Leafs’ secondary scoring resurgence leaves trade-deadline questions

Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri are leading a resurgence of secondary scoring for the Leafs — but will it be enough to carry the team past the upcoming Olympic roster freeze and trade deadline?


Possibly yes, and possibly no.


The Leafs have three games before the Olympic break — the last being Feb. 8, the day before the break officially begins — with the NHL’s roster freeze extending Feb. 7-23.


If the Leafs are entertaining the addition of secondary scoring — or any other upgrades — the first window closes on Friday. It reopens for a period between the end of the Games, and the arrival of the NHL trade deadline March 5.


Lupul, whose performance has been largely unheralded, now has eight points in his last eight games. Couple that with Kadri, who has 14 points in his last nine games and played over 23 minutes on Saturday, and the Leafs have strong signs of secondary scoring surfacing in timely fashion for the post-Olympic run to the playoffs.



40 Responses to Leafs’ secondary scoring resurgence leaves trade-deadline questions

  1. kessel_leafs81 says:

    what do people think of..

    To edm: kadri, gardiner, 1st

    To tor: gagner, eberle

    Then look to add a cheap rental defenseman at the deadline. Im sure tallinder could be had for a 2nd and 4th type deal.

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      Doesn’t really make us any better IMO, even if the value is there (or not).

      Both those guys are awful defensively which is our biggest weakness right now. Eberle is a give-away machine which really wouldn’t help our possession game. Gagner is just brutal defensively as everyone knows, and hasn’t really improved offensively at all so far. I don’t want to get even worse at face-offs.

      As for offence, it wouldn’t be a big enough improvement to add more one-dimensional guys. Despite Kadris slow start, he’s only on pace for 5 less points than Eberle over a whole season – playing a more important position for us right now. I’d rather take the gamble on having a 1C than get a guy who’s gonna be buried by kessel on the second line for the next 8 years.

      If we’re moving players I want to shore up the D. Don’t really have any interest in moving either of those guys anyways though. If we could somehow get RNH, sure.

      • doorman says:

        I agree, when I say I am not opposed to trading Kadri or Gardiner, this isn’t the type of deal I envision, let alone throwing in a first, weak draft or not. Even if we were swapping 1st’s I wouldn’t most likely do it. If those two go together, it has to be a home run, IMO.

        • mapleleafsfan says:

          Actually if we were swapping firsts, I’d have to do it (although can’t imagine Edmonton would). That first is almost guaranteed to be top 2. I really wouldn’t mind having Ekblad added to our blue line with Rielly for the future.

          I wonder if this is the year Edmonton finally moves their first. The team is becoming more and more of a joke each time. McTavish can’t honestly say “with the first overall pick, Edmonton is pleased to select” with a straight face again. No one can be happy finishing last year in year out, draft picks or not.

          • doorman says:

            Problem is as much as I like Ekblad, there is no guarantee unless it is fist overall he is there. I also agree with the pick possibly being in play. Eberle at this point is Kessel light and that’s not a knock on either guy. Gagner I would rather just have Kadri bigger upside. Now take out our first and it becomes more interesting, or something like Gardiner, Percy, 1st for Eberle and their 1st. This opens us moving other pieces for other things.

          • leafs_wallace93 says:

            Edmonton is the high end pick to target. Though I’d rather a Bennett or Rennhart for long term solution at center. Hell a golden ticket like that puts Nonis in a position to have a high end C prospect for a #1C if one ever graces the marketplace.

            A package of our pick Riemer and spare parts is realistically what it would taking (again this is usually what trade packages end up being in reality not message boards) if Edmonton is willing to deal.

  2. leafy says:

    I heard Ashton for Aulie might happen.

    And Kulemin’s gonna get traded for prospects or picks.

  3. doorman says:

    These guys should be shot and pissed on for performing in front of Bernier like this. At least he showed up, way to not show up boys, now go hang your heads In Shame lol

  4. leafy says:

    Here’s a question nobody ever asks: Why do the Leafs need Jay McClement?

    He poses to offensive threat and even his penalty is nothing to brag about.

    2 goals all year, a minus 5, and the Leafs are 28th in penalty killing. So why keep him?

    He’s a waste of space. Get rid of McClement, keep Kulemin, and slash salary elsewhere to make up the difference.

    • LN91 says:

      I like Jay McClement, he’s a decent player in his position…

      However, anything beyond the 4-line Center position and the Leafs are doomed on that night.

      I think Raymond is gone after this year, as he’s a player that treats the puck as a grenade.

  5. LN91 says:

    Wallace brought up a good point last week, “Why don’t the Leafs get any respect in the league in their weekly rankings?”

    How can you trust a squad that always has humiliating losses to the likes of Buffalo and Florida? You would expect them each week to crack.

    • doorman says:

      To me outside of a few players, looked as if it was assumed they were just going to win the game. Cup contenders don’t play like that, that is why the lack of respect in the rankings, IMO.

      McClement is a hell of a PK guy, no matter where we sit in the league. The PK would be horrible without him, he is top 3 in the league in shorthanded mins played as a fwd.

      • mapleleafsfan says:

        Our PK is horrible lol. Although last year McClement was a beast. When Bolland is back and he slots permanently on the fourth with less PK minutes it will improve again. McClement brings effort and a solid defensive game, but his offense is way too bad for the 3rd line.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      I’m developing the opinion that the Leafs are an anomaly in terms of why experts predict or advance stats (which is relatively young and hence is overlooked by many/most GMs). They don’t fit a particular mold.

      Every expert when pressed says ‘it’s goaltending and the team continues to play above it’s head’. Yet I doubt Bernier is a Vezina candidate, so it’s not like the Leafs have elite goaltending and Riemer did the same thing with the club last year.

      Ditto with shots against, the Leafs consistently put up a winning record while getting significantly out shot. So the question of quality of chance should be given greater consideration.

      ‘It’s just a fluke’ doesn’t really say much to how the Leafs have played last season and this year. Sure it’s not a contending team but the Leafs again the darkhorse of the East again IMO.

  6. doorman says:

    Since everyone has chimed in one way or another about Kadri/Gardiner trades peos and cons. I have thought of an interesting trade lol, one teams lightening rod for another but throw in two main players each(have added for cap reasons). Wpg needs scoring help and there D I don’t think moves the puck well, add some grit and a solid two way guy. This is a team that needs to make the playoffs. This doesn’t help our centre situation, lol, but seemed fun

    To WPG: Kadri, Gardiner, Raymond, Kulemin & Orr

    To TOR: E.Kane, Bogosian & 2nd

    Go ahead rip away, lol

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      I’d do it. Don’t think Winnipeg does though. I guess now they are back in the playoff picture Kulemin would have value, but if they slip at all he doesn’t. Same with MayRay.

      We’d be set on the Wing for a decade if that went through. D would be more solid too.

      • doorman says:

        Hmm, I didn’t think anybody but possibly RFL, might agree with me. I just figured kane and Kadri seem to be respective lightening rods for their cities. So I tried to think of trades that might actually make sense each way. This almost does for the Jets, they need to move the puck better. As for the Leafs this leaves our centre situation, interesting to say the least.

        • mapleleafsfan says:

          I’d do it and then make a push for Stastny in the offseason.

          JVR – Bozak – Kessel
          Kane – Stastny – Lupul

          Solid top 6 for quite a while. Aim to replace Kulie with someone like J.Jokinen, or just try to sign Kulie in the off season. Not really interested in resigning Raymond anyways.

        • mapleleafsfan says:

          Also a D core of:

          Phaneuf – Gunnar
          Bogo – Rielly
          Franson – Gleason

          is definitely an improvement. I’d try to replace Gunnar with Girardi or someone if we can make it work cap wise.

    • razer1818 says:

      Im ok with it minus Raymond

      • kessel_leafs81 says:

        mapleleafsfan, do you view franson as only becoming a bottom two defenseman?

        • mapleleafsfan says:

          I’m completely sick of Franson. If he somehow regains his form from last playoffs, he’s a solid top four. This year he has been absolutely garbage and regressed like crazy. I would only play him as a #7 D on the PP. I’d also trade him in a heartbeat for a more defensive minded guy.

    • Gambo says:

      I don’t see anyway the Jets do that, i’m assuming they have incredible value put on Bogo. But i’d do it from the leafs perspective in the summer, can’t afford to lose 3 top 9 players and only bring pack 1 on offense and expect to compete in the playoffs.

  7. kessel_leafs81 says:

    see i dont know, i’ve always been a fan of franson and defend him all the time. I think some (not all) of the turnovers are mostly our forwards fault.. and all of our d have had problems with giving the puck away because they simply have no options because the forwards are not getting back and giving good outs. The neutral zone turnover last night was bad i agree. but second in the league for hits and has 27 points has to be valuable for something. I dont think hes as bad defensively as people make him out to be. He’s 26, turning 27 in august which isnt overly young but he is just entering his prime as a dman and with that hes going to mature a bit and hopefully works on the give aways. I would like to see him fire the puck off the glass more if hes introuble or eat it in the corner.. he gets too focused on making a good pass out of the zone and when he realizes theres no outs from our forwards its too late and the pucks going the other way. If he works on that then having a 6 foot 5 dman on the back whos not scared to throw his body around, mobile for a big guy and puts up points? how do you look to trade a guy like that. Just my opinion, but i do agree some turnover have been luke-schenn-like and just brutal but all of our d have done that a lot this year. side note.. very impressed with gleason tho i like the deal quite a bit.

    • doorman says:

      I haven’t been a Franson basher, do I think he could play better? Yes, but so could most of the rest of the team. The one good thing about last nights turnover was I didn’t until then have a reason to pour another drink, lo, thanks Cody, good that you wanted to help a brother out!!1 You are right though, our fwds don’t help the situation, but our dman treating the puck like they are play Hot Potato sometimes doesn’t help either!!

      • kessel_leafs81 says:

        For sure i agree with you, it seems like they are so eager to get the puck out of the zone they try to rush a play with the puck, they have to do more simple plays and if they are not there, eat it and force a battle in the corner instead of a giveaway infront of our net. When in doubt or heavy pressure, off the glass and out to at least get fresh forwards out there. Carlyle better be preaching that to them right now cause its amazing how much difference those little things can make. Also, like the upshall breakaway off the faceoff.. they tried that same defensive zone play every faceoff and it finally worked out once, that one time it works out can very well be a difference in the game so I dont see why carlyle clues in and tries something like that himself? what i liked about it too is that the offside winger doesnt have to be too far out of position incase of a breakdown, he just stops and then hes recovered. Dont you think speedsters like raymond could excel on faceoff plays like that?

    • Gambo says:

      Franson wouldn’t be considered “mobile for a big guy” if he was 7’5″. He makes Phaneuf look like Salming.

      • kessel_leafs81 says:

        you think so? i guess we could agree to disagree with that then, i think he looks semi-awkward because of how tall he is and lanky it seems but i dont view him as slow or getting caught out of position because of him not being fast enough. I guess people have their opinion on certain guys but i just cant see it being justifiable for people wanting to move Franson or not giving him any ice time and letting him mature. If he hits 30 years old and is the same player then sure if the price is right but not just yet.

        • Gambo says:

          My biggest fear is he’s going to want a lot of money. I guarentee that next year one Gardiner or Rielly, if not both would be better options on the first powerplay than Franson and would put up more points if given the PP time.

          Yes he hits a lot, which I’m a big fan of, but he doesn’t always use his size to his advantage. He doesn’t do a good job at pushing guys out from in front of the net, just seems like he doesn’t want to. Also he’s played 300 games in the NHL and has never been in a fight(doesn’t mean much, but just an example on how he doesn’t use his size to his advantage).

          As of right now, he’s nothing more than a 5th or 6th dman. Maybe one day, but it’s not worth spending the money on him when there are guys like Gardiner and Rielly who can replace him.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            After all the giveaways that game by especially Gardiner, we are discussing one by Franson on a goal Bernier should have had and Gunnar should have closed Mathias off before he even got a shot away. Gardiner gave the puck away on the empty netter(nothing said), Gardiner threw one right into our slot onto a panthers stick but got bailed out by Bernier(nothing said). Gardiner on that offensive zone faceoff breakaway against, let his man blow right by him and just stood there, but again, Bernier bailed him out(nothing said). Why? because Gardiner can skate like the wind and he has “potential”.
            The whole D gives the puck away, not just Franson. He is the slowest D and that’s what bugs everyone. He doesn’t skate like a Gardiner or Rielly so he is expendable. Take away all the PP points and Franson is still 2nd on the Leafs d in points.
            Gunnarson for instance is not good with the puck, plays almost exclusively with Phaneuf which helps make him look good. He never plays his off-side and barely has a shift with either kid. Even when he does play with a kid, the kid plays his off-side while Gunnar stays on the left and Gunnar never takes abuse for losing the puck in a battle(which happens a lot), not moving his man out infront of the net(which he doesn’t), getting his pocket picked (which happens).
            If Gunnar is so solid defensively, then why does Carlyle protect him so much by rarely using him with one of the kids? Gunnar looks bad with anyone other than Phaneuf is why.
            Franson/Gleason was solid, if they played together all year, the Franson bashing would still exist I’m sure but to a lesser extent. The new D combo’s are not good. Franson/Gardiner is not working because Gardiner and Franson are both too loose with the puck this year. I remember when Phaneuf was 26, a PP guy who was inconsistent and a giveaway/mistake prone machine, yet many said, he’s young, he can still develop, he’s still our best D and a top 15 D in the league while making $6.5 mil.
            Franson, top 30 in D points, leads the league in hits, top 10 in D pp points and is also killing penalties this year while playing 22 mins a night and only making $2mil. He is too loose with the puck and it gets him in trouble, but like Gardiner, it also allows us to exit the zone at times with control over just banking it off the glass and giving the puck back. He still needs time to adjust to playing a lot more minutes and a bigger role, plus he will not command Phaneuf money as he is not a top 2 guy.

            I got knocked by some for suggesting a trade involving Gardiner/Gudbranson…Gudbranson outplayed Gardiner huge the other night and moves very well for a big guy. I would still do that trade in a second. That’s the kind of move we need then give Franson a decent but moveable contract, move Gunnar in the off-season, if we can sign Girardi.

            Phaneuf/Girardi(Gunnar if can’t get a Girardi)

            Now that’s a d that as the kids develop and become top 4 guys, you could move vets like Franson(or Gunnar if still around) if needed for cheaper 5-7 guys and eventually have a top 4 of


            • doorman says:

              My friend I agreed the Gudbranson trade was intriguing. though I have decided I like my Jets trade a lot(pats self on back, then gives himself highfive), lol. Like I said the D is treating the puck like a game of Hot Potato and it is disturbing. But I will admit if I had to choose between Grdiner and Franson, well I would keep Jake. That skating ability, puck movement and potential he wins. However I don’t dislike Cody and like that he has a hard accurate shot.

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                I like the overall trade suggestion you had, but don’t think the Jets are looking to make any major deals at this point and not sure if it addresses what they would want in return.
                Jake’s ability and potential wins for sure. Thing is, return for Franson will not get us what we need, Gardiner might get us that return.
                Some seem to forget specialty teams are huge in success to winning and in the playoffs become more critical as they could determine the result of a game. Franson makes up over 40% of our D pp points and plays second unit pk. This is something Gardiner will never do and Rielly is far away from both duties.
                Right now teams do not want to take penalties against us because of our pp proficiency, remove Franson and the pp suffers. Remove Frasnon and our 2nd pk unit will get destroyed with Gardiner or Rielly on there consistently. imo

                • doorman says:

                  Oh I know the Jets wont make that trade, lol. I am not sure the Leafs would either, I was just spitballing, more then anything./ you are right though a package with Gardiner lands us more the Franson. Also Rielly makes him the more expendable of the two.

  8. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Speaking of trades though.
    Kulimen has always been tied to Pitt and them obviously looking for secondary scoring could kuli end up there finally. With Pitt having Martin, Letang, Orpik, Scuderi and lots of good young D…
    Would anyone do
    Kulimen for Niskanen?
    two potential Ufa’s

    • kessel_leafs81 says:

      I would, upgrade over gunnarson definately.. having an extra solid dman would be very beneficial for the playoffs also incase reilly folds under the pressure.. never can be too careful

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