Leaf Experts Look: Leafs Edition

Bryan McCabe, the NHL Draft, whats about Cujo and Ryan Smyth?

With the NHL’s draft not far away and free agency soon to be here by the end of the month. Here’s an inside track through what I’ve gathered the Leafs will be up to for this month and for the most part of this offseason….

I’ll start off with Mike Peca. The National Post first reported Peca has made it known he would like more than anything to return to the Maple Leafs and even admitted he’ll need to take a pay-cut in order to do so which he understood based on the fact not playing past the full season last year. Sources say JFJ will meet with Peca’s agent Don Meehan to discuss future plans with both parties.

Experts Look: I believe if Peca wants to truly come back to the Leafs, that if he isn’t signed before JULY 1st, he’ll have to wait a while before JFJ comes to him with a contract offer(Something like with Lindros, except Lindros ended up leaving). This beacause there’ll be much more bigger fish to fry for JFJ in the offseason before he comes to Peca with an offer for the centre to handle the 2nd/3rd line duties.

Now onto Bryan McCabe. Apparantly, the Leafs are lurking through the NHL market to see what they can get for the offensive defenseman. With the Islanders being the most interested.

Experts Look: The thinking behind dealing McCabe is, that if they can dump his salary, it’ll enable them that much more space to make a push for their main target (Ryan Smyth) and will also allow them to trade for or sign a cheaper yet, more reliable defenseman in the defensive zone.

J.S. Aubin will obviously not be back mainly for reasons of he and coach Paul Maurice having a rocky relationship and also the fact that when given the chance to handle the ball for the team he just couldn’t run with it. Names like Mathaui Garon and David Auebicher are surfacing but former Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph

Experts Look: I personally believe that 2/3rds of the potential 1A type goalies in the NHL would be an upgrade over Ray‘crap(i mean Raycroft). But the hope for the Leaf organization is Razor used the past year as a learning experience and will hopefully improve upon his disastrous year. Of all potential back-ups that can or may be available, I too am one of the supporters of bringing Cujo back to the Leafs.

This years NHL Draft should be a lot like last years for the Leafs. They will try to move up but may once again fall short. At pick #13 the Leafs will no doubt select the best forward prospect available and with picks in every round, may even try to gain another few 2nd or 3rd rounders.

Experts Look: Yes this years NHL draft should be a lot like last years. I do expect the Leafs to make a few minor selection swaps here and there. But unlike last year I truly think the Leafs may move up from the 13th pick. With an over-crowding group of talented defensemen rumblings of unsigned RFA Carlo Colaiacovo along with the 13th pick are rumored to be a possible package for any team with a top 7 pick willing to make a swap. Such a deal would bring a much needed top-notch prospect into the organization while will also save money for the team to spend elsewhere (like in goal)? just keeps finding a way to be mentioned in possibl plans for the Leafs as a back-up for Raycroft. Which with the elite Cujo there could also be the potential for him to steal the #1 job in Toronto should he return back to form.

The Leafs have been organizing and planning out a way to bring forward Ryan Smyth to the blue and white. John Ferguson has apparently already presented to the board of governors at MLSE a budget that would fit in the teams directions and allow them to offer that type of high salary for Smyth. Moving a player like McCabe would only ensure that incase the bidding goes out of hand for Smyth, the Leafs can still top the highest bidder for Smyth services. That is how serious they are in acquiring him.

Experts Look: What I see are all signs pointing to the Leafs preparing for and all but getting ready to sign free agent Ryan Smyth once July 1st hits. JFJ has just over 10million to spend on free-agents with 3 needs. A top line player(i.e. Smyth), a 2/3rd line guy who can contribute( i.e.Peca/ or etc.) and a back up goaltender. If he truly is planning and thinking this as throroughly as he has been leading on the past few months, than we should see all these moves completed and for a change JFJ will be praised for a successfull offseason….

For more of L_E’s columns and forums visit Wowhockey.com

71 Responses to Leaf Experts Look: Leafs Edition

  1. Glucker says:


  2. tucksfan says:

    we would have a solid line throughut the season providing ev1 stays ealthy and maybe we could have a fourth line like the sabers had last season with a 30 goal scorer in steen having wellwood set him up.

  3. Bacon077 says:

    I’m a Leafs fan, and I agree.

  4. mojo19 says:

    He's was the 22nd highest paid goalie last year. That's about right.

  5. mojo19 says:

    He might take a paycut if he can get a 2 year deal or more. He just got his kids in school in Toronto last fall, so he probably isn't eager to shake things up again. I'm hoping for a deal closer to like $4.25-4.5 mil for 2 years. I think thats fair for both sides.

    And as for McCabe. Unfortunately I have to agree with Blue-and White, I think McCabe will be here for the next 4 years and we'll have to deal with that. He's not the worst, but he definitely has his faults.

  6. mojo19 says:

    What was your old name leafy? I've been on this site since '02, this is my 2nd account which I've had since '03. My first was Stevie_Y, or StevieY or something like that, but I only posted a few times on it and I was like 17 at the time.

  7. mojo19 says:

    Hmmmm….. So you want Markenen, Smyth, and Peca???

    Are you also interested in: Guerin, Carter, Conklin, interesting trades for Marchant, Grier, Ales Pisa, or going way back Miro Satan? lol

  8. mojo19 says:

    I remember you too. What brought you back? And remember at one point there was a fake Leaf Expert with a slightly different name, like an extra _ at the end or something. And he made everyone hate you.

  9. tucksfan says:

    gill can stay he is an awesome dman ive been saying all year, but no1 seams to realize this;sign peca and lines



  10. GoalJudge says:

    I have no Idea about that.
    I left because I got bored. Same old whining.
    Same old song and dance.
    I anyone does hate me around here it is a good thing because then at least the message that the same tired ideas got through.

  11. Glucker says:

    you know… you're right,
    instead of breaking the bank on Smyth, we could go after Hartnell and Comrie, ~4 mill each… both very skilled players with potential to be greater then Smyth, and both know how to play hard, which is what Maurice loves to do… and we get both of them for only about 2 mill more then we would spend on Smyth. assuming a 50 mill cap, Leafs have 11.2 to spend,
    1.5 goes to Colaiacovo… we have 9.7 left to spend
    4 goes to Comrie 8 years…good, only getting better
    4 goes to Hartnell 5 years… has had some problems with concussions, so

    Trade McCabe for Dubie and NYI's first… now we got about 6.7 mill left to spend
    re-sign Peca for 2.5(1 year)….4.2 left
    Sign Hannan for 3 mill(4 years)…1.2

    Antropov Sundin Ponikarovsky
    Comrie Wellwood Hartnell
    Tucker Peca Kilger
    Steen Stajan Pohl

    Kaberle Kubina
    Hannan Colaiacovo
    Gill White


    this team is much more defensively sound now that McCabe isn't giving up the puck for us anymore, and there is some added youth and meanness to the forward lines in Hartnell and Comrie… not to mention a back-up who has stolen a few games with his wicked poke check…and all at a final hit of ~48.8 mill

  12. Leaf_Expert says:

    Hmmm, ironic how when "this clown appears(moi)… So do you all of a sudden?


  13. Leaf_Expert says:

    I'm over at Wowhockey.com

    It's exactly like here except im an admin there.. There's not as many active members, but it is pretty funny with the active members we have there and the forums are great…

  14. KingCanada says:

    Yea i know, it was more wishful thinking on my part if anything, i still think its POSSIBLE however unlikely.  I just didnt want anyone to close any doors on the idea JUST YET, the draft and july 1st are still to come so who knows…one can hope hehe

  15. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    I think I had a few, and was terrible at remembering the passwords. Now I just have it on remember password. I think one had to do with Bertuzzi, and another had to do with Alyn McCauley, and there was one about CuJo. I think that's it.

  16. tucksfan says:

    hell no i hate the oilers…….and im from alberta.i like those players tho i think they can help the leafs.

  17. TimmyHoHo says:

    I am shocked that so many people seem to think that an old goaltender like Cujo can come in and somehow improve the Leafs.  I think we need a true #1 goalie, like Turco.  This talk of trading for guys like Satan sounds nice, but we need a guy who can play defence too if we have Razor in the net.  I like Razor as a quality backup and a starter in 2-3 years, but we need help in net now.

    McCabe and his NMC are not as set instone as everyone tends to believe.  He was constantly getting booed last year when we would flop like a dead fish on a two-on-one or whenever he had a once-a-game brain fart.  I wouldn't be surprised if he was keen to vacate the ACC for another venue.  This would be he best time to try and trade him, because, statisically he was a plus and he had a ton of points.  Dallas needs the scoring and could very easily jump at the chance to get him.  Considering Mike Smith was such a success last year the Stars might be willing to part with a top 5 goaltender in the league for some much needed offense.  Perhaps McCabe and a pick for Turco?  I am not so sue that the 13th pick this year will turn out to be as good as Turco.
    Also, I agree with some of the posts about Hartnell.  He will be the free agent steal at 25 years old and someone who can score more than 20 goals a year.  He hits like a train and can score…that has Leaf written all over it.  Which brings me to Smyth…
    Ryan Smyth is a grinder, who is going to get more than 5 million a year.  I love Captain Canada, but I am not sure he is the guy to save the franchise.  That said, I would love to see him in Toronto, but I think the Leafs should target Hartnell first if Nashville doesn't make him an offer.
    I think that the Leafs may go for a short term contract like 2 years for another veteran like Bertuzzi or Kariya.  It is possible that you could get one of those guys for 4 mil or less, at least Bertuzzi anyways.  I bet that JFJ would love to have Kariya iof he misses out on Smyth, because that would create an offensive situaion similar to when Sundin and Mogilny terrorized opposing defences.  I love Smyth, but he isn't the slick passing offensive superstar that Sundin really needs.
    Here are my guesses at realistic scenarios…
    I think that the total Cap cost would be 48.5-50 million, possibly too much, but very solid team.  I would bet a ton of money that this team would walk into the playoffs…no problem.
  18. dstern26 says:

    they will trade mccabe to ny islanders for trent hunter and a 3rd round pick.
    they will sign cujo.
    they will also sign kozlov, handzus and nagy and that is it.

  19. Wilson52 says:

      Wow you are one of the few guys to agree with me to not sign Smyth go for Hartnell and other players. In the salary cap era you have to be careful on what you spend your money on. I think Smyth is a great player but at the price he wants, he ties down what the Leafs can do in the future. The focus for the Leafs getting a great mix of youth and veterans. The Leafs need  players to win today but for the long run as well. The reason why the Leafs as a franchise has failed in the last while is that they traded prospects for a player that is over the hill for a cup run. Leaf fans need to show some patience and Leaf management should have a better plan

     Comrie is not that bad of a choice, I would like to see the Leafs pickup if the price is right is Paul Kariya or Peter Forsberg. Now I sound like a hypocrite Personally I think Antropov and Ponikarovsky are not first line players and with Kariya or Forsberg you can get a that can make plays and finish off plays. I am so so about Sundin but the one thing Sundin has not had is a high calibur player play beside him since Mogilny.  Wellwood looks like he has a chance but he is not there yet. The danger with these two guys is injuries, price and length of contract. If the Leafs want to make a move and do it with 2 or 3 players you have to start with Hartnell to help bulid for the future/today and to get a high calibur player to help Sundin without compromising the salary cap. If the price is not right for Forsberg or Kariya, save the money and go balls out for a top notch free agent next year. Guys like Thornton, Marleau, Iginla could be avaiable, 

    Also what is up with the clown that says the Leafs should trade for Paul Stastny. That will never happen. The only star player I could see Colorado let go is Svatos and I doubt that will happen. I hate when people recommend trades that are out of this world. Be realistic!!!!!

  20. the_word says:

    I justed posted take Harnell over Symth before reading this…. Now I sound redundant, thanks.  I agreed with you assessment, even in the short term Harnell is as quality a UFA as Smyth.

    Leafs are better off with Wellwood over Comrie, Welly is cheap and more of a raw talent.

    Antro and Poni are decent top six forwards, so long as Antro says healthy.

  21. mojo19 says:

    I agree with you, I was just joking, and I forgot Sykora was a UFA this summer, he would have fit nicely with that joke.

Leave a Reply