Call me Cliff..

Call me Cliff…

What I’m going to do is write what I believe a shrewd and smart GM would do with what the Leafs have and then draw conclusions.

Trade 1:

To San Jose

Nick Antropov (~$2 million)
Andrew Raycroft (~$2 million)

To Toronto

Steve Bernier (~$.500)
2rd Rounder


Thomas Greiss. The name should be enough persuasion, but that aside the Sharks need a quality backup. They are a team that can go deep into the playoffs, and if we look at the teams that have gone far the past years, i.e. Anaheim (Giggy, Bryzgalov), Ottawa (Gerber, Emery) and Carolina (Gerber, Ward), playoff success is not determined but helped by having a quality backup. Now I know that Leaf fans hate Razor, but he is still a pretty good tender when he is on his game, and taking him out of the limelight of Toronto to San Jose can help him out, and it will provide San Jose with a good backup. They also get a huge force in Antropov, who would be one of their leaders in points if he were to join the team.

The Leafs get rid of salary (Raycroft) and get back a quality young player with some big time potential, and a 2nd rounder in a deep draft. It may seem like the Leafs aren’t getting a lot back but think about the money saved (4.05 against cap) it is worth it.

Salary Cut for Leafs

4.05 million (Bernier is a RFA)

Trade 2:

To Detroit

Darcy Tucker ($3 million)

To Toronto

Tomas Kopecky ($.500 cap hit)
3rd Rounder


Detroit gets a playoff warrior in Tucker. He will add some grit and heart to a team that has all the talent it needs.

The Leafs get rid of a fan favourite, but also 3 million over the next three years. They also get a young player in Kopecky who has some scoring potential, and a 3rd rounder.

Salary Cut for Leafs

2.5 million

Trade 3:

To Chicago

Pavel Kubina ($5 million)
4th rounder

To Toronto

Tuomo Ruutu ($1.875 cap hit this year, RFA this summer)
Martin Lapointe ($2.4 million cap hit, UFA this summer)


The Chicago Blackhawks get that puck moving top 2 D-man they have been looking for. Now Leaf fans may not see this quality in Kubina, but not too long ago his was arguably the top defenseman on the Cup winning Lightening, so he is definitely a proven player. The hawks have some good young defensemen and he will add some veteran leadership to a young defense corp. Something the Leafs didn’t need with three other seasoned players on the team. Chicago is also looking to get rid of Ruutu based on future cap restraints and other players that will overshadow him. Also they get rid of Lapointe to match salaries. They also get a 4th rounder

The Leafs get rid of Kubina, and get a young player with a lot of potential, enough said.

Salary Cut for Leafs

5 million (Minus future Ruutu contract if they choose to sign him)

Trade 4:

To Calgary

Mats Sundin (5.5 million UFA this summer)

To Toronto

Dion Phaneuf (Under 1 million RFA this summer)


Don’t go crazy!
The Leafs get Phaneuf, a great defenseman and a future superstar.
Calgary loses a HUGE part of their future. The problem that they are facing is because of salary constraints and UFAs this summer. This is the year the need to go for it. By getting Sundin they get one of the best players in the league to play with Iginla on the top line. This just screams cup potential for a top line. The Flames still do have a good defense with the likes of Regehr, Warrener, Aucoin and Sarich. But still why would Calgary give up so much?? In short this summers salary problems. Lets say the salary cap is 54 million dollars. Here is how they will look:


Iginla – 7
Tanguay – 5.25
Lombardi – 1.817
Primeau – 1.4
Nilson – 1.0


Aucoin – 4
Sarich – 3.6
Warrener – 2.5
Regehr – 4
Eriksson – 1.5


Kipper – 5.83

37.897 million dollars in salary for only 11 players (including goalie) and already over 15 million on defense. They have about 15 million in cap space left.
They need to sign atleast 8 more forwards, 2 d-men and a goalie. They have big free agents this summer in Huselius, Langkow, Conroy, and Yelle. That is a huge part of the Flames offense. Even if they don’t sign any of these players they need to secure themselves half of a roster for the next season, and some scorers. The long term 6+ million dollar contract Phaneuff will want just won’t fit into their cap. Unfortunately he needs to go, and the flames NEED to win now. If needed the Leafs can throw in Stralman so the Flames get something out of it other than a rental.

Now these are just ideas, not to mention if anyone wants McCabe I’d even take Samsonov, so there is still more that can be done. The Leafs end up shedding a lot of salary by doing this, and dont kill themselves with a complete rebuild. Tell me what you think and really give it to me if you think I’m a fool.

22 Responses to Call me Cliff..

  1. curtman96 says:

    No way in hell Calgary trades Dion Phaneuf for Sundin. It would have to be more like Sundin, Kaberle, Steen, a 1st round & 2nd round draft pick. Even then it is unlikely.

  2. lafleur10 says:

    sorry to break the news to you but calgary will keep phaneuf!they will get rid of tanguay,huselius or langkow if it means keeping phaneuf!!this kid is the best young defenceman in the game!!!once in a generation type of defenceman!so i hope as a habs fans point of view you don't mind me  saying that!!but it is nice to dream!!!

  3. scout says:


    they're supposedly building so of course
    they'll throw in ist and 2nd pick
  4. careyprice31 says:

    hey lafleur10 do u agree with me that everything was going good up until i saw sundin for phaneuf. Comeon lefs fans wake up why the hell would sutter trade one of the best defencemen in the league for a rental?

  5. aj_furf says:

    Even as a Leaf supporter I still need to agree with the comments above.  There's no chance we can get Phaneuf for Sundin.  Calgary will do whatever they need to in order to re-sign him.

    That being said, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Sutter was testing the waters with other GM's, just to see if someone is willing to shoot the moon for Phaneuf.  Also, in response to the comment above, Calgary would be stupid not to trade Phaneuf for Sundin-Kaberle-Steen-1st and 2nd rd picks.  That comment was a blatent over-exaggeration. 

    I'd be surprised if Tucker could fetch that much in a trade.  He's been a shell of the fiesty player he once was.  I have to imagine he has some lingering injury that he's trying to play through.

    The Chicago trade seems very realistic.  If the Hawks are willing to eat his salary, he'd be a very good addition to their roster, and the Leafs desperately need to off-load some of their big contracts.

  6. B-leafer says:

    There are a lot of rumors out there as to whether Sundin will or will not be traded where he might go if he is. I gotta say that from all the Sundin trade talks that I'm hearing, all the experts have one thing that they agree on….trade talks do not even begin unless Sundin agrees to resign 1-3 yrs. Unlike last yr when Nashville and Altanta were desperate….no such situation exists this yr in the league (Crosby & Heatly are serious but both should return before the playoffs).

    I know that I have been supporting the trade with Sj for some time now but given the above scenario I'm actually thinking ANA mighut be better (for both teams). If Anaheim really wants Sundin they might have to make some space for him bus sending some of the load our way (approx 2-3M). Most of ANA roster is pretty good so think that we can def get someone good back.

    Also to compensate for that fact that they will be getting a franchise player/superstar long term (if Sundin signs an extn with them to facilitate the trade) then we could force ANA to trade EDM's #1 pick which is guaranteed to be a top 10 pick (remember deep draft this yr). This would also ensure that the Leafs have 2 top 10 draft picks.

    I also hear that CHI might be interested in McCabe (I dont understand why unless they feel that they can make up the 6 pt defecit and make a run in the playoffs). I say the Leafs should try to swing it so they can get rid of Kubina but if not still go for it and try to get 1st rounder or at worst a 2nd for him as it should still be a top 50 pick.

    To Ana: Sundin
    To TOR: Cond 1st rnd pick (EDM) and/or Kunitz/Perry/DiPenta/Carter/Beauchemin

    To CHI: McCabe/Kunbina
    To TOR: 1st rnd pick or Sharp/Ruutu/Keith/Seabrook

  7. lafleur10 says:

    hey careyprice31 i agree withyou 100%….like i said the leafs fans like living in a fantasy world!!there is no way in hell calgary will ever trade phaneuf not for sundin or anybody!

  8. morrissey says:

    Frankly you won't get jack squat for Kubina & McCabe, both are grossly overpaid with restrictive contracts and have several years left on them. It would be a major success for Fletcher to move those 2 for a bag of pucks just to unload the contracts. See Theodore for Aebischer and come back to reality.

  9. shakrmakr says:

    I wouldn't give up Kaberle for Phaneuf. The Leafs would be paying WAY too much for Phaneuf.

  10. BrianColangeloNHLGM says:

    Boys, I realize that it sounds crazy and far fetched, but I'm just providing you with plausible ideas, and if your saying 3 of the 4 sounded good, then atleast realize that these are ideas.
    Crazy trades do happen in this cap era, you really can never say never.

  11. lafleur10 says:

    not that often they do!!unless you are dealing with mike o'connell and darryl sutter isn't mike o'connell!!!

  12. curtman96 says:

    You are completely delusional. Dion Phanuef is a Franchise Player, Kaberle is just a little better version of Stralman. Oh wait, you wouldn't trade Stralman for Nik Lidstrom either.

  13. leafmeister says:

    Great article! Until the Sundin trade, there is no way in hell Calgary gets rid of Phaneuf. If Sundin goes to Calgary I can see Boyd 1st rounder and Backlund. Other than that good article.

  14. ericthered1961 says:

    Take any combination of Leafs you like-NONE of them would come close to making up for the loss of Dion Phaneuf to that roster- Smoke another one dudeness.

  15. ericthered1961 says:

    curtman96-AGREED!! I would trade ANYONE from my woeful Leaf roster for either one of those players and I would GUT that roster for either.

  16. ericthered1961 says:

    curtman96-AGREED!! I would trade ANYONE from my woeful Leaf roster for either one of those players and I would GUT that roster for BOTH.

  17. arigold says:

    Although very unlikely, Calgary is becoming increasingly worried that Phaneuf will not resign by the end of the season, and will be exposed to a huge offer that as a restricted that they do not want to match.  Faced with this possibility, they will probably keep him to make a run at a cup, but will lose him this offseason.  Poaching restricted free agents will soon become a regular happening, and Phaneuf will be highly sought after.  The highest possibility though is that Calgary will want to keep him until the end of the season, but will also want to go after some big talent to make a cup run.  I can see them parting with picks, as well as a player like Lombardi, Boyd, Nystromm or even Regher if the price is right.

  18. DJTOKid says:

    If McCabe is grossly over paid then what would you call Hamerlik? or Mckee?

  19. morrissey says:

    First off, don't compare a UFA contract to to McCabe's, UFA's always command higher salaries because they are open to competitive bidding. Second, I'd call Hamrlik vastly superior to McCabe, I've had plenty of occasions to view both thanks to the CBC's Leaf fixation and RDS own broadcast of every Habs game locally and it's no bloody contest kid. McCabe on the Habs would be the #5 dman at best.

  20. DJTOKid says:

    whats with the stutter?

  21. DJTOKid says:

    By the way McCabe was about  week or two away from being a free agent when he was signed, and i'm pretty confident he would have gotten 6 million plus on the open market.

  22. morrissey says:

    One team making a dumbass offer at 6 million to McCabe does not mean that he is worth it nor mean that you should go and match that with a preemptive signing. See Sheldon Sourray for further enlightenment. Toronto's defense is among the highest paid and worse performing in the league, keep arguing that they are not overpaid, because you are really convincing.

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