NHL Draft Day – Early Afternoon Update

NHL draft: Luongo trade chatter heats up as Canucks insist they’ll wait for the right deal

Tampa Open to trading their first round pick

Brophy on NHL: Luongo likely for Leafs

Strategy Room: Trade talk taking over

Nash deal unlikely, should Sharks turn to JVR?

Could the Bruins trade Thomas?

Could Yakupov fall to 3rd?


NHL draft: Luongo trade chatter heats up as Canucks insist they’ll wait for the right deal

The good news for Vancouver is that general managers continue to call about its goalies. Even better news: not all the calls have been about the availability of Cory Schneider.

The Canucks contend they have time to be patient in searching out a Roberto Luongo trade.

So, they won’t be calling Luongo to get his stamp of approval if the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to offer something just south of nothing for the 33-year-old throughout the NHL Draft weekend.

Lots of time, the Canucks say, to get the right Luongo deal done. It doesn’t have to happen this weekend. But it sure would help. That may be why the Luongo talk started heating up late Thursday.

“The draft may be the most opportune time to make trades because you have 30 teams, 30 general managers and all their personnel in such close proximity,” said Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman.

“It also happens on the eve of free agency, on July 1. So, the situation lends itself to talking trades.”

That GM Mike Gillis has been listening to offers from “numerous” GMs and making progress this week without a working wish list from Luongo can be interpreted as a strong sign Luongo is open to a lot more destinations than just five.



Tampa Open to trading their first round pick


Brophy on NHL: Luongo likely for Leafs

There were a lot of big names being thrown around in trade rumours here Thursday night, but the biggest name associated with the Toronto Maple Leafs continues to be goaltender Roberto Luongo.

In fact, many feel it is only a matter of time before the Vancouver Canucks ship the 34-year-old stopper with the lifetime contract east to Toronto.

“The Leafs want him and Canucks want to move him; you do the math,” said one NHL general manager.

The Canucks are wisely keeping all options open and assistant GM Laurence Gilman even suggested the organization might retain Luongo and have him split time in the crease with Cory Schneider next season. He said the team could even trade Schneider who took over as the team’s No. 1 goalie in the playoffs this past season.

“(GM) Mike Gillis has entertained calls on both our goaltenders,” Gilman said. “It falls into the category of problems you don’t mind having in the sense it’s better to have too many than not enough. At this point we’re not doing anything fast.”


Strategy Room: Trade talk taking over

What was supposed to be the culmination of a long and winding road for every NHL front office has turned into chaos on the NHL trade rumour mill.

Will all the trade rumours around the league continue? My guess is yes but not to the crescendo levels we were tracking on Thursday!

The focus shifted dramatically from talk of prospects such as Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray and Filip Forsberg to NHL stars such as Jordan Staal, Keith Yandle, Carey Price, Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider and Rick Nash.

That is why it is so critical for teams to arrive this week with their “list” of who they want to draft this weekend. The side bar of rumours regarding existing stars steamrolled the scene here in a scorching-hot Pittsburgh.

While top draft prospects like Morgan Rielly, Matthew Dumba, Alex Galchenyuk and Jacob Trouba were enjoying a leisurely boat tour around Pittsburgh, GMs were huddled up in their suites trying to figure out how they were going to hit a home run — not only with the draft but with a trade or two that could vault their club into the playoffs or into a Stanley Cup contender.


Nash deal unlikely, should Sharks turn to JVR?

As the chances become slimmer and slimmer that the Sharks will make a major deal for Columbus’ Rick Nash, the club may have to consider two other options to improve its scoring depth on the wings.

Columbus continues to insist that Logan Couture be the centerpiece of a deal for its captain, and Couture is, rightfully, a non-starter with Sharks general manager Doug Wilson.

One intriguing name that may make sense for San Jose is current Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk, whom the Sharks reportedly targeted back at the trade deadline, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

It’s been an uneven career for the former second overall pick of 2007, who, when he was drafted by Philly, was immediately compared to Nash for his size and scoring touch. He’s shown flashes of brilliance, but van Riemsdyk hasn’t been able to sustain a consistent level of production in his first three seasons as a pro.

In fact, it’s been rumored that van Riemsdyk would be part of a deal for Nash should the Flyers make an offer to the Blue Jackets. Should Nash end up elsewhere, though, van Riemsdyk could be available for the right offer. And if that’s the case, it’s worth it for the Sharks to investigate.



Could the Bruins trade Thomas?


Could Yakupov fall to 3rd?


289 Responses to NHL Draft Day – Early Afternoon Update

  1. toronto77 says:

    Sebastian Collberg and Oscar Dansk are still available. I hope Bukre takes Dansk with the 35th overall pick as we need a young goaltending prospect and one that isn’t a mid 20’s free agent.

    If Dansk is gone than I have no problem with selecting another Tyler Biggs type power forward.

    • LN91 says:

      I would wantm Maidens…Atleast attemp to add something down the freaking middle.

    • lafleur10 says:

      collberg is gone he’s another pick by the habs! loving this draft so far
      timmins is really living up to his reputation as 1 of the best talent scouts in the league love the fact that we have dudley as well!

      • LN91 says:

        This is actually the first time in a while that I think Montreal has actually had a strong draft. Maybe because they’re drafting earlier and not in the mid-picks?

        Collberg will take a few years and is a project…But could be a very solid second-line player.

  2. nordiques100 says:

    Matt Finn the Leafs pick in round 2. Wallace, please don’t hurt anyone lol

    • nordiques100 says:

      Finn’s cousin is Carlo Colaiacovo

      • LN91 says:

        Okay, in a slight defence of Burke, I heard a lot of promising things from him…

        But still…It’s another 6’0 180 pound defencemen?

        Seriously, once again, what is Burke doing? I’m just in shock of the amount of defencemen he is adding to this team. If he wanted to add Finn…Why did he also add Reilly?

        Makes zero sense.

        This is an extremely poor draft for the Leafs right now.

        Maybe the Oilers and Leafs should combine teams? Create the Maple Oilers? We’ll take their forwards and our D and BOOM…We should be a dynasty.

        • Steven_Leafs0 says:

          look on the bright side, at least he didn’t draft McCabe. lol.

          • LN91 says:

            Why do I have a sickening feeling he’s going to trade Gardiner?

            For Sam Gagner…

            • mojo19 says:

              Gardiner for Gagner would be a shitty deal, but Schenn for Gagner would be sweet. Gagner is legit 2nd line centre, still coming into his prime, and he has the talent to be a 1st line C still (ideally a good 2nd line C though)

              I was really hoping the Leafs would grab him back in November when Edmonton’s season was still kind of promising, and Gagner was struggling, we could have had him for Franson.

              • Shoelesshobo says:

                I want no part of Gagner. Dude has been ruined by Oilers Co and would much rather of us to taken Grigs and let him develop now I will have to watch him 6 times a year setting up Vanek.

                • mojo19 says:

                  You want no part of Gagner. The kid is 22! Turns 23 in August and he’s already played five NHL seasons! He’s posted 49, 41, 41, 42, and 47 points in each season respectively. He’s still a few years away from his prime, and with his skill set there’s nothing to suggest that he couldn’t become a consistent 60-80 point centre.

                  Phil Kessel at the same age as Gagner had about 80 less career points. Just saying…

  3. LN91 says:

    As the GM of the Leafs, this is the only draft in his tenure that I believe is very poor thinking by Burke. I’ve enjoyed all of his picks in his previous years…But this one just confuses me.

    He’s not identifying his teams needs at all and picking players that might be the best player available (which I know sounds moronic for me to say)…But still, those needs will be there tommorow and have been there for the last 4 years.

    It was time to actually take a risk…He couldn’t do it.

    • nordiques100 says:

      I really believe you have to take the best guy available irregardless of position.

      You can’t really fill needs at the draft because these guys wont be useful until another 2-3 years. at that time, needs will be different.

      Its really what will burke do with trades for next season? Like say for example he trades for JVR. then, he deserves to be questioned. especially depending on what he gives up. JVR is a heck of a young player, but again, another winger. what if he gave up 3 or 4 assets for him. Well then that doesn’t make sense because these assets could have been used for a centre.

      That’s where questions of needs need to be asked.

    • lafleur10 says:

      LN91 burke i think got flustered in the 1st r.d. when he couldn’t trade down in the daft and it threw his timing and draft strategy off…..that and losing rick dudley also didn’t help i think he’s feeling the pressure in toronto and it’s getting to him he’s cracking under pressure,also drafting isn’t his strong suit he can’t build teams as evident by this draft ! don’t worry ln91 burke will be gone soon! hahaha as a habs fan i loving this draft for us so far,for you i really feel bad and am sorry that you guys aren’t !you guys need to find a trevor timmins and keep him,and don’t let him have an outclause in his contract like burke did with dudley! do you think the leafs are head of the habs now?i would give us the advantage so far especially in forwards and goaltending!and defence i think is almost equal

      • LN91 says:

        Our defence is way ahead of the habs…Tinordi, Bealiueu, and Subban are very good. But theirs a giant drop off in talent after that and only 1-2 of those guys will make it as a lower pairing D. Toronto has many high picks in defence…And they are deep in those high picks. It will be hard for even promising talents like Percy, Blacker, and now Finn to crack this lineup.

        Goaltending. Well, obviously.

        Forwards wise, I would go with the Habs. Toronto has way more depth than the Habs in this area, but the Habs have tons of quality with players like Galchenyuk, Pacioretty, Collberg, Leblanc, and Gallacgher. Could get a bit bigger…But Leblanc and Pacioretty should help with that.

        Also, it’s a stong draft for the Habs…But realistically, Toronto’s depth forwards might make an impact sooner than later because of the age of the prospects. Toronto, has techincally, been rebuilding for around 100000000 years so more mature players like Kadri, Colborne, D’Amigo, Biggs should be in the lineup before players like Collberg and Gallagher would.

        Also, I’m usually hating on the Leafs, but I still actually believe that Kessel is the best forward in this division. It’s hard to put up 80 points in this league…And when you’re doing it with a third-line player like Tyler Bozak dishing you passes…Then you must be something special. I doubt Gally, Girgorenko, Spezza, or others could do it if it was Travis Moen, Lombardi, or Rob Niedermayer on their wings.

        Morgan Reilly will be a great player…Don’t get me wrong. He potentially could be the next Neidermayer or Erik Karlsson, which he has been compared to. But unlike their division rivals, Buffalo and Montreal (Buffalo had an incredible first round), Toronto has not really adressed any major issues. That is where the fustration sits in.

        Reilly will be great…But so will Gardiner? And Percy or Blacker could take over the second-line as well. Also, adding another first-line talent like Finn could’ve addressed those issues as well if you were worried about mobility? Why not take a forward?

        • lafleur10 says:

          i wouldn’t say your way ahead of the habs in defence i think it’s very close beaulieu and tinordi will be top2-3 defenceman going forward,their is a bit of a drop after that but thrower that was just drafted,deitz,ellis, will all be very solid players for us going forward

        • TimTheBone says:

          Lafleur is right about our respective d-corps…just looking at depth charts makes things seem very similar


          Dion Phaneuf
          Jake Gardiner
          Carl Gunnarsson
          John Michael Liles
          Cody Franson
          Mike Komisarek
          Kobinian Holzer

          Morgan Rielly
          Jesse Blacker
          Stuart Percy
          Matt Finn


          Josh Gorges
          PK Subban
          Andrei Markov
          Tomas Kaberle
          Alexei Emelin
          Chris Campoli
          Raphael Diaz
          Yannick Weber

          Nathan Beaulieu
          Jarred Tinordi
          Morgan Ellis
          Frederic St denis
          Greg Pateryn
          Brendon Nash

          I think depth and overall its a tight race

  4. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Hey anyone remember when Burke drafted Morgan Rielly 5th overall? Good times….

    But we got Finn in the second round, I really would have welcomed this pick given Finn looks like a steal at 35th had we drafted a forward in the first round but it’s just another defense that doesn’t address a need on this team.

    When was the last time this organization developed a quality prospect at forward? Kulemin from the mid JFJ era and Antropov from the mid Quinn era….. kinda pathetic…

    • LN91 says:

      Agreed. And Antropov? He was solid but that’s still embarassing.

      If we went Grigorenko/Forsberg/Faksa in the first round and Finn in the second round…This would’ve been a great draft.

      I understand that Reilly has tons of potential as a great defencemen, but adding Finn just makes me the wonder.

      I wonder what Gardiner will say to Justin Schultz now to make him come here? And imagine if he did? What the hell are we going to do?

      • mojo19 says:

        It’s insanity. I guess he was probably the best player available, expected to go in the 1st round and rated 16th in Central Scouting NA players. But like you said, would’ve been great if we grabbed a forward yesterday.

    • mojo19 says:

      We also developed Alex Steen who is a really good player…. for the Blues. Thank God we got Stempniak.

  5. mojo19 says:

    Oh my god! Matt Finn? Another d-man. This is just getting ridiculous. I have to imagine that Burke is a huge fan of Gallow’s humour. 20 years from now we will all laugh about this.

  6. mojo19 says:

    Matt Finn is the first cousin of Carlo Colaiacovo…

    Anyway’s maybe Burke has got some significant offers on Schenn, Gunner, Franson, etc. He must… right guys?

  7. mojo19 says:

    We have 4 picks left, a high 5th rounder, two high 6th rounders, and a late 7th rounder. Four more defensemen to add to the pile!

  8. mojo19 says:

    If we pick up Sam Gagner, that would be a solid long term move.

  9. mojo19 says:

    Interesting, we got a 7th rounder for the Monster. haha, sweet.

  10. mojo19 says:

    7 picks away from the next Leafs pick. Who is still available? Who’s out there?

  11. lafleur10 says:

    The leafs are a good bet for finishing dead last next year. That franchise has all the requisite dysfunction, incoherence, panic induced stupidity that’s required to get it done.

    1 and 2 next year are absolute gems. I don’t know what’s worse, TO getting them or Burke trading that pick to Boston. (Yeah… the latter would be worse…)

  12. mojo19 says:

    Connor Brown and Ryan Rupert. Not bad.

  13. mojo19 says:

    Pittsburgh taking Anton Zlobin in the 6th round feels like a bit of steal. He was really good for Shawinigan in the Memorial Cup. He’s a big time goal scorer. Not bad.

  14. mojo19 says:

    Wow…. Victor Loov – 5’6″ and 138 lbs….. what the fuck? Another offensive d-man, and an over ager (20), and a smurf. This is an interesting pick by the Leafs to say the least.

  15. leemon says:

    Just saw Burke say that he would have pick Riely 1st overall.

    I mean can you imagine “Wth the 1st overall pick the leafs are proud to select……. Morgan Riely” are you kidding me?

    And the fact that he’s saying this not to just prop up his pick. Really? you mean to tell me that had he succeeded in probably trading Shenn our 1st and god knows what else he would’ve taken Riely anyways.

    Burke should have STFU while he was ahead while people could somehow wrap there heads around the fact that he screwed up another draft.He obiously came here not knowing the draft history of this Franchise.That trying to make the “Diamond in the rough pick”.The pick where you see something what no one else does,Is why we are where are. And if this is Burke listeninig to the scouting staff then they should all be fired!!!

    I supported Burke till now.And while i like most of what he’s done in stocking the shelves with prospects.It’s his mouth and his brash behavior that has me thinking that Heeds to step down. But the summers young and and we’ll have to see what he does from here,

    But so far he’s no the path to having this summer become a complete failure!!!

  16. LN91 says:

    Schenn for JVR…DONE DEAL

    • blaze says:

      Damnit, kinda. Well it’s no surprise posted earlier today JVR for Schenn was next. I mean smart move they needed the talent up front but JVR is soft as butter.

      Im one of the only few who will miss Schenn, I know Philly will love him. JVR had better go on to score 40, which he does have the talent to do.

      As for the Leafs D assume Komisarek is scratched that D is brutally soft. Carlyle will shit.

      • LN91 says:

        Would explain why we did not draft Forsberg and drafted Reilly atleast.

      • kessel_leafs81 says:

        Well, ryan wants out. The only possible destination i found reasonable for him was to philly for JVR, but now we have him and we have interest. Could we see a deal to acquire him now too ? that will make me take back all the things i said about burke lol. I can see him doing this:

        To anaheim: Franson, macarthur, gunnarson, 2nd
        To Tor: Ryan, rights to schultz (if it happens today as his deadline is tonight)

        Having forwards of:

        lupul – bozak – kessel
        JVR – grabovski – ryan
        kulimen – connolly – frattin
        armstrong- steckel – brown

        Phaneuf – liles
        gardiner – schultz
        Rielly – ??(defensive FA)

        This move makes us bigger up front. I know you guys say hes soft as butter but its not the point. He wont run people over but he does use his size to establish a cycle game and get into dirty areas.

  17. leafs_wallace93 says:

    I always liked Luke Schenn, I’m a bit concerned that Burke is going to feel that he needs to replace Schenn with another blueliner with some jam. If we’re benching Komisarek our blueline is hella soft now.

    JVR, feel pretty neutral about him, injuries problems and he seemed to be the disposable part plugged into every trade rumor in Philly.
    Of course I would have prefer a run at E.Kane (offer sheet? jk) or B.Ryan instead but I’ll give Burke a bronze medal for his aquisition (settling for Penner would have been the participation ribbon).

    Are we really better with this move? Is this Burke’s big summer play? I like the switch of a forward for a blueliner but it still feels like a lateral move. Feeling that our off season just peaked and I suppose this is the biggest off season move since Kessel, how sad is that?

    • mojo19 says:

      He’s said on a few occasions that he thinks Korbinian Holzer is ready, so hopefully you’re right, hopefully he won’t go nuts on a d-man, but if he could say sign Hal Gill on a 1-year deal to buy some time for Rielly and some of the other guys, I wouldn’t hate that.

  18. LN91 says:

    I don’t know. I like the deal…It usually takes a PF time to develop their frame. I look at Kulemin and Pacioretty as examples.

    As well, he was always shafted playing third-line minutes for the Phillies because they’re such a deep defensive team.

    There is zero doubt that JVR is a tremendous talent…He has shown glimpses of it and its not like he averages 10 points a year. He has actually improved his PPG each season I believe.

    One thing I about the deal…IF JVR can continue to grow to a 23-23 season next year (he can still be a first-line player) and helps Kulemin come back, this trade should be considered a success.

    The Leafs top-six wingers should be Lupul, Kulemin, Kessel, and JVR. It’s probably the biggest and most skilled group the Leafs have had in awhile.

    Now…Down the middle is another story -_-.

  19. LN91 says:

    Hold up…Does this mean we just made room for Schultz?

    Especially since Schultz was Gardiner’s old defensive partner…And we just got rid of his new one?

    If so…I’m really content with this deal.

  20. LN91 says:

    According to Leafs TV analyist Paul Hendrick’s twitter…

    Burke ain’t done yet.

    If so, please don’t let it be catastrophic.

  21. nordiques100 says:

    I am actually a fan of what Burke did this weekend because there seemed to be some semblance of a plan.

    He realized this was a D heavy draft. So he took the best guys on the list and they were D.

    I think we may be pleasantly surprised at what Reilly can do. As well, Finn was a coup in round 2.

    So, he used what he accomplished at the draft and it set up the JVR trade.

    And he only gave up 1 asset, not overpaying for him.

    He isn’t the coveted centre, but he is big which was a need.

    They must too be high on holzer. But sorry to say Wallace but they will almost certainly get a stay at home D.

    It potentially may open the door for Schultz as well if they decide to not get a tougher dman.

    At least this weekend it looked like Burke had a plan of attack.

    And he’s filled a need up front.

    We’ll see now if he can follow it up. This has been a big problem. he seems to either settle with that or can’t deliver the goods on a secondary move.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      I’ve basically been in full blown tantrum since the Rielly pick, I actually would be pretty stoked if it was Grigs/Forsberg and Finn along with JVR.

      Say we get Schultz (I hope we do) does Caryle run with five puck rushing blueliners? Can we really play a trap that way? This blueline seems better suited for Wilson and the transition game as opposed to Caryle.

      This basically means we need to keep Frason for his size.

    • LN91 says:

      I’m a bit more about this weekend with the JVR trade. The Leaf’s top six wingers should be Kessel, Kulemin, JVR, and Lupul. That’s not a bad group. They’re also, for the most part, are young, skilled, and bigger. JVR will learn how to use their frame more, so it could be a bit physical.

      I think it opens the door to Schultz, and he might like the fact that right now…Gardiner does not have a defensive partner.

      Concerns still include goaltending, the first-line center…And basically the entire bottom-six.

  22. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Lol, Burke said Gustavsson put on 14 pounds of lean body mass in an off season, that’s impossible to do naturally especially given the amount of cardio Gus would have done and that he’s an ectomorph.

  23. toronto77 says:

    So Brian Burke passed on selecting Forsberg for free and ended up trading Schenn for JVR?Drafting Rielly pretty much killed any chance of the leafs signing Schultz, now that Schenn is gone it opens that window again.Also trading for JVR I think means Kadri or Kulemin will be traded for a no.1 centremen. JVR is a top 6 forward and so is Kadri. Kulemin has some what already proven himself and if has a bounce back season could still be a very valuable player. Our top two lines will probably be:Lupul – ? – Kessel
    Kulemin/Kadri-Grabo-JVRMacArthur will either be demoted to the third line or traded and the leafs will be forced to make a decision between Kadri and Kulemin…and the odd man out will be tradedLupul – ? – Kessel
    Komisareknot much of a difference really…..a no.1 centremen will make a bigger difference and a goalie adding a no.1 goalie????This team could finally make the playoffs.

    • LN91 says:

      I would trade Kadri over Kulemin. Shocker, I know since I have insulted Kuly all season, but Kulemin is such a physical player and a great defensive player that it would be hard to give him up. It might be a snake bitten year, but no doubt he makes Grabovski a better defensive player. Kadri might also have greater value.

      It’s still impossible to bury Connolly and Lombardi. So They’re unfortunately stuck in our bottom six.

      • nordiques100 says:

        I agree as the size element is so key now. I think Kully will recover.

        Though I wonder if Mac should be traded. I think so. I think he has some value. I mean he was rumored to go for a 1st at the deadline.

        I think he can find homes for expiring guys like Connolly, Lombardi and Armstrong. Komisarek will be the toughest.

        • LN91 says:

          Third-line wingers including Frattin and D’Amigo could be good two-way options. I really liked their grit as well.

          Only issue…Down the middle once again. It’s kind of a mess down there.

          Acquiring JVR makes me breathe a little bit. Eklund (yeah I know, wrong person to quote) thinks JVR will be a star in Toronto (he’s a Flyers fan).

          • nordiques100 says:

            i agree. after this weekend, its made things more palatable. For me, mainly because it looks like he has some clue as to what he is doing in terms of a plan. He still isnt done. Well, he can’t be anyways. I mean there is a ton of work still left. Its his biggest fallacy as i have mentioned. He does something and that’s it. (i.e get Kessel and 4 years later still no centre to play with him)

            i think JVR will get a legitimate opportunity to shine.

            I hope he learns a few things from Lupul about what it takes to come back from injuries.

            I think now, its time to address that centre position.

            • mojo19 says:

              I’m hoping JVR can play C for us, he definitely can cover for someone at C if there are injuries.

              But ya, who’s out there to trade for at centre?
              You’ve got someone unproven talented younger guys like Gagner or Brassard who may be available. Nothing to get too excited about but could help the team. You’ve got veteran free agents like Arnott or Jokinen, who you could bring in at slightly over market value on a short term deal (similar to last year’s Connolly signing), don’t know if we wanna go down that road. Or you can hope that some team is willing to give up a big stud, which is unlikely.

              I guess that’s why drafting a centre would have been nice, or even making a move for Ribeiro, but that would be like a Luongo type trade, may make us slightly better now, but will never equate to a Cup.

              • LN91 says:

                Crazy idea…But do you think you can do something for Ryan Strome?

                Prospect, but I can’t really see many center’s being available.

                • mojo19 says:

                  I don’t see why the Islanders would move Ryan Strome, but they did move a 2nd rounder for Visnovsky, maybe they would be foolish enough to make a short sited move for some more immediate help. I’m not sure we’d have the package that makes sense for both sides, but maybe something centring around Colborne and Kulemin for Strome. We’re taking an unproven guy, but his ceiling is so high.

                  • LN91 says:

                    I thought something along the lines of Colborne/Young solid defencemen.

                    Colborne could play the second-line (behind Tavares) and it would give them another promising, young, top-4 defencemen.

                    I’m just suggesting it since I heard Snow was going to target Olli Jokinen to play the second-line in the offseason. He would be a nice, experienced stop gap until Colborne can fill in.

                    Strome has the potential to be a first-line C.

  24. toronto77 says:

    lmao….Nick Ebert went last overall at 211th to the LA Kings??? lmao, at one point during the season he was predicted to go around 10th overall, what the hell happened??? I completely forgot about this kid, I guess it’s because I haven’t read about him in a while. But wow!

  25. mojo19 says:

    JVR played centre on and off for Philly at times. Maybe he could be a fit on a line with Lupul and Kessel. JVR’s ceiling is definitely a lot higher than Bozak. And I think Carlyle will get JVR to use that 6’3″ frame and turn him into more of the power forward he was expected to be when he was drafted.

    If he doesn’t work out on centre that’s fine, but it could be a potential option.

    • nordiques100 says:

      the centre options are interesting and I wonder who BB goes after.

      Stastny is a softie and he is brutal defensively. He puts up points but I dont know. He seems like another Connolly if you ask me. He’s fared better though than Tim.

      Gagner is another smallish guy. I dont think he is what Toronto needs, but he is better than Bozak. At least in terms of ceiling. I think there is a ton of potential here and the skill level is great. But, does Toronto need another guy who teams can push around?

      Bolland is an option for the 3rd line should the team want to get grittier there. He doesn’t solve the top centre problem, but at least he can kill penalties, win draws, score some and add grit. Hawks they say were talking about parring some salary.

      Gaustad is another 3rd line option I see BB def pursuing if he can find homes for some salary. He’s big, wins faceoffs can play it rough. Having him and Steckel gives Toronto possibly 2 checking lines. I think that is what BB keeps telling us about the bottom 6. I think that is a possibility.

      I wonder if the likes of Pavelski and Marleau will be made available by SJ. I think either would fit great for Toronto. I think SJ needs to get younger and deeper and moving one of these players could solve that. But, i wonder about their true availability.

      Roy is another tiny centre. He puts up points yes, but he is small and soft. Again that may be better than Bozak but it doesnt solve much.

      I dont know if Toronto has interest in Dubinsky but he is an option as he has decent size and skill. But I am pretty sure the Rags are using him for something bigger and better, not to just dump him for prospects which Toronto would likely offer.

      Ryan is an intriguing option as he can play centre and is big and strong and skilled. But, didn’t he have a run-in with Carlyle that led to Carlyle being fired? He’s going to be traded, but i wonder if Ryan is all that keen in coming here. But he is a good young option and solves that size problem.

      My guess is he does get Ryan or he goes for one of those depth guys to have a team of centres, rather than a group of good centres.

      I think this deal takes both the Leafs and Flyers out of the Nash running if they were ever really involved.

      Poor Scott Howson. Not really. He made his bed, he has to lie in it.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        Bolland is my favorite player in the league right now, he plays like a mini Gilmour, I’d forgive Burke for all his short comings if he landed Bolland.

        I think what’s best for the big picture is to suffer through another year being slender down the middle, they’re will be a handful of good UFA options next summer (it’s looking to be the best UFA crop in years), don’t over pay to do something desperate this summer and have our hands tied.

        To his credit Burke has positioned himself to have cap room for next summer, he’s streets ahead on this front.

        If he can address the wing and goal this summer then he can position himself to put crown this team next summer, I can live with that.

    • blaze says:

      I actualy like this idea a lot. No one doubts his talent. Even if hes more comfortable at win I’m really really hoping he can gel with Kessel down the middle. Though he’s a shoot first guy I think it could really take the pressure off Kessel and really show off Kessels very underrated playmaking skills.

      It shouldnt be too much of a reach and maybe that’s what Burke has in mind. He absolutely has he skill and speed to play with those two. He doesnt need to carry the play just let Phil and Loops do their thing and not flub gifts from Kessel ala Bozak.

      • blaze says:

        Also this would leave room for Kadri to make the team. Other than josh I don’t think anyone sees to high on him anymore. I dont care I think this year he makes it maybe out of camp maybe mid season.

        Carlyle is the wild card. Maybe he will want more size in the top 6. Kadri skill set is impressive I love his vision and creativity. He looks fantastic on Grabos (a good shooter) wing.

        I don’t know why some people think Kadri is soft. He’s just not strong yet. I can absolutely guarantee he has more nastiness in his game than anyone in the top 6 even Lupul. Considering he does make a career in the NHL he will eventually be having run ins with Shanny for dirty hits. He is an agitator.

        • mojo19 says:

          He’s soft in some ways, like he gets pushed around, and he doesn’t always go to the gritty areas, especially defensively. But he’s not soft in other ways, i.e. he’ll go flying into the corner on the forecheck, with a chip on his shoulder and throw a big hit.

          There is some promise in Kadri, he definitely has killer hands, and I still think he’s going to be a good NHL’er, but he’s got some area’s he needs to work on. If we don’t trade him this summer, then this next training camp will be a huge test for him, and the biggest of his career. If he fails to make the team again, he ‘s really starting to push it.

  26. mojo19 says:

    Also I like what the Leafs are doing…. hear me out.

    Burke has stockpiled our D, he had the same plan in the 2008 draft with the Ducks when he picked Gardiner 17th overall, then took Justin Schultz 43rd overall (He also drafted two D-men from the US National U-18 later in the draft). At the time the Ducks had Pronger, Niedermayer, Schneider, and Beauchemin all under contract but wanted to flood the pipe line with young d-men coming up.

    Buffalo and Montreal drafted some big centres, maybe Burke and co. determined that this draft year “that guy” wasn’t there, and they couldn’t move up for Galchenyuk, so they decided to take the top offensive d-man available, because it was a D heavy draft. Then they took the best available player in the 2nd round with Finn, who most experts, scouts, and analysts all agree could’ve easily been drafted in the 15-20 range of the first round, or at the very least, late in the first round. Many are calling that one of the steals of the draft. Time will tell, but I see the plan and I see the merit in loading up with highly skilled D-men.

    It all ties into what Burke says about “having a high hockey IQ” and to a lesser extent having “character”. When you have a defenceman who can rush the puck, make some noise offensively, get back hard and break up plays, someone who has the type of skill set that enables them to take risks on certain plays like pinching at the blueline, but then having the speed to recover, like a Doughty, a Karlsson, a Letang, that’s a pretty valuable weapon.

    There are holes up front, and it will take a bit more time to fill them, but having Phaneuf and Gardiner up with the big club, and having prospects with the types of ceilings that Rielly and Finn have, throw Percy and Blacker into the mix, I like our chances of producing another potential star or two.

    What if Rielly winds up being the next Niedermayer. Don’t wanna put those types of expectations on the kid, no one is expecting him to be one of the all time greats, but when you’re drafting you have to think that way, and obviously they felt that Rielly has a better chance to be a Niedermayer more than Grigorenko will be the next Malkin, or Forsberg will be the next Perry, etc.

    • mojo19 says:

      oh, by the way the “character” thing I think just helps to improve the chances that the kid won’t flake out on you, pull a Stefan Legion, Alexandre Daigle, that kind of thing.

      • nordiques100 says:

        like i was saying above, there is some evidence of a plan.

        that’s something we havent seen from him for a while.

        we’ve seen him flip flop on things and/or start something only to either change his mind or bail out/chickening out.

        he isnt done by a longshot, or he shouldnt be. will be interesting to see what he can do.

        I think he’ll take strong runs at the likes of Ott, Gaustad, etc, to make that bottom six really tough to play against.

        • mojo19 says:

          Ya if he could get both Ott and Gaustad that would really work well for Randy Carlyle type hockey. Parros is an option as well.

          • LN91 says:

            Frattin-Ott-D’Amigo would be really fun!!!

            I would like Gaustad…Put that tower with grindy two-way wingers above and that should be a solid shut down line. D’Amigo has a bit of Versteeg in him. Became a big fan of his during the World Jrs. Gold medal game…He really terrorized Canada.

        • LN91 says:

          Crazy how one trade can calm us down after we plotted for his head.

          What are his tradeable assets?

          Also, not sure if he’s trying to force Gillis hand, but I did like what he said about Reimer. The guy’s work ethic is tremendous and I’m not opposed to giving him another shot. I just want a solid veteran experience, a guy like Chris Mason, to help guide him.

          Maybe the loss of Giguere was greater than we expected? Looking back, I probably would’ve liked re-signing him because he did help Reimer..And certainly has really helped Varlamov.

          I remember something senile Cherry said about Reimer…About his character and self-belief which can take you far in this league.

          • blaze says:

            I know mojo will love this one but what about Hedberg? He knows his role and seems like a good team guy.

            Something I’d like someone to clarify as well but unless Scrivens signs a two way deal is he not waiver eligible this year? That could be a big issue.

            • LN91 says:

              Hedberg is another solid option. I think since Reimer was young he looked for some support when a game did not go his way…And the worst person for Reimer to rely on was Gustavsson. A complete headcase.

              It’s like a drug addict going to another drug addict for rehab support.

            • mojo19 says:

              I really think Hedberg is a great choice.

              He’s going to be affordable, willing to take a 1-year deal, no headache after he’s gone, and he can play upwards of 30 games and give you quality starts.

              Last year Hedberg went an amazing 17-7-2 with a .917 Sv% and a very impressive 2.22 GAA. These are New Jersey numbers obviously, but still pretty remarkable, you can’t tell me that “any old back up” could produce such impressive stats.

          • toronto77 says:

            That was the problem with re-signing Giguere. He doesn’t want to be just a teacher, He wants to be a no.1 still.

          • nordiques100 says:

            its always been for me about the plan….or lack thereof.

            Here, it looks like he and his staff have a clue as to what they need to do. Build up the assets at one position to feasibly move one of them.

            He could have easily gotten Penner, or sold everyone on Colborne, and convinced Leaf Nation that we have the size and skill to compete.

            And many would have bought it. Leaf Nation has been gullible for years and as a group have been avid koolaid drinkers.

            But today he acquired and impact top 6 forward. good on him.

            Now, lets see if he can follow that up. No more MacArthur signings, or Lebda signings or telling us some college kid like Hanson will do it.

            He’s made one impactful move, lets see what else he can produce. He isnt out of the woods yet.

            • leafs_wallace93 says:

              JVR is an ok move but again it’s a lateral one, a good but not perfect young piece for a a good but not perfect young piece.

              I don’t think JVR sastisfies adding another cornerstone but it he has the potential to be one done the road, though it feels like a long shot.

    • toronto77 says:

      it’s been about 24hrs and the Rielly selection is starting to grow on me. You look at this kids potential and leafs along with ottawa could both have a very rare type of d-man that every team in the league wants in Rielly and Karlsson. And all of the leaf fans that were bashing burke for this selection will be kissing his ass.

      In the next couple of seasons, if Phaneuf still fails to be a good captain, than we will be very glad to have Rielly, as he is full of leadership potential.

      The leafs arguably now have the most depth on defence in the entire league, and many teams in the league that are struggling with that depth will be knocking on the leafs door, and bidding wars may erupt between teams allowing burke to raise the asking price. May not be a bad move by loading up on depth in one single position.

  27. mojo19 says:

    I actually think to address the needs at centre we should target RFA Sam Gagner, not to an offer sheet but I think he would be available to trade for. I would look at a package including Franson, and a prospect like D’amigo or something. I guess I would go as far as Gunnarsson and D’Amigo.

    • nordiques100 says:

      so what are you thinking? Two skill lines without much sandpaper, but with some size:


      And then load up the bottom 6 with the requisite grinders, sandpaper guys, truculence, pugnacity size, belligerence and toughness? Have those two lines be the ones that make the Leafs harder to play against?

      Right now, the bottom six is absolute shit. They’ll probably have like 8 guys rotating into those roles. 3 are set. Komarov, Brown and Steckel.

      I like Ott, A LOT. I like Gaustad. I dont know the price though, he could be a pricy checker. But, he bangs and crashes and wins draws, so he adds value.

      I love Clutterbuck but it could take a ton to pry him from Minny.

      I am a fan of Derek Dorsett. versatile, but tough and willing to drop the gloves and bang and crash. he’s small, but I think Toronto needs more guts than they do actual size. Remember Hanson and Brayden Irwin? Towering figures who were ridiculously soft. Dorsett had 234 PIMs last year. He isnt afraid at all.

      I think i rather have him than say Parros cause at least Dorsett can play. And you know, we still have Colton Orr.

      Moen will be someone that interests them as well.

      Prust too. Another 4th line grinder, inyourface type.

      Troy Brouwer interests me as well. I like his size, versatility and grit. And he can score a bit.

      Brouwer, Ott, Gaustad, Clutterbuck are good 3rd liners, anyone else is a 4th liner.

      Frattin, Ashton and maybe D’Amigo have a shot, but I’d prefer right now, proven guys who are know SOB’s.

      That opens it up, if it means trade, to moving out Mac, Bozak, Connolly, Lombardi, Armstrong, A Dman again, and maybe, just maybe a prospect or two.

      • mojo19 says:

        Doubt Clutterbuck is available, but if he is, then we should definitely make some calls on him, see what it takes to get him. He’d fit for sure.

        I like the list you’ve compiled there. I also think that Jason Arnott could be a good veteran to mentor some of the younger guys. He’s been a warrior throughout his career and he could lead the way.

        And ya, I see Gagner as a good fit there, I really feel like his skill level is really high, and he’s still approaching his prime, and has been a 45ish point per year pace guy each season so far. He could easily in the next few seasons progress to a consistent 60+ point guy. Is he big and tough? No, he’s not the perfect guy, but in terms of age, and considering he still has un-tapped potential I think he could be a good fit. Kind of like an Andy MacDonald or something.

        • mojo19 says:

          ideally, for me, say we could pull off a Franson + D’Amigo for Gagner, then maybe Bozak and Kadri for Ott (and a pick or prospect) Then sign Gaustad and Arnott, and maybe Gill on a 1 year deal. The Moose comes in cheap in goal and we go with this:

          Joffrey Lupul – Sam Gagner – Phil Kessel
          Van Riemsdyk – Mikhail Grabovski – Clarke MacArthur
          Steve Ott – Jason Arnott – Nikolai Kulemin
          Mike Brown – Paul Gaustad – Matt Frattin
          *Carter Ashton, Dave Steckel, Colton Orr

          Dion Phaneuf – Carl Gunnarsson
          Jake Gardiner – JM Liles
          Hall Gill – Cody Franson
          *Korbinian Holzer, Mike Komisarek

          James Reimer
          Johan Hedberg
          *Ben Scrivens

          Much better mix of skill and grit in there. I don’t know that we’d make the playoffs, but its a young core I could get behind. Another advantage to be considered a “team on the rise” going into next offseason is the ridiculous UFA crop, which of course will be thinned out throughout the year by signing extensions, but if even a couple of these guys come through, there’s a better chance at landing one by “selling your team” to him, so to speak.

          • mojo19 says:

            of course we’d have to find homes for Connolly, @Armdog, and Lombo.

            • nordiques100 says:

              How about this?

              Kessel and macArthur and blacker for Nash and Tyutin

              The jackets replace Nash albeit with a different kind of player. They add some depth too, get younger.

              Nash gives Toronto a beastly forward with kessel like goal scoring. Tyutin I think could be a good choice to join dion on top line/shutdown pair.
              Then they do that gagner deal. D’amigo and gunnarsson say for gagner.

              Then maybe, if they get Schultz then franson and bozak can net them ott and a pick/prospect.

              And if they can find homes for army, Lombardi and Connolly, so they can add say a gaustad, they may be a harder team to play against.

              Maybe Connolly, army, a second and say mueller for luongo. I know u hate, but we need a goalie…bad.

              • mojo19 says:

                I was loving it, you had me right up until the end, haha. Would honestly rather just go with Reimer and a back up. If we get Luongo then that’s our guy. For at least 4 years. Roll the dice on Reimer, he’s a hard worker, he’ll get it going again and be good for us.

      • toronto77 says:

        Getting rid of Bozak, MacArthur won’t be too bad, but Connolly, Lombardi, Armstrong will be tough. We will have to through in a prospect or a draft pick for teams to take them off our hands. I do not expect trading those 3 to get back any value, just as a salary dump. Similar to when Anaheim only gave us Gardiner if we took Lupul’s salary.

  28. mojo19 says:

    A UFA free agent I really like is Alex Semin. I don’t deny the potential character issues, but his agent was on the radio and did a great job on selling him to me. He’s only 28, has lots of good hockey left in him, and will put up 55 points on a bad year, with 80+ point capabilities.

    Apparently Alex was not happy with how he was used, he wanted to be out there all the time, he wanted to help the team, wanted to be on the PK, everything.

    Semin is also a guy who can play centre if needed to. Since the legit centres are just not available I think finding one of these forwards who can play any position up front should be an option. We’ve already grabbed one such guy in JVR.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      If we could get him in the neighborhood of 5-5.75 million I’d be happy with that. He could anchor the second line plus with Lupul and Kessel on the PP that’d be deadly.

      I always think of that year the Habs upset Washington, Semin was the best cap in that series.

    • toronto77 says:

      I actually would not mind that signing, but he is not very tough, on the other hand grabo doesn’t play tough either but he can take an absolute beating and not miss a step.

      Semin had a lazy attitude in washington, but maybe that was because he was never happy there, if he can have an attitude and momentum change I would love to sign him as a no.1 centre though he isn’t a burke type player.

      • mojo19 says:

        He’s not a Carlyle type guy either and I don’t think Burke will go after him for the same reason he didn’t go after Gaborik. But if he decides to just go for best available talent and can grab Semin on a 3 or 4 year deal around $5.5 million, that would be sick.

  29. mojo19 says:

    And ya, like LN91 was saying, this JVR trade was one Leafs fans really needed right now, haha. Burke is partially forgiven, but there’s still work to do.

  30. mojo19 says:

    The least depth chart on D has drastically changed in the last 12 hours with Finn coming in, and Schenn moving out.

    NHL ready:
    1. Dion Phaneuf
    2. Jake Gardiner
    3. Carl Gunnarsson
    4. John Michael Liles
    5. Cody Franson
    6. Mike Komisarek
    7. Korbinian Holzer

    Top Prospects:
    1. Morgan Rielly
    2. Jesse Blacker
    3. Stuart Percy
    4. Matt Finn

    Other Notables:
    1.Simon Gysbers
    2.Petter Granberg
    3. Mark Fraser

    Not bad.

    • mojo19 says:

      Woah, not Freudian, I swear- I meant LEAFS depth chart, not Least.

      • nordiques100 says:

        Komi for sure will be on the roster next year. With 2 years left, a hard contact to move.

        It will be interesting to see what happens going forward. Do they get Schultz? If so, then on the right side franson goes.

        I say if that happened, they need a rugged presence on d as they’ll be small. They could then perhaps move gunnarsson and replace him with grit.

        • toronto77 says:

          Well trading Schenn has made us tougher up front but weaker in the back. Right now Phaneuf is the only d-man that can really play a mean defensive game, and maybe Komisarek.

          I have been one of the biggest bashers of Komi, but recently I have just learned to accept him because he is impossible to move, plus he can play physical and provide some assitance to phaneuf with leadership.

          I would love Schultz, but we need to add a more physical d-man to replacce Schenn.

          Good trade for the leafs but I think burke opened up another problem by solving another one.

          • mojo19 says:

            Franson will hit a bit too, but ya Gunner, Gardiner, and Liles are all finesse guys. I mean Liles is feisty but not intimidating in any way.

            You really only need two gritty dmen if your other guys skill set is high enough, though. And Dion will log huge minutes. Think about those old Red Wing teams: Lidstrom, Rafalski, Schneider, Chelios, Duchesne, Oullasson, Larry Murphy, now Ian White and then there’s guys like Kronwall, Stuart, Slegr, Jiri Fisher, Konstantinov, McCowan, Lilja. A good handful of those guys not intimidating at all, White is a like a Liles, the rest are pretty much finesse, and then the 2nd group are notables who were more sand paper, but usually only 2 maybe 3 of them in the line up at the same time.

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