Cap-strapped club may find itself revisiting trade talks with Leafs

Hawks are hovering

Cap-strapped club may find itself revisiting trade talks with Leafs

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

Saturday’s win over Washington — and even another tonight against the New York Islanders — won’t likely be enough to alter the course of change with the Maple Leafs.General manager Brian Burke is working hard to recover the first- or second- round pick sacrificed in the Phil Kessel deal, while the NHL’s unofficial trade window of U.S. Thanksgiving is here and cap-strapped teams such as the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to deal.

The Hawks and Leafs were linked earlier this month, but the pending multi-year extensions for Chicago pillars Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and defenceman Duncan Keith have put its management under the gun to create some $2 million US in “tag room” to accommodate the big salaries next season.

Chicago did pick up an extra half-million when forward Andrew Ebbett was claimed off waivers by the Wild, possibly the reason for talks with the Leafs stalling at the critical stage on the weekend. But elements of a deal, or deals, with the Leafs could be quickly resurrected in this environment.

Brent Sopel, a former Burke favourite in Vancouver, is a cash drain on an already strong Chicago defence, making $2.33 million and playing less than 14 minutes a game.

Chicago scouted both Marlies farm games this weekend and assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was also at Saturday’s Leafs-Caps match.

It’s unlikely Chicago would now trade any of the other pieces it needs for a Cup run this year, such as Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg or Cam Barker. But the Leafs, with several players with expiring contracts, still don’t know for sure what’s in their own cupboard with the Marlies.

Centre Tyler Bozak, for example, has just now recovered from a suspected H1N1 flu bug, a strength-sapper that might explain his 10 points in 16 games and minus-5 rating. Until he is 100%, the Leafs won’t know if he can make the jump and possibly centre Kessel.

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2009/11/23/11877756-sun.html


36 Responses to Cap-strapped club may find itself revisiting trade talks with Leafs

  1. the_word says:

    How is this a Hawk's article? No one cares about them.

  2. dumbassdoorman says:

    You are right it really isn't a Hawks article. But, as Leaf fans I am sure we kinda care. I mean if Burke is able to recoup some lost picks and an asset for next to nothing, then great. I am just curious as to what the trade may entale? On the hot stove Sat. night they were talking Sopel and a 2nd to the Leafs, but for what? Also claiming Burke was calling the league offering to eat contracts. Who else might be interested in his offers, I wonder? Time will tell something has to give.

  3. goldman says:

    even after another? like the leafs are going beat the Isles LOL

  4. Wild_001 says:

    Well, the Leafs are near the top of the league in shots per game, and the Islanders are near the bottom in terms of giving up shots, so I would say Toronto has a very good chance of winning tonight.

    …if the goaltending hold sup.
  5. dizon says:

    i dunno.. toronto seems to have a knack for running into hot goalies

  6. DandoEagle says:

    What a gyp!

    Pouilot for a Cam Neely type player I bet thsi comes back to bit Gainey in the butt!

  7. goldman says:

    games are won by goals not shots, if that was so Leafs would be at the top of the NHL not dead last

  8. reinjosh says:

    still having delusions of grandeur on behalf of Latendresse eh?
    both were stuggling players
    both never showed the potential they had
    and both needed changes of scenery
    if you look at it from a purely potential point of view
    you guys won
    Pouilot has far more potential than Gui ever had

  9. the_word says:

    Pouilot is a bust and wasn't that good in juniors.

  10. dizon says:

    61 motherfuhking shots and we still cant win.

    What did i say? We always run into hot goaltending. that or we just cant score for shit
  11. Magleaf says:

    wow…  talk about hot golies

    I hate roloson now

  12. leafmeister says:

    We really do not need Sopel. Our defense is settling down, what we need is someone whose name doesnt start with a Kess and end with an el to score. Seriously, the guy is going to develop Sundin syndrome (being the only skilled player on the team) if he doesnt have someone to play with. Its good to know Kessel doesnt need a high end playmaker to score, but the Leafs definatley need more than Kessel's goals to win.

  13. cam7777 says:

    I think with Kessel in the lineup we can dispel the notion that no one on the team can finish.  We have 3 players on pace for 30+ goals.  On top of that, most of the team has proven they can score in the past.  Stempniak and Hagman have each scored 27 before.  Blake has hit 40 before, but has always hit 20.  Even Grabovski and Kulemin should be good for 35. 

    The team is just really that horribly unlucky…

  14. cam7777 says:

    We need them to score more consistently.  Hagman and Poni are both on pace for 30 + goals.  Stempniak, Blake, Mitchell and Kulemin need to start potting goals more often.  Everyone else is fine.  One or two of those guys can slump, but our team depends on everyone contributuing regularly to keep up – so you can't have all four of them struggling…

  15. dizon says:

    its like the opposing goalies put on the performance of their lives against us.

    leclaire killed us.
    nittimacki killed us.
    roloson definatley killed us.
    who else am i forgetting
  16. Magleaf says:

    Ive noticed that, its ridiculas

    It didnt help tonight havnin toskala pull a shit show and injur himself again.

  17. the_word says:

    Yeah, but the Islanders schooled us in the end, they should patience and made a play to set up a gimme scoring chance. The Leafs just kept pounding the puck on net, its rather obvious, Roloson had a lot of easy saves.

  18. mojo19 says:

    I love Nik Kulemin, I actually love that guy. He does so many things right, soon he's going to start to score too. He needs to play more minutes, and get some PP time, he could be a point per game player within 3 years.

  19. the_word says:

    He`s no Hagman.

  20. Kramer says:

    I heard a rumor Tavares is gonna be in the Jedi council.

  21. Kramer says:

    Other members of the Jedi council posing together in one photograph.

    http://www.padawansguide.com/gifs/council.jpg

  22. zackman13 says:

    i didnt know that some of his teammates were already in it!

  23. mojo19 says:

    True, but like 7 years younger, he's got upside.

  24. KingCanada says:

    Probably…

    To Chicago: Garnett Exelby
    To Toronto: Brent Sopel, 2nd round pick

    Chicago was previously interested in him and he would replace Sopel's spot on the bottom pair.  Not to mention he even saves them cap space this year as well.

  25. KingCanada says:

    Kessel is just the first piece of the puzzle, we will ac*****ulate others.

    Kadri will potentially center his line next year and Im sure Burke will look into signing a big name center in the off-season.  Maybe Marleau or Savard if we are lucky.

    Who knows maybe Bozak starts lighting up the AHL and earns himself a callup.  He is on a 2 points per 3 games scoring basis and he was out with the flu…so let's see if he heats up.

  26. KingCanada says:

    I like this trade…

    To Chicago: Garnett Exelby
    To Toronto: Brent Sopel, 2nd round pick

    If the trade was done today this trade would save them the 2.333 cap hit in 2010/11 but it would also save them 700k cap hit this season if u take into consideration we are approx 1/4 threw the season.  If they wait until 2010 the savings for this season wont be as high.

    Chicago I believe have two 2nd round picks this year if im not mistaken… (CHI 2nd 2010 and CGY 2nd 2010) due to that trade Burke did to re-aquire our own "TOR 2nd 2010".

  27. LeafsLegacy says:

    I hope you mean Grabovski and Kulemin combined, because surely that would be impossible for both of them to score 35 each

  28. LeafsLegacy says:

    I think you might be right, doubtful on point per game, but surely a 50+ point getter a season. At the start of the season I've notice when he recieves the puck in the offensive zone, he usually just dumps it, which as a result would cause a turnover. But lately, he seems a bit more relaxed with the puck and not dumping it as often and actually causing some offensive opportunities. I like him cause he's not a defensive liability, hopefully he pans out his full potential

  29. LeafsLegacy says:

    I agree to an extent. I know alot of Toronto's forwards are not considered legit number ones, but scoring isn't necessarily the answer. I'd be keeping our focus point on the defense. It may be settling down as you say, but turnover gallores for the leafs end up in the back of the net. I'd be pointing fingers at the coaching staff for the lack of emphasis on defensive decision making, coverage and backchecking. Listen to this http://torontosportsmedia.com/toronto-maple-leafs-hockey/gary-roberts-shot-ron-wilson/6711 

  30. LeafsLegacy says:

    good call

  31. clementine says:

    Latedresse isn't even as good as cam right now. You are an idiot. Next you'll be saying this year's aleafs are as good as the 70's Habs.

  32. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Don't worry. I'm sure atleast 20 of those 61 were wonky Jason Blake wrist shots that hit Roloson square in the chest.

  33. mojo19 says:

    Bang on about carrying the puck in, my friends and I were just talking about that during the NYI game. He has a great ability to protect the puck and go wide. I don't know if he has the skills to cut back in, so you could be right about him not reaching point per game potential. But if he could get into good shooting lanes and use that canon a little more, he could definitely be a 30 goal man.

    His cross crease pass to Stempniak was money. Too bad Stemps didn't get that up on one of his three or four whacks at it.

  34. broc says:

    Pass.

    If Sopel's contract expired this season maybe it's a yes. But 2 years of overpaying for a defenceman, when the Leafs are already overloaded in that position, for what will be probably one of the lowest 2nd round picks in the draft… = not worth it IMO. If the Leafs are going to eat salary, they can get better than a 2nd rounder IMO.

  35. KingCanada says:

    Um actually its a very good deal….  It's only one extra year at 2.333 which isnt a huge hit.  It would also leave us with 8 D for next year if u include White (RFA) and Gunnarsson assuming he makes the team.

    So even if the 2nd is in the 50s its still higher then were were picking right now which is in the 60s.  If you want to swallow cap and get a higher pick the cap hit will be much higher.

  36. dumbassdoorman says:

    i will only say this, if they are going to eat a contract make it a big one if possible. Like Campbell, who is actually not playing bad. That way you can hopefully max out your gains. A move like this will also allow the trading of Kaberle. All of a sudden if done right it doesn't matter what happens with the kessel traded picks. Not that i think it does anyway.

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