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

Conclusions

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

Conclusions

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)

Conclusions

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)

Conclusions

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:

Forwards

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

Defense

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

Goal

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.


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