Leafs Training camp Questions

Questions Leaf fans are asking about the 2007-2008 season.The first questions that need to be asked involve opening day rosters.

1. Barring injuries, Toskala and Raycroft will be the 2 dressed goaltenders, but who will be the opening night Starter??
My Guess is Toskala. Although they may share the starting Role, Toskala will start the year off.

2. We should consider McCabe, Kaberle, Kubina, Colaiacovo, Gill, and White all locks for the top 6 defenseman. However Colaiacovo may be injured, and there is a roster spot for a 7th defenseman. Who will it be?
Woz, Kronwall, Harrison, Belak all have one way contracts, so if one of them starts the season on the roster, it will be hard to bring him back down. Walser and Stralman have a shot as well.
My guess is Wozniewski. Maurice likes him.

3. The Leafs forward group has 13 returning forwards, with one spot open for anybody. The list of suiters is endless. Belak, Nawebury, Ondrus, Williams, Salmelainen, Gamache will all have a chance.
It has to be Williams spot to lose. This guy is ready for the Bigs, providing he can stay healthy.

4. Will Paul Maurice opt to have an enforcer? Belak has a one way contract, and Newbury and Ondrus are good enforcers as well.
I’d have to go with no enforcer. This team has more scoring depth than the last 2 seasons. And its not like the Leafs are pushovers without an Enforcer. Tucker, Bell, Gill will all share the job.

The next bunch of questions involves the season.

5. If Toskala takes the starting role, and one of Pogge or Clemmenson plays well in the AHL, could Raycroft be dealt at the deadline??
I would guess NO. If he’s playing poorly, nobody will want him. If he’s playing well, we’ll want him.

6. Will any prospects like Pogge, Tlusty, Stralman, Kulemin and others get a shot in the NHL this season?
My guess is also NO. This is a much deeper team, and Stralman, Tlusty need to adjust to the Pro style game in the AHL first.

7. There are a fair few older forwards in the minors. Ling, Gamache, Salmelainen to name a few. Will they have an impact this season.
I would have to say YES. In a similiar way Devereaux had an impact last season. Salmelainen would be my guess to have a decent late season impact.

8. The Leafs have no 2nd round pick in the 08 entry draft. What will we use as bargaining chips at the deadline?
I expect this years deadline to be 2 things: Less active, and cheaper. However i expect our depth in NHL ready Defensemen will be the biggest bargaining chip.

There are also, MANY questions on how the season will go.
9. Who will be the Starter?
10. Will Injuries be a big factor?
11. Will White and Colaiacovo improve, or hit a sophomore jinx?
12. Will we see the dependable 06/07 Gill, or the disastrous 05/06 Gill?
13. Will Steen and Stajan move past 3rd liners and become quality scorers.
14. Will Blake score like he did last year?
15. Is Sundin out of Gas.

These I cannot answer. I’d like to see how you answer all these questions Leaf nation, and what other questions ypou have about the upcoming season.


30 Responses to Leafs Training camp Questions

  1. PTack says:

    "Newbury and Ondrus are good enforcers as well."

    Uhh what are you talking about… do you even watch leaf games? Those two arent enforcers. Didnt Newbury like almost die in a fight haha maybe it was a hit… its been a while since ive seen a game annndd ondrus usually just takes a beating. Sure these guys might fight the odd time but i wouldnt label them enforcers and at the very least if i had to call them an enforcer… i wouldnt label them good.

  2. antmonkey says:

    Sundin has carried this team on his back for the past 2 years (if not more). If he is out of gas, it's because he has been playing with 3rd liners the whole time. wtf is he playing with antropov for? maybe they're hoping antropov can learn how to play hockey from watching one of the best big men in hockey up close. If the leafs don't make the playoffs this yr, I wouldn't be surprised to see sundin retire. sad to see him go, the leafs have nothing at center without him.

  3. antmonkey says:

    yeah, I laughed when I read that too. It was so ridiculous I couldn't comment.

  4. Hoondog2 says:

    Good article.  This Leaf team has potential to fight for top 4 in the East, but it also has potential to finish just out of the playoffs!

  5. riseagainst says:

    Sundin is defenitily not out of gas.  Everyone always says he's never had a good winger but I guess people just forget the few years he played along side Mogilny.  Secondly, when he plays with Antropov and Poni they go to the corners a lot more so then Sundin, allowing Sundin to avoid situations were he has to work harder. 

    I think Raycroft might actually start but be on a very short leash.  Even if he plays well and loses Tosk will likely be the second game starter.  I only say this because despite what people say about Raycroft he did play hard for the leafs and won 37 games, he desevers a chance.

  6. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    I said good enforcers. not great ones. Both have been successful playing the role of enforcer on both the leafs and marlies. Newbury was injured in a fight once, find me an enforcer who hasn't done that.

  7. Hoondog2 says:

    Sundin has plenty of hockey in front of him.  Sundin never played with Mogilny much because Quinn always wanted to "spread the scoring around".

  8. 92-93 says:

    agreed that there should be NO enforcer.

    I like Woz but i think Stralman and Kronvall will be in the mix too.

    Right now, there really is no room for Williams up front – he'll be called up once the injuries begin with the forward group (i.e. Antropov, Wellwood, etc.).

    I see those older forwards in the minors will have little or no impact on the Leafs. Devereaux was a lucky break, Pohl has surprised some people with his play. but i dont see anyone else making a difference.

    I dont know how the leafs can be any more less active or less impressive at the deadline this year as they have in the past 2 seaons when they acquired Richards/Suglobov and Perreault. I HOPE AND PRAY that they will be very open to trading players for picks and prospects (and with the exception of Kaberle and the young forwards/D, the entire Team is fair game IMO, not just NHL-ready D-men).

    Injuries will be a huge factor unfortunately. I hope i am wrong, but its just the luck of the Leafs. Hopefully it will force the younger regulars to play better and take responsibility of the team.

    Sundin is in the waning stages of his career – but he is not out of gas. i laugh at those who talk about his goal drought last year. he was so important to the Leafs in each and every game he played last season.

  9. 92-93 says:

    i dunno about 4th or 5th.

    6th-12th is the range – just like it was last year.

    other teams made improvements or have young players who are improving from year to year.

  10. riseagainst says:

    i remember him playing with mogilny and roberts or hoglund most of the time, don't really remember him playing with anyone else

    Fact is Sundin's game is not like say Drury or Symth who take a lot of abuse, Sundin should be able to play into his 40s.

  11. MR40 says:

    This is a MAJOR season for the Leafs.

    If there out of the playoffs, JFJ, and maybe Paul Maurice will be fired (i did not think Brian Burke was the problem in Vancouver, but he got fired). The team will totally rebuild. Sundin retires (or atleast goes somewhere else, but I don't really see that happening), McCabe is gone (yes someone will definately take him, and I think he would waive his NTC), Expect prospects like Aubin, and Earl to be trade (with verterns) to aquire higher draft picks, and no John Pohl, Hal Gill, and Wade Belak will NOT be traded for a 1st rounder, and a blue chip prospect.

    If there in the playoffs JFJ will do something very stupid, by trading Pogge, and Tlusty to make his team only slightly better, but still not a Cup contending team. No major free agents will sign with them, and Leaf fans will have another disapointing year and not make it past the 2nd round.

    I think missing the playoffs will be good for them. They need to get more top prospects. All of the best teams in the NHL have good players (a franchise guys like a Thornton, Crosby, Lidstrom, etc.) which is not what Sundin or Kaberle should be (they wouldn't be on most teams), AND they have top prospects producing on the team and making no money (Getzlaf, and Perry in Anahiem, Pominville, and Vanek in Buffalo, etc.).

  12. leaffansareajoke says:

    Wasn't he knocked unconscious by Ronald Pecksivicky, who is really not all that tough, and taken out on a stretcher?

    At least Fedoruk got knocked out by Colton Orr, who can at least throw a punch.

  13. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    It was a fight, Newbury was stunned by one clean hit,, and couldn't defend against the others. Its an unfortunet result of fighting in hockey, not a sign of weakness on Newbury's part.

  14. Hoondog2 says:

    You don't have very high hopes for the Leafs whether they make the playoffs or not, do you?  For one, Ferguson will not trade his 4 or 5 almost sure thing prospects, the only reason he traded picks this year was because it was a very hit or miss type of draft.  He said himself that his scouts liked the top 11, and he was not able to trade up for a pick.

    As for your last line, Getzlaf, Perry, Pominville, and Vanek are good, but whos to say Tlusty (who is very highly regarded), Kulemin (a 2nd rd steal) won't be as good.  Combine that with Wellwood, Steen (who has yet to show what i think he is capable of), and you have a decent amount of talented young guys. 

  15. toronto77 says:

    if coli gets injured than the very next game that he will be available he will return and take his replacement out of the line-up. Woz, Harrison and Kron are not good enough to replace coli, those guys are probably like another gill which isn't bad, it's just that coli is a two-way defender and will probably lead our defence if McCabe goes. I can already tell Coli will have a bright future.

  16. rydyas30 says:

    I believe that Toskala will win the starters job coming out of training camp, but I do believe that Raycroft will put up one hell of a fight. Which bodes well for the Leafs.
     As for the D, I would say that One of Woz, Kronwall or Harrison would take the two remaining spots.(Colaiacovo won’t start the season, but will be in the line up the moment he is ready). One full year with the Marlies will be a good learning experience for Stralman. I don’t expect to see him with the buds this year. He would have to blow everyone out of the water to do so!
     Now up front I would love to see the Leafs take a shot and insert a rookie like, Tlusty, Williams or even Aubin. The problem with this would be where to put them. Putting a rook on the fourth line would be pointless, but really there isn’t anywhere else to go. First line Blake-Sundin-Antropov
                                                     2nd    Poni-Wellwood-Tucker
                                                      3rd    Steen-Satjan-Bell
                                                      4th    Battaglia-Kilger-Devereaux
     So who loses their job and gets replaced by one of the rooks??
     As for the enforcer, well there’s just no room for Belak on this team any more, I like the guy it’s just there are more talented players that should come before him. We do have guys that will fight Bell, Tucker, Gill, so we should be alright on that front. 
     Sundin has given everything he could to this team and more. I still think he is one of the top ten centers in this league. With the added scoring depth that the Leafs now have and a healthy line up I think he could easily crack the 80-90 point total. Steen and Satjan will improve on their point totals from last year and Wellwood will get a point per game. I think Bell will surprise alot of people and score atleast 25 goals.
     As Blue_and_White said this is a make or break year for the buds and i think they will make some serious strides this year.
                                                             

  17. nova_scotia123 says:

    Not sure if alot of Leaf fans know they have signed a defenceman by the name of Derek Walser. They signed him to a one-way contract. So they are either planing to trade him or one of the other guys. Should be intresting to see how this crusty defence shapes up

  18. Aetherial says:

    I beileve he had the second most points in the NHL during his "horrible goal drought" last year.

  19. leaflova says:

    ya, he is defenitly not out of gas, beacause in his scoring drought, he had got atleast 1 ponit a game.

  20. leafy says:

    Excellent insights.  Here's hoping that Salmelainen has an impact like Devereaux rather than Aleksander Suglobov.  At this time last year, people had Suglobov as the next Nicolai Borshevsky, coming in and potting 30 goals.  Didn't quite work out.

    If you ask me, the Leafs are a solid team, but the key determinant of how well they do, as with most teams, will be the goaltending.  Here's my take:

    I don't have a problem with a Toskala-Raycroft tandem…that is, provided that Toskala plays the vast majority of the games.  If Toskala gives the Leafs anything resembling solid goaltending, I can easily envision a 100 point season coming from these Buds.  I think that even the most die-hard Leaf fans do NOT fully realize just how good the the Leafs were last year, largely controlling the play and outchancing the opposition on most nights, but their season was peed away largely thanks to Raycroft.  Don't get me wrong, if the Leafs played crummy and missed the playoffs, I wouldn't be so bitter with Raycroft, but the truth is that they played very well throughout the year, but in the end, Raycroft let them down.  Hence the panic trade by JFJ to get Toskala, which he absolutely had to make.

    So 100+ points is my prediction, barring an injury to Toskala for long stretches.

  21. 92-93 says:

    what gets me is this whole 'yeah he had assists, but assists are not goals and he should have scored goals' arguement.

    throughout the 'drought,' how many of Antropov's and Poni's goals would have been impossible if it were not for Sundin and his skill and the attention he drew? or McCabe or Kaberle or Wellwood or Tucker on the powerplay.

    it boggles the mind the lack of support this guy gets not just from leaf fans, but from the toronto media.

  22. 92-93 says:

    I would like to see this trade to go down – to free up cap space and for future reasons:

    To Tampa Bay: Kubina, Raycroft, White
    To Toronto: 3rd round pick 2008, 2nd round pick in 2009, Denis, O'Brien.

    McCabe-Kaberle
    Coliacovo-O'Brien
    Gill-Stralman/Woz/Kronvall

    Toskala
    [Denis]

    Leafs free up some cap space, get a decent, young top-4 defender that who is an upgrade over White IMO, free up some space for the #6 D-spot, make up for some of the lost picks in the Perreault and Toskala trades.

    Tampa Bay takes on Kubina's contract but they know what he can do, they get rid of Denis' in exchange for the cheaper (and better IMO) Raycroft, acquire a solid young defender in White, who can move the puck very well.

  23. 92-93 says:

    one small edit, i dont think O'Brien is better than White now that i think of it … I would either take White out and add Kronvall OR I would make that 3rd rounder a 2nd round pick in 2008.

  24. mojo19 says:

    Still I wouldn't want Newburry as an enforcer, but as a call up to be a 4th line grinder, sure I wouldn't mind seeing him come play 5-10 games like last year.

    Ondrus is a tough guy though, I don't know why the two people above laughed at the notion of him being the teams tough guy. Although "enforcer" might not be the right label, Maurice talks highly of Ondrus and he could be a darkhorse for the 13th fwd spot on the roster. Sending Belak down and dressing Ondrus in fifty-something games.

  25. mojo19 says:

    Antropov would belong on the top 2 lines on any team in the league.

    Your comment should have stated that Sundin is burnt out because of a lack of secondary scoring from the centre position. His number 2 centre for years was Reichel, and one year with Joe Niewendyk who got hurt. Coming out of the lockout it was Allison who scored mostly on the PP and Lindros who dressed in just 33 games. Unfortunately last year Wellwood missed almost 3 whole months. But Welly will provide a second scoring threat down the middle.

  26. mojo19 says:

    Oh couldn't agree more. He got loads of assists during that time. Getting a ton of assists usually just means that you dominate the play and have the puck a lot. Joe Thornton has put up 90 assist seasons in back to back years scoring just in the 30's and 20's in terms of goals and he's considered to be a top 3 most dominate player in the league.

    So no more assist bashing, and no more Sundin bashing please.

  27. mojo19 says:

    I would be interesting to see if Stralman can make some noise in training camp/pre-season. At the very least it will make Ian White work that much harder.

  28. senators_choke says:

    I'll add to that prediction.  We'll beat Ottawa in the playoffs…for a 5th time!

  29. 92-93 says:

    yeah that would be a good thing.

    I just hope and pray that if he doesnt make the team (and he probably wont) that he decides to play with the Marlies and doesnt go back to Sweden. That way, he can at least make Kronvall work that much harder.

    Right now, Kronvall, and Stralman are far and away the best defencemen in the organization after the big 6 who are with the club now. Woz is decent, so is Oreskovic, even Casman, Siefers, and Voribiev could be considered to be pretty promising. But Kronvall and Stralman look to be closest to being NHL-ready IMO.

    more imporant, IMO, is that these young defencemen (including White and Coliacovo) play so well and are so dependable, that trading Kubina becomes an afterthought. i know theyve been trying to trade the guy but i think they might be asking for too much in return considering his salary.

  30. mojo19 says:

    If Colaiacovo plays really well this year, I don’t see why Kubina wouldn’t be expendable at all.

    It would be good if we could get a first round pick for Kubina, like say he gets off to a decent start in October-November, then we trade him to a team that’s lacking on the blueline.

    On the other hand I would like to see Kubina have a monster year and play for us the whole season too. If he’s playing great and we don’t trade him, that would be no travesty, but he has to be better than last year.

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