An adaptable Defense to suit the opponent either skilled and shifty, or large and overbearing.
And they once again have a goalie that can not only give them an edge night after night, but one that can make the big saves, and steal more than one or two games all by himself. This is also a team that would have a deadly PP and a hard fought PK. Certainly not pushovers. They can also score, which is a plus vs. last years troubles. Hopefully Sundin’s bad luck won’t continue.
Maybe not a superstar team, but certainly a team not even Anaheim would look forward too. This would certainly be a new look leafs. Every second that you play against them would be a major piss-off.