How the Leafs can get it done
OK, I know that everyone is throwing their predictions and suggestions into the hat but I’ve really tried to look at things objectively with these ideas. I specifically tried to look at the teams that I am suggesting that the Leafs should be talking too in order to identify who would be likely trading partners.
Let me know what you think
Vesa Toskala & Alexei Ponikorovsky to Nashville for their 1st & 3rd picks in the 2009 draft.
I firmly believe that Nashville has got to start putting enough of a decent product on the ice to make the playoffs. They desperately need the additional revenue and the excitement that would likely be generated. Goaltending seems to be a big challenge for them.
This is the first trade I suggest; however I have to admit that I am grasping at straws a bit. Ultimately, I am suggesting that the Leafs begin by trading Toskala to a team with a need for a goaltender. Ottawa could also be a contender for a trade of this nature as long as the Leafs do what it takes to package a player and get a 1st rounder in return.
Tomas Kaberle to Chicago for Khabibulin, Versteeg, Beach and a 1st rounder.
I know that at frist glance this seems a bit steep but Chicago has really sucked for a long, long time. They are finally seeing some benefits for going to the podium early in the past 10 drafts and the entire city is buzzing with Blackhawk fever. By offering them Kaberle, I beleive that they will feel that having two puck-moving defencemen in the back (Campbell & Kaberle), they will be able to have a long playoff run with offense on all cylinders. Khabibulin is basically a throw-in for cap space so it ends up being two great prospects and a 1st rounder for Kaberle.
Kubina & Antropov to Washington for Alzner, Viktor Kozlov and a 2nd rounder.
Again Washington must realize that they are pretty close to being one of the better teams in the NHL. By adding Kubina and Antropov, I beleive that they will add depth & size while keeping the European chemistry that is all over their team. The Leafs take Kozlov for cap reasons and, with Alzer, solidify a nice 1 2 punch on defence for years to come (with Schenn).
Jason Blake to NY Islanders for Mike Comrie
The Islanders want to get rid of Comrie as he is not working out but his salary is making things difficult. Blake has recently shown some of his 40-goal prowess and he was a bit of fan-favourite on Long Island – something they desperately need to put some buts in the seats. The Leafs can afford to carrie Comrie’s salary to the end of the season and then let him retire as a UFA.
When all is said and done, we would have the following pool of young talent and draft picks to work with:
2009 Draft Picks
Leafs #1 (might be in the top five)
Nashville’s #1 (definitely in the top ten)
That’s it for me.