If The Maple Leafs Organization Was Smart

If the Toronto Maple Leafs organization was smart than they would trade all of the players for which they can obtain draft picks in the first round, and trade them now. In doing this Brian Burke should be hoping to hell that he can fix his mistake of trading away his 1st round draft pick for 2011.

Once again the Toronto Hockey Maple Leafs are simply not good enough to make the playoffs, and there is no mysterious reason for the leafs failure/mediocrity. The reason is they simply aren’t a good enough team; they don’t have good enough players up front. There is no need to complicate things any further than that because that is as compicated as it is. Phil Kessel is an okay player, but he isn’t a great player; he can’t do anything but shoot the puck. In order for a team to win, it must have a bonified number one center; the leafs have Tyler Bozak. And the answer isn’t to bring in some wash up like Brad Richards; he is better than Bozak, but he alone would not be enough to improve the leafs to playoff contenders. What is needed is an 80-100 point scorer who is a solidified top 10 player in the NHL.

Now, the leafs really don’t have enough to trade for this kind of player without depleting another part of the team that would end up keeping them in the same position they are in now because of a lack of talent.
Now I think the only thing which is quite obviously the only viable option for the team you can guess; trade away all of their good players for draft picks. Kaberle, Phaneuf, and Kessel should all be immediately shipped off, in whatever kind of combination, for as many 1st rounds and if not other draft picks as possible.

Brian Burke was brought in, at least one would think, to make the team better; not to keep the team the same save a slight change in style of play. I don’t see any of the things I put forth in this article actually happening; I just wanted to point out the obvious path that the leafs should take but won’t.

40 Responses to If The Maple Leafs Organization Was Smart

  1. reinjosh says:

    Why would this article get posted?

  2. Kramer says:

    Offense is not the problem. The Leafs scored a goal tonight and almost scored one last night. Assuming none of the Leaf players got kidnapped by aliens (which can never be ruled out), there's meddling by external forces. Could be the mafia, commies, anarchists, or bicyclists. I'm still trying to figure it out. Something's going on. I'm gonna see what the alternative media has to say. Don't watch traditional news. It's all censored. The truth is covered up.

  3. The-President says:


  4. mojo19 says:

    its just getting harder and harder to cheer for this team

  5. mojo19 says:

    Well if we can grab any picks or anything for a couple of these guys we should. Would we really be any worse off if we dealt Beauchemin and just played Korbinian Holzer and Mike Komisarek more minutes? No. We couldn't be much worse off, period.

    I really believe that we have decent wingers, defense and goaltending. Good enough to be a playoff team, but we have AHL calibre centres.

    I'm not saying that Grabo, Bozak, Brent, and Mitchell can't play at an NHL level, because they can. But let's put it this way, if these 4 guys were an AHL teams centres, that would be an average AHL team.

  6. mojo19 says:

    Another thing i don't understand is why after Vancouver cut Morrison at camp, Burkie came out with comments that he had no interest in signing him. Really? Why Burke? Because Zigomanis and Brent were SOOO good at camp? haha….. Because Morrison doesn't fit the "bottom 6" role that Burke insists on using. Morrison was too good to sign. Ya I like that logic….. *****

    I mean, I get taht you wanna give an oppurtunity to Bozak and Grabovski, but when was depth at centre ever a bad thing? I bet they wished they'd signed him now, not like he would have costed much! If we finish low in the standings there are big ramifications. We don't have our 1st round pick. I think Burke forgets this sometimes.

  7. HABSSTAR says:

    You'll see Burke working in Boston in 3 years.  He's just setting the table over there. 

    I'm obviously joking but if I was a Leafs fan I'd be starting to think there's something to this.

  8. leafs_r_a_joke says:

    "they would trade all of the players for which they can obtain draft picks in the first round, and trade them now"

    Kessel, Phaneuf and Schenn would be the only 3 players that you would get a 1st back for.

  9. leafskadri93 says:

    If we traded those 3 guys, would it make us any better at all? Trading for first round picks is never a sure thing. does anyone remember a guy by the name of nik antropov at 10th overall?

  10. Leafs_Forever says:

    No Kiding.  Whoever this 'Leafs1234' is, he/she is an idiot…

    Seriously? Trade Kessel? And Phanuef? And Kaberle?  For Picks?

    Kaberle I can understand.  But Kessel and Phanuef?  Kessel will be a 40-50 goal scorer when he has a center to feed him the puck.  And we need to give Phanuef more time, he is simply trying to hard to impress.  Remember how bad Komisarek looked last year? This year he is fine because he is settled down.  Phanuef will be fine later in the year and in the years to come…

    Remember, Kessel is young! Phaneuf is young!  We are not talking about veteran players…

    And for everyone who thinks the Kessel trade was bad, we won't know that until years down the road. I still would do the trade at this point.  Kessel is  better than seguin (seguin  is just playing for a far better team!).  Remember, right now Kessel has no one to play with…  if he gets a playmaking center, he will be a top sniper in the league…

    And yes, I know, our forward group beyond Kessel is horrible, but remember that this is still a building year.  I don't expect the Leafs to be seriously competitive until the 2012-13 season.  At that point Kessel will be a beast, Schenn will be a beast/monster (he already is!), Kadri will be ready to go (he will start next year, but he needs a season to get used to the NHL re: stamkos), and I am sure we will have another top six forward via trade or free agency, and hopefully Wilson will be gone.

    Everyone relax about the leafs.  The only reason everyone is panicking is because Boston has our pick.  Lets just forget about it.  We have alot of young players who need time.  ANd hey, I have waited my whole life to see the leafs win a cup, I can wait a few more years.

    In Burke we trust! 


  11. Leafs_Forever says:

    Is anyone else tired of writing 'Gretzky' and 'Hockey' everytime they try to do something on this site?  And what is with all the pop-ups?

    Come on!  Whoever runs this site, get it together already!

  12. wayne2 says:

    Brad Richards washed up.Wow,guess being one of the best playmaker in the game,being consistent in points and being a hard working player with no troublemaking on their curiculum is now called washed up.Hey,if they could be sure of signing him Kaberle for Richards is a great deal.He would provide the playmaking talent to feed Kessell.He has stanley cup experience and he would definately help generate more offense an a more positive environment.

  13. Leafs_Forever says:

    Ya, it is getting hard.  If you are going to lose every game, at least start a line brawl or throw a big hit or do something.

    But the truth is, beyond Orr, Brown, and Armstrong, our forward group is soft and small.

    And our forward smallness in one reasons our offence sucks by the way…

    Oh Mats, I remember when you were our number one center…  You weren't physical, but at least you were big and could make things happen.  And oh what a back hand!!!  Mats! Mats! Mats! 

  14. Vman_leafs says:

    "And the answer isn't to bring in some wash up like Brad Richards; he is better than Bozak, but he alone would not be enough to improve the leafs to playoff contenders.  What is needed is an 80-100 point scorer who is a solidified top 10 player in the NHL"
    Are you Kidding!!!!!!  Brad Richards is an 80-100 point producer that is a solidified top 10 player.  Since when is 30 years old washed up?? He is exactly what the leafs need.  He is a low maitienence superstar, that would not melt under the Toronto pressure, and compliment Kessel. Unfortunatley, there is no one player that will fix the weak forwards on this team.  They need a guy like Richards, and someone else.  Look at some of the top teams in this league.  They have 2 to 3 forwards making average 7 mil per year.  They arn't gonna trade for pick at this point, so stop talking about it. 

  15. Leafs_Forever says:

    I have had an intesting thought recently and wanted to throw it out here and see what people think.

    Would Dion Phanuef be a good forward?  When he joins the rush (which is every shift!) he forchecks hard, throws people around, goes to the net hard, and seems to make room for the other forwards, and when he stands in front of the opponents net during our PP he makes things happen.

    I mean, Wendel was a defence who became a great forward.  Could Dion?  He is big.  Has a good wrist shot.  Make hard crisp passes.  Can punish the other teams defence on the forcheck, etc…

    I mean, we have a ton of defence already, why not make him or even Kaberle our Number One Center??  Even just try it for a 10-15 game stretch?


  16. Kramer says:

    My idea was instead of writing Gretzky, why can't we write an easy name like Gill? More easy to spell. Nobody listens to my ideas.

  17. reinjosh says:

    So our last 11 games are identical to the start we had last year. How awesome is that.

  18. TmLeafan says:

    Ya exactly why was this posted, this kid clearly doesnt know anything about hockey.  He clearly loves the TSN draft hype machine which has started already.

    On an unrelated point if we lose a couple more games here I would be tempted to bring up Kadri and play him first line, give him a shot.  I know it is a bit of a knee jerk reaction and I have no problem with him playing all year in the AHL but it might be benificial to switch things up a little bit and provide some excitement for the fans.  Which is needed cause I dont know about you guys but the last 3 losses have been extremely hard to take, havent been this depressed following this team in years.  I dont see this hurting his development and if he comes up and really produces then it could provide some spark (similar to the Phaneuf deal last year). If he doesnt we can always send him back down but I he really cant do any worse to what Bozak and Grabo have been doing lately.
    Also, I rarely talk bad about Leaf players but John Mitchell is completely useless, he is not an NHLer Ive had enough of him I preffered Zigomanis even at least he was winning faceoffs and is a much smarter player.
  19. leafy says:

    See Mojo? Now maybe you understand why I was very critical of Burke last year.

    It's not that I enjoy being negative, but as you get older, you start to get very cynical because you've seen botched rebuilding happen over and over again.

  20. Leafs_RegimeofBurke_ says:

    Anyone been checking in with the Marlies? I don't know much about Justin Hodgman or where he came from but he's looking slick with alongside Kadri.

    Kadri: 13GP, 5g, 8a, 13pts.

    Just watching highlights mostly but from what I can see he's looking super skilled out there, making some mind blowing dekes and set-up plays in the offensive zone…looks like a ray of hope for the Leafs. At times I've seen him dominate on the boards too, stealing pucks, playing harder etc. But I agree he should continue to develop in the AHL for a bit.

    Right now he's a point-per-game player in the AHL…here are some AHL stats of now NHL players that can be compared to Kadri's (7th overall pick in a STRONG offensive draft year boasting Tavares, Duchene, E. Kane, B. Schenn, MPS, Zach Kassian…)

    Eric Staal (2nd overall) — 77GP, 26g, 51a, 77 pts.   

    M. Richards (24th overall) — 14GP, 7g, 8a, 15pts.

    B. Ryan (2nd overall)  — 56GP, 24g, 34a, 58pts.

    D. Brown (13th overall) — 79GP, 29g, 45a, 74pts.

    Lupul (7th overall) — 68GP, 33g, 28a, 61pts.

    Eberle (22nd overall) — 20GP, 9g, 14a, 23pts.

  21. mojo19 says:

    Yes, but you were critical for the wrong reasons. I have no issue with the Kessel trade. Its all the other moves and non-moves that *****ed everything up. If you wanna trade 2 first round picks for Kessel that's fine. As long as you finish 12th place or higher in the Eastern conference. I have no problem giving up two 6-8th overall picks for Kessel. But two picks in the top 3 or 4 overall? Ahhhh!!!!!

    Burke put together such a terrible team around Kessel. Why not just sign Brendan Morrison and Bill Guerin. I know Billy probably wouldn't have come to a rebuilding team, but Burke could have sold him on it and offered a bit more money than other teams (like Philly) were offering. For $2 mil coulda had Bill, and $1.5 mil coulda had Morrison. We'd be way better off, but Burke is on this youth kick. YOU DONT HAVE YOUR FIRST ROUND PICK GET SOME *****ING VETERANS!!!!!

  22. mojo19 says:

    With Rask, Seguin, and another 1st-3rd overall pick coming, the Bruins should hang JFJ and Burke's banners in the rafters after they win their Stanley Cup.

  23. mojo19 says:

    And the oldest one of them is Phaneuf at 25, makes no sense to trade them, they're the only building blocks. So ya, this article makes no sense.

  24. mojo19 says:

    Ya I wish we could have him back. He would give us the size and skill in front to ignite our PP.

    Bozak, MacArthur, Grabovski, Versteeg, Brown, Brent, Kessel

    This is a small group of forwards. Burke needs to realize that there is no subsitute for size and skill. He deals Antropov for a 2nd round pick when he easily could have traded Grabovski instead for the same return. Antropov could have been re-signed for $1-1.5 million more and we'd be WAY better off.

    Also giving away a skilled, big guy in Kubina to sign guys like Komisarek and Beauchemin is a big downgrade in talent, and the guys they brought in are no more physical than big Pavel.

    I wish we'd kept and re-signed Antropov and Kubina instead of signing Grabovski and Komisarek to those contracts. The cap hits would be similar and we'd be way more skilled. ***** these "character" guys Burke brought in. Character doesn't mean shit if there's no skill to compliment it.

  25. mojo19 says:

    ahahaha, wow. Not even joking, that's the best idea I've heard in a long time. I love it. I could see Dion being a huge power forward. And I mean, its not like he was exactly lighting it up on the blueline.

    Yep, I like that. Kaberle is too smoothe and too good as a defensman, but Phaneuf could be a beast power forward.

  26. mojo19 says:

    Its worked in the past for Toronto too. When we sent Nik Antropov back down to St.John's during his sophomore year, he posted 35 points in 34 games in the AHL. The next year he came back up and scored 45 points in 72 games. Not bad.

    I miss Nik Antropov. The more I watch this sad team called the Leafs (arguably the worst Leafs team in franchise history), the more I miss having a legitimate big forward who has good hands.

  27. reinjosh says:

    It could work. Maybe move for a couple months and hope the same thing happens for him that it did for Byfuglien

  28. leafy says:

    "If you wanna trade 2 first round picks for Kessel that's fine. As long as you finish 12th place or higher in the Eastern conference. I have no problem giving up two 6-8th overall picks for Kessel. But two picks in the top 3 or 4 overall? Ahhhh!!!!!"

    Why do you think I hated that trade?!?! I said about 50 times, from Day 1, that it was an extremely dangerous trade because the 2 picks could end up being high 1st rounders, since the Leafs were still rebuilding.  I don't know how many times I need to say it.

  29. reinjosh says:

    Alot haha. I always acknowledged it was a trade with danger too it (I was pissed when I heard it happened) but I saw the upside in it. I never thought we could give up two top 5 picks. This is causing much concern from me right now. The plus at least, is were only 2 points out of the playoffs and 6 points out of 3rd place in the east.

  30. mojo19 says:

    I just didn't think burke would be so stupid to not trade for/sign talent. He filled this team with young, unproven, SMALL, unskilled players. He's so *****ing stupid. The Kessel trade was a great deal, no question. But when you put together a terrible team around him, whats the point of making that trade. Its like his actions post-Kessel trade don't match his intentions when he made the trade.

    This is what makes it so perplexing. And that's why I say your criticism was coming from the wrong place Leafy. If you ever said "Burke is not going to target any talented players and only bring in small, character guys" I would give you full credit for predicting it.

  31. leafy says:

    My quotes from WHEN THE TRADE WAS MADE, with the links. Not 3 months later. Not 6 months later. Not 12 months later.

    I don't know what else I could have said for you to acknowledge I was right all along!!!!!!!

    "No way I would give up 2 first round picks. Not a chance.

    Sorry, the Leafs are just not there yet. If we were contending for the Stanley Cup, it might be a different story.

    I'm still not sold that the Leafs will do much better than last year. What if we finish in the bottom 5 this year? And next year too?

    Kessel is a good young player, but he's not a cornerstone or franchise player. He's not going to turn the Leafs around."


    "Let's not lose focus. The Leafs are still rebuilding. Hey, for all we know, this year could be another disaster and the 1st pick could be a top 5 overall.

    This is not the sort of move a rebuilding team makes.  They can't be giving away high picks like candy.  And Kessel is not going to turn the Leafs franchise around (not too mention some valid health concerns).

    Slow down. We need to rebuild slowly and carefully from the ground up."


    "The Leafs have to be very careful not to overpay for Kessel.

    If you look at history, the Leafs have gotten into huge trouble trying to speed up the rebuilding, only to find they were back where they started, or worse off."


  32. mojo19 says:

    I thought Burke would continue to be active after this trade. And to a degree he was by bringing in Giguere and Phaneuf. But this offseason was a disaster. He didn't bring in anyone. This is what's shocking. And no, you didn't predict that. So just stop with your links

  33. leafy says:

    Mojo, you're being totally ridiculous. All you're doing is proving you're not a fair-minded person.  Shame on you.

  34. mojo19 says:

    Fine Leafy, you somehow knew burke wouldn't target any high end free agents, or add any veteran players despite not having his first round pick. You just never said it. 😉 Whatever you say buddy.

  35. leafy says:

    Yea I should have put in a list of conditions. "My prediction is the following, but only if the following other things happen as well…" LOL!

  36. mojo19 says:

    Well, I think it was a safe assumption that since he traded his first round picks that he would try to ice as competitive team as possible. No one could have predicted him not going after any veteran players.

    But I see your point, even though you didn't know that it would happen, you still made some general statements that it was a possibility that the team would be bad and you questioned Burke. So you were RIGHT Leafy. I understand your point of view. Good job buddy, you got your way, the team is bad, I hope your happy. You get to be right while the rest of us suffer and watch a terrible hockey club.

    Sorry to sound this way, just frustrated with this small team. Its hard to watch. I always thought "Burke type player" meant big, rugged guys. Turns out it means d-men without skill, and small speedy forwards. Who knew?

  37. Leafs_RegimeofBurke_ says:

    Yeah that idea is pretty rad…I mean it worked well when he was screening on the PP.

    I actually miss Dion now, with the Leafs looking so civilian recently. As hard as everyone was being on him, he was bringing energy and attitude.

  38. mojo19 says:

    If I were GM, I would do this TODAY

    Offer Billy Guerin (39) 1 year $2.2 million (pro-rated of course) since he was only getting offers in the $700k range, I hope that would be enough to entice him to come to this team. For arguements sake let's say it is.

    Sign Miroslav Satan (36) AND Pavol Demitra (37) out of the Czech League.
    Sign Robert Lang (39)

    Send Timmy Brent back down

    Kulemin – Demitra – Kessel
    Guerin – Bozak – MacArthur
    Versteeg – Grabo – Satan (yep putting a skilled guy on the 3rd line, deal with it)
    Brown – Lang – Orr

    x – Sjostrom, inj – Armstrong, minors – Mitchell, Hanson, Brent

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