Caps – Leafs Deal Set to go Down

This rumor has been posted on Spector’s and was apparently suggested by Bob Mackenzie during an interview on a Washington radio station.

The deal that has been suggested by Mackenzie is Lang, Gonchar and Whitfield to the Leafs for prospects Pierre Hedin, Kyle Wellwood, along with Nik Antropov and Tomas Kaberle.
So before all you Leaf bashers come knocking please remember that this is a rumor and it was suggested by Bob Mackenzie (who gets paid to do this,) not The Coach. What I would like to hear from you is what this trade would do for the Leafs.

Without too much discussion on the prospects, none of which currently rank as the top prospect for either team, I will compare the 4 positional players. It is also important to note that if this deal goes down the Caps will decrease their payroll by approx. 5 million per year.

Kaberle vs Gonchar, I like this deal for both teams. Basically Kaberle is a younger version of Gonchar. Size wise, Gonchar has an inch and ten pounds on Kaberle which benefits the Leafs, but of course the problem is, like Kaberle, Gonchar doesn’t use his use his size very well. Offensively I think that Gonchar would be a nice addition to the Leafs, although this could change if Kaberle ever started shooting the puck. At the age of 29, Gonchar is only 4 years older than Kaberle and wouldn’t hurt the Leafs in the age category. I call this one a tie.

Antropov vs Lang. This deal has a couple of benefits for the Leafs. Number one of course is the simple fact that Lang is a proven point getter who currently sits second in the league. I would like to point out however that he is the man in Washington and in Toronto his ice-time and power play time would be diminished as the second line center. At 6′ 2″and 216 pounds, he possesses good size and should be able to take the pounding that is sure to come from the Devils and Flyers come playoff time. For the Caps, they get a very young player with a huge upside. If Antropov could ever stay healthy and continue to improve his skating, he could be the steal of this trade. More importantly for the Caps is his young age and low salary. For the short term I give this one to the Leafs but it could come back to haunt them in the future.

Overall this deal works for both teams, the Caps cut payroll and pick up 4 young players as they continue to build for the future. For the Leafs it basically means that they are making a run at it this year. They are already the fourth oldest team in the NHL and this deal probably puts them at number 2. The deal would give them two incredible scoring lines and a top-notch power play. If it is a case of going for it this year, then I believe that they should also give up a 2nd rounder for Boughner then roll the dice and see how the season ends up.

One final thing, all of these deals and moves will be a complete waste of time if Belfour’s back problems don’t improve!