Of course, things can change at a moment’s notice but the Leafs’ wish list is very specific, they want a top six forward with size who can score.

And there just aren’t too many of them floating around right now.

James van Riemsdyk has a concussion, he’s not a factor for the Leafs at this point.

Jeff Carter has a contract that Leaf GM Brian Burke would have difficulty taking on, especially when the Leaf GM has been so vocal against those long-term deals with the bogus years at the end.

Anaheim isn’t moving Bobby Ryan or any of their big boys right now.

Tampa’s Ryan Malone was a player Toronto tried hard to get last year but now that his contract is waning and more affordable, Tampa has less interest than ever in moving him.

The Leafs, for the right top six forward, would consider trading a defenceman such as Luke Schenn or Carl Gunnarson but no one is knocking down the Leaf door to get one of them at this point and they’re playing well.

At times this season, Toronto has made available players such as Clarke MacArthur or Nikolai Kulemin but they’re starting to score and play well so if anything the price is going up for them and, at this time, no one is biting hard on them.


  1. JoelLeafs says:

    Not everyone is Crosby.

    doesn't surprise me too much. The more players there are that can play at an elite level, the better all the leagues will get. As the lower leagues get better, late bloomers will be better suited to develop to their full potential.

    Josh: would you rather have a stable of players in their 20s, or a few good vets?

  2. reinjosh says:

    It's just an interesting thing I think. A couple years ago you saw the Sedins go from 80 point players to legit 100 point players. It just shows not everyone develops the same, and saying things like "he's peaked" or "he was never drafted, theres a reason" is hugely flawed. 

    Even a guy like Gagner (who I've been hard on), is only 22, and yet has been pretty impressive at such a young age. And yet most people just sort of assume he's done growing and is only a B second line center. He could very well still grow into a pretty impressive player. Look what he just showed us a couple games ago.
    Interesting question. I don't know. What do you classify as vet? Because technically Phaneuf is a vet. He's had 5 years of experience, he's had playoff experience etc. I'm a firm believer in a mix. A young team is good but you need vet influence to help them grown and help them learn. I like Toronto's makeup right now. Young team with some younger vet experience in Liles, Komisarek, Lupul, Connolly, Steckel. But is that enough vet experience? I'm not sure.
    So to answer your question? Both? haha
  3. JoelLeafs says:

    I qualify "vet" this way:

    Rookie season (no matter the age, first time they are with the club for the bulk of the season, maybe 55+ games)
    Sophmore season (again, playing a full season, not sent to minors)
    1-2 full seasons

    I don't think veteran implies ability, just experience, so depending on the player if they enter the league at 20, by the time they're 24-25 I'd call them a vet (providing they played full seasons throughout).

    Oh, and my Q was a veiled criticism of a certain poster who doesn't seem to think that this team can improve internally in any real way and must look to trades to advance. Poor leafs, all those young players with upside, as well as a fair number of D prospect that will need NHL time soon to go along with the stable of Tenders and a few blue-chip forwards.

  4. reinjosh says:

    Oh I caught the veiled criticism. Believe me. I was giving him a break for once. I decided not to jump on that haha.

    In all seriousness, what would be the harm in waiting? We could just hold out on a pretty nice stable of players already and let our blue chip forwards develop all while our team gains experience and playoff experience.
    In all seriousness we could do nothing and be a pretty damn good team in time. We already have an elite scorer in Kessel. We appear to have a linemate that has wicked chemistry with him. We also have what appears to be a pretty damn good second line with Grabo/Kulemin/MacArthur. We are one of the top ten highest scoring teams in the league and that's with two of the aforementioned players on our second line struggling. Our defense has a ton of potential in it. Our goaltending is looking the deepest its been since we grabbed Cujo in addition to Potvin (before someone freaks out and stretches what I'm saying, comparison isn't direct). 
    Plus we have Kadri and Colborne looking like they have some high potential. Add Kadri and Colborne to Lupul, Kessel, Grabo, MacA, Kulemin, Armstrong, Connolly/Bozak (depending on the time it takes for K and C to come up to the NHL full time) and that's a pretty talented top 9, one that has a mix of size, grit, scoring, lots of speed, and pure talent. 
    Would doing nothing and not getting a top 6 banger really be the worst thing in the world? I'd love to upgrade MacA and possibly add a guy like Morrow in the place of Armstrong, but doing nothing really wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if reasonable expectations are reached. 
  5. MystifoLeafs says:

    Develop from the inside? That is crazy talk. In all seriousness though we have assembled a nice core of players to build around. While I would love to bring in a Brendan Morrow, Tummu Ruutu, etc for a playoff run do we really expect this season to go deep? I would rather like Josh said keep on to Kadri and Colbourne and develop both have a nice potential and the only way I see any of them moving is if we some how acquire that true 1A center. I.E Getzlaf, E. Staal, etc.

    Funny thing is all I kept hearing from someone on this site was the failure Kulemin is having this year and yes he is having a rather off year but then again as Josh pointed out were still a top 10 team for scoring so while one of our more offensively gifted players are not hitting the back of the net we still have players producing. (A nice bit is coming from the backend for once.)
    It is funny how people can fixate on the stats of one variable and never look at the equation as a whole because as of lately the equation has been equaling success.

    Honestly this elusive "top 6 banger." should be addressed at the draft/July because as of now the surplus is limited and what is available has had its price inflated. Also I am looking at Tyler Biggs. Last time I seen he was developing rather nice. He is a big guy with the ability to bang bodies and can bang in a few loose pucks so again we may be able to find the answer in the system rather than on the open market.

    Just my opinion.

  6. reinjosh says:

    Yeah, we can get a Tom Wilson (although he's looking like he could be a third liner only type guy, but similar to Biggs last year, he's a pretty safe pick. Very likely NHLer), a Martin Frk, A Brendon Gaunce if were lucky, a COlton Sissons if we're unlucky, or Richard Faksa if we're lucky. 

  7. MystifoLeafs says:

    Wilson is a safe pick and with the way the draft is this year I could see Burke trading up for Gaunce.

  8. mojo19 says:

    I don't know if you guys watch a lot of Philly games, but Richards has been pretty hot and cold since coming into the league. But the main reason I wouldn't want him is because he's a headache in the dressing room. He's a flakey guy who's really outspoken, and had a riff with respected veteran Chris Pronger. Then you look at his production this year and lack luster effort with the kings, coupled with his massively long contract… no thanks.

    You guys have every right to disagree but I like how Burke is keeping his salaries manageable.

  9. mojo19 says:

    Mike Richards is not a 1st line center on a cup winning team. 2nd line, maybe. I think he's kind of like Ryan Kessler. He's tough, he can score and create offense, throws big hits and can be an impact player when his heads in the game.

    Offensively he is solid. He's put up over 70 points in a single season twice in his career, but the last time he did that was 4 seasons ago. He's not an "elite" offensive player, I don't think anyone is arguing that, I know people like him because he's a big hitter, and I would've liked to have acquired him, but let's not start over rating the guy and saying he's a 1st line center. He hasn't played as well as Mikhail Grabovski this year… just sayin

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