How I could have built the Leafs better
I submitted an article about the mistakes I think the Leafs have made in building their team. After that, I wanted to take a look at what they had, and what they needed and how I could have done it better.
1) Buyout Belfour and Domi (done)
2) Don’t re-sign McCabe, Antropov or Tellqvist
3) Don’t sign Michael Peca (they need 5 on 5 scoring!)
3) Don’t sign Kubina or Gill
4) Don’t trade Rask for Raycroft
5) Send O’neill to the minors. This guy sucked all last year
OK, now I have a buttload of money to spend but a few holes to fill. I figure I will need a couple wingers for Sundin, another winger for the second line, 3 defensemen and a starting goalie.
Sundin’s new wingers are Brendan Shanahan and Peter Bondra. You get them for 1 year each. I think each has enough left in the tank. Shanahan can be had for 4,000,000 (same as Rangers Paid) and Bondra you could probably get for 1 million.
Sign JP Dumont. He got 2,25 in Nashville, so let’s say you have to pay him 2,5 to get him (because Nashville has a brighter future)
My 3 new D-men are McKee at 4 million (same as St. Louis paid), Corvo at 3 million (he took 2,625 to go to Ottawa) and Pothier at 2,5 (same as Washington paid)
Sign Manny Legace for 1,4 (same as St. Louis paid). He is worth that and is serviceable.
Up front, my new leafs are:
Shanahan – Sundin – Bondra
Steen – Wellwood – Dumont
Ponikarovsky – Stajan – Tucker
Kilger – Williams – Pohl
EXTRAS: Belak, Suglobov
My new Leaf defense is:
Kaberle – McKee
Corvo – White
Pothier – Colaiacovo/Kronvall (counted Colaiacovo’s higher salary)
EXTRAS: Belak, Wozniewski
Goalies are Legace and Aubin.
My Leafs have a total Cap commitment for this year: 41,750,000 for the 23 man roster including buyouts and extra players listed above and counting Colaiacovo (more expensive) instead of Kronvall.
My Leafs are faster with more scoring punch balanced in the lines. I am only committed to Bondra and Shanahan for one year! I am slightly younger on the blueline and have 13,850 tied up for 4 years in 4 d-men instead of 17 million tied up for 3 years and 14,9 tied up for 5 years on the current Leafs Defense. I like my defense at least as much as the current one. In net, I may be weaker, then again, I may be stronger!? We just don’t know which Raycroft we got.
Finally, I desparately wanted the Leafs to deal McCabe at the deadline. Look at what Weight got? McCabe would be at least comparable given the season he was having last year. Let’s say that we would get an extra 1st round pick at least. In addition, I still have Rask to develop or deal next year if it is necessary.
The point is, I am in a better cap position now AND in the future and spent my money in a more balanced way. My defense is not worse than the current Leafs and my offense is better. I have brought up two forwards and a two Defense. I can replace Williams with a cheap journeyman center if he simply is not ready at all.
Nothing I have done is unreasonable. I allowed that I would pay a premium for players who signed with better teams and these guys were all UFA’s (except Dumont, but you knew someone was going to be available from Buffalo)… or at least JFJ SHOULD have known!
I am NOT claiming this team wins the cup or is even a guarantee for the playoffs. All I am saying is that it is not weaker and it is much better positioned cap-wise this year and in the future and has more young assets (Rask and at least 1 pick for McCabe)