Changes To Come In LEAFland!

Are there changes to come in Maple Leaf country?

Their very well could be in the wake of the Olympic debacle. Everyone knows that the Toronto Maple Leafs are in trouble. What else is new? But what we don’t know is what is going to happen for the future. All we can guess is that changes are looming for the LEAFS organization, maybe moreso than just the players.The Leafs who have been lukewarm this year at best are on the playoff bubble for the first time since the arrival of Pat Quinn. Only this time their pocketbooks will not help them, and the problems that face the Leafs are not unlike those that faced team Canada at the Olympics.

Like team Canada Toronto has repeatedly over the years maintained an aging squad, consisting of supposed goal scorers, players who never seem fast enough, and a uderachieving defense core, not to mention taking stupid penalties at critical moments. No where else but in Toronto do we celebrate a loss, making excuse after excuse as to why we didn’t win despite the claim that they played some of their best hockey. Sounds familiar.

The leafs have on paper a reletively good team. As always their is mixed reactions as to who is staying, who is going, and who is coming in. Leafs fans are notorious for stary-eyed dreams of blockbuster trades and finger-pointing, however one fact remains, Toronto has not had the returns in the playoffs that we boast about.

The bottom line is this, Toronto does not have a squad that could even make a Cinderella story run to the cup finals, and it lacks the core guys to do it. Overall, there is a general system failure, and it starts with Pat Quinn.

Pat Quinn, the other unpopular PQ in Canada, is a loyal guy. Thats admirable. But Toronto’s cup dream are being dashed because of this. Like Team Canada, the Leafs core squad has remained similar over the years. Even the one chance at the begining of the season to do a “tax-free” overhaul on our club turned into a joke as the leafs did little but resign the same players for higher price tags than they are worth. Refusing again to give young guys a chance until the old guys go down or sadly underproduce.

The looming danger in the leafs making the playoffs is that things will most likely remain status-quo. If they don’t make the playoffs then big changes may come. Early specualtion is that Pat Quinn will be let go as he has seemingly lost the dressing room in Toronto and may never have had it at the Olympics. He doesn’t like dealing with developing players and in the new era NHL he will have no choice. His time has come in Toronto and as most people believe on the international stage too. the question is who goes with him?

The owners took a shot with JFJ. He has not been so bad, but his days are numbered leading up to the playoffs and that will likely mark his remaining time with the club. Who knows, with Quinn gone he may not run in to as much trouble acquiring some younger fresher legs for the team which is still in need of speed and mobility. The other hopeful is that he does not resign players over the off season to salaries that will strangle the club under the cap. McCabe as phenomanal as he has been offensively for us this year is a prime example. He has been hot and cold over the years but a high price tag could hurt us more than a trade or not re-signing him, just ask Pittsburgh about Sergei Gonchar.

Now is the time for the usual suspects to come up in trade talk. First and foremost for me would be Jason Allison. While Toronto has immense depth up the middle I feel that Allison has performed well as he always has on a points-per-game basis and should be retained with a similar contract to what he has now, unless he is dealt for good young prospects or 1st or 2nd round draft picks. If you look his numbers really aren’t that bad.

Which brings me to Sundin. We will never trade Mats so please people just stop. However his sun is setting and he needs to prepare to move aside for a younger leading man. thats not to say Sundin will not produce, just that age is beginning to ware on him.

Lindros is too good a natural talent to let go, and is still able to single-handedly change the course of a game, however he needs people to work with. I like many Leafers believe that he would be good with Sundin but that will not happen as long as Quinn is around. These two could be dynamite together if they were aloud to stay together under a coach who doesn’t switch lines every other game, even when they work.

Tucker, I am sorry must go. He still has flashes of brilliance but will not become the player leafs fans want him to be. He is no longer being an instigator as it is too costly in the new NHL era, and despite his new “scoring” role like he had in the minors he is jsut not producing. Trade him while he is worth something, he is still young enough to gain interest.

Kaberle is resigned and is performing well, and actually shooting in the new NHL, so he is a moot point.

McCabe would be great if he doesn’t come with such a high price tag.

Domi. I love him. Good leader. Nice guy, Great teammate. But he has to go, there is no room for him in the new NHL. Under a CAP can you really afford to maintain a fighter that doesn’t produce. BTW how many fights have you seen this year anyway? Nuff said.

Belfour. It has been sweet but it is time to say goodnight. Trade him to another team as a playoff rental. He is washed out in Toronto and may revive his career in another city as he has done before. Get what we can for him, Telqvist isn’t doing any worse. Although he will not cut it long term either, so a new #1 goalie needs to be found or sit around till next summer when the Luongo lottery happens, if he lasts that long.

Antropov is a bust, I had high hopes but let him be someone elses problem.

Czerkawski, O’neil, Berg, Belak all can be replaced with younger players at very little risk. Toronto has HAD the prospects but let them go in trades, its time to get some back. If you don’t know what I mean than see McCauley, or better yet Brad Boyes for examples.

My last quirk on players is Coliacovo. He has been stale for us, trade him so that we can get someone proven to live upto potential or at least a draft pick for him.

I may catch some flack as my opinions may be different than others, but they are judged fairly. The rest of the League has moved on, its time for Toronto to do the same, otherwise we might as well wait another 40 yrs.


15 Responses to Changes To Come In LEAFland!

  1. PaulK123 says:

    Good article, I agree with everything! But you forgot to say this, re-sign Lindros.

  2. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    shit article. you’re good at pointing the finger, but bad at coming up with a solution

  3. GoalJudge says:

    you right I did forget, i was assuming that would be done as he does not seem to want to go anywhere else and has not had his chance here. For what we are paying him, hwy not keep him, if for nothing but to through checks and have another big body to compete with Philly. Or heaven forbid this rediculous Bertuzzi rumour coming true to see him and eric on a line together. Philly would be hard pressed. unless they hit lindros in the chin

  4. Bummer12 says:

    Quinn is first to go before anything can be salvaged. Tucker is needed. I dont care what you say, his hustle and grit are the only reason the leafs are worth watching. Tucker is a keeper who does more than just getting under peoples skin. He scores, fights, hits and is turning into a leader. Would like to see Lindros and Sundin together with either Steen or Poni…and a Tucker, Allison, O’neil line would be alright once O’neil snaps out of his depression. This year should be chalked up to a rebuilder espically with a few of thoes free agents comming up. Build around the youth and look to getting more keeping Allison, Lindros and Sundin.

    Just My thoughts.

  5. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    ok look at this idea,

    BEFORE JULY 1:

    Trades:

    To Nashville: Belak, Khavanov, 5th round pick

    To Toronto: Tootoo

    Nahville will like this one because they need a solid 6th defenceman (they’ve been shifting around a few rookies, but they really only have 5 nhl d-men) And Khavanov an belak dont deserve the ice time they’re getting in Toronto

    To Minnesota: Czerkawki, Wozniewski, McCabe, Allison, Aubin

    To Toronto: Roloston (the foreward), Fernandez, Mitchel, O’sullivan, 2nd round draft pick

    This is a blockbuster deal. Minnesota gets a solid center in Allison (to play with gaborik), a solid goal scorer in McCabe. Minnesota is looking to expand their salary for next year, so thy can afford the price tag that comes with those guys. All o the other leafs in the trade simply wont get the ice time they deserve in Toronto. Roloston is a great goal scorer and a solid winger to play with sundin. Fernandez is a goalie with lots of potential. Mitchel is a great defensive d-man, who can play the top defensive pair (at a modest price too. And all of you icedogs fans know who O’sullivan is. I’m hoping he’ll have as much success in the nhl as he did in the ohl.

    Pick up from waivers: Mogilney

    Trade for draft picks: Antropov

    AFTER JULY 1:

    Retire: Belfour, domi

    Resign the rest

    Sign: Pilar

    and heres next years squad (5 lines, 4 pairs, 3 goalies)

    Roloston-Sundin-Mogilney

    Tucker-Wellwood-O’neill

    Poni-Stajan-Steen

    Kilger-Lindros-Wilm

    O’sullivan-Pohl-Tootoo

    Kaberle-Mitchel

    Klee-Pilar

    Berg-Colaiacovo

    Kronwall-Harrison

    Tellqvist-Fernandez (share starting role)

    Rask

  6. Hoondog2 says:

    I dont agree with the Tucker remark. This guy could be the future captain in T.O. He’s all heart and soul and just starting to mature and figure out how to be a leader.

  7. goose says:

    dear blue_and_white, guess what u dont agree the trade u said about mccabe, so srry and bi?

  8. 92-93 says:

    were you not the guy that criticized others for making plans that got aging leaf players!?!?

    i mean come on!

    So we get Mogilny?

  9. sidleaf says:

    i love the tootoo idea, not really sure if he’d fit in our roster all that well…but hes a good player that i think has fallen off the radar a bit…just gotta convince them that belak and khvanov arn’t as bad as they’ve been playing

  10. Huller says:

    Mats Sundin—stay, the face of the Maple leafs

    Eric Lindros–stay, If Toronto makes the playoffs

    Jason Alisson—stay is doing well with his health, and offense

    Czerkawski–go, he wasn’t given much of a chance to show what he can do

    Jeff O’neill–go, i was predicting that he would get around 65pts this season, i made a fool of myself

    Darcy tucker–stay, he can score, has heart, in the next few he will probably mature more

    Tie Domi–stay, this was a tough decision for me, the only reason i would want him with the leafs is because the fans love, also because he can still hit.

    Alex steen–stay, this will hopefully be with the leafs for a long time, and for obvious reasons

    Wade Belak–GO!, this guy doesn’t fit with Maple leafs future, JFJ please get him outa here

    Chad Kilger–STAY, for know and maby next season, why? plays with lots of heart, good for the 3rd line maby

    Nik Antropov–Go,he isn’t worth keeping at this point, waited to long for this guy to start scoring

    Kyle Wellwood–Stay, is still young with a bright future ahhed of him

    Clarke Wilm–Go, just isn’t good enough

    Matt Stajan–stay i was predicting that he would get more pts than what he has know, but still has a good future ahead of him

    Alex Poni–Stay, is having a great year, reasonable future ahead of him

    Bryan McCabe–stay, Torontos leading scorer hase to stay, sign long term as soon as possible

    Tomas Kaberle–stay, is becoming a great defensmen, got thing he was signed

    Ken Klee–GO, the new nhl isn’t doing it for him

    Aki Berg–Go, Isn’t that bad as people point him out to be, but isn’t to great either

    Carlo Colaiacovo–stay, good future

    Alexander khavanov–go isn’t doning it for me

    Staffan Kronwall–stay, i would keep him for know

    Jay Harrison–Stay, good young defensmen

    Andy Wozniewski–go, meh

    Ed Belfour—Stay/go, if the leafs show that they can make the playoffs than he will stay

    Mikeal Tellqvist—stay, good future, its know or never

  11. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    Wilm is a good enforcer and a great penalty killer, if he’s gone we’ll start using poni and antropov on the PK again, and that will be a disaster. Keep antropov… i’ve got a bad feeling that if we trade him, he’ll become this amazing player on another team. Klee and berg make good 5-6 d-men. steen is playing like shit right now, but hopefully he’ll improve

  12. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    I agree with everything but I wanna keep O’neill, he’s starting slow, but he just needs to stay on the Sundin line, that’ll get him going.

    O’neill gets jack ice time, and is still on pace for 22 goals.

  13. wht_trsh says:

    “also because he can still hit.”

    Domi can’t hit. He goes in for the check, bounces off the guy and falls flat on his ass. Put him up on waivers and send him to the minors

  14. sufferingleaf says:

    When will you Leaf fans wake up.The most overrated player in the league is Sundin.He has never done anything as a Leaf he is averaging less than a point a game for the Leafs,is that a superstar?He CAN NOT make the team around him better like (Yzerman Sacik Gilmour )too name some . He’s had linemates (Mogilny Roberts Neiundyke) still nothing.He will never be more valuable in a trade than now. Lets cut our loses were not winning the cup this year bring back young talent.While were at it ship of belfour too.

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