There is little heavy-lifting required for the Toronto Maple Leafs to cut their roster down to 23 for next weeks season opener.
Nazem Kadri is expected to be placed on injured reserve which will allow Toronto to keep an extra body on the roster while he recovers from a knee strain.
The Leafs will keep eight defensemen, with Matt Lashoff likely the odd man out. Meanwhile, close tabs will be kept on both Keith Aulie and Jake Gardiner to ensure they can handle the load.

Aside from the few decisions remaining, Toronto is keenly interested in adding another top forward.
The Leafs lack experience up front and are in the market for a player with some size and a track record of making an impact.
The Leafs are willing to sacrifice two younger guys to make this deal happen, but see nothing imminent and predict such a player won’t spring free until at least November when teams have had a chance to assess their talent, or have stumbled out of the gate.
Toronto intends on being patient, but ready to make an upgrade when the right player comes along.

27 Responses to Dreger – Via TSN.ca – LEAFS LOOK TO UPGRADE

  1. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Burke has a million assests this year.

    Real question is which ones are you willing to give up.

  2. leafy says:

    The Leafs have to be careful. The last thing they need is to give up a young player that they regret giving up later on.

    If a deal makes sense, by all means do it. But don't force things too much and make ill advised trades.

    This is why 3 or 4 years ago, I advocated that the Leafs should build gradually through the draft. As you can see, building via trade is more difficult than many people realize. Especially in the salary cap era.

  3. reinjosh says:

    I don't really think we need to worry about that. Burke and Nonis have shown an incredible ability to make smart trades and their scouting has been tremendous since they have been with the Leafs. Nonis was fired because he wouldn't trade Kesler, I don't think we have to worry about potentially trading away a star player. 

    And I don't with your second point. It's really no different than if a team has too many high draft picks and they don't all make it. Someone got squeezed out and developed wrong because they had too many other prospects. And just because a player succeeded on another team doesn't mean they would have on Toronto. Sometimes trading a player away and having that player explode elsewhere is something that is best for both parties.
    I have a feeling this is what's going to happen with Kadri. He won't get the chance he needs and he's going to get traded and explode somewhere. Its not necessarily a bad thing if we get a player out of the deal that will help us win. I say this as probably the biggest fan and advocate of Kadri on this site. 
  4. LeafsFTW17 says:

    Oilers placed Gilbert Brule on waivers, I have always been a fan of him but I don't know if he fits on the leafs roster right now but I wouldn't mind having him, what do you guys think?

  5. Leafs_Wallace says:

    So we don't have to give up Gunnerson for him?

  6. mojo19 says:


    And pass on Brule I think. I mean, he did finally start to get it all together a year ago. I just checked out his stats he had 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 pts n 65 games. Not bad, but he's like 5'10" and 180lbs, so he's small, and he took a big step backwards last year. So I'd have to say no.

  7. mojo19 says:

    I have to say, i really think there is something to this rumour. Similar things have been reported on various websites, twitter, in the paper, on the radio. Haven't heard anything about it on TV yet, but that usually doesn't happen until things heat up a bit.

    But I've read enough to believe that Burke is at least making calls right now and figuring out where everyone is at.

  8. 93killer93 says:

    Rumor. Leafs talking to Phoenix but not for Turris, for Shane Doan. 

  9. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Mojo says no…But I say yes to Brule.

    For one, he is still 24 years old and we have seen players like Antropov or St. Louis not find their game until later on in life.

    Number two, his contract is done at the end of this season. Not much risk.

    Lastly, can we not forget that he was in two high pressure teams to perform. For Columbus, tons of pressure to be that first-line center for Nash…And when he was traded to Edmnonton, tons of pressure from the Oilers to be a good player.

    In Toronto, he can hide behind Kessel, Kadri, Connolly, etc. and maybe find his game again.

    Worth the risk, along with Turris.

  10. LeafsFTW17 says:

    If he's on the team, where would you put him on the roster?
    I like him and I do think he can become a 20+ goal scorer but I just don't see the need for him.

  11. LeafsFTW17 says:

    Like someone said, Burke has a ton of assets that can be combined to get a stud player.

    Toss in a couple D men, 2 of(Franson/Gunnarsson/Aulie/Komisarek/Lashoff),
    Marlies prospect.

    Those combined plus a draft pick is certainly better then what we gave to get Phaneuf, Aulie and Sjostrom so it would make sence if we could get another "Phaneuf" in a block-buster.

  12. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Well, theirs tons of areas. For starters, Kadri's out, questions about Connolly, Grabovski were not sure about.

    Theirs nothing to lose. That's the point. Toronto, especially center wise, needs to jump on every opportunity possible to grab a decent C.

    What's wrong with a former highly rated prospect that has lost his way a bit? Nothing.

  13. TheLeafNation91 says:

    So…The deal would have to include Lupul/MacArthur and something or no point?

    I would not give up Kadri/Colborne/1st rounder or a highly rated prospect for a 36-year old. POINTLESS

  14. mapleleafsfan says:

    You also have to find the situation too. Not like there are phaneufs available at any given time. But I agree we have enough assets now to put a pretty decent package together without crippling us much. 

  15. leafy says:

    One rumor on Twitter is the Leafs are discussing Kyle Turris but want Shane Doan included in the deal.

    Another rumor has the Leafs getting Hemsky and a pick for Lupul and Komi.

    Plus several people say something coming soon, likely this week.

  16. reinjosh says:

    I should add that obviously I'm not saying the potential for a bad trade isn't there, but given Burke's past history, its probably the last thing we have to worry about. 

  17. reinjosh says:

    No thanks. Why do we need to keep adding question marks to the center option? The guys a bust. He isn't going to get any less pressure here so why would that help.

    Plus having an extra spot on our 50 contract limit is more valuable than Brule is. 
    The upside is there but I'll wait for someone else. I don't care for him or Turris. 
  18. reinjosh says:

    Interesting. We know that Burke and Co are looking.

    I'd take Turris and Doan easy. I'm no fan of Turris but getting Doan with him? Sure thing. 
    Hemsky and a pick for Lupul and Komi? Sure lol. I'd love that deal. Dump salary on Edmonton and get a pretty high upside guy IF he stays healthy? Damn straight. No chance Edmonton does that deal though. Thats a long ways away from the 1st and Schenn that Tambo was reportedly asking for at the deadline. Komi to Edmonton is interesting though. He would actually be a good veteran fit there. Only issue would be if he wants to go there. 
    My mind says a deal isn't likely but who knows? Maybe we help out a team with forward roster issues (to many forwards) and defense issues (to few)?
  19. 93killer93 says:


    Doan, Turris, Hanzal
    Lupul, Bozak, Boyce, 2nd
    Gunnarsson, Mueller, Komisarek, 1st
  20. MystifoLeafs says:

    That's a bit too much for Phoenix to give imo.

  21. mapleleafsfan says:

    I don't think I'd give that much for Hemsky either.. He's good when healthy but a first in a good draft when we're not a playoff lock by any means would cost us.. On top of gunnarson as well.. Not worth it for an injury prone winger IMO. 

    I'd take that second trade if we could fleece phoenix on that first one though, that line up is pretty damn solid. 
  22. LeafsFTW17 says:

    There is going to be a star player being shopped around right now that no one other than the GMs know about, whatever happens is going to surprise everyone.

  23. KingCanada says:

    Oh COME ON!!  If he cant crack the Edmonton roster what makes you think he can crack Toronto's lineup??  He had a horrible year on a last place team, he isnt worth it at all.

    I dont think you grasp what pressure is..are u not familiar with the Toronto media?? lol

  24. Kessel_Leafs48 says:

    although i wouldnt mind giving a first for that because those deals would really put us over the top imo. good veteran leadership, finally have some star power, and can hit. offence wouldnt be an issue, we'd get to the playoffs but the question comes down too how far our goaltending could take us.

  25. blaze says:

    Jesus no! Are you crazy you want to get rid of a first for that? Who knows how this team will do this year. The only way a first rounder gets moved is in package for a truly elite player, particularily a first line center. Not a chance in hell for Hemsky.

  26. JoelLeafs says:

    I dunno, is this really the right time to make a trade? Wait until the injuries and rookies see the leafs put themselves outside of the playoffs early (think they can threepeat that early 8-game losing streak?); then make a hasty trade.

  27. JoelLeafs says:

    Bingo on that last line. The operative term is 'former'.

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