How do you fix a problem like the Leafs?

Well, we’re well into Day 6 of free agency, and the Toronto Maple Leafs have easily been one of the league’s quieter teams.

Especially if you look at all those that finished near the bottom of the standings alongside them.

The Carolina Hurricanes, for example, finished two points ahead of Toronto, dealt for Jordan Staal and are working to add another top six forward.

he Blue Jackets traded for Nick Foligno (and are working on a Rick Nash deal), the Oilers signed Justin Schultz, the Ducks added a pair of defencemen (and are looking for good return on Bobby Ryan) and the Wild may have hit a homerun in adding Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

There is, of course, still a lot of off-season to go, and Leafs GM Brian Burke insists he isn’t close to being finished. He’s listed his team’s top three priorities as (a) getting bigger (b) adding a veteran goaltender and (c) adding another top two centre.

Those aren’t easy holes to fill, even with some $12-million in cap space. In one case, it’s probably not even the right one.

83 Responses to How do you fix a problem like the Leafs?

  1. dumbassdoorman says:

    You know I think people really just need to stop hitting the panic button. things are not as bleak as some make it seem, while not as fruitful as others. Truth is we have a pretty decent crop of young players including a few with amazing potential. Rome wasn’t built in a day and there is no magic wand, so sit back and try to enjoy the watching the youth develop under a guy who had a stellar NHL carreer.

    • HABSdomination says:

      Kind of my train of thought. I mean, it is what it is. This team is going nowhere for the next 2 years at a minimum. And even if i was burkie, i would’nt jeopardize this team’s futur for Ryan Getzlaf. I wouldn’t prostitute myself for that kind of player. He reminds me of Rick Nash. A little bit overrated in my book. I checked out his numbers for last year alone: 57 pts in 82 games…. -11….. Looks like the guy is going down.

      Although he did have a couple of good seasons, where as Nash never had an 80 point season, probably because of a lack of quality linemates. But still…..

      My point being that, along with Ryan(who’s price must be through the roof), there is Nash, Getzlaf, and reportedly Patrick Kane that are on the market. I doubt that Corey Perry is on the block. I mean, the Ducks can’t just go and sell out the whole team. So, the only players that would be a possible trade away from coming here are in my book: Nash or Getzlaf. They both fit into the physical type of players that burkie likes. But since the price is so exhorbitant, let alone the fact that Nash doesn’t want to come to Toronto and Getzlaf wouldn’t play under Carlyle, then i guess the Leafs Nation can just sit back and watch the rookies like the doorman said!

  2. jrlakersfan says:

    Center solution Trade for Getzlaf or Stastny, sign Rich Peverly.

    In a package get rid of Bozak and Franson and one D prospect to move the log jam this will give Marlies a chance to prove them selves.

    Holzer Blacker Percy Reily lashoff gysbers need to battle for 6 and 7 spot.

    Move Connolly and Lombardi to bottom 6 wingers. Keep Steckle and mcclement as bottom 3c 4c.

    For Goalies trade for bernier or theodore and bank on Reimer having a come back season.

    ashton colbourne kadri need honest chances to make the roster.Mueller and damigo also need some interest if they can be developed or moved they need it. Marlies played well this needs to continue for the success of the big leafs.

    Build from here the top four teams in each conference are pretty set so minus the drought of not making the playoffs I think Burke is doing well at building for the future. Burke needs to start going after C prospects though to work the farm to be ready for the next five years.

    • ZillyHoo says:

      Colborne and Ashton don’t have a chance at making the team this season, to be honest, they both were injured last season and it’d be better to wait and see with them… Stastny is a soft center and Getlzaf isn’t being moved unless we sell the farm. Mueller I think has a good chance, he and D’amigo are the type of players we need up now.

      You’re kidding if Percy, Rielly, Gysbers have a chance at 6 or 7 thgis year.. especially Gysbers. Lashoff is a 1st round bust, he’s out of here. Holzer has a chance and Blacker needs a year. Rielly and Percy need a bit more time.

      Franson wants out and Bozak is a decent #3, a cheap one too.

      Connolly isn’t that bad despite what people may think. Before his injury he was putting up a point per game. When he came back from the injury, he was slower and couldn’t keep up with the speed of the game which really hurt him and his confidence. Lombardi doesn’t belong on this team. Bad fit. Not a bad player, just isn’t working for us.

      Quality center prospects are hard to get… unless we’re drafting them.

    • toronto77 says:

      Holzer, Blacker, Percy and Rielly all have top 4 potential. Lashoff and Gysbers are destined to be 6th-7th type d-man in the NHL at best. Holzer and Blacker could battle for the 6th or 7th spot on the leafs. Percy needs one full season in the AHL to be one of the marlies top 2 pairing d-man. Rielly has top 2 potential in the NHL, it would be stupid to play him in a 6th-7th spot for the leafs. Send him to junior for one year and let him be one of Team Canada’s top 2 pairing d-man in the IIHF and an opportunity to try and win the gold medal.

      Scouts and Trainers are already impressed with Rielly’s performance at the team prospect camp last week and would not be surprised if he made the team as a top 4 pairing this up coming season. If he doesn’t make the team this season, then he is guaranteed to make the team next season as a top 4 d-man, maybe even top 2.

      I am all for going after Bernier, but not Theodore. I do not know if Reimer or Scrivens will ever be no.1 goaltenders, so I do not see the need to acquire a vet to train Reimer or Scrivens. Just forget Reimer and give the job to Bernier who is a sure thing.

  3. Gambo says:

    I just want to talk about the McClement signing briefly. Being a fan of the Avs, I don’t really think this is the player Burke has made him out to be.

    He isn’t “great” on faceoffs, he’s alright. If you look at his stats, he’s worse than Grabovski is and Grabo isn’t even that good at it(though he improved a ton).

    He doesn’t bring much leadership, he is a really quiet guy. It’s not like he is an older guy like Arnott or Langenbrunner, he is still under 30.

    He’s more of a 4th line guy, besides, he isn’t that big. Same height as Bozak with 10 lbs on him. I don’t see the improvement over Bozak for 3rd line.

    Not to sound like LN91, but this really is just another example of a mediocre franchise. He’s mediocre on faceoffs, mediocre experience, mediocre size nothing jumps out at you. Just pay the money and get a Shane Doan, Jason Arnott, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brian Rolston. Something like that.

    • LN91 says:

      I actually like the Mclement signing…He’s a decent forechecker which is what our lower lines have been lacking.

      I agree with the veterans. I think Doan is out of the question since he wants to win a title…But Arnott and Langenbrunner are pretty much playing for money. They would be a great mentor for the young Leafs, but still, Burke has not even adressed the veteran issue. They need a steady head in the dressing room…Still don’t have it.

      Burke would love to have both Parise/Suter and would love to be in that race, but 2 things prevented him from doing so:

      1) Well, the Leafs suck. Parise/Suter like to win and knew they are apart of an emerging threat in Minnesota.

      2) Contracts have really killed Burke this offseason. Connolly, Lombardi, Bozak, Komisarek, MacArthur gave Burke little room to make any deals.

      As well, I told josh a month ago…NOT to expect much from Burke during free agency. There was nothing really (besides Parise/Suter/Doan) that was attractive to this franchise and no point having another Connolly contract on our hands.

      Now, dumbassdoorman, once again stated that the Leafs should build from within…Which is the common debate with this group.

      The reality of the situation is the Leafs are flat-lining when it comes to prospects. I’ve stated numerous times that the Leafs NOW have very good top-six wingers.

      LA won with the Brown/Carter/Williams/King…Is there a really major difference between them and Kessel/Lupul/Kulemin and a great young talent like JVR? I don’t think so. Especially with JVR possibly developing into a top-line talent…Which Eklund believes will happen in TO.

      The difference is down the middle in the terms of forwards. Toronto has tons of young talent on the wings. One of Mckegg/Kadri/Biggs/Frattin/D’Amigo…List goes on, can develop into a second-line winger. But besides Colborne, nothing center wise. So, essentially, were growing from within…But were not growing in the positions we need.

      So, for the fourth year in a row…Burke is still missing that last piece during his tenure in Toronto. But he has an abundance of talent in positions that is not exactly dire. The wings and on defence.

      So, back to growing from within, it’s time (NOW) for Burke to make offer for a fist-line center. And no, NOT Stastny. It can include Grabovski, I don’t care, because I would rather have a hole in the second-line center position then the first.

      If we get the first-line center position solved, the rest of the pieces (Burke’s depth) should fall into place.

      I loved mojo’s offer for Getzlaf…It was Kulemin, Kadri, Blacker, and 2013 first. It’s a great offer for Anaheim to make a small rebuild (like Philadelpha, it gives Anaheim 2 top-six forwards, a top-4 defencemen and a 1st) and gives Toronto a big, franchise, center.

      Another guy I like, though the offer should be smaller, is Marleau.

      Anyways, until Burke solves that last piece of the puzzle (I’m not really concerned with goaltending…yet. Obviously, many teams liked Reimer enough to make offers for him at the deadline)….Toronto is just going to flat-line.

      Anyways, long and confusing post I know…But hopefully you understand it.

      2 things right now that intrigues me…

      – 1) Burke has not signed Kulemin nor Franson yet….Makes me wonder if Kulemin is a center piece in a deal.

      – 2) Burke will have tons of cap space next season…And most of the contracts (MacArthur, Connolly, Lombardi, and Bozak) are guys that we can live without. So, Toronto will have tons of guys that are under contract that are not dragging this team down. Except Komisarek.

      • I think LA also had a guy named Kopitar who does a pretty good job helping his wingers out and making them much better.

        • All of a sudden Kadri is a top 6 forward because you’re using him as trade bait? And Blacker is a top 4 D? Didn’t you preach all year about how Kadri isn’t good enough to crack the lineup. And how is Blacker a top 4 d? Maybe he’s got top 4 d potential.

          Anyway, it’s not a bad deal and I think the ducks might consider that offer.

          • LN91 says:

            No, you’re right, should’ve said potential wise. Blacker, as of right now, looks like a potential top-4 defencemen.

            I’ve never seen room for Kadri…That’s been the issue. He already has players ahead of him…And now players creeping up behind him. So, all were doing is wasting the guy down in the minors.

            I’m not saying dump him…But atleast use the guy to acquire a giant need.

          • Steven_Leafs0 says:

            The best thing about the deal is it doesn’t hurt us at all:

            Kulemin is a huge loss but Getzlaf is a massive upgrade and Kulemin’s position can be replaced much easier (heck even Biggs, Ashton, and/or Frattin in time could be that guy)

            Kadri is a solid prospect and might be NHL ready next season. He will definitely have a good chance with Anaheim to lock himself into a top 6 position. Toronto’s biggest loss by far but he isn’t a lock for our roster by any means.

            Blacker is a solid defensive prospect and someone Anaheim could use. They currently have 6 defensemen locked in with 1-3 guys capable of fighting for a spot (albeit as a long shot), Blacker becomes their best D-man prospect not currently guaranteed a NHL spot. Toronto does not need Blacker at all as he is 10th on the Leafs’ depth chart (probably 8th looking at NHL ready-ness) behind: Phaneuf, Gardiner, Liles, Gunnarsson, Franson, Komisarek, Holzer, Reilly, & Percy. Easy loss to swallow.

            and then there is the 2013 1st. And easy pick to give up if it is in the 20-30 range, if not we could have another controversy on our hands. I would demand that this pick be lottery protected personally.

            Of course I would not make this deal unless we can make it conditional on an extension. Giving up that much for a rental would probably get Burke shot. lol.

        • LN91 says:

          Exactly. As of right now…Kessel, Lupul, Kulemin, and JVR (whose potential is still yet to be seen) is a solid group. JVR/Lupul/Kulemin/Kessel are all over 6 feet/200 pounds and 3/4 of them are under the age of 26.

      • dumbassdoorman says:

        So here is a question, if we were lucky enough to land Getzlaf, do you go with Reimer or trade for Bobby Lou? I mean ya Lou has never been steller in the playoffs but is he a better option for a teamn with two legit top 6 players and finally so decent checkers and coach.

    • toronto77 says:

      I agree, not a fan of the McClemet signing.

  4. ZillyHoo says:

    Does anyone think Semin flees to the KHL?

  5. jrlakersfan says:

    What kind of package is SJ looking for if they were to give up marleau to TO. Is it possible to do both getzlaf and marleau. What would the team look like depth wise if we gave up what we need to and with the call ups to fill holes. I am assuming kadri, grabo, kulemin,franson,bozak, draft picks, blacker would be gone. Would this make us a playoff team.

  6. toronto77 says:

    Well the type of trades that those team made were the same as Toronto. Carolina acquired a top 6 forward and Toronto acquired one the day after. Edmonton and Columbus didn’t do anything until Free Agency. So if your keeping track of trades, all 4 teams are even, only difference is Tor and Car decided to do it during the draft and not wait until Free Agency.

  7. lafleur10 says:

    how to fix them is first by hiring a trevor timmins type that will over see their draft and don’t give him an outclause ,so he can’t get away!

    then just be patient and let him do his work and draft,and lose for a few more years
    and ghet top 3-5 picks and build that way

    i mean the leafs have lost and haven’t made the playoffs for 7 yrs in a row,what’s a few more,just be patient and it will pay off!

    but then stay the course don’t fall into the vicious cycle your in now and trade away potential franchise guys like seguin for a short terms fix like kesseland these side moves and haven’t got you anywhere.

    draft a a player like seguin,duchene,galchenyuk etc and let him become a homegrown superstar and build around him
    and the results and the painful seasons of losing wll be over and you leafs fans wil be proud ,and have a team you can be proud of

    and in time will be cup contenders!

    • dumbassdoorman says:

      none of your mentioned “homegrown” players are superstars, hell Glachenyuk, as much as I like him hasn’t even played yet.

      • Steven_Leafs0 says:

        you forget that the second he was drafted by the Habs he immediately became a generational talent. How very convenient that everyone the Habs touch becomes gold.

        • lafleur10 says:

          this isn’t about the habs this is about fixing the leafs ,and as a matter of fact the habs draft record is and has been better than the leafs draft record over the years not every player we have drafted has panned out(we’ve had a few dudes along the way) but we certainly have had more that leafs have it’s a fact

        • lafleur10 says:

          and tell me steven who do the leafs have in their system that they have drafted that has the talent and upside that galchenyuk has enlighten me

          • nordiques100 says:

            Montreal actually has 9 “original habs” be it draftees (there are 7) or Free agents ( there are 2)

            Toronto on the other hand has just 6.

            I think Toronto overall though has more organizational depth today, but, for Montreal, its like those lean JFJ years. Kind of like when Burke started in Toronto. They had to hit the reset button.

            It tells you how huge a task it is for Bergevin and how poorly managed the team was under Gauthier.

            This past draft was Bergevin’s start. I think one more year, like how Florida hoarded picks for 2 drafts, makes a lot of sense for this franchise. Gauthier was simply a FN disgrace of a GM. and of course the Gomez trade was like death.

            Honestly, both these teams need a lot of work. It shows how one or two moves, seemingly good at the time, can make or literally break a franchise.

            if Bergevin can avoid that, at least at the start, all GMs make mistakes afterall, well that’s a good beginning.

            Though….that Hockeyyinsiderr guy who hates Darren Dreger said Berg offered a 1st with Gomez for Bouwmeester. hope for Montreal’s sake Dreger is right in thinking this twitter guy is a complete sham.

            • reinjosh says:

              Are we talking about that HockeyBreak guy or someone else?

              Bergevin has done well in his first couple months. But we all know that can change. He’s got to prove (just like you said) that he won’t make the mistakes of other GM’s and can build the Montreal team right.

              I actually hope for the Flames sake that the guy is a shame. That’s a brutal deal for them. With a steady dman like Bouwmeester playing 25 plus odd minutes a night, they could actually improve.

              But I just can’t see Bergevin moving a 1st anytime soon.

              • nordiques100 says:

                No there’s this guy called hockeyyinsiderr, two y’s two r’s.

                Dreger said he was a joke. So he posted some bad pic of Dreger or something.

                He’s french, a Habs fan, I think he said he worked for 4 NHL teams b4.

                • reinjosh says:

                  Ok yeah I remember Dreger making veiled mocking comments about him but I thought he was referencing hockeybreak (who got proven to be some kid after he posted his XboxLive gamertag lol).

                  • nordiques100 says:

                    that was another guy from TSN, Josh Rimer who outed Hockeybreak.

                    There’s NHL Sources Say, NHLGossip and a couple others that they’re trying to “out”

                    With that, you have to admire Eklund for his survival rate.

                    • reinjosh says:

                      Yeah I remember Rimer outing him, but I know the dude clearly posted his gamertag and it quickly led to some intrepid person figuring out who he was and giving further proof that he was a fraud.

                      I’ve never been a big fan of Eklund but truly believe the guy has sources, at least a few. He actually does get things right every once in a while.

                      He had the Carter trade before anyone, and shortly after he posted that Richards was gone. The Richards tidbit was reported hours before it was picked up by anyone. I clearly remember going on HFboards and Flyers fans claiming he was stupid and no way the Flyers do it, and bam he’s gone. And I’m less sure on this, but I think he was the first to talk about the JVR for Schenn trade months ago.

                      I have two theories on him. One (the more likely one) is that he’s connected but only for the Flyers (since that’s what he hits on the most). His knowledge of the stuff is a little too good to not know what’s going on with them.

                      The second theory (less likely) is that he legitimately does have multiple sources. He reports stuff that gets talked about but rarely ever goes past discussion stages. We’ve all heard Burke talk about how often he talks to other GM’s and other GM’s say they communicate almost daily. You have to think that stuff gets talked about often but never goes far. So maybe he (idiotically) reports on that.

                      I still don’t like Eklund lol

      • lafleur10 says:

        it’s true he hasn’t played but he’s one of those player you can build around like those other guys are

        and drafting players like that give you hope and excitement for the future and give you an reason to be optimistic

        what if the leafs draft mackinnon?

        he could be 1 of those guys and it would for the 1st time in a long,long time give you a player that could be that homegrown star or superstar

        and it would provide the leafs with their 1st legitimate chance to have 1 of these players and a true blue chip player to build around instead of trading them away like they have done i.e seguin,who right now would have given the leafs that type of player,which they don’t have in their system.

        • reinjosh says:

          They didn’t trade Seguin…

          • lafleur10 says:

            i know they didn’t draft him but in al likely hood he would’ve been the leafs pick and he’s a really good younger player

            he’s already the bruins 1st or 2n line center

            he’s got a very bright future

            josh this kid would’ve be a star with the leafs!

            • TeamCanadaGM says:

              Can you please explain to me how Kessel is a “short term fix?”

              You realize he’s only 24, and better than anyone on the habs by far, right?

              • TimTheBone says:

                Dude I realize your love for leafs and your disdain towards lafleur… But better how exactly… Pure goal scoring ability?… Absolutely… Although pacioretty is closing in…. Speed?… Might have the edge over most… Definitely not all… Play making ability?… I would argue Desharnais and Plekanec are better play makers….

                My point is Kessel is fantastic at what he does no doubt… But its not like the guy is an all around stud… He is not a cornerstone piece for your team…. Which is why youre still searching for that “franchise piece”…. Kessel is as elite a goal scorer as they come…. But he’s not perfect

                • Steven_Leafs0 says:

                  not many are perfect but a point per game 30 goal, close to 40 goal, scorer on a team without a centerman to set him up is a damn good piece.

                  The closest Montreal is going to get to a big forward like that is Galchenyuk who may or may not work out (I think he will be incredible but there is a chance of failure).

                  Also looking for that ‘franchise piece’ is not a sign that Kessel isn’t an all around stud, some would argue Nash is definitely that guy and his team was desperate for another franchise guy that they took a gamble on Carter (heck Nash had a pretty damn bad year and he is still considered much better than Kessel to most).

                  I’m not trying to knock the Habs here but Kessel is the best forward and the most valuable forward on either the Leafs or the Habs. And before we count Galchenyuk let him play a season or two first, maybe he will be much better than Kessel, it is totally possible, but for now he definitely is not a better producer (obviously).

                  • TimTheBone says:

                    I wasn’t trying to knock orderly or the leafs either….. I wasn’t arguing value either…. Just his ability as the “best forward” on either team…. Like I said kessel is as elite as they come as far as goal scoring…. But the guy isn’t a playmaker… He’s no jumbo Joe if you understand…… Also you won’t be seeing kessel killing a penalty too often…. Kessel will score over 30 goals every season and sometimes break the 40 Mark… Now just to be clear I never mentioned galchenyuk and nor was I going to… Pacioretty on the other hand will most likely challenge kessel is goals a year… He’ll be within ten of kessel…kessel is also not the toughest or (in the words of burke) most truculent guy out there…..

                    All I’m saying is kessel won’t be the guy to lead the leafs to the cup…. But he sure as hell will be a huge help

                    • Steven_Leafs0 says:

                      he probably alone wont lead the Leafs to the cup but neither can anyone else on either of our rosters.

                      Anyway I was just responding to your post which was responding to the comment that Kessel was the best player on either team, which he is. Whether he is a Hall of Famer or has a Stanley Cup winning pedigree or not wasn’t the point on this topic.

                      And I didn’t mean to insinuate that you were including Galchenyuk in this convo I was just making a preemptive strike against our caps lock using friend here. lol. 😛

                    • TimTheBone says:

                      Understood but in relation to my point…. You need to use that term carefully…”best player on either team”….. Kessel is a great goal scorer…. He is far from the best defensive forward on either team…. There are better on both teams…. I’m not trying to compare anyone and start a huge quarrel….. I’m merely trying to point out kessel is what he is… An elite goal scorer… A 40 goal guy…. It’s not a slight on him… I’m not trying to tear him down .. this isn’t a leafs vs habs thing… To me its purely just an evaluation of kessel as a player…. He’s won’t be nominated for a selke anytime soon… Ya get me?

              • lafleur10 says:

                because he is a short term fix the only legit top 6 forward on the team i realize he’s 24 but he’s not a guy you can build around he’s a very good support player when you have a team built already and there’s reports he wants out of toronto because he doesn’t like being the center of attention seguin and others that the leafs could have drafted are your long terms fixes guy like kessel are short fixes.

            • ZillyHoo says:

              Seguin plays second line wing for the Bruins I think.

              • TimTheBone says:

                I don’t doubt he’s played wing for them before…. But on most online depth charts that I’ve looked at and i looked at over 10.. (Only rotoworld, and sportscity was different)… He is a center… Just a piece of info

  8. 93killer93 says:

    From John Jaeckel on Hockeybuzz,

    “Last night, a friend tipped me on a rumored proposal that would have the Hawks sending Kane and Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Habs for Tomas Plekanec and PK Subban. And the Hawks are allegedly holding out for the Canadiens to add a high draft pick or two.

    When I pressed him for more details and back story, it turned out this allegedly has as its source a fairly highly placed person in the Canadiens’ organization. I am presently checking with some Hawk sources on this.”

    • TimTheBone says:

      Interesting little bit… If it didn’t include next years 1st rounder I’d make that deal…..

      Chi: Tomas Plekanec, PK Subban, 2014 1st round

      Mtl: Patrick Kane, Niklas Hjalmarsson

      That becomes …

      Cole Desharnais Pacioretty
      Gionta Eller Kane
      Moen Gomez Bourque
      Prust Nokelainen White

      Gorges Hjalmarsson
      Markov Emelin
      Boullion Kaberle

      I like it….then in two years possibly something that looks similar to this

      Kane Galchenyuk Pacioretty
      Cole Desharnais ____________
      Moen Eller Prust
      White _____ _____

      Gorges Hjalmarsson
      Beaulieu Tinordi
      Emelin (Ellis/Pateryn)

      Clearly a few spots to shore up… One top six winger and two bottom 6 guys as well as possibly a veteran defenseman…

      But with the likes of Gomez, Gionta, Bourque, Kaberle, Markov, all off the books.. that gives us over 25 million in cap space to work with… The likes of pacioretty and perhaps Desharnais given significant raises but nothing to break the bank…

      I like that trade for us…. The loss of PK would hurt but I think Kane would be a killer return for us

      • TimTheBone says:

        Thinking about it longer I think a 1st wouldn’t be needed to be included, a second round would be more than enough…. Even though the 2014 1st from Montreal is likely to be out of the top ten… Maybe even top 15…. But even still I don’t think its needed to be a 1st… Subban has a lot of value in himself…

        • reinjosh says:

          That was my initial thought. Hjalamarsson’s value isn’t that high anymore, especially with that contract.

          IF you consider Chicago clearing cap space in that deal (even with Subban needing a contract) I think it’s a pretty good deal for both sides.

          Chicago gets the 2nd line center they have been searching for forever, and a Subban gives them more mobility from the backend.

          Montreal gets a star to build around.

      • TimTheBone says:

        Also sticking with Montreal trade rumors…. I’ve heard Bergevin has also inquired about Patrick Sharp….

        And is shopping Rene Bourque as a salary dump…

        Also it appears there has been interest in Plekanec, and Gionta……

        And Diaz is being shopped as well… His rights as it stands right now….

        Bergevin is in the market for a top six winger….

  9. 93killer93 says:

    Also the Leafs have filed for arbitration with Kulemin.

  10. smoke1 says:

    every year is the same old story trade this guy sign this guy trade the future i’ve been a leaf fam for more years than i care to count and its always the same old story the leafs are never good enough to be the team all leaf fans dream of but i honestly that maybe burke is doing the right thing by not trading the young hopefuls for a short term fix.i’de love to see nash in toronto but at what price i’m not willing to give gardner away but in all honesty theres is some young talent would it be better to miss the playoffs again this year get another high draft choice and keep building this way or free agents that are role players.i hope the leafs dont do something stupid whats one more season without playoff hockey just my 2 cents worth

  11. nordiques100 says:

    Well the big problem with Toronto is that the 3 key spots, goaltending, centre and defence have holes. Some more problematic than others.

    You have two relatively raw players right now in goal.

    They have zero centres to speak of that you’d consider an elite centre.

    and they could use help on the backend. I think what they have may be 2-3 years in waiting.

    Championships are really won with these 3 elements. I’d say only Chicago and Detroit, among recent champions, won it without elite goaltending. But the talent they had in front of their goalies was off the charts.

    I think there are elements missing on defence. But in 2-4 years time, the blueline may have Percy, Gardiner and Reilly all together. There’s some promise there, but, today? the blueline is ordinary. Lots of quantity, not much in quality.

    Centre though is a huge problem. Grabovski is a 2, Steckel and McClement are 4th liners and the other 3, Lombardi, Bozak and Connolly are poor fits with this team are relatively useless.

    They don’t have a lot coming either. McKegg, completely unproven as a pro, Kadri, likely to be a winger, Colborne regressed this year, partly due to injuries. Its not Granlund or Strome or RNH or Schiefle who are off the charts.

    Toronto’s strength is the wing. Lupul, Kulemin, MacArthur, Kessel, JVR, Frattin, probably Kadri here too. Skill wise, very good. Can compete with any team. Nice mix of size, with skill.

    But again, teams don’t win built on wingers. I guess you could say the Devils did it without a strong contingent of centres, mainly star wingers, and a no-name D, but they carried other intangibles Toronto lacks in spades.

    They still lack size. the character of this team is extremely poor. There is a major deficiency of guts on this team that needs to be fixed. There is no leadership.

    I posted something a little while ago.

    Montreal has grinders like Army, Prust, Moen, White, hard nosed Canadian guys

    Buffalo has an American, Kaleta, but McCormick, Foligno, Adam, Ott now, and Ellis are gritty Canadian players.

    Boston has Peverly, Kelly, Thornton, Paille, Campbell, their grinders are all Canadian. And I mind as well include Lucic.

    Ottawa, well they don’t have as many, but Smith and Neil are more than what the Leafs have. They had last year the likes of Winchester, Foligno and Konopka. Pretty tough, Pretty Canadian.

    People brushed off and laughed even at the Comments Don Cherry made about the Non-Ontario Leafs, but, while the delivery was pretty poor, the point has some relevance.

    Toronto’s bottom 6 are right now, Connolly, Brown and Steckel, 3 Americans, Komarov, a Euro, Lombardi and McClement, a couple of Canadians but not your normal in your face, blue collar, gritty, heart and soul guys we hear often talked about on Saturday nights.

    I think Toronto missed the boat on Ott and I think will continue to struggle without these guys who are all out kind of guys. Like when the Leafs had Domi, Corson, Roberts, Tucker, Valk, etc. Guys who understood what being a Leaf really means, growing up with it, and guys who really cared to make it tough to have teams trounce all over the blue and white.

    I think when Cherry made that point, he was trying to tell us that if there was half the amount of guts those teams had on this current roster, they’d get somewhere. Most of those guys honestly are Canadian players. Most of those guys who understand the importance of Canada and its teams are Canadian.

    We need players who “get it”. Toronto has none. Brown tries, Steckel can finish checks, Komarov is apparently a big pest, but this Toronto team needs the likes of Ott, Clutterbuck, those giants like Clifford, King and Nolan from LA, or how about when the Hawks won: Byfuglien driving Pronger nuts, with Ladd, Brouwer, Bolland, Eager, and so forth.

    There is that inherent battle level that you learn in the CHL that Toronto is seriously lacking with many Americans and Canadian guys who went to US College.

    I mean the Leafs best grinder is probably Kulemin, a Russian.

    The Leafs are in Toronto, the centre of the hockey universe and supposedly “canada’s team”. they simply need guys who understand what that means.

    To win a championship, or at least realistically compete for one, Toronto will need to fix their 3 main issues: goal, centre, defence. Without ripping apart their core, I don’t know they can do that. I only see the draft really as that option, especially getting those elusive top centres. (they’re actually getting the D via the draft so it seems).

    But, to be a playoff team it needs guts. If Burke went out, so long as he didn’t rip apart the core, and got some heart, some desire, some soul, some toughness, some grit, some Canadian content, this is a playoff team.

    When people start saying they’re “proud” Burke hasnt ripped their core, I dont include the likes of Colborne or Blacker, or MacArthur or Gunnarsson or players of that ilk.

    Its Lupul, Kessel, JVR, Kulemin, Frattin, Reilly, Gardiner, Dion, Biggs, Percy, and more importantly their high draft picks, that’s who matters. Anyone or anything else is gravy.

    I think, with the rest of the roster, they can certainly afford to turn some of that around and get those not all that elusive heart and soul types who can add either some toughness, grit, leadership, work ethic, intangibles that don’t necessary show in the sportscentre honor roll and so forth, or in combination of all or some of the above.

    I see many: Clifford, Kyle Beach, Clowe, Morrow, Clutterbuck, Bolland, Powe, Clarkson, and heck, not bottom 6 guys, but guys who bring these qualities: Arnott, Doan. This after losing out on Ott, Tootoo, Konopka and others.

    it seems stereotyping, but its the truth. Its just not enough people either understand that or find any relevance to it.

    But, if you are a team who insists building around Phil Kessel is the way to go, you simply cannot have the face of the franchise be afraid of Chris Campoli, never mind Chara, I said Chris Campoli, and think you can succeed in this league. However, if Campoli makes your best player scared, you push back as a team to make it look like you have no fear, of Campoli or especially guys like Chara. When you do that, you can play your game, not worry about them, and do what you need to do to get the job done. That shit happens you are ready for it. Bring it on you say. But you need the personnel. Toronto absolutely does not have the personnel. Nor the leadership to know how to react to it.

  12. Gambo says:

    The Leafs’ roster right now is a mess. They have far too many players who aren’t needed on this team and they have a few big wholes they need to fix.

    Players I think they should trade:

    -Clarke Macarthur: He has had two solid seasons in the blue and white, but It’s time Frattin replaces him.

    -Tim Connolly: I know he struggled from injuries last year and that’s partially the reason to his poor season, but if you think he’s going to play 70+ games next year, you’re wrong. This guy is simply made of glass and isn’t capable of playing a bottom 6 role on Carlyle’s system.

    -Matthew Lombardi: This guy can play still, just not on this team. On a different team Lombardi will succeed. He has elite speed, but lacks size.

    Players who might be available that they should target:

    -Patrick Marleau: 1st line center. Has great speed and would play nicely between Lupul and Kessel. He’s 6’2 and 220 lbs, has been captain before.

    -Brenden Morrow: Perfect guy to slot into that 3rd line LW spot. Morrow is exactly what the leafs need. Size and leadership.

    -JS Giguere: I know that we all sort of had enough of him. That wasn’t because of his play, most of us just felt that Reimer and Gustavsson could have carried the load. He is going to be the backup in Colorado so it wouldn’t be too bad for him if was the backup in Toronto instead. Reimer played amazing with Giguere behind him and they showed great chemistry as a duo.

    To TOR: Marleau

    To SJ: Kadri, Lombardi, Blacker/Percy, 2nd.

    To be honest I don’t know what Marleau’s value would be, they are getting speed which is apperently what they want right now plus they are getting a decent defensive prospect and a 2nd. They are also getting around 3m salary cap space back.

    To TOR: Morrow

    To DAL: Connolly, Ashton.

    Dallas is short a center since they lost Ribiero. Ashton is a good prospect who plays a similar style as Morrow.

    To TOR: Giguere

    To COL: Draft picks/Prospect. W/e gets it done that isn’t a huge loss.

    Lupul – Marleau – Kessel
    JVR – Grabovski – Frattin
    Morrow – Bozak – Kulemin
    McClement – Steckel – Brown

    Gunnarsson – Phaneuf
    Gardiner – Franson
    Liles – Komisarek


  13. TimTheBone says:

    I’m not a big fan of that second line….

    Change morrow and Frattin and I like ya got something a little nicer

  14. reinjosh says:

    Kind of random tidbit (take it for what you will).

    From about early April until now, I’ve had this family friend ask me about this prospect that the Leafs supposedly drafted. Apparently he was young and just drafted. The reason she kept asking me was because she knew I loved hockey and the guy was her nephew. I couldn’t figure out who the guy was, and I just kept blowing it off. I knew he was from the WHL and was young still. I thought it was just some late round guy no one had heard about but she kept saying no when I listed players off.

    Turns out it was Morgan Reilly. Apparently the Leafs had shown some considerable interest in him for a while.

    Take that for what you will but I found it odd that his family thought he was Leaf related for nearly three prior to him actually becoming a Leaf. Likely a mistake on their part but at the very least it shows the Leafs had interest in him prior to just the draft (and may not actually be bullshitting us with the “we had this player 1st overall”).

    • TimTheBone says:

      I know people were pissed about selecting a defenseman, and not a forward (center), but in all likelihood rielly will be a fantastic defenseman…. Perhaps in the mold of drew doughty… His scouting reports sound a lot Like doughty…. Rielly is highly offensive and often referred to as a 4th forward…. His largest knock is his potential as a defensive liability…. If he can become more defensive conscious he will be dominant

      • reinjosh says:

        I wasn’t pissed but I was a little confused as to why Forsberg wasn’t taken. I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt though. I was a little more annoyed that we decided to take Finn with our 2nd round pick. I got the whole “he fell, we couldn’t let him pass” but I wasn’t exactly thrilled with it.

        • TimTheBone says:

          I was surprised that Collberg dropped to the canadiens in the second round….. And thrower just adds some more sandpaper…

        • Steven_Leafs0 says:

          yeah I was definitely shocked that we didn’t take Forsberg but realistically he wasn’t going to help us this season anyway and considering how many D-men were taken before him maybe the scouts know something we don’t. I mean how does Winnipeg or Anaheim both pass on him considering they both need big forwards.

          Finn on the other hand I am happy with, first thing it would be dumb to automatically pick a forward with our 2nd round pick when a guy like Finn drops that far just because we picked a D-man with our 5th overall pick. Secondly he is a Toronto native which is pretty damn cool (not really a solid argument but screw it I think it is awesome, we should always be doing that… imagine if we did it with our 2006 pick we would have Chris Stewart instead of Jiri Tlusty (ugh)).

          Besides who was available at 35? Krediles, Aberg, and Sutter? None of them are 1-3 years away from being NHL ready assuming they make it.

          • reinjosh says:

            Oh I agree. I was surprised we didn’t take him since he was sort of what we needed (big forward with top 6 potential) but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Considering Forsberg fell so much I figured something was passing most of us by (and actually, there were questions if his top upside was really top line. A few scouts suggested it was merely 2nd line). Plus with Reilly missing nearly 50 games there was a whole lot of potential in his game that could be hidden. I mean he was going 18 in 18 at the start of the season with a team that had one player over 60 points. So I was willing to give him a shot.

            But while I get the reason we took Finn, I still don’t like it. It’s just more of the same. Finn is just too much like Percy too me. I’d rather take a big, fast forward and wait the 3 years for him to develop than draft yet another undersized defender. Give our prospect pool a little more depth in other parts of our system, rather than going with yet another defender.

            I’m not against the Finn pick, he played pretty well this year. It just seems safe. I’d rather take a bit of a risk at this point with the 2nd. It was really less of “we drafted a dman already, we need a forward” and more I’d like to swing for the fences a little

            • ZillyHoo says:

              Burke had the JVR trade going on so that probably factors in… I’m not so sure Forsberg would have played center for us, and maybe Burke believed JVR’s upside was much better so he was free to grab Rielly, who knows right?

    • toronto77 says:

      I am now starting to think that Burke was not that far off. After watching Rielly in the prospects camp last week, I would not be surprised if he made it to the NHL this season, and the trainers were impressed as well. He could have easily gone at 4th to NYI, Rielly and Reinhart are equally as good but in different ways, basically picking who you want between Pronger or Neidermayer.

      With his offensive upside, I would not be surprised if he went 2nd to columbus, but first overall over Yakupov??? I don’t know, but 2nd to Columbus wouldn’t be too far off. Murray has been compared to Lidstrom in the fact that he can quietly be one of your best players, he just plays the game so calm and simple. As for Reinhart and Rielly, they are players that stand out. There is a good potential that Reinhart and Rielly will be both better than Murray.

      I am starting to think that Rielly will be a better d-man than Forsberg or Grigorenko will be forwards. Back in ’91 Scott Niedermayer went 3rd overall to NJ….a 3rd overall pick that was once owned by Toronto apparently. We gave up on one generational talent and Toronto would look even more foolish to give up on another one.

  15. reinjosh says:

    Apparently the Leafs are “in” on Doan. That could mean as little as they are pursuing him, and as much as he is seriously considering them. It’s impossible to say which one.

    My gut says he goes to one of three teams though.

    Phoenix is the obvious one. He’s mentioned its his home and he wants to stay but ownership is an issue.

    Vancouver is another. It’s near his family in Alberta. His wife is from Kamloops, where he happened to not only play Junior hockey but actually is a part owner of the Blazers. Plus Vancouver could give him a cup shot.

    Dallas is the third option. Ray Whitney I’m sure has been talking to him about joining him there. It’s a young team that could very well do well in a year. but biggest reason? The new owner Gagliardi also happens to be part owner of the Blazers and is apparently close with Doan. I’m sure he’s talked to Doan and will offer him a good chunk.

    I’d love to say the Flames would be in on him too since Iggy and him are apparently good friends and Iggy is also a part owner of the Blazers but like the Leafs, I think it’s wishful thinking.

    My gut says Dallas.

    • TimTheBone says:

      Well apparently as much as, and not limited to, 11 teams have inquired about doan…. The Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, and Montreal Canadiens all among those who have made calls about him.

    • dumbassdoorman says:

      Yup, we traded what turned out to be the 3rd overall pick to NJ for Tom Kurvers, who just never panned out. He actually probably takes more heat then he should for the trade, as he did win a cup with Mtl. and scored over 400 pts in just over 600 games. He was however a one dementional player, all offence.

  16. razer1818 says:

    Whether or not the Leafs are in on Shane Doan, Nash or Ryan, the broblem still remains in goal. As i am a huge Leaf fan and a fan of Riemer he still is not ready to take the riens in goal on any team let alone the Leafs. After reading the blog by Micheal Gardner Fan Fuel:

    I have to agree with the possibility of bringing in Luongo to Toronto. People say that his current contract is crazy and it will handicap the leafs. How so? If you trade Luongo for Lupul and a prospect. you are sending 4.25M back the other way and you are getting a long term contract.

    Lets look at that contract : 12 years/ 64 million @ 5.33/yr

    Now it is a front loaded deal. $16.75M is already payed
    and no one thinks that Luongo will play to 43 years old. The last 3 yeays are worth $3.6M total wich he will never collect.

    So please tell me why you do not want a Goalie like Luongo who has a 12 year career GAA of 2.52 and a SP of .919
    ill pay $5.33M a year for the next 6 years for that.

    • TimTheBone says:

      It’s a great deal if there’s an immediate replacement for lupuls 20-30 guaranteed goals…. Then next offseason you can overpay for that key #1 center and the leafs become playoff bound and ready …

    • dumbassdoorman says:

      I would personally kick Burke in the balls if he traded Lupul and a propect for Bobby Lou. I am on the fence about aquiring him, but that is too much, IMO for Bobby. Not too mention you are chasing away a player who has great chemistry with our best player and has exceeded expectations and will probably resign at a reasonable price.

      • Steven_Leafs0 says:

        agreed, unless Lupul says something like he has no intention of staying at all you don’t move him (unless you get a better version of him first or in the deal for him).

        I would much rather send Connolly and a stronger prospect like Frattin or Biggs. I don’t think we should send Frattin at all but if it is the only way at least it would hurt us as much as losing Lupul who right now is a point per game player (heck if he drops to 0.5 points a game he is still more valuable to us).

        Also Luongo’s contract is not a bad contract, just look at what other teams are paying their top 10 league-wide goalie:

        NSH – 7 year, 7.0M per
        MTL – 6 year, 6.5M per
        LA – 10 year, 5.8M per
        BUF – 5 year, 6.25M per (2 years left)

        The last one is probably not the best example since there is only 2 years left but the others make my point, Luongo is cheaper and provides the same stellar goaltending as these other teams are getting.

        The length of the contract will only hurt the Leafs if the NHL makes a rule to force teams to eat cap hits even if a player retires which I doubt would happen, it would make more sense for the NHL to change the rule and prevent long term contracts going past the player’s 35th birthday then change the rule and punish teams for doing something they were allowed to do.

        • TimTheBone says:

          Uhh… Just incase you were unaware…. I’m not sure if you are or not….oh also it has nothing to do with luongo as it doesn’t apply

          But any player 35 and over who signs a contract is paid said contract in full regardless of retirement … And the team is affected by the cap hit for the entire term…..

          So if ray Whitney retired halfway through this season… Dallas would still be in the hook for his contract… Money and cap hit for the full term…

          • Steven_Leafs0 says:

            yeah i know you just misread it. I meant that if the NHL makes a rule change they would prevent any long term deal (say over 6 years) crossing past their 35th birthday (for example, it can be 36, or 37 whatever).

            So basically if a guy wanted to sign a contract with high cash up front and no cash at the end they cannot sign until they are 43 and plan to retire at 39.

            Example: 30 year old player cannot sign a 13 year 100M contract because the deal would go past his 35th birthday.

            Not really important, just an example I was making.

        • reinjosh says:

          To me trading Lupul has less to do with Lupul than it does with Kessel. The play of Kessel with and without Lupul is so sharply different, that trading Lupul now would be a pretty big mistake.

          Kessel played at a 90 point pace during games with Lupul. And it wasn’t like it took time to get used to him. It was almost the very same game Lupul joined the team. It was unreal. Lupul was the one that took time to get used to Kessel and get better.

          Then when Lupul went down to injury, Kessel goes back to a 60 point pace.

          I’d theorize that this is more that Kessel had a legitimate offensive threat to play with and it opened up room for him, but the point is losing Lupul hurts us pretty largely on the offensive side.

          Tim is right in a way. We would need to replace Lupul (not as much his goals, although those would hurt to lose too). Trading him now doesn’t make much sense, even with it getting us a goalie.

          I’d be much more willing to keep Lupul and risk Reimer/Scrivens than get Luongo and lose Lupul.

          • nordiques100 says:

            They must feel JVR can replace Lupul.

            But wouldn’t the team be better with both big bodied forwards on two different lines, or perhaps on the same line?

            It would honestly create a hole while filling another. the JVR trade is very much like that, creating a hole on D.

            • reinjosh says:

              That would be a pretty big “feeling”. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with that.

              The price on Luongo seems to be so vast. It went from being almost almost a salary dump to a soft trade with a top prospect to a key roster player for him.

              I’m honestly ok going into next season with Reimer/Scrivens and risking another lost playoff season. I’d rather take things slowly then risk a big trade on Luongo.

              If Lupul isn’t going to sign, big deal, we trade him for a pretty large package, grab another top 5 pick and slowly build some more. It would suck to miss the playoffs yet again but two top 5 picks in a row plus whatever we would get from Lupul would be something plenty nice with to go on with a rebuild

              • nordiques100 says:

                For development purposes, I am not all that comfortable throwing those two goalies to the wolves.

                That’s not going to help the team go forward.

                I dont think its correct to non-nonchalantly take these two young goalies for granted.

                If they do well, then great, if they fail, we get a top 5. I think that kind of sentiment will do more harm than good.

                For all their inexperience, it doesn’t mean they can’t potentially do well in the NHL. I mean I can see Gustavsson thriving in Detroit.

                I think some insulation though is absolutely necessary. Even if it means getting a Curtis Sanford to play nets here, or another, forever journeyman like Sebastien Caron. They need to be protected IMO when things go south.

                Unfortunately, the goalies will eventually shoulder the blame as they have for the last few years, post good Belfour.

                Now, the price for Luongo, which i’ve heard too to be a 1st, a highly regarded prospect, and a young roster player, is obscene.

                His track record says he is worth a lot, maybe that much even. His contract though shaves that value by at least half.

                different players yes, but I guess some precedent set with the Heatley to SJ trade.

                it cost the Sharks Michalek, Cheechoo who was a contract dump, and a 2nd for Heatley and a 5th. At that time, Heatley was 1 year into a 6 year extension. Of course Luongo has 9 years left.

                In this case, the contract would be someone like Connolly, Komisarek or Lombardi. The young player I guess would range from Kadri to Colborne to Ashton to perhaps even Percy, and the 2nd rounder is whatever.

                it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

              • dumbassdoorman says:

                Josh, I agree with what you are saying, plus add in to that if they trade Lupul you could bet other would follow for picks as well. At that point it would be basically a full blown draft rebuild. which would also leave us with a crapload of cap space going forward. Personally I don’t think it will take a big package to land Lu though, nobody is trading one for him, it will just have to look like one, lol. Either way I see Burke doing nothing until the new CBA is out there.

                • mojo19 says:

                  My big problem with this, besides the loss of Lupul would be this: With Luongo in goal how will we defend against shots from the corner and behind the net bouncing off him awkwardly into the back of the net? A routine occurrence late in Luongo games.

                  Also, I’m just not sure Reimer is as good as Schneider yet, so we won’t have as good of a kid on the bench to bail out Luongo.

                  Also, his career save percentage is great! But hockey games aren’t won on paper. Look at his stats with the Panthers, a couple good years, a few bad which he wasn’t blamed for (rightfully so). And then his numbers get great on Vancouver. Now which team do the current Leafs closely resemble? Is it A) Current Vancouver? Or B) The old Panthers?

                  You think Lu would step into this Leafs situation and post… what? .920 save percentage, maybe a 2.40 GAA or something? Nope, try closer to .910 (very solid, not spectacular), and 2.60-2.80 range. Which is a little high, and maybe if Carlyle can get the guys to overachieve then those numbers could improve a bit, but Luongo is no saviour. Sorry boys.

                  • mojo19 says:

                    If Burke traded Lupul for Luongo I would go buy a Vanek jersey and start driving over the border for more games.

                    • dumbassdoorman says:

                      lol, well I could see why you would feel that way. I like I said above am not for getting him at a high price. A low price I could live with even though I don’t want him really, I could live with. If we did get him and team play improved which I believe it will either way, we desperately more then ever need a centre ASAP.

  17. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Fire Burke and his staff and begin an actual rebuild and clearing out his dead weight.

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