Leafy's Trade Deadline Coverage

From now until the deadline, you’ll get at least an article a day from Leafy. Sorry guys. Here’s my instant analysis on the latest goings on.
First, we’re going to have to expect a Red Sux-Yankees style arms race in the West, except it will be among more teams. You’ve got every real contender in the league in the West. Detroit, Dallas, San Jose, Anaheim, and to lesser extents, Colorado, Vancouver, and Calgary should be in the mix. As for Minnesota, they’ve never been a terribly active team on the trade front. Don’t expect them to make any big moves, unless…..

They can get Forsberg. Forsberg is apparently interested in Minnesota, Minnesota is apparently interested in Forsberg. He’d be a good addition, and would give them room to trade Pavol Demitra, as it’s been speculated they’ll do all year. If they add Forsberg, and were to not trade Demitra, that’s some excellent depth down the middle with Forsberg, Demitra, and Rolston. I’ve said for a while that good centers can make a team.

The best player available is clear. Rob Blake is a big, strong defenseman, who can play big playoff minutes, has won a Cup, and an Olympic gold medal. Interesting to note, in that tournament, the anniversary falling on a Sunday for the first time since it happened this year, on the 24th, Rob Blake was not on for a single goal against Canada. If I’m a team like Philadelphia, or Ottawa, or Anaheim, or San Jose, or Detroit, he’s the number one player I’d look at. I think San Jose is the most desperate for a defenseman at the moment, and I see them giving up too much for him.

Dallas generally makes some sort of a mid-level splash this time of year. They have no first round draft pick this year, thanks to the Mattias Normstrom deal. Would they trade next years pick to get goal scoring? I hope so. Rumour has it that the Stars are looking for a goal scorer, specifically Toronto’s Jason Blake.

The Leafs are likely going to fire sale. TSN’s coverage will be pretty interesting with JFJ there. It will feature Mr Ferguson analyzing the tearing apart of his team, possibly including Mats Sundin, Darcy Tucker, Tomas Kaberle, Bryan McCabe, Hal Gill, Pavel Kubina, Jason Blake, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Nik Antropov, Matt Stajan, Kyle Wellwood, Alex Steen, Ian White, Andrew Raycroft, and Chad Kilger.

Now, most of those players are untradeable. Look for Ponikarovsky and Antropov to be dealt, as they’re not maing a load of money. I love Chad Kilger, but honestly, who’ll be shocked if he’s waived? I won’t.

Those who will likely be kept around are Jiri Tlusty and Vesa Toskala, while the Leafs will recieve many offers for Tomas Kaberle, but I still wouldn’t expect to see him leave Toronto. He’s a great bargain, and he’s a guy to build around. Once Sundin is traded, Kaberle has to be named captain. He’s in his prime, not turning 30 until about a week after the trade deadline, and is really, Toronto’s loan star player. He and Toskala are really our best players at the moment.

The other sellers include the Blackhawks, Islanders, Kings, and Oilers. Tomorrow I’ll do more on those teams. Toronto happens to be intersting and in the news. I’ll also talk about what the Senators will be interested in doing.

-Bill


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