Leafs chasing the big deal
Clearly discouraged by its current roster, Maple Leafs management is actively working the phones trying to make deals prior to Thursday’s start of the regular season.
What the Leafs would like to do — and may have difficulty accomplishing — is packaging some of their depth players in an attempted deals for single established players in return.
The Leafs season is about to begin with questions in goal — neither James Reimer nor Jonas Gustavsson had terrific pre-seasons — more defencemen than they can dress, and the same old problems up front: Not enough high- level offensive players, not enough physical players, not enough forwards who, frankly, scare the opposition. This is not anything close to the hockey team Brian Burke promised upon his arrival.
The only new player to make any kind of real impact in camp and throughout the pre-season was defenceman Jake Gardiner. If he can perform in the regular season anywhere near the level that he has shown in the exhibition games, then he makes the Leafs better. The question is: Can he?