Cox: Bold moves could avert Leaf disaster

Dumping Vesa Toskala, Jason Blake would free up cap space, allow boxed-in Burke to go after roster upgrades

The Leaf GM does appear to be a wee bit boxed in, partly by the lacklustre state of his team after four games, and partly by the Kessel deal.
Burke can’t afford to let the season go downhill and make it simply about developing the team’s young players. Finishing at or near the bottom without a first-round pick to cash in on would be a major blow to his prestige.

Moreover, he can’t trade more futures in the form of draft picks or prospects to get immediate help without attracting intense criticism, plus he has no cap room with which to work.

Burke also won’t have the option of dumping players for picks – tanking – if the season doesn’t improve because Boston owns his first-rounder.

Boxed in, you see.

So what options are available?

For now, Burke has to sit tight, at least for tonight on Broadway and tomorrow night at home against Colorado. If not, he could start calling up youngsters from the Marlies, but a decision was made that they weren’t ready for the NHL and rushing them now would be counterproductive.–cox-bold-moves-could-avert-leaf-disaster

85 Responses to Cox: Bold moves could avert Leaf disaster

  1. blaze says:

    I forgot about Manny, that's a great idea bring him in cheap and dump Toskala to wherever.

    Assuming of course MacDonald doesn't cut it but he did seem capable on the Islanders last year.

  2. mojo19 says:

    Ya but his point about Toskala being a Price calibre goalie is true. Good call lafleur, I agree with you, Price and Toskala are trash, can't disagree with that. Wouldn't want either of them playing for my team, lets just leave it at that.

  3. mojo19 says:

    Ya go with Joey, if he's not looking great after a few games then dump Vesa and sign Fernandez. I always liked Manny and hey, he can't be any worse than Toskala, can he?

  4. the_word says:

    It was a jab in that thread, not a comment on your character.

    Beachemin has looked bad, I'm not giving up on his career while he struggles. Though he hasn't been the same since his injury though.

  5. blaze says:

    With even solid goaltending I still think the Leafs D easily has top 10 potential.

  6. mojo19 says:

    I hope he picks it up, that's all I have to say about him. I expected him to be really solid back there.

    Another problem is that Schenn and White have kind of struggled. That one goal tonight when Schenn turned it over behind the net, I was like….. WTF!!!

    Hey maybe we can flip Kaberle to Boston and get our pick back this year…. then we can just tank. Is that what you all want? Sorry tangeant a little bit here, i'm kind of tired.


  7. leafy says:

    I don't think anybody predicted Beauchemin would be bad, so I would never blame Burke for that one.

    Finger has played pretty well. I've always been critical of him.

  8. lukeleim says:

    Waive Jason Blake – send to the Toronto Marlies

    vs. Colorado

    Viktor Stalberg – Matt Stajan – Alexei Ponikarovsky
    Niklas Hagman – Mikhail Grabovski – Nikolai Kulemin
    Jiri Tlusty – John Mitchell – Lee Stempniak
    Jamal Mayers – Rickard Wallin – Colton Orr

    Tomas Kaberle – Mike Komisarek
    Ian White – Luke Schenn
    Jeff Finger – Garnet Exelby

    Joey MacDonald
    Vesa Toskala

  9. nordiques100 says:

    lets not call the kessel deal the worst ever b4 this kid plays a game.

    that isnt the trade that's resulting in this funk. and no, i dont beleive it will be a bad trade. to call that a bad trade now would be stupid and ignorant.

    the rebuilding wasnt derailed by one deal.

    its the blakes, ponikarovsky's, hagman's, stajan's of the world who have done nothing who are holding back rebuilding.

    bozak, hanson, tlusty, they're the ones being held back because we have these crappy contracts we have to play.

    gustavsson's injury. thats a setback. so is stalberg being hurt.

    we have good young players. the problem is that there is no structure, cohesion or chemistry with this bunch.

  10. lukeleim says:

    Bruins suck dude. The most overrated team in the NHL… bold predictions like the Bruins returning to their dominant form… your only embarrassing yourself. This being said, they should still make the playoffs. They do have a lot of depth; but they're not a contender like you think. Leafs are worse I agree, but they will not finish in the bottom five. I predict 11th in the East, 24th in the NHL.

  11. mojo19 says:

    Poni has played really well the last couple of years. He's really developed into a solid NHL player.

    I won't stand idley by while you bash Ponikarovsky! I wish more of our 4th round picks would turn into guys like him! He's pretty much had the best +/- on the team every year for 5 years now.

    That being said, I agree with your overall point.

  12. nordiques100 says:

    pony has been one guy though who has been afraid of going ot the net, using his size or taking a hit to make a play. i was there live on sat. the kid goligoski just overpowered pony in a puck battle in the corner on one play. its makes me sick.

    he has done ok, but sadly he is one of the top forwards on the team and has doen poorly so far despite 3 goals.

    he needs to get dirtier. the leafs just dont have any other big bodies willing to do anything.

    sadly it all rests on kid stalberg.

  13. mojo19 says:

    I like it. That third line is just as good as the first.

  14. LeafsFan90 says:

    You sir are why most people think every leafs fans are complete idiots. 7-2 loss, Kaberle NO points and -2 🙂

  15. cam7777 says:

    Beauchemin is turning a corner now though, and was an even on the plus/minus tonight.  the one thing burke was right about, is that bravery is contagious.  so far, there's nothing to make our good players play with any sort of bravado or swagger.  We need a couple skill guys who can put the puck in the net (Bozak, Tlusty, Stalberg), a big bruising top six forward that can also score (Hartnell, Byfuglien), and a goalie who can stop the puck.  All of these things are achievable, and I am sure that once they are in place, the play of Beauchemin turns up big time.  Once he learns Wilson's system and has some competent players around him again, he can probalby go play with Kaberle and make a lot of offense happen again as well.

  16. mojo19 says:

    Well, I'll agree with you that he doesn't use his size and maybe doesn't play to his full potential offensively.

    However he is our best defensive forward, and one of the most underrated defensive players in the NHL. Please go to and check out the leafs top plus minus players every season since Poni has been on the team. Its unreal how year in, year out he's the top guy, or maybe number 2 a couple times.

    On another team, a contending team, he could be be a great support winger. I think he would fit great in Detroit, San Jose, etc.

    I hope he can play more physical and be more of a force, but I still think he's a very good player.

  17. mojo19 says:

    lol Cam, you love Byuflen and Hartnell. I love Artyukin. But I agree with you, I would love to have these guys on the team.

  18. mojo19 says:

    No I'm not. All this means is I have to make another prediction for tommorow night:

    Leafs over the red hot Avs. Take it to the bank. Leafs 5, Avs 1. Tomas Kaberle 3 points.

  19. mojo19 says:

    Besides, no one thinks every leafs fan is a complete idiot. Where are you getting that from?

  20. lafleur10 says:

    Truculence without skill is merely "suckulence!

  21. lafleur10 says:

    7-2 rangers destroying the laffs,worst start to their season in 90 years.They just keep on making history

  22. lafleur10 says:
    Hahahaha look at the comments on TSN! "Taylor Hall will look great in the Bruins uniform"They're criticizing Burke and want the Bozak-Kadri-Hanson line back to play this seasonThere's some comments about trading Toskala and how Joey and Gustavsson are the goalies this team needs…PATHETIC!
  23. lafleur10 says:

    make that 7-2,how about that great defence that we heard about all over tsn and the other laff loving media all summer.especially ' maple leafs fan mcguire! put that in your pipe mcguire and smoke it!

  24. lafleur10 says:

    That's why I say as bad as it gets in Montreal…"At least we are not the Leafs!"It's like death and taxes…good thing Burke shored up the blueline this year eh

  25. lafleur10 says:

    LOL I have a feeling that poor Toskala will get shipped from TO ..Toskala + 2012

     1st Round pick for Huet!!

     this is a deal that makes sense for the laffs!

  26. mojo19 says:

    Maybe the Habs could trade Price for Toskala, it would be a slight upgrade for Montreal.

  27. lafleur10 says:

    Komisarek looks like he is freakin' lost in space. I know the Habs are having a tough time without Markov, but Komisarek is Cone-us Maximus without him!

  28. lafleur10 says:

    sorry but price is twice the goalie that toskala is or ever will be!

  29. hockey_lover says:

    They will need to enjoy those pics because thus far, the big bad godly bruins are sucking the might teet.

  30. hockey_lover says:

    Seriously dude .. get help.

    I hate the Leafs and growing up in Montreal, I love the Habs (although Im a Pens fan).

    But seriously .. you're just acting like a child here. Besides, your team isnt exactly lighting it up either. 4 out of 10 points, more goals against than goals for, PP and PK in the bottom half of the league, Price not in the top 20 in the main categories.

    Take it easy. Yes, the Leafs stink right now. Will they get better? Meh, who knows. But until your own team is lighting up every night, I wouldnt say too much.

  31. mojo19 says:

    bahaha! He's not even as good. Big flop 5th overall.

  32. broc says:

    I dunno, if Toskala is your starting goaltender.. being above .850 save percentage aint gonna cut it. You'd have to have a minimum of .900. Anyone with an .850 % is usually considered pretty bad.

    Also, Dominic Moore signed with Florida did he not?

    Blake is worth keeping to see if he can regain a bit of his scoring touch. He's very hot/cold… he started out slow last year but picked it up the last third of the season or so. After this season, his salary is lower than his cap hit, so maybe cash strapped teams might consider him more since he'll save them money.

    I don;t know why the Leafs traded a draft pick for J Mayers in the first place. I know they needed toughness then, but geez..

    The Leafs will probably target Kovalchuk and/or Marleau in the offseason if they happen to still be available. They probably won't be though. Too bad the Leafs never tried very hard to acquire J Bouw's trade rights.. Calgary got a steal with that trade. Highway robbery!!

    Maybe the Leafs will be able to pry Nathan Horton from Florida eventually?

  33. broc says:

    Disaster for the Leafs… imagine if they finished last overall (which they're WELL on pace to do). Burke will be immortalized with Harold Ballard. AND THEN THEY STILL GIVE ANOTHER FIRST AND 2nd after that!! Brutal.

    Burke clearly tried to make the jump too early with the Leafs. No team in the bottom third of the league should be trading their 1st round pick away (let alone TWO 1st rounders, AND a 2nd!?!?). Kessel probably wouldn't crack 30 goals with the leafs all season anyway.

    Why wouldn't Burke have at least top 3 protected those 2 first rounders? Is his head that humongous that he couldn't have possibly thought, "maybe it's a good idea to protect these picks in case our team implodes". This Kessel deal could handcuff the Leafs from rebuilding for years. And catapult the Bruins to a top team for 10 years.

    Maybe since he and Chiarelli are friends, maybe Burke has a verbal agreement or something that in case this deal turns out to be a money hat for the Bruins, he'll feel bad for his old pal Burke and give him a good deal back for 1 of his picks! LOL probably not!!

    Leaf fans better hop Kessel scores at 30-40 goal pace to climb out of the cellar.

  34. LuKeScHeNn95 says:

    yea i guess your right about rosehilll and i totally agree on bringing up deveaux for mayers, because mayers isn't that good and deveaux has a bette rplus/minus rating.

    Also i think finger has been playing very well of lately and it think hes a keeper this year and van ryn; i didnt even know he existed until today, lol what are we ganna do with him cuz it looks liek his career may be over now wit his knee.

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