Fixing the holes (without paying the bomb)
Hi guys –
I’d be really surprised if the Leafs began the season with three goalies; JFJ must be under a lot of pressure from the higher-ups to bring in a winger for Sundin (as there is no obvious answer in the current lineup). Too many goalies, too many young D-men, not enough sniping wingers. Easy to do the math here.
JFJ should/will trade Tellqvist + Antropov (yes, he’s very much on the block) + White/Harrison/Wozniewski (pick one) for a first-line winger to go with Sundin & Steen. And the most likely candidate is…. NIKOLAI ZHERDEV.
JFJ is semi-tight on the salary cap. Tellqvist 500k + Antropov 1mil + Young D-Man 500k = about 2 million. Zherdev is holding out for about 3.5 mil; he isn’t going to get it from Columbus. As he is certainly ready to hold out, they’ll trade him for something in return (rather than let him play in Russia). Leafs could probably sign him for around 3 – 3.2 mil. As such, trading for Zherdev will only eat 1.2 mil of the remaining cap space, add the premier winger required for Mats, and resolve the two problems of 3 goalies and too many young defensemen.
And, as far as Zherdev’s attitude issues, give Paul Maurice about 15 minutes to straighten that out.
Go Leafs / fitzcalvin