Ho-Hum Leaf Management Bails on Season

The trade deadline has passed, the results are in and Leaf Fans are left scratching their heads and asking, “What was all the excitement about?”

Going into the deadline, the Leafs were at a crossroads, buyers or sellers. While Burke et al. were satisfied with selling assets, only time will tell if the 2 second round picks for Moore and Antropov were worth shipping out these 2 players. The draft beyond the top 10 is a crapshoot, this is a real gamble.

I think Burke mishandled Antropov. For whatever reason, Burke declared that he was not interested in re-signing this player at the end of the season, and this player wasn’t worth his contract. Both of these statements worked against the demand for a first rounder, which is probably why the Leafs failed to get their coveted first round pick.

The problem with the Leaf strategy (lose now, draft for later) which is a continuation of the rebuilding efforts from Quinn/JFJ era, is that the players left on the ice refuse to roll over. By continuing to win, the Leafs are left in a draft lurch, only making their ultimate pick a lot worse.

I can only hope that the salary cap freed up by the deadline moves, estimated to be $17.0 million dollars will put the Leafs in a good position come July 1st and the beginning of free agency. It appears a Maple Leafs Fans Fate to alway have to look to the future, even to the point where we have to look beyond the draft, see who Burke signs in FA before we can give him a pass/fail grade on his performance at the deadline.

I look forward to the beginning of free agency. In the meantime, I hope the players continue to put the effort in on winning. Losing is bad enough, but when its complicit between players and management, it really is a tough pill to swallow.


25 Responses to Ho-Hum Leaf Management Bails on Season

  1. LeafsNation91 says:

    I speculated a few weeks ago that the Leafs were not going to do a lot this trade deadline. This is a time where Brian Burke does not like as he hates the whole concept of this day. It was a bad year for the Leafs to sell players, the salary cap, and poor economy really kicked the Leafs in the nuts. Last year would of been a good year to sell.

    In saying that, I approve of what Brian Burke did, and give him a giant thumbs up. He was able to get four draft picks, and still players can come out as gems in later rounds in a draft.
    Interesting note of the day:
    Wow, what a time for Martin Gerber to try and revive his career. Seriously, he looked like Lundqvist yesterday, as depressing as it sounds. WHY GERBER WHY? All the chances you had with Ottawa and NOW you want to play well. 
  2. ranger_fan says:

    GMs are being a lot smarter with their draft picks this season. Toronto doesn't have "impact" players who were worth 1st round draft choices. Kaberle and Kubina, as well as some of their seconds will land them a first when a playoff team misses out on a kid they really wanted. For instance, lets say the Stars wanted a player who gets selected 2 spots before them – they'd most definately be in a position to trade down and acquire a defenseman or a couple of second rounders for their selection.

  3. reinjosh says:

    the draft may in most years be a crap shoot
    but every once in while a really special year comes along
    and this year is one of those years
    with a really deep draft
    so those 2 2nd rounders could turn into the next big things

  4. leafy says:

    Burke can only do so much.  As people already mentioned, GMs are simply not willing to trade their key prospects or first round picks anymore.

    Given the circumstances, Burke did all he could.  People need to understand, this re-building takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day.

    Here's hoping the 2009 draft is like the 2003 draft.

  5. pensfan29 says:

    Everyone knew that leafs fans over value their players.  Antropov was not worth more than a 2nd, a mid-low second.   Moore just came on as of late and isn't the greatest player in the world either.  They only got a 2nd for him because of his play 2 weeks before the deadline.  He is a career 3rd liner who is streaky.  2nd rounder is a huge win for the leafs for a guy that isnt that good and was drafted in 3rd round I believe a few years back.  Who knows maybe he will keep up his play, but I highly highly doubt it and I think if you're a leafs fan *****ing about losing him for a 2nd well you are basically on crack, imo

  6. leafy says:

    Gary Roberts is finally hanging them up, ending a marvelous career.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=270018&lid=sublink

  7. LeafsNation91 says:

    Agreed. I don't think I ever disagreed with you leafy.

  8. davey says:

    To put it very simply:

    The thing about rebuilding is it doesn't happen within one year, and especially not within one day. The Leafs unloaded some players no-one reallly wanted (that's where the Rangers always come into play) and some they knew the current front office weren't committed to at all.

    Draft weekend will be bigger for the Leafs than the deadline was- all this coming from a Sabres fan. 

  9. blaze says:

    Um there was multiple offers for both players it was the weakest year yet for sellers and no one got predicted market value.

  10. Kyleton says:

    There may be a few people whining about Moore for a 2nd but those are the same people that just whine about everything.  A 2nd for him is awesome as you said because I was expecting more of a 3rd and 5th personally. Something like what they got for kilger last year.

  11. greatlife15 says:

    Leafs are screwed. We're not getting a top 5!

  12. Kramer says:

    In tonight's game, there's two chicks with cleavage right behind MacTavish at the Oilers bench.

  13. davey says:

    Really? Here's where your arguement loses steam…………..

    "There "were" multiple offers for both players (period). It was the weakest year yet for sellers (,) and no-one got the predicted market value. "

    "Multiple offers" aside- that doesn't mean that any of those offers made the Leafs better immediately. There was no NHL front office that didn't know that the Leafs were rebuilding. Something that obvious only goes so far on deadline day.

    Aside from the grammatical errors, I'm not sure what your argument was……. Again- the Leafs deadline day was weaker than draft weekend will be for the organization. Spare the "object for the sake of objecting" reply and just wait.

  14. blaze says:

    wow grammatical errors, notice no capital letter? better to just ignore my post because you obviously don't know hockey

  15. greatlife15 says:

    All I see is one moderately overweight woman.

  16. offside12 says:

    Inside double quotes you should only use single quotes.

  17. Kramer says:

    It's still cleavage, that's all that matters. I always look for that behind the team benches.

  18. Kramer says:

    I'm starting to suspect that Kolzig was kidnapped by aliens!!!! Has anybody seen him around?  No.  Have you wondered why?  A possible abduction by martians should never be ruled out.

    These things happen all the time but are covered up by the government to prevent mass panic.  Watch the X-Files, I'm making this stuff up.

  19. alpalstewart says:

    actually he says he's pondering retirement. but i would have to agree he done. future hall of famers only play in the minors to get in shape and he's already been playing all year.

  20. Nevyn says:

    "only time will tell if the 2 second round picks for Moore and Antropov were worth shipping out these 2 players"

    What the heck are you talking about? Of course it was.  If you love them dearly, good news, THEY ARE FREE AGENTS THIS YEAR so we could sign them again.

    They were rental players.  We acquired 3 picks in this years draft and a conditional pick and gave up nothing.  As for the Burke handling of Antropov, yeah its weird, but his play certainly picked up after so one could suggest it got his attention and upped his price.

    There was nothing exciting about the deadline, and there would not have been unless we moved Kaberle, and you need a really good offer to make that one worthwhile.

  21. Nevyn says:

    Pretty  sure he was objecting to your "players nobody wanted" comment by pointing out that many teams wanted them.  Just nobody wanted to pay too much.

    But I disagree with the notion that its because of a poor seller's market.  I think its just that we were trading mediocre players with expiring contracts.  A 2nd for a rental of Moore is a miracle.  And with Antropov I think Burke overplayed his hand with Columbus (and they moved on to Vermette, and paid handsomely for him) and had to settle for what was left.

    Hard to comment further on the Antropov trade until we see what the conditional pick was. But an unconditional first would have taken a lot of luck.

    The truth is that the rental prices on stars is ridiculous, but after the stars, the rental market is always pretty weak. Nobody wants to mortgage their future for a rental player who can't skate and is gigantic but doesnt hit. So you get what you can.

  22. mojo19 says:

    This was a weird trade deadline year. Antropov was the highest scoring player moved at deadline and he didn't even bring in a 1st rounder. Typically he would have. This could be a sign of GM's adapting to the 'Salary Cap Era'.

    Future trade deadlines may resemble this years more and more now that all the old pre-lockout contracts are practically all gone and the GM's are really understanding the way to manage their teams.

    As for free agency, the only players I hope the Leafs target are Antropov, Bouwmeester, and Cammalleri, after that I don't care.

  23. Tavares-Stamkos14 says:

    I agree witht his post all except for signing Antropov back. Antropov may be good but hes not fast enough i feel. The leafs need to get faster. Cammalleri would be a very good signing.

    Cammalleri is a fast skater and can score. The leafs need like 3 or 4 players like him. We have poni who is similar to antropov. The leafs need to try to get 3rd or 4th over all pick to either draft Braydon Schenn or Matt Duchene.

    This is just my opinion of course. But i have read posts by you before and you seem like you know what your talking about have you any knowledge on the leafs player they picked last year after luke schenn. Jimmy Hayes?. if you do does he have potential im interested in this guy. so let me know if you do

  24. mojo19 says:

    Speed is only one component of a good hockey player. Antropov dominates the corners, down low, is a smart passer and is one of the best players in the NHL in front of the net.

    Poni is similar to Antropov only in size and age, he does not play the aggresive game down low that Nik plays and he doesn't have the ability to dominate like Nik.

    Also Poni is a straight line skater, he can streak down his wing and let a shot go from the outside, where as Antropov has the hands and ability to cut into the middle and put himself in a better shooting position.

    Jimmy Hayes was targeted as a potential 10-15 overall pick at the beginning of last season but he had a rough year. His stock dropped but he was still expected to be taken late 1st-early 2nd round. Fletcher said the Leafs were lucky and surprised he was still around with their late 2nd round pick. They didn't have him targeted because they didn't think he'd last 'til there but when he was there they had to take him.

    I thought he was good in the World Juniors, you might remember he scored the goal that put the US up 3-0 on Canada in that wild game. He's a big kid and considered a two-way player, so hopefully picks it up and turns into a 1st line centre. I guarantee Burke gives him a good long look in camp.

    Thanks for your compliments 😉 welcome to the site.

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