Do you think that Justin Abdelkader should be suspended for this hit?


[yop_poll id=”29″]

489 Responses to Do you think that Justin Abdelkader should be suspended for this hit?

  1. lafleur10 says:

    The Leaffs collapse will be a “where were you when…” historic moment.

    • leafmeister says:

      Where were you when Montreal got eliminated in 5 games by an AHL team, by scores of 6-1, twice? Everyone in the east is jealous that Ottawa got the chance to run over those sore losing, whining midgets.

      Habs fans have 0 right to chirp.

      I am mad at the Leafs, but I will hold my head high in comparison to Montreal. They showed those jokers how to lose with grace, and not role over in a series.

      • LN91 says:

        Haha, calm down. Don’t need to overreact, Leafs played extremely well. Enjoy it.

      • lafleur10 says:

        Sadest leafs comeback at least we didn’t lose to the sens, LOL yeah at least we won’t be an ESPN classic 😛

        • LN91 says:

          A young and upcoming playoff built squad with tons of cap space…

          Yup, I will take the ESPN Classic.

        • leafmeister says:

          Sorry, but do you not see how taking a team two years removed from the Stanley Cup to game 7 is just a little bit better than losing in 5 games to a team full of rookies, and blaming the refs?

          The Leafs deserve to be shit on, no doubt. They will get it enough from Toronto fans. Montreal fans should focus on their far more pathetic loss.

          • lafleur10 says:

            That’s the beauty of being shameless Leaf Blowers. They’ve developed such and immunisation to feelings of shame and inadequacy, they’ll simply hit the reset button and begin anew as if nothing happened.

            • LN91 says:

              You clearly did not watch the Habs-Sens series.

              Are you actually a Habs fan? They lost 2 games 6-1 and blew a 2-0 with 5 minutes left and lost in overtime to a AHL team. They only won 1 game.

              • leafmeister says:

                I have actually wondered that. Do you think he could be a Leafs fan, or Bruins fan, who just has taken on this persona to make Habs fans look dumb?

                It would be the most well maintained, albeit extremely weird, internet rouse I have come across.

                I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that most of his dumber things can be attributed to a language barrier, (if not, then I dont even know) but basic logic knows no language, and lafleur’s seems to go out the window when discussing either the Habs or Blue and White.

                So Lafleur, now is your chance. Are you actually a Habs fan?

                • LN91 says:

                  I don’t know, good point.

                  Remember when he said Kessel is half of the player Cammalleri is?

                  • leafmeister says:

                    Exactly. Wouldn’t that be quite a twist if he was fooling us this whole time?

                    • LN91 says:

                      He has to be lol.

                      And were taking the bait!

                    • leafmeister says:

                      Ahaha, I feel dumb now.

                      Lafleur, I wish whatever team you actually cheer for the best. I couldn’t mock Habs fans as well as you if I practiced for…(trying to come up with a high number, but you have been doing this shit for as long as I can remember)

                • LN91 says:

                  In 2011, Montreal blew a 2-0 series lead against Boston. Both were in Boston.

                  They lost 3 OT games.

                  They blew a game they were winning 3-1 in game 4 at home.

                  Yup, I guess it never happens to them.

            • leafmeister says:

              Geez busting out the thesaurus huh? Punctuation too? You must be happy. These are all new things from you.

              Why don’t you justify your own team rather than shitting on a team that did better?

          • lafleur10 says:

            This is actually true. Nothing can hurt you when losing is the status quo.

          • lafleur10 says:

            I don’t think I could’ve written a more satisfying Epic Choke Scenario for the Leafs if I tried.

            Claw their way back from a 3-1 series deficit.

            Up 4-1 with half a period left to play.

            Aaaaaaaaaand… choke.

            Sweet consolation prize from the hockey gods, at the very least.

    • LN91 says:

      Meh, it’s one of the youngest squads (younger core) who took a physically dominant, Stanley Cup winning squad to the brink.

      How did the Habs do again against a lesser opponent? 😉 Hehe

      • lafleur10 says:

        Now that eases the pain as a habs fan, love the way the Laffs find ways to loose, epic fail. Back to your closets Laff fans. That will shut up the cheerleaders from CBC, SportsNet and TSN. Now I can enjoy my summer. Cheers!

        • LN91 says:

          Why are you chirping…You are already in the closet?

        • leafmeister says:

          Leaf fans, at least on here, come out and critically analyze every loss.

          After Montreal shit the ice, you were no where to be found, until Toronto loses a hard fought series in 7. Who retreats into the ‘closet’ again?

          I do enjoy your comments though. The thought of an adult being that petty and childish is funny, and very believable. Continue to do what you do lafleur, never change.

          • lafleur10 says:

            i was here when we lost and i was very critical of my team too and anylyzed there loss of the series to the sens

            • leafmeister says:

              Alright, so tell me how losing in 5 games to a team full of rookies is preferable to taking a team two years removed from the cup to 7 games? Please, I would actually love to hear this.

              • lafleur10 says:

                beacuse when your up by 3 goals with les than 10 minutes left you shouldn’t choke there is no excuse for that it doesn’t ammter if it was a team full of rookies seasoned vets you just don’t choke like that ever! we have never choked like that ever in our entire exstance

                • leafmeister says:

                  Nobody is making excuses.

                  They fucked up, badly.

                  But, the simple fact (something you cannot argue) is that they are one of the youngest teams in the league, and nobody predicted them to get that far. Boston very nearly choked, but showed their experience and climbed back into the game.

                  Even the Habs management wouldn’t make the excuses you do.

                  Now, explain how losing in 5 is better.

                  • lafleur10 says:

                    i never made excuses for us losing like the motto said in our ressing room no excuses …but this loss for you guys will hurt motre than us losing in 5 i mean you had a 3 goal lead …teams seldomly lose when up by 3 goals with less than 10 m inutes to play ..or up by 2 with a 1;24 leaft and you collapse like that that is worse than losing in 5 games

                    • LN91 says:

                      How will this loss hurt us moving forward?

                      Makes them bitter if anything.

                    • leafmeister says:

                      If you can even call that logic, it is the most broken line of thinking ever.

                      I guess we will have to see if either series has a long term impact, but I challenge you to find one person who agrees with you.

                      I get embarrassed over how into hockey I can get at times, but for an adult (I am assuming you are) to have that much blind hate for a team is weird. Sorry, but it is.

                    • leafmeister says:

                      Losing a 3 game lead in 2010 REALLY hurt Boston in 2011. That is just a straight up fact.

              • lafleur10 says:

                also tell me how a team can lose 3 of their top 6 defenceman like the bruins did and you guys choke? please explain?

                i would love to hear this.

                • leafmeister says:

                  We are not making excuses dude. Our team fucked up. You are the one claiming that bending over for Paul Maclean and the boys is better than fighting hard and fucking up at the end.

                • leafmeister says:

                  Explain how a team with 7 rookies, and 4 forwards with serious NHL experience (Alfredsson, Neil, Michalek, Latendresse), were able to have their way both physically, mentally, and on the score board with the Habs.

                  The team choked. I will not make excuses (like the Habs did about the refing) other than that they fucked up. Show me the team that didn’t take a learning curb.

                • LN91 says:

                  Let’s start with the fact that Jagr nearly has more playoff experience then the entire Leafs squad did coming into the series.

                  Experience is everything in the playoffs….When have you ever seen a young, maiden squad win the cup? They make their mistakes and learn from it!!!

                  Even Pittsburgh was embarrassed by Ottawa 4-1 with Crosby before they learned what was needed to be great in the postseason.

                  How about the Bruins? They had an epic choke of 3-0 in a series. They learned from their mistakes and won the cup the next season.

                  One thing this series showed was this, Toronto has the personnel to actually ‘COMPETE’ with the forces of the East. Additions will be made this off-season and the young squad will be one year older.

                  They made mistakes in the first few games and it was hard to recover from completely. They needed to win 3 straight games, 2 on the road against a team that has won the cup…And they came that close.

                  The loss hurts…But the team is bitter like previous young squads. Nothing is more dangerous then a squad that is scorned.

                  We were not going to win the cup, we are too young…But having a scorned squad gets me pumped for next season.

          • LN91 says:

            Well, he was obviously scared lol if he had to wait until after the Leafs lost in 7 to comment.

            The Leafs are young, the lost is not the end of the world as it leaves a bitter taste in their mouth. Remember when the Bruins lost in 7 after being 3-0 up. They won the cup the next year.

            A lot of the Leafs youngsters, draftees, and prospects come from winning programs…They showed it. Not worried at all.

            However, lafleur appears terrified.

      • lafleur10 says:

        As bad as that is…it has NOTHING on this series. Come back down 3-1 in the series to tie it and are up by 3 goals with 10 mins to go…..then up by 2 goals with 1:24 to go….and blow it.

        • leafmeister says:

          Despite his tough series, even Dion Phaneuf has more heart in one pinky than the entire Habs roster showed in that pathetic 5 game display. You think losing in 7 is gonna have a worse impact on the players psyche than getting taunted by MacLean, and then shelled by a team full of rookies? I guess you do.

          Find one analyst who supports you, go.

          • lafleur10 says:

            phaneuf is a choker and a blow hard like the rest of the laffs! where was that heart tonight? and the way leafs fans crap on the guy i actually feel sorry for him…i seen it on here many times leafs fans crapping on the guy all the time.gallagher has more heart for a small player than any leafs player has and it shows …

    • nordiques100 says:

      Doesn’t matter how. Its how you react to it.

      Montreal going out in a whimper in 5, Canucks being humiliatingly swept, or Isles with 2 heartbreakers in OT, or worse, Anaheim with 3 OT losses, they along with the non-playoff teams are failures. They didn’t win the cup. Its that simple.

      Time for all of them to go back to the drawing board.

      Hope PK Helps us in sweden. Our PP was awful against the Sloveniens.

  2. nordiques100 says:

    Here’s to hoping the Sharks are swept in 4 and that UFA in a year Joe Thornton becomes available.

    I think just what Toronto needs. Size up the middle. A guy with push back in his game. A guy who is hard to play against. A trustworthy player in all 3 zones.

  3. LN91 says:

    Whose going back to the Marlies now?

    Another long playoff run will be a great learning experience!!!

  4. LN91 says:

    One thing I noticed from Burke’s prospect pool is that he drafted players that have been apart of winning squads:

    – Nazem Kadri= OHL Championship with Kitchener Rangers
    – Jake Gardiner= 2010 Team USA JR. Gold Medal Winner
    – Jerry D’Amigo= 2010 Tea USA JR. Gold Medal Winner
    – Ryan Rupert= OHL Championships with London Knights
    – Greg Mckegg= OHL Championship with London Knights
    – Garrett Sparks= 2013 Team USA Jr. Gold Medal
    – Tyler Biggs= 2013 Team USA Jr. Gold Medal
    – Jesse Blacker= OHL Championship with Windsor Spitfires
    – Kenny Ryan= OHL Championship with Windsor Spitfires
    – Petter Granberg= 2012 Team Sweden USA Jr. Gold Medal

    Other notables:

    – Joe Colborne= 2012 OHL Final with Marlies
    – Matt Frattin= 2012 OHL Final with Marlies
    – Brad Ross= WHL Finals with Portland Winterhawks
    – Tom Nilsson= 2013 Team Sweden Jr. Silver Medal
    – Carter Ashton= 2012 OHL Final with Marlies
    – Stuart Percy= 2011 Memorial Cup Final with Mississauga Majors

    Seems like endless information, but the Leafs are starting to win…And the Marlies, although they lost their entire quad, are continuing to win.

    Having guys that win, helps the culture of the team moving forward. Many of those guys mentioned, were very important for the Leafs this season as well and moving forward.

    • nordiques100 says:

      Kadri also won a silver at the world jrs.

      What just happened in that series will help them in spades.

      Its much like the 18 Wheeler falling off the cliff.

      Its now up to the staff and the players themselves to pick themselves up off the ground and get back at it. A kid like Kadri has to work even harder IMO.

      it is good they are coming through a winning program if the Marlies continue success. But there is zero comparison to what you learn at the NHL and in those playoffs.

      and Mojo may hate Luongo but love that tweet. Reimersochi2014 lol

  5. LN91 says:

    I’m just praying to God that Kadri’s FO% gets better with time (It should)…Last element to work on, but it might be one of the most important ones.

    Does anyone else notice that he is very high when he takes a draw? Maybe develop some more power in his legs so he could go lower?

    • nordiques100 says:

      He needs some upper body strength but his hand eye coordination on draws could be better. just needs to be quicker not overly bigger. but a little strength will help too.

      A guy like Crosby is both. he has power and quickness.

      Bergeron uses smarts, quickness and guile.

      Not everyone can be like a Steckel, just a big cow in the draws

    • nordiques100 says:

      And Dave Poulin should step up and help him on draws.

      Guys like Bozak had before Keith Acton. He was a bad coach otherwise but was really good on draws in his career. Kadri needs a mentor in that regard. Poulin was good in his time if i remember correctly.

  6. blaze says:

    That was painful, I can’t believe what I saw. That felt like a Wilson team in the last few minutes.

    A few quick positives.

    This team has the heart to compete.

    They can score and score off the rush.

    KESSEL: 7gms 4g 2a 6p +3. Played responsible hockey, back checked and while he’ll never be a a banger didn’t shy away and has a very effective stick. Kessel doing this in Boston was poetic.

    Gardiner is a stud. Franson grew by leaps and bounds. Two long term keepers right there. Say what you will about Phaneuf but he is the leader and the team went to game 7 OT against Boston, handled adversity well.

    PK was good again. Team had everything it needed to succeed except one thing, face offs. Nonis I don’t care who stays or goes but you had better sign Boyd Gordon.

    That’s about it, great entertaining series Boston, now go f%#k yourselves and lose to NYR.

  7. LN91 says:

    Where to start?

    – Got to hope someone, especially with the dropping cap, needs to get rid of a #1 center. I’m talking to you Vancouver and Ryan Kesler.

    – Mobile defencemen, preferably responsible in his own end and skate with the puck to play with Phaneuf. I’m looking at you Mark Streit.

    – Some muscle, skill, and speed on the wing. Someone who can punch Lucic in the face. I’m talking to you David Clarkson.

    • leafmeister says:

      I think an actual shutdown defensemen should be the top priority (other than a center, but who knows if one becomes available). Gardiner and Liles can carry the mail for now, and who knows, maybe Rielly will crack the roster.

      Phaneuf is awkward in a shutdown role. He is not good at it. I would be willing to trade him for a proper shutdown guy since his offense is pretty replaceable, and his minutes are far from reliable.

      It is actually more beneficial for the team to reduce Phaneuf’s role, as is clearly seen by the discrepancy between his 22 minute games and his 25 minute games. He is clearly not good in that main role, and forcing him into it benefits no one.

      So really since Phaneuf was only effective at around 22 minutes, we are not really replacing that big minute shutdown guy that some claim he is. Ideally they get a physical, skating guy with good hockey sense.

      I would be shocked, literally shocked, if opposing forwards fear being matched up against Phaneuf.

      If Ryan Kesler were to become available, Nonis would have to throw everything short of Kessel, Kadri, Lupul, Gardiner, JVR, and Rielly.

      I would have the following available: Colborne, Biggs, Finn, Percy, Blacker, Ashton, any 2013/2014 pick, Frattin, Kulemin, Bozak’s negotiating rights, and a willingness to take back virtually any contract the Canucks don’t want.

      Example: Kesler, Garrison for Kulemin, Colborne, Frattin, 2013 1st, 2013 2nd, 2014 2nd.

      Trade Grabovski to Nashville for Paul Gaustad, and absorb whatever cap they need us to.

      Trade Phaneuf to Carolina for Tim Gleason, 2013 2nd

      van Riemsdyk – Kesler – Kessel
      Lupul – Kadri – MacArthur
      Komarov – McClement – Hamilton
      Biggs – Gaustad – McClaren

      Gardiner – Gleason
      Garrison – Gunnarsson
      Franson – Liles


      About a million times better on faceoffs, grittier, Phaneuf-less, and while lacking in depth, they would acquire that center that they so desperately need. The spare parts can be acquired much more easily.

      • LN91 says:

        I don’t really like that team lol.

        • leafmeister says:

          Well if they want to get good players, they have to unload some of this depth they have acquired, or draft them. Unlikely one will be available at the 20th pick or whatever.

          So, TankNation 2014? I’m in.

        • reinjosh says:

          We seem to be agreeing on a lot lately (although I haven’t been posting much). Weird.

      • mapleleafsfan says:

        Not the biggest fan of that lineup either. Don’t wanna trade all of that for Kesler who is injured half the seasons anyways. Kulie was a beast these playoffs, I’d hold onto him. Also don’t want to gut our depth. I’d definitely look into Kesler if he’s available, but knowing Gillis the price would be outrageous.

        I say keep phaneuf unless you can trade him for a good center. Sign someone like Scuderi to add some depth and experience and can play a shutdown role. See which of the rookies are ready to make the jump. Sign Clarkson if it’s reasonable. Let bozak walk and use the money on Matt Cullen instead.

        JVR – Kadri – Kessel
        Lupul – Grabo – MacArthur
        Kulie – Cullen – Frattin
        Komarov – McClement – McClaren

        Phaneuf – Gunnarson
        Gardiner – Scuderi
        Franson – Liles


        Maybe a young D can bump Liles or a young forward bumps Mclaren. I actually thought Colborne was fairly solid – not sure how to make room for him though. Maybe move Grabo if we can get a decent return? I loved grabo this playoffs though.

        • mapleleafsfan says:

          Lol I didn’t even put Clarkson in my line up.. Sub out Mclaren, put Clarkson on the 2nd, MacA on the third and Frattin on the fourth. Four fairly reliable lines – Carlyle could use his fourth more than he typically has.

          I also think giving gardiner more minutes will make Phaneuf better as well. He was overused.

        • mapleleafsfan says:

          Also who suggested Ference this offseason? I actually like that idea. Maybe sign Ference and Scuderi:

          Phaneuf – Gunnar
          Gardiner – Scuderi
          Franson – Ference

          I’m ok with that D. Maybe flip Gunnar and Scuderi. Guys like Fraser make reliable call ups.

        • leafmeister says:

          Spare parts for core pieces. It is what the Phaneuf deal should have been if he was actually good.

        • leafmeister says:

          Kulemin is good, and I like the guy a lot, but you have to give quality to get quality back. Kesler is a guy who could take a team to the next level. Kulemin is a good complimentary guy.

          As obvious as it sounds, Toronto has done fuck all since forever because we don’t get good players. We get average players, fall in love with them, overvalue them, sign them to big deals, and watch them forget out to play. 2 major awards going to Toronto players since 1967? Gilmour and Mogilny I believe.

      • blaze says:

        That team would be in a fight to make the playoffs if theyre lucky.

  8. nordiques100 says:

    Gillis/Nonis will never make a deal work. Forget about Kesler. He’d give away Kesler for a 8th round pick (which no longer doesn’t exist) rather than trade him to Toronto. Gillis is a prick.

  9. mapleleafsfan says:

    Guys, don’t get trolled by Lafleur. We blew it, we know. We also fought back from a 3-1 hole in a series no one thought we had a chance in. At the end of the day we were leagues better than the habs and we have far more reason to be proud. Leave it at that, you’re not gonna convince him.

    • leafmeister says:

      LN91 and I are now thinking he is a Bruins/Leafs fan who is putting up an elaborate, extraordinarily well maintained rouse to mock Habs fans.

      As unlikely as it seems, I honestly think it is more likely than someone actually believing half of the shit he says.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      I’ve taken a little time to digest it all and here is what I would like us to do.

      A) nothing has changed here. Let Bozak, MacA, Kostka, Hamilton, Connolly walk. Opens approx.$6 mil in cap space

      B) Phaneuf is not the guy IMO. He is not a number 1 D-man. Many will argue he puts up good numbers even though he plays against the other teams best, but the majority of the pts come via PP. He is not our top D pt getter 5on5 and we saw his “shutdown” ability last night (among other nights).

      Edmonton is looking for a shake-up and Phaneuf would be a great fit there. They want experience and some toughness.
      I would offer Phaneuf up for Smid, 2013 2nd, 2014 3rd. Smid is a better “shutdown” guy, plus $3mil saved in cap space.

      C) Lupul becomes captain, which I think would be well received by his teammates.

      D)Look at a true 3rd line centre. Lapierre is a UFA, decent on draws, has size, a pain to play against and would come cheap. Boyd Gordon has been mentioned. (all depends on what happens otherwise with the centre postion)

      E)More size and grit on the wings. Clarkson if he will take a bit less to come here is the right type of player.

      F) sign a veteran D that is hard to play against. Scuderi, Ference, Regher, Murray. One should be available for a reasonable price.

      A #1 centre is going to be almost impossible to find, so it is vital we are strong on the wings and have a tough, big D.

      Re-up players like Franson, Kadri, Gunnar, Orr and O’Byrne unless they are used in trades for serious upgrades.

      A shake-up needs to be made…a change in on-ice leadership sometimes is needed to take the next step.

      • reinjosh says:

        I’m going to continue to say it. Trading Phaneuf would be a disaster of epic proportions. The hate for him is totally unjustified and it’s so like Leaf nation to make him the goat for the failure.

        Trading Phaneuf would be a great way to destine this team to perpetually missing the playoffs…unless we’re trading him for OEL, Chara, Weber etc. He’s easily a number one dman.

        He isn’t just putting up those points against hard competition, he’s placing in the top 15 of points for dman playing the hardest minutes and getting some of the worst offensive zone starts for a dman in the league.

        Phaneuf plays harder minutes than both Weber and Chara. Significantly harder minutes. With more than 5 percent lower offensive zone starts than either of them. And he still outscored Chara and tied Weber.

        Phaneuf had more even strength goals than Chara, and the same amount as Weber. And they all ahd similar Even Strength points both this year and last year.

        Sorry but you’re just wrong on this. Phaneuf is quite easily a number one dman in this league.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          You’re allowed your opinion and I mine. I think you’re wrong that Dion is a number 1 D-man.
          Offensive/defensive zone stats mean nothing if a team constantly starts in their own end. No Leaf defenceman has more offensive than defensive zone starts. If you want to use that stat fine. how about this, Phaneuf 41.3% offensive starts and Franson 45.9% offensive starts, yet Franson out pts Phaneuf playing less minutes and games, plus he played half the year on the second PP unit while Phaneuf played on the first all year. Phaneuf more giveaways than Franson. Phaneuf a minus player, Franson a + player. Franson put up his pts while playing with Fraser…a career minor leaguer, like Kostka and Phaneuf. Then Phaneuf up-graded to Gunnarsson while Franson still had Fraser and you say Franson is not a top 4 D-man, but Phaneuf is a #1?

          Even using stats…I’m not saying Franson is a 1-2. He is a 3-4 and Phaneuf is a 2-3.
          I am saying Phaneuf is better even though a lot of stats would suggest Franson is better.
          Factor in $6.5 mil per against $1.2 mil per.

          Phaneuf playing hard minutes is what he’s payed so much for and he doesn’t do it nearly as well as Chara, Doughty, Weber etc.

          • blaze says:

            Put Franson in Phaneuf role and watch him fail. Thats really all you need to know.

            Anyone that thinks ditching Phaneuf and proping Gardiner up thinks the Leafs will get better is just wrong.

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              I never suggested dumping Phaneuf and proping Gardiner as you call it. I have said it makes more sense to build around a puck moving D-man like Gardiner. You can move Phaneuf for assets that will make the D a more balanced unit.
              The fact is, Phaneuf is supposed to play hard minutes, just like Chara, Doughty, etc and he can’t handle it anywhere near as well.
              Doughty plays mostly with Regher, Chara/Seidenberg, Keith/Hjalmarsson, Seabrook/Leddy,

              Where are the big names for these guys to play with? Seidenberg,Hjalmarsson,Leddy,Alzner,Mcdonough,Eaton.

              Are these guys all top line d-men? No way. How come Phaneuf needs one?

  10. mojo19 says:

    “Don’t gloat when your enemy falls.” Proverbs 24:17. I’m guilty of this with the habs. Now humbled. Take in this moment lafleur and enjoy it. But this debate of “who is the biggest choker?” is just sad. I don’t think either fan base should be talking tough right now…

    Last night made me noxious.

    • nordiques100 says:

      Of the fans here, I think Leafy and me, with you a close second have suffered the longest in terms of age.

      Its something that thinking about it, it seems like it would only seem to happen to Toronto that kind of collapse.

      It seems that we fans are made to suffer the longest and the most painful.

      But, we will see what this young team is made of. We will see what guys like Lupul, JVR, Kessel, Dion and Reimer are made of. Carlyle and the staff have to ensure no hangover.

      • LN91 says:

        This is what infuriates, if Dion does not learn by 30…Will he ever? Every year we talk about the same issues with him. Every year it stays the same…No improvement.

        There’s no doubt he his talented, and maybe given one more season…But can we stop putting this guy on a pedestal until he actually deserves to be.

        • leafmeister says:

          Seriously. People talk as if he actually earned the captaincy. It was handed to him, after arriving on a last place team that slightly improved their play, and were able to finish a solid 29th out of 30. Or as we call it in Toronto; ‘success.’

          • LN91 says:

            I’m not viewing this as rip Dion hour, I don’t think he should leave…But can’t people actually criticize his play at all and agree that he (himself) needs to be better…And not look blame it at Gunnarsson.

            For example, Dion played averaged 25 minutes a night at around 31 shifts at night.

            Franson averaged 22 minutes at about 30 shifts a night.

            I don’t think Dion is playing longer shifts then he needs too, I do think he does have issues in his own end which correlates to longer shifts.

            Phaneuf and Gunnarsson led the NHL duo with a whopping -13…Gardiner and Franson were better at a combined -3.

            Franson/Gardiner contributed 11 points to this series…Phaneuf/Gunarsson contributed 4.

            Franson/Gardiner contributed 26 Leaf giveaways (they need to lower that)…But they also contributed 15 takeaways. Phaneuf/Gunarsson contributed 20 Leaf giveaways (also high)…But they only contributed 2 takeaways.

            Phaneuf/Gunarsson did contribute 55 hits, good for them, that was a good stat…Want to hear something surprising? Franson/Gardiner contributed 46 hits. Not bad.

            Even if you look at TOI…Phaneuf averaged 25 minutes a night (14th amongst NHL D) on 31 shifts, Gardiner averaged 23 over 28 shifts a night, Franson averaged 22 and 1/2 on 31 shifts, while Gunarsson averaged 22 and 1/2 on 31 shifts a night.

            We were able to reduce Phaneuf’s shifts and minutes like we were all able too.

            Now, everyone is going to think this a ‘run Phaneuf out of town’ and ‘I hate him argument’…But it’s not.

            I’m just saying what I witnessed during the series…And that was the #1 pairing had to and should have been a lot better for Toronto. If they stepped up and played their hearts out like the end of the season, the Leafs would be moving on.

            It infuriates me because I expected 10x more from Phaneuf…But Phaneuf was in his fifth series as a NHL player (I expected guys like Kadri to struggle, so that’s forgivable), and has never moved on from that point…Due to his captaincy, playoff experience, and claims of being an elite D-Men. He should have been better and I expected it.

            Reality was, his pairing folded like a piece of paper and hurt Toronto.

            Just my dissection, once again…I will forgive him I guess…But he better step up next season or yes, I do want him out of town. No more excuses.

            • reinjosh says:

              See I agree that he plays too much. I differ in my argument, in the area of blame.

              Phaneuf at 25 plus minutes becomes a tired Phaneuf that is prone to mistakes. But that’s not excactly his fault.

              Our number 1 pairing struggles at times, but people too often put the sole blame on Phaneuf. He’s at fault and makes mistakes sometimes but more often than not, that is the result of playing with lower quality players (that’s not to say bad players, just not what we need).

              Phaneuf/Gunnarsson is not a good top line pairing. It’s a lower quality pairing by far. But the issue isn’t the players themselves. It’s that they are being misused. Phaneuf is being played like he’s Lidstrom and he’s not. Gunnarsson is being played like he’s a top pairing guy and he’s not.

              Adding another actual top pairing guy is a huge need.

              It’s hugely unfair to Phaneuf that everyone places the blame on him, because its very rarely his direct fault. He’s playing some of the hardest minutes in the league, harder than Chara, harder than Suter, harder than Weber. He’s also getting some of the worst zone starts in the league. Again, worse than Weber/Suter/Phaneuf.

              Do people honestly think that he’s going to put up plus 20 numbers like that? I doubt 3 dman in this league could put up positive numbers playing the kind of minutes Phaneuf does.

              Play around with that site a little. Phaneuf and Gunnarson played harder minutes than any defenseman in the playoffs. He had over 10 percent less offensive zone starts than Chara, and faced competition that was much higher than Chara’s (Chara’s was actually negative…)

              If the Leafs improve their defense, it will allow Phaneuf to stop playing such insane minutes. He is literally playing the types of minutes that no other dman in the league sees at the moment. Adding anotehr capable top pairing dman will bring that down and I guarantee you he will look better for it.

              • LN91 says:


                Chara had the toughest job this series by a mile…All the D was hurt, he averaged more minutes then nearly anybody and he handled it well. He played great actually.

                It was not tired Phaneuf, Phaneuf was getting less ice time and less shifts and he just crumbled.

                His job was easier then you expect this series…He was just not good enough.

                Blame Gunnar as the whipping boy, but Phaneuf is equal in the collapse and that is what I was pointing out.

                • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                  He can blame Phaneuf’s partners, but no one can put any blame on

                • reinjosh says:

                  Didn’t say Chara didn’t play great. I said he played easier minutes.

                  Phaneuf has played harder minutes this playoff series than any other dman in the playoffs.

                  Chara actually had shockingly low quality minutes this series.

                  Players can play well in easier minutes. Franson played fantastically all season, playing in easier minutes.

                  You’re completely misunderstanding me if you think I’m trying to make Gunnarsson teh whipping boy. I’m merely saying that he’s not the type of player to be playing the kind of minutes he is (he played the second hardest minutes in the playoffs). Phaneuf needs to stop beign given the leagues hardest minutes and the team needs to spread them out with some other players. The issue we have is that only Phaneuf is really capable of those minutes at the moment.

                  I get what you’re trying to point out, but you’re doing so with little context to it. You’re just laying the blame at their feet, which is a mistake IMO.

                  The blame lies with management not getting a top 4 dman to support them.

                  • LN91 says:

                    I’m calling bullshit…Chara had 3000x tougher minutes then Phaneuf. Are you serious, they lost their entire defence…Chara played the entire series because of it.

                    Toronto lost no one.

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      Actually they lost Fraser, Franson’s regular partner and somehow Franson found chemistry with Gardiner and they led the D in pts together.

                    • mojo19 says:

                      Don’t kid yourself. Any d-pairing in the league would have had their hands full with Krejci, Lucic, and Horton. Dion did a pretty good job, but at the end of the day those aforementioned Bruins were better.

                    • blaze says:

                      Well said mojo. I know you’re not a Dion fan yourself but still very accurate.

                      Dion did a good job, not spectacular, not awful.

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      Exactly, the Bruins were better than our first pairing. No one said it wasn’t a tough job for Phaneuf, but in the end that line outdueled Phaneuf and Gunnarsson. Is Seguin, Marchand and Bergeron an easy line to contain? You guys act like if Dion had them instead, he would have been great. No one knows that.

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                He had the same offensive zone starts % as Franson.
                Phaneuf played the most against Chara, Boychuk, Krejci, Lucic, Horton

                Franson against Chara, Boychuk, Marchand, Bergeron, Seguin

                Which line was shut-down the most during the series? Oh Yea, the one Franson played against.

                Marchand, Bergeron and Seguin were 1,3,4 in scoring on the Bruins during the regular season. Krecji, Lucic, Horton 2,5,6.
                During the playoffs Krecji, Lucic and Horton were the top 1,2,3 for forwards in scoring while Bergeron, Marchand and Seguin were 4,5 and 9 respectively.
                How is it that the great Phaneuf can’t shut-down their 2nd line but the 5-6 quality defenceman Franson not only shuts down their top line but leads the Leafs in defenceman pts while having the same % of offensive starts as Phaneuf?

                • reinjosh says:

                  Except that Phaneuf still faced far hard competition…

                  I’m not sure you’re understanding the concept of measuring the quality of competition.

                  Franson was good. Didn’t say he wasn’t. But I’d like to see him face the type of competition that Phaneuf faced and do better.

                  Phaneuf faced competition closer to a 6 RQoC (relative Quality of Competition). That’s enormours. Franson was below 3.5, which is still high RQoC, but not near Phaneufs.

                  The closest dman to phaneuf (after Gunnarsson), was Beauchemin at 4.1 RQoC.

                  But you’ll probably just continue to harp on pointless stats like plus/minus and “my view”.

                  The view that Phaneuf is a bad defenseman and not a number one dman, is a fallacy, a conclusion based on ignorance, and simple an idiotic suggestion.

                  • leafmeister says:

                    Shouldn’t #1 defensemen be reliable?

                    Big deal he plays against tough opponents. Those tough opponents got a hell of a lot of shots on goal, and he gave it away more than any player in the league. He played against tough opponents last year, and the year before. The difference this year was the 48 game schedule, Randy Carlyle, and James Reimer. Same old unreliable Phaneuf. He has been the exact same d-man since he arrived in the league.

                    Phaneuf is a bad #1 defensemen. A good #2 defensemen, assuming he has someone to make up for his mistakes, and would be an excellent #3 or 4 guy who had sheltered minutes and never faced remotely tough opponents. However, he whined when Calgary tried to reduce his role, so they traded him. Despite the fact they suck, I don’t get the sense they regret it.

                    • blaze says:

                      If you think Phaneuf is the exact same Dman as when he came in then you dont know what youre talking about.

                      Not that you watched his early career but you ever see Dion log massive PK minutes in Calgary.

            • blaze says:

              I really dont think you understand what tougher minutes mean. When your team is defending a lead with the goalie pulled and your playing the hardest of defensive minutes you’re going to rack up minuses.

              Im sorry but do the Gardiner lovers think Gardiner out there at the end of the game would’ve budged Chara or even Lucic. No.

              As a matter of fact he did sweet fuck all when Bergeron scored the GWG.

              • LN91 says:

                Watch the last 2 minutes, he actually played it perfectly until Phaneuf came on during the first onslaught with the open net.

                He was able to get the puck, skated was able to chip out…And then Grabo dumped it down the ice. TEXTBOOK.

                Simple plays was all he needed.

                Also, besides the GWG…Who had the dominant series…Bergeron or the Kejci line. Gardiner/Franson matched the Bergeron line while Phaneuf/Gunnar got the Krejci line. That’s how Carlyle matched them.

                Even O’Byrne did a heck of a job on Jagr.

                Bergeron/Seguin/Marchand were invisible, the best line this season for the Bruins…While the often criticized Krejci line was dominant.

                That was the deciding factor for me. Their best line was shut down…While their criticized somehow came to life.

                • blaze says:

                  You made my point for me. The dominate line this playoffs, regular season means nothing, was the Krejci line.

                  If Carlyle thought Franson and Gardiner would do a better job then he would’ve played them.

                  Phaneuf made numerous good plays against Lucic that Gardiner never would’ve been able to make.

                  Seems to me you guys all think a former Norris winner doesn’t have a clue what a defenseman is.

                  • LN91 says:

                    And guess what, Phaneuf FAILED huge.

                    That is the point, not whose better at this point of their career.

                    Phaneuf was a no show for this series and obviously cannot handle the leagues best…So, stop mentioning that he is until he actually proves it.

                    That is the point, thank you for proving mine…

                    • leafmeister says:

                      The Leafs exceeded expectations, but Phaneuf has NEVER come close to meeting his in Toronto.

                      Unless of course you have extremely low standards, like being the best defensemen on Toronto. (He won’t be for long)

                      Losing him may cause short term pain, but in the long term it may give them a chance to actually get a true #1 d-man.

                      No team will ever win without a top defensemen that they can rely on.

                    • blaze says:

                      How did he fail huge? A stat lover like you would think something like that.

                      Ya can thank Phaneuf for the game 6 win.

                      Ya think it was Phaneufs fault he was a minus 2 at the end of game 7??

                • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                  Exactly what I showed above, but that won’t matter.

                • blaze says:

                  Also comparing Gardiner’s play 5on5 vs Phaneufs play 6on5 is pretty foolish.

                  Look at the 3rd and 4th goals what on earth would Gardiner have done what crease clearing power does he have?

                  • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                    Gardiner is not supposed to be our top defenceman…Phaneuf is…and he didn’t get done what he is paid to do.
                    Saying a 22 year old rookie wouldn’t have got it done either just to prove Phaneuf should get no blame is weak. I never said Gardiner would get it done. Isn’t that Phaneufs job as top defenceman and captain…to be there when the team needs you and be the best player on the ice. That’s not Gardiner’s job.

                    • blaze says:

                      Wow and to think you want Lupul to be Captain? What the hell did he do game 7.

                      Its irrational hate, no more. The C in Toronto is a heavy burden indeed.

                    • blaze says:

                      And who says the Captain has to be the best player on the ice??

                      Why the hell would NJ pick Bryce Salvador as Captain if thats the unoffical description??

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      When did I say the captain has to be the best player? Plus, many on here think Lupul is a good leader on the Leafs.

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      Just because I don’t think Phaneuf is the right top defenceman to move forward with doesn’t mean I hate him. The hate comes from all you guys who get a hard on for anyone who criticizes his play or doesn’t think he is as good as you think. If you notice, I haven’t questioned your hockey knowledge or said your arguments are poor just because I don’t agree. The hate comes from you guys. I don’t hate Phaneuf, I don’t want him as the top D because I think he can’t get the job done.

                    • LN91 says:

                      ^^^ I second that motion.

                      Although Miika would have SV% of .7777 on this team 😉

                    • blaze says:

                      “Isn’t that Phaneufs job as top defenceman and captain…to be there when the team needs you and be the best player on the ice”

                      -realistic leaf fan

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      That’s what I said. So? I never said the best player has to be captain, but in this case, our best defenceman IS captain. What is your point? You quoted me…and?

        • reinjosh says:

          There’s lots of improvement from him. The issues with him have actually very little to do with him. He definitely deserves the praise he deserves, and actually doesn’t deserve the hate he gets. Very rarely does he actually deserve the hate.

          Read it. It’s actually a very good read and a fantastic look at Phaneuf’s actual worth.

          The biggest issue we have is that after Phaneuf we don’t have anyone to support him. Franson played fantastic this year but he’s not a top 4 dman. Everytime he did, he’d get lost. He’s a very good, maybe even elite, third pairing PP specialist. Gunnarsson is good when he’s not playing injured but that Gunnarsson isn’t a top pairing guy. At best he’s a second pairing 4 guy, the guy who plays with a better 3 guy. Gardiner is coming along nicely but he’s still about a half year to a full year away from being a strong top 4 dman.

          Until we get Phaneuf some support, he’s going to be consistently tired out. He needs to be counted on less to be truly effective. Between 22-24 minutes is the perfect mix. I mean the guy played more per game than Chara did. He’s not superman, not is he Chara. But he is very clearly a number 1 dman that needs help. Until he gets that, he will “appear” to be weaker.

          He still consistently palces among the leagues best in hits, blocks and the leagues best dman in goals and points (and the idiotic notion that his points are easily replaceable is false. I know you didn’t bring that up but someone else did).

          It’s very much the same issue we had with Kessel. He was a great player by himself, but until he started getting outside support and some actual other talent around him, he wasn’t able to do much more than 30 goals/60 points. Phaneuf is the same way.

          Losing Phaneuf would be a massive blow on this team. We need to support him with other talent. Until Nonis can do that, this team will continue to struggle in its own end.

          Defense continues to be our biggest need, far more than a number one center. I know you won’t agree, but it’s our biggest need.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Ahhhhh, I think both you and MOJO are behind me in terms of suffering as per age.LOL

  11. mojo19 says:

    In case this one breaks, 2nd round predictions in the Vanek to Minnesota thread.

  12. nordiques100 says:

    That tweet by Jeoffrey Lupul is so true:

    Joffrey Lupul ‏@JLupul 57m

    That hockey game will haunt me until the day I die…

    brutal and heartbreaking for sure

    • reinjosh says:

      I’m glad to hear that though. Not in like a morbid, “I’m glad to hear their pain” but in a passion way. It really shows he isn’t just mailing it in. He cares.

      • leafmeister says:

        Sounds like a Captain to me.

        • reinjosh says:

          I’d be fine giving him the captaincy. I have no issue taking away the captaincy from Phaneuf. Go for it.

          • nordiques100 says:

            I think its better its with Dion b/c it allows Lupes to be the “real” C without the unnecessary distractions of the actual C being on his sweater.

            Let Dion take all that heat, he’s actually good at taking it. He owned up to his mistakes, really handles the media well for the position he’s in.

            It allows Lupes to be the main guy for the players.

            • reinjosh says:

              That’s an interesting thought. I like it.

            • blaze says:

              atleast someone gets it, and really how is Lupul the real captain anyways. I love the guy dont get me wrong, but what did Lupul do with the series on the line? I didnt see a big play, hit or fight. I seen him blend right in, less noticable than Matt Frattin.

              • LN91 says:

                Scoring wasn’t an issue for Toronto…It was a community effort though.

                Defensively, yes, many players are to blame…But it starts at the top.

                • nordiques100 says:

                  I think Lupul is the “real” C b/c I think the younger players look up to him more.

                  He’s a real engaging and energetic presence too.

                  The poor guy had injuries but he really gives it his all and is more the rah rah type of guy who tries to get the team going emotionally.

                  Dion is the business like professional. He handles the media really well. He takes that ownership but does it in a even keel manner. That is how the face of the team has to portray it and be strong.

                  He cares, but he has to be all business. The C is a bit of a different responsibility in Toronto.

                  I think Dion has handled it absolutely great since he was captain. That pressure can swallow up anyone. But he has carried it well.

                  I think Lupes would just be too hard on himself to be that face.

                  I think he is best suited to be the behind the scenes rally the troops kind of guy. It lets him do all the talking and then Dion, if needed can speak.

                  • blaze says:

                    Well said. So where is this apparent leadership issue? I mean did we get swept? Or miss the playoffs?

                    Or did we exceed by a mile all expectations?

                    Keep the A on Lupul and let him do his thing.

                    • nordiques100 says:

                      its less about leadership being an issue and more about experience.

                      I think that was proved when the team didnt change much and in fact got younger, but recovered from the 18 wheeler falling off the cliff.

                      this is another 18 wheeler. the guys like Lupes, Dion even Kessel were determined to not let that happen again so I am hoping the same dedication here

        • blaze says:

          Ya and forgetting about his injury proneness and how often hell actually be around.

          Why does Lupul get the Captain? Because he’s average defensively? So you want to shift the burden from Phaneuf, and trust me it’s a burden, back to Lupul and expect him to be a key contributor, even though my god he was a minus player!

  13. blaze says:

    Whats more fun is to guess who would be the new whipping boy for Toronto when fans finally run the best blueliner weve had in ages out of town.

    Gardiner and Franson are too popular to be a goat in as quick as a season.

    Screw it rather than one whipping boy we can just hate every dman not named Gardiner or Franson!

    lol its like people look at the stats and think oh look Dion and Gunnarson were minuses! If we could just get rid of those 2 every Dman would have a postive plus minus and Toronto would be even better!

    Like the tough moments of the game would just dissapear along with Dion.

  14. LN91 says:

    Didn’t Phaneuf play with Beauchemin?

    • nordiques100 says:

      I think the issue is just blaming Dion as opposed to saying Dion and others are to blame.

      We’ll use that OT goal as an example. Dion had an ill advised pinch.

      But a) the team was pinching all night long and it was working. Its the style of play and you know, I like it. Dion did it to score the goal in game 6 being aggressive and Franson, well it almost cost him in game 7 on the 1st shift of the game, but him way up by the net let him score the 1st goal to tie it up. Aggressive D is what Carlyle wanted. I am fine with that.

      b) there was no support when he went in. I dont know if they expected it or expected Horton to make an absolute incredible play. If you watch it again, Horton earns an A for effort there. He got killed but made the play. Its something Horton has learned b/c he never would have done that if he was still a Panther.

      c) The puck was stoppable. Reimer let it go through him, one of his few blemishes. It happens, he recovered just fine from it. But its a shot he had a chance to stop fairly easily, but he didn;t.

      d) not too sure what O’Byrne was doing on that 2 on 1 other than backing into Reimer. A minor nuisance on the play, not a huge fault but really he accomplished nothing.

      So Dion deserves blame on the play for sure. But so do 5 other players and the coach for that matter.

      Dion isn’t blameless for sure. But he isn’t the only thing wrong. I think that’s what the issue is. People thinking he is the only thing wrong.

      Even Nonis is not free from it either. the RH D he has that force Dion back to the Right Side is pretty bad. He has to do something or else get an all star player to line up with Dion to give him support.

  15. nordiques100 says:

    There are 3 names i’d like for Toronto to get: Alex Pietrangelo, Joe Thornton and Dustin Brown. But I know, thats pretty improbable if not impossible.

    So how about these 3 names. They borderline on the somewhat more realistic:

    Marc Staal, David Clarkson, Paul Stastny.

    I really think Staal is not untouchable.

    Toronto needs a pure shutdown guy who does more than just that. Staal is that guy. He is a defensive stud, can provide some offence and can lead. He can eat minutes.

    He is oft-injured, but so is Lupul, and maybe like Lupul its a lot of bad luck.

    I think a player like him is a necessity.

    The reason I think he is a possibility is the Rangers have to re-sign McDonagh and the acquisition of John Moore gives them a solid top 4. I think too a deal where they gain depth is something they wouldn’t mind doing.

    Something like Gunnarsson, Kulemin and a 2nd round pick or perhaps Carter Ashton for Staal. It’s going to take a bit to pry Staal IMO. Much like the Gaborik deal, the Leafs would get the best player, but the Rangers could get 3 NHLers out of it. At least 2 for sure.

    As for Stastny I am not the hugest fan, but I am I guess more of a fan than paying Bozak 5 mil, or signing one of the UFAs.

    Stastny is attainable because he is a pending UFA in 2014 and I have some doubts he stays in Colorado beyond next year.

    He isn’t a true no. 1 centre, but he averages 70 points a season, is 53% on draws and is an upgrade on Bozak and Grabovski. That’s the ultimate goal, to upgrade.

    I would probably have the Avs take back the Grabovski salary, but also include prospect Stuart Percy in the deal (or the 21st overall pick in 2013) along with a secondary asset like a 2nd or again, Ashton. Whatever, that stuff is gravy to me.

    Seems like a lot for a guy who could leave in a year? But its for the whole year, not a month like the Iginla trade.

    Either way, I believe a 1st or a 1st round talent would have to go….but it doesn’t have to be a lottery type talent. (See J Bouwmeester – 6+ mil contract, cost the Blues a 1st +, will rent him for just over a year)

    Clarkson thankfully won’t cost assets, just money. Probably around the 4 mil cap hit range. High yes, but again, that’s just the going rate these days.

    He is a big forward with pushback and who is hard to play against. Toronto could use that in their top 9.

    Another UFA I wouldn’t mind is Mason Raymond. He has a history with Nonis being drafted by him and is a player with excellent speed that fits right into what Toronto builds with.

    All 4 players are in their 20s with Clarkson the oldest at 29.

    Do these acquisitions impact organizational depth? For sure. But, its all about other guys stepping up.

    Kessel, JVR, Kadri and Lupul are locks up front.

    The 4th line roles are set with McLaren, Komarov, McClement and likely Orr returning along with Hamilton.

    Adding Raymond, Stastny and Clarkson to this group along with working in the likes of Frattin and Colborne, as they did with Kadri gives them 14 forwards.

    Having Staal on D with Dion, Franson and Gardiner is a good top 4. Good enough I dont know, but good. Fraser in at 5 is likely. Then, it gets interesting. Finding another Fraser is possible. Having Holzer in the top 6 is an option. Bringing back Kostka another option. Opening the doors to Blacker or Reilly also an option. They should have about 9 D on the go. Staal though is a significant upgrade over Gunnarsson.

    The goalies stay the same.

    Whether its something like this or not. The huge question remains whether Nonis has the balls to do anything or will sitting back be what he does with just minor moves to support what he has. I personally don’t think that would be very acceptable IMO.

    Its not glamorous what I suggested, I’d prefer going all in on Joe Thornton, and maybe that new Prez coming in does too. But gosh, I’d be worried to just say hey, lets pay Bozak 5 mil and call it a day. Track records suggest Nonis is sort of that kind of GM. Risk Averse.

    • mojo19 says:

      Marc Staal is counting the days until his contract is up, then it’s off to Carolina with his bro’s, who are we kidding? Jordan Staal turned down 10 years, $60 million last summer with Pittsburgh, you know where Marc is headed.

    • leafmeister says:

      I would love Marc Staal. That is the kind of smart, safe shutdown defensemen you want out there. He might actually make Phaneuf look good defensively. I fear that both Bozak and Phaneuf are going to be long term pieces of this team, and ridiculously high prices.

      Bold moves are necessary. The core they have now can be good, and probably consistently make the playoffs for the next 10 years, but they won’t get a sniff at the cup.

      Stastny would be good too.

      If they have an extra place in the top 6, I think Briere would be a good pick up. The more skill to compliment Kessel, and draw away some of the opposing teams shutdown ability the better.

      • nordiques100 says:

        Thought about Bozie alot. I do like him ok, but unless he has an epiphany that hey i better stay here at the price they want b/c i will suck larger than Matt Stajan anywhere else, I can’t see him staying.

      • mojo19 says:

        Well I can’t argue with the overall point. Maybe not Marc Staal specifically, but a top end shutdown d-man would definitely put our team on another level.

        Having said that, look at Dion’s supporting cast – the most important guys are Gunner, Gardiner, and Franson, all are relatively young, and there is reason to believe they can still grow and continue to get better. Maybe a simple addition of a steady veteran such as Jordan Leopold or Ron Hainsey could be enough just to add depth/options into the mix, and then hope for all the young guys to take a step up next year.

        • nordiques100 says:

          My second option if not Staal is Stephane Robidas.

          He won’t cost nearly as much. Prob a 2nd and a decent prospect, but he is a RH Dman who could allow Dion to shift to the Left Side.

          Just dunno if Nonis wants a “rental” But I see 2-3 ok years left for Roby. And he can be saved by not playing the PP like he does in Dallas.

          • blaze says:

            Robidas is interesting for sure. Considering how young our D core is the vet experience could be a good addition.

          • mojo19 says:

            I would like to see Nonis make some kind of move like this, ya. Robidas is a steady veteran, and he could take some of the minutes and heat off the rest.

            One thing we can all agree on is that we’re lacking one more d-man who can play up over 20 steady minutes a night.

  16. mojo19 says:

    Out of curiosity, how many of you would be happy to see a Phaneuf trade in the mould of Schenn-JVR. Phaneuf for a big bruising forward who can score goals perhaps? Then address the blueline in other ways?

    Look at Boston after their embarrassing 3-0 blown series vs. Philly, they had to get rid of the softies, Sobotka, Sturm, Begin, Wideman all traded, Blake Wheeler for Rich Peverly was a big character trade that worked out, etc. Chiarelli did a good job to recognize which pieces (some of them key pieces) didn’t fit and made the adjustments. Boom – Stanley Cup.

    Just curious as to how many people would like to see us move on without Dion, if we could bring someone different back, just to change the dynamic of the team.

    • leafmeister says:

      Burke likes Phaneuf, and probably has Murray’s ear in Anaheim. They could use another defensemen, and have a good working relationship with Toronto.

      To Anaheim: Dion Phaneuf, Matt Frattin, 2013 1st, 2013 2nd.
      To Toronto: Bobby Ryan

    • nordiques100 says:

      There would have to be some followup to add a significant piece on defence.

      Gunny, Gardiner, Franson as the top 3? yuck.

      • mojo19 says:

        Ya no good. You’re right we would definitely need to replace Dion in another move/signing or whatever.

        I’m just wondering if a changing of the “face of the franchise” would be a good thing? Not saying it would be one way or another.

        • nordiques100 says:

          Ok i understand the context of it now.

          I think that kind of move is a possibility should there be an adequate defensive replacement like Marc Staal or that level of player on D.

          Its not unprecedented. We traded Clark in his prime for Sundin, a top pick but an unknown in these parts as is the norm in the Leaf centre of the universe.

          The reasons could very well be money. He’ll have to take a paycut or at least at most, stay at what he’s making now. Otherwise, move him.

          • mojo19 says:

            To me, with the cap having gone down, I would be happy to see Dion signed to an extension but definitely not at the $6.5 million cap hit he’s making now. $5 million, sure, even $5.5 mil per season, say a 4 year extension $22 million, would be okay.

            But I would also explore the trade market and see if there’s a move we could make that would alter the complexion of the team in some way.

          • mojo19 says:

            Nice example about Wendel being traded.

  17. nordiques100 says:

    So Alex Ovechkin is already in Sweden for the Worlds.

    If you thought Dion and his leadership was bad, he’s clearly not the worst captain in the NHL. Not by a longshot.

    Ovechkin should be convalescing. But instead it looks like he already purchased a ticket to get there b4 even Game 7 was played. Shows you where his priorities were.

    Him nominated over Toews for the Hart is a sham. I am rooting for Tavares anyhow.

  18. nordiques100 says:

    Did i read that correctly on Twitter it said Gryba was getting threats and wishes he get cancer or an illness from Montreal fans?

    Thats deplorable.

    I am proud of Leaf Nation for not causing any major issues last night or any of the nights the Leafs played and they gathered at Maple Leaf Square. Good on us for not Vancouverizing Toronto.

  19. leafy says:

    I’m still trying to recover from last night’s defeat. The shock was too much. I think it unhinged me a little bit.

    • nordiques100 says:

      Lots of excuses, but really no real excuse other than they didn’t play 60 minutes plain and simple.

      Its how they learn from it will be key. 22 other teams failed in some other way too, so really, Toronto isn’t the only ones who went home unhappy.

      Also, its on Nonis now. We will see what he can come up with from now to Oct when the season starts.

      He has work to do. Status quo and we’re a one and done team.

      • leafy says:

        Yeah the tough part begins for Nonis. Not just finding GM trade partners, but also identifying the true keepers from the trade bait on the roster. Tough job.

        • nordiques100 says:

          to me, JVR, Kessel, Kadri and Lupul are going nowhere.

          Same with Gardiner, Dion, Franson on D and of course Reimer.

          I am also throwing in prospect Morgan Reilly and to round out the top 10, McClement.

          Other than that, pretty much anyone and everyone else is expendable. No stone should be left unturned.

  20. mapleleafsfan says:

    Just a reply to RLF up there because it won’t let me reply anymore on that thread. I feel Fraser was much worse than his +/- indicated. He was getting burned wide pretty often and his lack of speed was really noticeable out there. It may not have resulted in many goals at the time but I think over a longer stretch it would have been more apparent.

    Don’t want to bash Fraser though; he was great in the regular season where his toughness/fighting ability had more of an impact. Franson also became much meaner playing with him which was awesome.

    I liked the Frason – Gardiner combo though. Nice speed by Gardiner, bit of a mean streak in Franson and both offensively talented. Both can clear the puck well too (aside from in overtime).

  21. Gambo says:

    I just want someone to explain to me how Phaneuf has shown himself to be egotistical. His pinch in game 4 doesn’t count as a reason. I just want to know why so many people on here say he’s egotistical. I’m not criticizing anyone’s opinions, just trying to understand. I want evidence!

  22. Gambo says:

    Just like Blaze said, for all of you who say Phaneuf isn’t a top line defenseman and isn’t the best defenseman on the team, do you really think you know more about hockey than Randy Carlyle? Guy has won a Norris trophy, a Stanley Cup and is a well respected coach in the league. He clearly has outstanding knowledge of the game. He plays Phaneuf as much as he does for a reason.

    Not trying to ride his dick or anything, I do agree that he is overpaid a little and he isn’t the perfect captain or a 1A defenseman. He is a good captain, no Sundin or Clark that’s forsure, but a good captain. He is a 1B at least. In my opinion I have him in the same group as players like Edler and Kronwall. And most top line d men are overpaid(Weber, Campbell, Bouwmeester, Green, Timmonen etc.)

    Also touching on what Mojo asked about trading Phaneuf in a similar deal to the Schenn-JVR trade, I have been wondering lately about a Phaneuf to Edmonton trade for one of their big 4. He’s from Edmonton and is exactly what they’re looking for. I’m not in favor of trading him, but that scenario has crossed my mind.

  23. nordiques100 says:

    The two young Leafs likely to make the jump next year as Kadri did this year are Frattin and Colborne. Holzer seems too a lock to be the 6th or 7th D since he is out of options.

    The Marlies will likely consist of Drew MacIntyre and Garret Sparks in goal. Perhaps Mark Owuya with Spark in the ECHL.

    The D will be led by Morgan Reilly likely. Stuart Percy should also be there if he isn’t used in trade. Blacker will be there as well. I am not sure if they will bring over Tom Nilsson but that would be great if he did make the trip. Kevin Marshall whom they acquired this year will likely be one of the veterans they keep around and they will likely add a couple experienced AHL guys to add some leadership.

    The forwards will have a core of young players such as Biggs, Ashton, D’Amigo, Ryan, Ross, Leivo and McKegg.

    Players like Lasch and Scott will be a couple of returning vets. Maybe Hamilton will be back too. And they’ll probably keep Spencer Abbott.

    They will likely bring back veteran Mike Zigomanis and maybe add a few more AHL vets to keep the team competitive.

    But this will be a real young team. Here’s to hoping Eakins returns to help 1st year guys like Reilly and Biggs but that doesn’t seem likely.

    Reilly, Blacker and Ashton are probably the closest to see action and could next year.

    Their top junior player is Matt Finn.

    They also have the 21st pick in the draft too along with their 2nd.

    They are not an embarrassment of riches and the depth could use work. But, the team shouldn’t let that stop them from making a key move or two if needed. Youngest team or not, the team would be re-energized by some significant acquisitions. If the excuse of well we need to stay the course and keep our young players is used, I think that could be to the detriment of the actual Leaf team.

    Again, Gardiner, Reilly, those are the guys you keep. If you can, your 1st as well. The 1st allows you to take the best possible guy available in your slot and you add quality. But others can be made expendable if needed. at least that is what i hope….

  24. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    For about the 5 millionth time, I will say, I DON’T HATE PHANEUF. Get over… criticism being hate, please. It’s juvenille.
    IF Phaneuf was to sign an extension RIGHT NOW for $4.5 per over the next 5 years…DO it! He’s worth!

    The problem is, Dion does not make $4.5 or even $5, he makes $6.5 and there is no reason to believe he will take a paycut at 29 years old when his contract is due. How many players have taken paycuts at 29 years old when they are considered the best defenceman on their team and captain to boot? I can’t think of any.

    There is no reason to believe Dion will sign for a significant pay-cut, and in a cap world, cap management is as important as puck management. It would be foolish of Leaf management not ot explore other options because, no offense to Dion fans, he is not a $6.5+ mil a year D-man.

    For the same money as Dion to no more than $2.5 mil more( about what Gunnarsson would probably get) you can have 2 solid D-men. Say you have $9 mil to spend on 2 D-men…do you pair Dion with Fraser or O’Byrne…God know! That’s waaay too much money on a shut down pair.

    If Phaneuf wants the same money OR even more to stay, we have Phaneuf and maybe Gunarsson for $9mil, which everyone seems to feel we need an upgrade for Phaneuf as a partner. This is why I feel it is better to move Phaneuf and his cap hit for other assets.

    For $9mil you could find two pretty good d-men that could play together OR be paired with guys like Gardiner and Franson. How does it makes sense to throw as much or MORE money at Phaneuf, AND spend money to find him a partner? How do you re-sign guys like Franson and Gardiner without either taking money away from the forward group or having a low-cost 3rd pairing that you pray doesn’t get scored on? There is only so much money you can spend on your D-core.

    Right now for $9mil…you can have Keith/Scuderi, Kromwall/Letang, Myers/Phillips, Bieksa/Staal, Seabrook/Jackman, Bfgulein/Orpik, Chara/Emelin, Yandle/Seidenberg etc etc.


    don’t those top 4’s look better than


    If we keep Phaneuf should he not be willing to take a huge pay-cut and find him a “suitable partner” ($4mil+ D-man)…our bottom pair will be shit or we will likely lose Franson or Gardiner and Phaneuf will still have to play huge minutes which he cannot handle.

    It’s not “hate” for Phaneuf…it’s cap managment and building a more solid D-core.

    • leafmeister says:

      Since the scenario you laid out in regards to Phaneuf is likely, I would lean towards shipping him out for some value, before we are forced to lose him for nothing, or worse, resign him to what is likely as much, or more than what he is paid.

      From an outsiders perspective, there seems to be a deal for Bobby Ryan that could work for both sides, since Burke likes Phaneuf, has Murray’s ear, and Anaheim is lacking in defence. Bobby Ryan is constantly coming up in trade rumours, so you have to think that eventually they are better off to just move him. Toronto would probably have to add a few pieces, but it would be worth it. Ryan is a beast.

    • blaze says:

      $9mil…you can have Keith/Scuderi, Kromwall/Letang, Myers/Phillips, Bieksa/Staal, Seabrook/Jackman, Bfgulein/Orpik, Chara/Emelin, Yandle/Seidenberg

      Are those guys on waivers or something?? Or you plan on ditching Phaneuf and signing another UFA ala Finger and Komisarek. We could wisely spend the majority of Phaneufs dollars on Ference, that would make the Leafs better.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Add the respective pairings cap hits together and they are under $9mil. I think I was pretty clear on what I said, Phaneuf at his current rate or higher and Gunnarsson at what he will probably get if he re-signs would be about $9mil.
        All those other pairings are $9mil or less, so why add another D at $4+mil for Phaneuf and be over $10 or $11 mil just to keep Phaneuf. I already said to trade Phaneuf for “Assets” if possible. Ie. another D-man to grow with Gardiner and go from there.
        I never said those guys were available, it’s an example of how to spend money on the D-core.
        Although with the value you put on Phaneuf, we should be able to make a deal where we get some of those guys back + more.

        • blaze says:

          They are all hypothetical pairings, drawing players from different teams with contracts ranging from UFA to RFA to ELC.

          It’s a nonsensical point. None of those pairings even exist so who cares? How do you plan on getting Chara and Emelin?

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:


            How about real on a team

            Chara/Seidenberg $10.1
            Myers/Weber $6.5
            Seabrook/O’duya $9.3
            Bieksa/Hamhuis $9.1
            Green/Alzner $7.4
            Staal/Girardi $7.4
            Markov/Subban $8.3
            Doughty/Scuderi $10.4
            Letang/Orpik $7.25
            Pietrangalo/Jackman $6.4

            Phaneuf/Gunnarsson re-signed (2.1)

            I would take a lot of those other pairs over Phaneuf/Gunnar…and some cost less!
            I know, another nonsensical point because it doesn’t agree with you. What’s new.

            • blaze says:

              Explain the purpose of showing me Chara/Emelin and Yandle/Seidenberg. What is the relevance of fantasy pairings?

              Half those players are there respective teams number 1. You plan on getting rid of Phaneuf and spending it on who? Unless it’s top 2 talent replacing him how does it make the Leafs better.

              For all the guys you mentioned there lots of others too. Some more pairings playing top line D minutes and the cap hit:

              Schenn/Timmonen $10
              Boyle/Stuart $10.3
              Bieksa/Edler $9.6
              Bouwmeester/Pietrangelo $10 (RFA, closer to $13)
              Karlsson/Methot $9.5
              Johnson/Tyutin $8.85
              Hedman/Carle $9.5
              Gleason/Pitkanen $8.5
              Boyle/Stuart $10.3
              Wideman/Giordano $9.25
              Ekman-Larsson/Michalek $9.5
              Goligoski/Robidas $8

              The point is the cost is pretty in line with whats out there. Dion at 6.5 isn’t killing the Leafs. If he was a UFA this off-season he would get more than 6.5.

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                I’m not sure all the pairs you show actually play together. I could say Phaneuf/Liles $10.4mil, but they don’t play together.
                It is my opinion, like it or not, we would be better moving Phaneuf and going with another top quality defenceman or building around Gardiner/Franson and eventually Reilly if he progresses. I have shown ideas of how many yimes and who we could target. I am not re-doing it.

                • blaze says:

                  Behind the net, check it out, shows you who played with who the most often.

                  The way I see it the Phaneuf and Gardiner will play better if they are both on the team. Ditching Phaneuf and putting more pressure on Gardiner gives us less weapons not more.

                  • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                    LOL, I know about behind the net…how I now who played against who in the playoffs the most.

                    Blaze, here’s the thing, neither you or I know for sure if the team is better with Phaneuf or retooling the D with assets you can get from trading him.
                    I respect your opinion, I only ask the same in return.

    • blaze says:

      Also I don’t find 6.5 for Phaneuf outrageously high. Its a bit overpaid but not unprecedented.


      All guys that make over 6 mil. I’d only take about half that list ahead of Phaneuf. I’d rather give Phaneuf 6.5 than Grabo 5.5.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Some of them are overpaid as well…so we should do the same?
        So it’s ok for you to suggest Grabo doesn’t earn his money, but NO ONE can have the opinion that Dion doesn’t? Typical.

        Suppose we keep Dion and pay him his $6.5mil per which you would rather have it seems than move Dion.
        Who is this mystical partner you are getting for Dion and how much will HE cost either through UFA or trade? What will his salary be? $3mil, $4mil…$5mil? You have it all figured out, so show me how you re-sign or who you will re-sign this year…Franson, Gunnar, Fraser, Komarov, Colborne, Orr, Kadri, MacA, Bozak, O’Byrne, Kostka, McLaren, Hamilton and your mystery defenceman for Phaneuf. Cap at $64.5 mil.
        Next year you have Gardiner, Phaneuf, Kessel, Reimer, Scrivins, Frattin, McClement keep that in mind.

        • nordiques100 says:

          He’s getting 6.5 next year.

          the cap will likely go up in 2014-15 as it has every year since there’s been a cap.

          This year they have 20 mil.

          Kadri, Franson, Gunnarsson, Fraser, Komarov, Colborne, McLaren need to be re-signed as RFAs.

          Orr and Hamilton are the likely returnees as UFAs. Maybe Kostka.

          My guess:

          Kadri – sign him to the Subban like contract. Prove to me you are a PPG almost kind of player. At least that’s what I’d do.

          So 2 years 5-5.5 mil seems ok

          Franson – probably will get like a 3 year deal at double his salary that would take him to UFA. so 3 years, 2.5 mil per.

          Gunnarsson will likely command over 2 mil a raise but on a short term contract prob 2 years or so. He could be trade bait maybe too.

          Colborne will likely be the same, around 1.1 mil as his qualifier.

          Komarov too will likely get the same around 1.3 mil

          Fraser will get a slight raise, probably to 900K

          McLaren at 600K, Orr at 900K and Hamilton at 600K. If Kostka returns prob around 700K.

          That in total takes up about approx 14 mil (give or take a mil) of the 20 mil in cap space leaving a cushion of 6 million and 22 players under contract.

          Now, that will grow with the compliance buyout of Komisarek.

          There is also the potential Liles and Grabovski will be traded/bought out.

          So lets say the Leafs acquire Robidas, Stastny, Clarkson.

          That would add just over 13 mil:

          Stastny – 6 mil
          Robidas – 3.3 mil
          Clarkson – 4 mil

          Dropping Grabovski, Liles and Komi will save them 14 million approximately.

          Depending on who is kept and who is demoted among the younger players, the team would have roughly 5-7 million in cap space for the season.

          Kessel 5.4, Stastny 6, JVR 4.25
          Lupul 5.25, Colborne 1.1, Frattin .925
          Kulemin 2.8, Kadri 2.75, Clarkson 4
          Komarov 1.3, McClement 1.5, Orr 1
          McLaren .6, Hamilton .6

          total of 37.5 mil approx.

          Phaneuf 6.5, Robidas 3.3
          Gardiner 1.1, Franson 2.5
          Fraser .9, Gunnarsson 2.5
          Holzer .8

          Reimer 1.8, Scrivens .6

          The backend is a total of 19 mil approx.

          So thats a total of 57-58 mil give or take leaving the 6 mil in cap space.

          yeah, they will have 2014 summer issues. Reimer, Scrivens, Stastny, Robidas, Kulemin, McClement, Kessel, Dion, Frattin, Gardiner would be free agents. But they’ll have a ton of cap to maneuver with as 30 or so mil would come off the books. Couple that with say a raise in cap space, plus the potential of being under the cap anywhere from 3-7 mil. they could have almost 40 million in cap space in 2014 summer.

          Obviously it eats away quick, with all those guys to re-sign, but there is some flexibility.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            I really don’t like the D much and look at all the maneuvering you had to do to make it work. You and I both know it isn’t that easy.
            Second line is Lupul/Colborne/Frattin? Ouch. I hope Colborne and Frattin mature fast.
            I’m not sure we could make the playoffs with that team. No offense.
            Well thought out though.

            • nordiques100 says:

              I am not too sure what you’re looking for. Nothing can really be done to improve the team without maneuvering. And this team for sure needs to be changed. But the core doesn’t need to be ripped.

              I’m trying to fill the needs. Granted, my preference would be, trade for Thornton, offer sheet Pietrangelo and get an explosive goal scorer like Hall. But obviously unrealistic.

              Obviously we’re no Pittsburgh or Chicago here, but I think above that team is better than what we have now and last year we made it with nothing from Grabo, Mac and Kuly offensively. Frattin didn’t score for 2 months. Lupul missed 2/3rds of the games, Fraser/Kostka were in the top 4 for many games.

              The team’s got a bit of character, heart and now pride. They really beleive in eachother. We should start to believe in them too.

              You have to also look at things half full not half empty.

              I keep hearing (and not necesarily from u but from friends, coworkers, callers on radio etc) well Kadri’s finish mean’s he’s the next Ken Hodge Jr. Or Gardiner is just a flash showing good things in just 6 games, not 82. And Reimer just got hot is all. Or Reilly didn’t make it as a teen so perhaps he isn’t that 1st overall pick that Burke said he was because those picks make it right away.

              That game 7 loss put lots of negativity back on the organization.

              I just happen to believe in Carlyle, Eakins and his influence on the kids and that we have good players.

              I guess my only doubts are with Nonis.

              If he makes good acquisitions, and i’d categorize my examples of Robidas, Clarkson and Stastny as good because they’re upgrades to what Toronto had in those positions, then we stand a strong chance to improve further.

              If he makes significant acquisitions, well its potentially skies the limit. those though are hard to find. Maybe Staal? Maybe Bogosian? Or what if…Maybe move both Kessel and Dion? Really shake it up? Really get a new Franchise forward, at Centre and a new franchise D? Who knows. I’d prob not go that far, but therein lies the mystery.

              People say we need to do something, but nothing because we don’t want to kill the cap, but though something big so we can be way better, even though no matter what, we’re bad.

              If its status quo, well then its at that point where there would be real doubts the team would be a playoff team.

              I have a lot of faith that the coaches, development staff and management will build on what they’ve accomplished this year and improve on what they didn’t finish.

              They’ll be working that much more to make this team stronger.

              There has to be some improvements made. Much will come from within. Can Kessel be better? i think so. Can Lupul stay healthy? well that’s tough to judge but you’d have to assume yes. Can Kadri, Gardiner, Frattin etc step up more? You have to believe their progress made means they’ll continue that, not regress. And Reimer, is he a no. 1? Well his attitude suggests he’ll damn well die trying to prove it. So I have faith. Not complete faith as this recurring nightmare of Bozak, MacArthur, Kostka returning for big money haunts me, but I do believe.

              And that’s a lot coming from me who has ripped this team alot. I’m right now only prepping to rip Nonis b/c I just have this gut feeling he has no guts.

              • mojo19 says:

                It’s true. This is the biggest offseason of Nonis’ career as a GM. There are some serious decisions to be made, and he’ll be in a difficult position, just like the rest of the league’s manager’s thanks to the cap coming down.

                • nordiques100 says:

                  I guess you could say he is “luckier” with already 20 million in cap space which puts Toronto 8th “best” in the league. This is opposed to say the Flyers and Canucks who are actually over the maximum already for next season.

                  • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                    I have to admit NORDS(all caps just for Mojo) after looking over your line-up again, the forward group id better than I thought, I think it is line combo’s I don’t like…still don’t like the D much though. Forwards I like.

                    • nordiques100 says:

                      ya you could put Lupes with Kadri and Clarkson or something.

                      The D at least doesnt have Liles/Kostka lol. its addition by subtraction!

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      Much better that way and have Colborne/Kuli/Frattin. Very close to what I have suggested except (no stastny)Grabo was with JVR/Clarkson,
                      Kadri/Lupul/Kessel, Kuli/Col/Frat. I don’t mind that at all.

  25. LN91 says:

    Breakups suck.

    When it rains, it pours.

    Thanks Leafs…:)

  26. toronto77 says:

    Now that the playoffs are over do Frattin, Kadri and Gardiner and Scrivens go back to the marlies? Colborne already went back.

    They are currently down 2-1 in the series against GR. I’d rather have Scrivens in net than Steve Buscemi(Drew Macintyre) If those 4 go back the marlies could go the the finals again.

    • nordiques100 says:

      There’s something about those quirky rules where you had to have been sent down prior to the deadline or just after the deadline and recalled to be eligible to play in the AHL after the NHL season ended.

      Colborne and Hamilton as far as I know were the only ones. I am not exactly sure on Gardiner. I don’t believe Frattin, Scrivens or Kadri will be available at all.

  27. nordiques100 says:

    I was looking at all the teams and trying to pick out a player or two on each that could potentially have some availability to the Leafs and who’d help them.

    Now I will reiterate, guys who are potentially available, not necessarily the guys i’d totally want to see play with the Leafs. That’s because some of those players are really really far fetched.

    Anaheim – Bobby Ryan – Do the Ducks want to make change? After a 1st round playoff loss maybe. But they’ve been saying they want to keep him. He has played some centre but can he be a regular NHL centre? That would be my question because he isn’t and shouldnt take key wing time away from Lupul, Kessel and JVR.

    Calgary – This is real slim pickings here. I guess the only one I’d have interest is Kiprusoff again to backup Reimer and be a mentor. That’s it though. The Flames blow.

    Chicago – Bryan Bickell is a UFA. He is a big body grinder who’d add depth. I wonder to cut costs, they are right up against the cap next year, would they trade Hjalmarsson. I’d take him in a heartbeat. He plays a lot of tough minutes and is a steady D. A bigger version of Gunnarsson.

    Colorado – I’ve spoke of Stastny. Not my fav, but may be the only almost No. 1 centre that is available. He is a UFA in 2014. He has averaged 70 points a season.

    Columbus – There isn’t much to choose from here. Some people like Umberger but he is just a more expensive, older version of Kulemin and may be less productive.

    Dallas – Robidas I have mentioned before too. I like him. He would be a RH partner for Dion and a steadier partner than he’s ever had. He is a UFA in 2014 and is 37. But you know what? Toronto needs the experience.

    Detroit – Damian Brunner and Val Filppula are UFAs. Why not take a stab at one of them. Brunner has unreal skill. He’d be a shootout specialist and could be a poor man’s Kessel. Maybe 20-25 goal Kessel as opposed to 35 goal Kessel.

    Edmonton – Here’s an interesting name to throw out there. RNH. You say what? Well, I have to think MacT isnt all talk. He wants to shake things up. Would you trade Gardiner and another asset for RNH? Those former, and very recent 1st overall picks will carry a lot of worth. To fill that coveted No. 1 centre slot for the next decade, it may be worth it. Its all b/c we still have Reilly. Gardiner is awesome but I think RNH/Kessel? Whoa.

    LA – I wouldnt mind any one of their big bodied 4th line guys be it King, Nolan or Clifford. Would help Toronto be even harder to play against. Clifford has the most potential.

    Minnesota – A lot of you like Cullen. He isn’t bad. A bit old for me and soft though. Maybe Clutterbuck could be traded for. He is just a pain in the neck. Him and Komarov. Leafs would be really hated.

    Nashville – What about Mike Fisher? A 1 year rental likely, I am sure he and that wife of his would prefer to stay in Nashville. But hey, isn’t she on tour for the next year or two? So Mike, why stay at home. Play for the Leafs for a bit. He’s a real good player. I’ve always like him from his Ottawa days.

    Phoenix – I like many would really like Hanzal. But I doubt it. I know many of you have suggested Boyd Gordon. I think we have a guy like that already with McClement.

    San Jose – I am again going to throw it out there. Probably the most far fetched name on the board here, but Joe Thornton. If the Sharks go down quickly to the Quick Kings, well maybe a shakeup? He’s a UFA in 2014. He is a horse.

    St Louis – Chris Stewart – He didn’t have a great playoff after a good regular season. He is a local product. He is big and can be mean….only if he wants to. I just see him as the next and closest thing to Lupul in terms of a guy who peaks a bit later. He can be a beast.

    Vancouver – They’ll never make a trade with them so long as Gillis is running things. Potentially UFA Mason Raymond could be of interest. He was picked by Nonis in the draft and has speed to burn. He is due to break out I think, he is a year removed from that freak injury.

    Boston – Nathan Horton is a pending UFA. He is too a local product. He has size and now experience. He could help add more depth to the wings.

    Buffalo – This is hard to say here. I like Myers but not available not likely. Stafford is but is useless. Maybe one of their young D to add depth, like Brayden McNabb.

    Carolina – I know he is injured a lot but Tuomo Ruutu? This guy can play. He is just never in the lineup. He can play mean too and play all 3 forward positions.

    Florida – The only one who comes to mind is Weiss. He is a UFA and a Toronto product. He could be the equal to Bozak if Bozak leaves. But he is damaged goods though. Hard to say how effective he is. And I worry about the FLorida affect. See Vancouver (Booth, Garrison, Ballard).

    Montreal – I hate the Habs. But…what if…they buy out Tomas Kaberle? Would you take him back on the cheap? I think I would. He is better than Liles.

    New Jersey – Adam Hendrique – He is a real good young centre. Maybe they want help on D, we have some prospects. Maybe they want some more Euros to join Kovy, we have those too. I like this kid. He has a good motor and some skill at both ends.

    NY Islanders – Some have suggested Streit. He is a good offensive guy but a bit weak on the defensive end.

    NY Rangers – Ryane Clowe is an option. He may not score a lot but is big, hard to play against and brings some leadership.

    Ottawa – Sergei Gonchar is a UFA and could be a short term solution on D. But he is old and could be expensive. I dont like Ottawa either.

    Philadelphia – Lots of people like Couturier. I do too but is he a no. 1 centre? Is he going to be that much more productive than Colborne? That’s really hard to say at this point. Maybe by playing with the wingers Toronto has but who knows. He didn’t look great last year but neither did the rest of the Flyers.

    Pittsburgh – Would you take a stab at Iginla? That would be real interesting. It may give Toronto one of the best group of scoring wingers in the league if they have no centres. Morrow is another option. He looked like he got some jump playing on a speedy, skilled team like Pitt.

    Tampa – Lecavalier? Expensive, long term contract that could be an albatross but he is the no. 1 centre Toronto needs.

    Washington – I’d love to land Alzer, but maybe Brooks Laich? He is a hard guy to play against too. I like his heart and desire. He is oft-injured though…

    Winnipeg – Bogosian – he is a RFA. Can’t offer sheet him, those are useless. But, is he the guy you maybe think about getting to build the D with? He can be a horse out there.

    • leafmeister says:

      Adding Ryan would give the Leafs 4 top 6 wingers, and some of the most terrifying wingers at that. Having another elite, but entirely different, winger than Kessel on a different line would make him that much more effective. Who does Chara match up against?

      They would still need a center, but adding Ryan would be a huge coup for Nonis and co.

      van Riemsdyk – blank – Kessel
      Lupul – Kadri – Ryan

      That is one center away from being a very difficult forward core to contain.

      I wouldn’t worry about stealing time from JVR and Lupul since there would still be spots for them, and Ryan is almost certainly an upgrade.

      • nordiques100 says:

        Carlyle tried Ryan at centre before, with success I might add.

        He and Ryan too had a dust up too….but that didn’t affect Lupul any.

        He would be an interesting acquisition.

        I still think some1 who can win draws is a huge need.

        • leafmeister says:

          Having guys playing the wing with center experience is always good. Given their past experience at center, it really shouldn’t take all that much for JVR and Kessel to become adequate to the point where they can step in and win big draws. Boston’s faceoff dominance was absolutely killer.

          Ryan would be another big piece to the puzzle. Even if he stayed on the wing in Toronto, having an elite power winger would make a big center less of a need.

          • nordiques100 says:

            Well finding that Elite centre is really hard.

            There’s what, 15-20 of them?

            Getzlaf in Anaheim, Thornton and Couture in SJ, Kopitar in LA, Datsyuk in Detroit (and Zetts though Zetts plays half the time on the wing), Toews in Chicago, Sedin in Vancouver, Koivu in Minny, Crosby and Malkin, Eric Staal, Richards in NY, Tavares, Giroux in Philly, Lecavalier and Stamkos, Backstrom in Wash, Bergeron in Boston and Spezza Ottawa. That’s 19. And there are a lot of resistance from some to put Vinny on this list anymore and Richards.

            There are the likes of Benn, Backes, Stastny, Krecji, Jordan Staal, Kesler, RNH, Duchene, Mike Richards who are considered to some extent no. 1 guys too. There are also Sharp, Carter and Seguin who are no. 1 type guys who play wing.

            Then there’s the next wave. Berglund in ST. Louis, Kadri, Plekanec, Sam Gagner, eventually Granlund in Minny, O’Reilly, Pavelski, Hodgson, Little, Ribiero, Schenn, Turris, Hendrique, Weiss who are often considered to be really no. 2 guys just to name some. Maybe Bozak too.

            The oddity is that of all these names on “no. 1” lists, only the Richards are not playing for the team that drafted them.

            Hodgson, Turris, Schenn and Ribiero are playing for different teams that drafted them from the no. 2 centre list.

            I guess that’s some proof you’ve gotta draft these guys….

            • nordiques100 says:

              oh and Jumbo Joe too!

            • leafmeister says:

              Anyone off the first two lists could play that role, but you are absolutely correct in saying those guys don’t get traded. The center issue has no apparent solution. Nonis must get creative, because Toronto will not win until it is addressed. If only J Staal didn’t have his heart set on Carolina last summer, or Burke was able to pull off a Mike Richards deal.

              I have suggested acquiring Sean Couturier, or alternatively, they could try and acquire a top 10 pick. This draft is rich with centers.

              Would Edmonton move the 7th pick for Dion?

              • nordiques100 says:

                I like Couturier don’t get me wrong but is he going to be more productive than Colborne at this stage? I am not sure esp after the bad season Couturier just had.

                Not sure if Edm would trade a lottery pick for a pending UFA. If anything, I think if Dion were traded, it would be what Mo suggested above, for a forward. But to me, likely one tied to money too. Like say Pat Marleau.

                • leafmeister says:

                  Next year is of very little concern to me. I don’t know that they have a very good shot at the playoffs with no change, but I would accept a lost season if it meant long term improvement. Turning Phaneuf into a better long term piece would certain qualify as long term improvement.

                  SJ does not need another big money d-man. What does Phaneuf offer that Burns can’t?

                  • nordiques100 says:

                    I wouldn’t accept a lost season.

                    They have to build on the positive momentum they have.

                    There’d be too many questions about not just Dion, but Kessel, Lupul, Reimer and the rest of the core if they fail to make the playoffs.

                    You have to continue to get better not just long term. Edmonton is a joke. ya so what if you have RNH, Hall, Eberle, how long are you going to take? They are still years and years away.

                    Its all about taking the next step. falling backwards just to get another young player or two is not at all worth it. it would be a huge setback to the franchise.

                    I took a wait and see approach with this group of 20. They fared well and made the playoffs, almost upset a cup contender. Now its time to get over the hump, not sit back and accept losing. losing now isn’t an option at the regular season level.

                    • leafmeister says:

                      Obviously the ideal scenario would be to upgrade and improve, but if that cannot be done, a lost season may be the only kind in the cards. Unless they want to throw money at mediocre talent that can make the playoffs but do nothing when there.

                      Plus I am of the belief that Phaneuf’s minutes could be replaced by veteran UFA’s, so losing him does not necessarily doom the season.

                      Realistically though, the statistics do suggest Toronto played above its head this regular season, and while they showed good heart in the playoffs, the playoffs next year are far from a given. Toronto does not have too much of an advantage over any of the teams below them. Those teams had an off year, Toronto didn’t.

                      If a trade is out there to grab a core piece like Kesler, that makes the Leafs better for next year, then do it, but if the only option for a long term fix at center is grabbing a project or using the draft, then do that.

              • lafleur10 says:

                leafmeister they defiantely would move the 7th overall pick for defence…or at least if they were smart they would phaneuf would be a huge pick up for the oilers…and i think mactavish will get fleeced in a deal too by moving one of eberle,yakupov,hall,rnh and i think it won’t be for a top flight guy like that either i think it’ll be for an average defenceman so i definately could think that the oilers will move it.

  28. blaze says:

    Very interesting Bob McKenzie (considered God around here) considers Phaneuf a priority to re-sign over Kessel.

    • leafmeister says:

      Kessel will walk and score 100 points with his new team, and Phaneuf will resign to 7 million per year and become the new Bryan McCabe. We only like to discuss the possibility of actually becoming a contender for shits and giggles.

      That is interesting though. Not doubting it, but could you provide a link? I’d like to see what McKenzie has to say on the matter. I sincerely hope Nonis sees things differently.

        • leafmeister says:

          Interesting. I follow the logic, but I can’t say I agree at all. McKenzie’s reasoning is that defence is more of a team need, but in order to keep Phaneuf, he will need to be paid like a #1 d-man. That means that if/when Gardiner, and eventually Rielly surpass Phaneuf (Gardiner could do it as soon as next year), they will be stuck paying a #3 defensemen 6.5 million. If Phaneuf remains the best defensemen on the team, then they don’t have to worry about winning.

          The Leafs are not close enough to contention for specific team needs to be of primary concern, especially when defensive prospect depth is so strong. They should instead be looking to add core pieces that can be part of a cup winning team. Kessel cannot be the captain, but his offensive ability is staggering, and is a good playoff performer. Given players ability to step up their games in contract years, I will say Kessel has a big year next year. 90 points. Calling it now.

          If no Phaneuf trade makes sense, and he is willing to sign for 5 mil or less, then sure, resign him. I don’t think that is too likely though.

          • blaze says:

            I don’t think Gardiner ‘surpassing’ Phaneuf is a bad thing though.

            Even if they’re not paired together they will still get those minutes in separate roles. Both will play 25+ minutes a night. The help relieve pressure off each other.

            So that doesn’t necessarily mean Phaneuf is number 3 dman if he’s still logging that ice time.

            Also even if Gardiner explodes next season he only get a bridge contract anyways at a very affordable cap hit.

            By the time Reilly even makes the team and has an impact he’ll be on an entry level or bridge contract as well.

            The cap is only going down next year, but it will start to go up again. Revenues will climb again. By the time the playoffs started I forgot there even was a lockout.

            I agree on Kessel though. He’s a keeper.

    • toronto77 says:

      McKenzie is a fat prejudice pigeon! He’ll take any chance to select an canadian player over an american for higher value.

      Defence is probably a more important position than the wing, but Kessel is a better winger than Phaneuf is a defenceman.

      Kessel has made tremendous strides this season by improving his back check and becoming a 200ft player, and surviving in Carlyles blue collar system which many thought he would not do.

      Phaneuf has continued to show that he is not a leader and not a no.1 d-man. He is clearly igotisitcal and not a team player, and puts his fame before his team.

      Kessel MUST AND WILL be re-signed before Phaneuf!

      • leafy says:

        It was very interesting that Carlyle stated re-signing Kessel is a priority, but didn’t say the same about Phaneuf.

        The staunch Phaneuf backers have been saying all year that Randy Carlyle knows more about hockey than anyone here. So how do they explain this one?

        • blaze says:

          If Randy decides Dion isn’t effective enough and Nonis moves him then so be it.

          As for moving him to appease mostly fairweather fan pressure I disagee with completely. For as long as Carlyle trusts Dion with a big role on a winning team I want him to stay.

        • blaze says:

          And for the regret I absolutely think Kessel is a priority re-sign, even more so than Phaneuf.

          Only pointing out there are respected MSM who put a lot of value on Phaneuf.

      • leafy says:

        Sorry, I meant Nonis.

        • nordiques100 says:

          Lots of reasons could be in place.

          Kessel, well he is American, and while he has adjusted well here, the cameras, microphones, that’s not his friend.

          He could very well opt to play elsewhere. As such, they may here have to tread much softer.

          They don’t want negotiations to turn sour.

          He has a very very unique personality. Every player you have to handle with a different way.

          On the other hand, I think Dion is use to the scrutiny. I think he can handle it better.

          They have leverage too they may think in that where else would he be captain? And by being in Toronto, isn’t he one of the most well known captains in the league? you bet he is.

          I think Nonis too had to try and separate himself from Burke. Burke loved Dion. So did Wilson. Nonis wants to be sure he isnt them. I like that in a GM. have your own feet to stand on.

          I personally too agree to tread softly with Kessel. I dont know what kind of fortitude he has. I think he kind of could be sensitive to any negativity or criticism. He’s not like Dion in that way, or Sundin.

          Like for example the shitstorm that went down in Sundin’s final days as a Leaf, him not wanting to be traded. Only Sundin could handle that pressure. Kessel I think that would turn really ugly.

          So, they are being careful. Smart.

      • blaze says:

        igotisitcal, thats interesting, fame before his team? I’d like to hear that one.

Leave a Reply