Solutions For the Mess Called The Toronto Maple Leafs

Sorry for yet another Leaf article but if you don’t like it, don’t read it. As evidenced by my name, I’m a Habs fan. BUT, I am also a Hockey Fan first and foremost and as much as I enjoy watching the Leafs suffer(As I know Leaf fans enjoyed how the Habs suffered through the late 90’s and early 00’s) it’s unnatural that the 2nd oldest Franchise can’t seem to get on track.

As a hockey fan, I see only one solution for this mess and it involves taking a page out of their rival Habs playbook. If you don’t understand, please follow me in a short history “lesson”. Since 2000, the Leafs have had a total of FIVE 1st Round Picks compared to the Habs ELEVEN. Now, of those 11 picks, 3 are gone(Ron Hainsey, Alex Perezhogin and Marcel Hossa) leaving the Habs with Mike Komisarek, Chris Higgins, Andrei Kostitsyn, Kyle Chipchura, Carey Price, David Fischer, Ryan McDonagh and Max Pacioretty. All of whom were Drafted between 5th and 21st.

Of the Leafs 5 Picks, they’ve already lost 2 of them(Brad Boyes and Tuukka Rask) and have Alex Steen, Carlo Colaiacovo and Jiri Tlusty to show for 8 years worth of possible 1st Round Picks. No offence but that’s just plain sad.

Now onto my personal solution. In my most honest opinion, I believe the single best thing for the Leafs to do is get a Top 8 pick this year then Draft between 10th and 16th for the next 5 years. Using a Top 8 pick this year the Leafs should Draft either Luke Schenn or Drew Doughty. This will give the Leafs a VERY important asset that they’ve lacked for years. Something the Habs have in Komisarek and the Sens have in Volchenkov. A bruising stay at home defenceman who knows his boundaries and punishes opponents. Because frankly, the Leafs are as soft as wet paper towel and they need something to make teams think twice when they come in for a scoring chance.

Now, going forward, instead of destroying the team, play it out because one way or another you’re going to have to buy time so your Prospects can develop. By the time all these NTC contracts are up, you’re Prospects will be fully developed and ready to go. You’ve already bought time without meaning to. Look at what the Habs had during the hard years, Andreas Dackell, Joe Juneau, Richard Zednik, Jan Bulis, Doug Gilmour, Niklas Sundstrom, Stephane Quintal, Karl Dykhuis, Patrick Traverse, Dainus Zubrus, Oleg Petrov, Martin Rucinsky, Trevor Linden. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d take any Leaf over 3/4’s of those guys any day of the week.

As of right now, the Leafs have a good but not great core to build around. You have a good goalie though I think he should be given a rest every few games, decent youth, strong veteran presence and a Top Pairing defenceman in Kaberle(Sorry, on any other team McCabe’s a #3 guy at best who plays the PP). In Toskala, Pogge, Kaberle, Tlusty, Wellwood, Stajan, Steen, Kronwall, Stralman and Williams, you’re solid. Adding the pieces over the next 3-5 years will only strengthen this unit and before you know it, you’ll be near where the Habs are today, shocking everyone with strong play.

I firmly believe that if the Leafs do as the Habs have done over the last 8 years, they will be back on top of the Hockey World, although, it’ll take a lot to dethrone the Habs, Sens and Pens as they have had an 8 year headstart.

The ONLY way this will work is if the Leafs next GM actually decides to keep his 1st Round Picks instead of pissing them away like Quinn and JFJ have done.


35 Responses to Solutions For the Mess Called The Toronto Maple Leafs

  1. morrissey says:

    In the cap environment it's crucial to hold on to first round picks, those cheap players on entry level contracts allow you to flesh out your lineup with higher priced talent. If you don't have them, you can still get the expensive guys, but the rest of your line up will be waiver rejects, fourth liners and AHLers that will never improve. That's the fundamental difference between the cup champion Ducks and the basement dwelling Lightening, not their respective players at the top of their salary scale, but the ones at the bottom of it.

  2. the_word says:

    (Rolling my eyes)  Nothing like the great 'wisdom' of Montreal managment and by extension their fans, huh.  Reality check, Montreal is a completely failure in terms of landing UFAs but not for lack of trying.  That being the case, Gainey has been forced to build through the draft.  Calling the Habs a great success of management is like calling Edmonton, Buffalo and Nashville great successes.  Their simply teams that were positioned well for the post cap LNH.  Buffalo and Edmonton had pretty short runs, we'll see how the Habs do in the long run (I'm sure this batch of Canadians will choose to resign in Montreal).  As for Toronto, yeah its broke, the solution is simply to let Mats walk into retirement or a contract somewhere else, I'd like to see them deal Toskala and make a run Tavares. 

  3. jpmac says:

    You are saying Montreal is not well managed?  Why because they didn't give up three players and a pick for a player who might not sign? 

    "Montreal is a completely failure in terms of landing UFAs "..whereas Toronto is just a complete failure overall. 

    Tell me this, name the last big free agent signing the Leafs have made.  Or better yet tell me their last draft pick that is paying dividends on this team.  My  bet would be Kaberle who was chosen 12 years ago.  Before you say it, no, Nik Antropov is not signifgant.

    Montreal is a franchise that is well run, unlike some other teams, and granted they never had a lot of salary after the cap, but to say that they are going to be a flash in the pan like Edmonton or Buffalo is plain idiotic.

    To say they have been forced to build through the draft is true, not many free agents have come here.  Edmonton got hot in the playoffs, they were the eigth seed, and just rode the hot streak, until the finals. 

    Buffalo is a completely different story, they lost their two franchise players because they were making a run at the cup.

    While you compare them to those two teams, I will compare them to the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils, two teams that draft excellent and have little free agents. 

    You say the solution would be to let Mats walk, and to trade Toskala..and thats it…then you are going to try and get Taveres.  There is much than that wrong with this franchise.

    I find it quite funny that a Toronto fan would be criticizing the way the habs are run.  You guys are, maybe, the worst run franchise in all of sports, and you take shots at the team who is, oh yeah, 1st in the east, and tied for third overall? 

  4. the_word says:

    I love how no one on this site ever takes a moment to comprehend what someone has posted before engaging in the counter punch to an what they've misinterpreted.

    I didn't say Montreal was not well managed. My point was the supposed genuis design of the Montreal Canadians is an exageration. It'd be a refreshing change to read something other than someone talking in absolute terms.

    Now to the post… Montreal was forced to build through the draft as Gainey failed in the previous two off seasons in landed his targeted (i.e. Briere, Smyth). He's shown himself to be willing to waste money on medoicre talent like Hamrlik and Samsonov. So there is a precedent.

    I never claimed the Leafs were well well managed.

    Toronto has never had a problem attracting UFA talent. Hell, Toronto can't even get a player agree to leave the city.

    Why is the claim that Montreal will be a flash in the pan idoitic? This an assumption on your part. No one should be expected to wants to play in the pressure cooker market of Montreal, where they have to learn french and pay highest taxes of any market. You can ignore this reality but history has shown Montreal isn't an attractive destination for players. Yet you assume that the current roster will want to stay in Montreal? What are you basing this claim on? The fact that I'm a Leafs fan so I must be wrong? And I'm the idoit?

    So the Habs are more like the Wings and Jersey? Yep, year in year out the Habs are a contender, huh. Asinine comparison, the Habs are having a good year in a weak conference, they're hardly a dominant force. I mean even the lowly Maple Leafs can walk into Montreal and hand them a convincing defeat. Montreal still has a lot to prove.

    As for the Leafs, I said 'its broke'. There is much rebuilding to be done. Let Mats walk and trading Toskala is a significant move towards change. That is what I would like to see moving forward. Obviously the rebuilding process is bigger than that, one would have to be quite narrow minded to assume read that as a total solution.

    So the Leafs have a bad season, are mismanaged means I can't criticize other teams, or have any opinions about anything outside the boundaries of Toronto's city limits. This why site sucks, simple minded black & white thinking and name calling.

  5. lafleur10 says:

    you saying that montreal's management is not a great success well look at the standings lokk where they're positioned in the standings  and i think that'll tell you that they are managed greatly!maybe the leafs should take a page out of the habs book!and they wouldn't be in the position they're in a joke and a laughing stock organization! all the successful teams detroit ,new jersey have built through the draft and have added the odd free-agent here and there this is something the leafs haven't figured out and until they do and start doing it they're going to stay where they are!also why trade toskala?that's just plain dmb especially when you need goaltending! because you have nothing in your system!yeah your going to say pogge! but seriously if he was any good or was going to amount to anything other than a career minor leaguer or a back up!!they why isn't he up playing on your team!i mean look at how bad they are you can't tell me that kid couldn't make that team! you guys  had that type of goaltender i rask but you traded him!! away for a stiff (raycroft)that is where if you had that type of goaltender inyour system then yes i agree trade toskala and let rask take over and then land tavares!!that makes more sense!as for sundin letting him walk well i  think we will at seasons end anyway!!

  6. the_word says:

    Why am I not surprised to come across another Hab fan that didn't read what I posted before responding with a shallow, exclamation ladent response.  I'm not going to repeat myself, simply scroll up and read, it you still don't understand, read it again, you'll get there eventually.  You strike me as a big Jaque Desmaire fan. 

    Trade Toskala, to tank next season for a better draft position.  Is it that hard to get your head around?  You see the problem with your post (well actually this is just one of many) is that you talk out of both sides of your mouth.  You praise the philosophy of building through the draft then you say Pogge (a bright in the Leafs system who is have a great year in the AHL) is useless.  I suggest a scenerio in which the Leafs trade their goaltender to better take advantage of drafting position and you call it idiotic.  So the solution for the Leafs is to build through the draft but not do so with players in their system or quality draft position. 

    Its funny, I criticize Montreal, yet we spend all our time talking about the Leafs whose demise is well documented.  How about for once we talk about another team.  You know that team that is confusing themselves as a legitimate contender based on the fact they've rise to the top of a medoicre Eastern conference.  Hell even if the pathetic Maple Leafs make the playoffs I'd like their against the Habs. 

  7. vesa29 says:

    I agree that the leafs need more draft picks, but re-building this team will not take half as long as montreal. players want to play here….want to be traded here unlike montreal. the leafs can sign ufa's and get players who want to play here. the leafs need to get a high pick this year and a high pick next year. this summer sign a few ufa's…hope they do well and trade to contenders for picks at the deadline. this can all be done under the right GM i.e. brian burke who refured to toronto as the vatican of the hockey world. whatever the case maybe….Go Leafs Go!

  8. 33 says:

    it would be sweet if they could get good draft pics this year or next l.  i rather have tavares then stamkos but both would be good  but i think if
    cliff or who ever the gm is in the off season should buy out mcabe, kubina, raycroft and maybe tucker..  they should lay contract  offers for  corey perry, and jeff carter, two good young guy anyone would want to get a hold off, sign sundin back and try to sign  a defence or two  .    Also would try for  markas nasland  him and sundin would be  good together and backup  goalie might as well sign kozlig or esle bring up pogge

  9. jpmac says:

    No one is saying it is genius, it is smart.  You draft good, Don't spend star money on non star calibre players, and then give them no trade clauses (ie McCabe, Tucker, Kubina).

    I will grant you he has tried to land players like Smyth and Briere. I would not be so willing to call Hamrlik a waste of money. He is much more Valuable to the Habs than Souray would have been.  Just because he doesn't put up points, that Souray did doesn't mean he is a waste of money.  Would you trade Hamrlik straight up for McCabe?  Kubina?

    You never answered my question.  I said name me the last impact free agent that Toronto has signed? 

    It is idiotic because up until these past 14 years Montreal has always been a contender.  The Roy saga ended all that.  That is because we were poorly managed.  Gainey had to take some time to fix that, and now that the fruits of his labour are showing.  Don't forget Gainey has won a cup as a GM, tainted or not.  He does know how to build a team, that is why I don't think they will be a flash in the pan. I don't know if the current roster will want to stay in Montreal, Some of them will want to leave, but hopefully they will be able to keep the core together.  Some people thrive on pressue, so you never know.  I never said you were wrong, i am just voicing my opinion, and I never said you were an idiot, I said the claim that Montreal being a flash in the pan was idiotic.  

    I know Montreal has a lot to prove, they are a very young team.  I by no means expect them to win the cup this year, hell they might even get knocked out in the second round, but if we can keep the core together than I think there is something here, I might be wrong.  

    I agree with you that it would be a good start, but with the goaltending market as dry as it is, I don't think they will get much for Toskala, but that could easily change by the summer.   

    I am sorry for the personal shot at the end, it was uncalled for, the point I was trying make about that was at the start of your post you said  "(Rolling my eyes)  Nothing like the great 'wisdom' of Montreal managment and by extension their fans, huh".  So what does that imply?

  10. PUCKHOG2008 says:

    Maybe Tucker,Maybe Tucker he should be the first gone !!!

  11. lafleur10 says:

    your wrong dead wrong about it not take as long as montreal to rebuild through the draft!!have yopu seen your farm system andyour young talent is empty and it is not even comparbale to the other teams!!! so for you to say thatis idioitic!!wake up and smeel the coffee it is going to take aleast 5years if not more!!and signing freeagents is becoming impossible too for toronto because of them even sucking for the past 3 years!ask your self this realistically without looking at it through leaf colored glasses!and look at it through a hockey fans point of view! if you are no and not just a leafs fan!if you were an u.f.a. and were 33-34 yrs old and wanted to win the cup in the last few years of your career would you want to sign in toronto when you know that they won't even be close to winning the cup or making playoffs for the nex few season while rebuilding?i don't think so!and as for your notion of trading with contenders for picks well you guys tried that and it didn't  work(too many n.t.c.'s) those are the guys that would have gotten you team the most return in trades yes they need to get a high pick but if they don't  then the onus is on there scouting staff to make absolutely sure they don't make a mistake when picking players in the draft 1st r.d included!that can hinder your rebuilding process too as it will put you even farther behind!!but yes i agree your rebuilding can be done under the right g.m. but to think it will take less than 5 years is just stupid wishful thinking!if your  farm system wasn't so bare and you had oodles of young talent then maybe but under the current situation you guys are at 4-6years away from even being considered contenders!(even under brian burke)or whoever you hire!and you see that's also where sundin screwed you guys he should've waived his n.t.c. clause it would've helped in the rebuilding faster!but he clearly doesn't care about the cup!he would have yeilded you guys more than hossa did on the trade market!!

  12. lafleur10 says:

    this is a really stupid post!look if you signed c.perry or j.carter you could kiss the first r.d pick away that you'd have to give up for taveres!and yopu won't get stamkos!are you that much  better ?no your not your worse!and at this point do you really think markus naslund is going to help you?no he's not!!also he'll be 35 yrs old if you want to rebuild you don't need washed up old guys!!this is what got you in this position in the first place!!what backup are you going to sign?kolzig at 37 another geezer?pogge should have been given a look this year to see what he could do!

  13. the_word says:

    Habsrock and now jmac, Habs fans actually able to talk hockey, who knew.  The rolling my eyes line was to address the morrisey, lafleur ilk that drag this site down.  I didn't answer the UFA question because it had nothing to do with the point I was making.  The Leafs haven't had a hard time holding onto their talent or attracting UFAs.  Sure there were big names like Belfour, Cujo (big names in their day) but the reality is that there aren't many great UFAs available because if a player is good enough their clubs make an effort to lock them up.   In the post cap LNH Kubina and Blake (leading goal scorer in the last UFA pool) were significant UFAs.  Obviously this has proven to be a poor way to build a team, but manangment is focus is cleaning up the mess.  My point was simply that Montreal was saved from making the mistakes of burning through caproom as no one wanted to play there and not the supposed prudent judgement of Gainey.  Now that being said I think Gainey like the rest of us has figured out the cap environment and with the success the Habs are enjoying, its easier from him to be conservative.  As for comparing the Habs to the Wings and Devils, you know I heard a simillar argument made by a Vancouver fan last year that they were next NJ though I compared them to the Wild (a team that is competitive year in, year out, but no where near dominant).  Look at Vancouver today.  Much like the crowning of Price as the next Patrick Roy, I think its too early to compare the Habs to the Wings and Devils.  You've been on top of the Eastern conference for what, like a week now and that makes the Habs a prennial contender?  As for the Hamrlik trade, I honestly think McCabe brings a lot more to a team than Hamrlik, the Leafs are a better team with McCabe in the line up and everyone overlooks his stregths (even those he is such a libiality he was plus three last season, not bad for a defenseman that played in front of the worst starting goaltender in the league while playing thirty minutes a night) nor would I trade Kubina for Hamrlik simply as Hamrlik has a bigger contract with longer term.

  14. HABSSTAR says:

    OK Burke is not going to Toronto, so forget that.  Wow!  Cliff Felcher sounded mad at a press conference at players who wouldn't waive their NTC.  Did anyone ask if he tried to convince them to do otherwise?  I mean REALLY try.  If I were a Leafs fan this is the type of conversation I would like to have seen go on with MCabe, Tucker, Kubina, and the likes.

    Cliff: We've got an offer of a used spit bucket, a green #4 Uno card, some already chewed gum and a 115th round draft pick for you and we want to take it.

    Any one of the useless tits listed above:  I'm not waiving my NTC! HA!

    Cliff:  Have a nice time riding the pine then ass clown!  You'll waive it or you'll sit in the press box for the rest of your contract.  No damn way are you going to screw with this team's chance to get a decent draft pick and actually build a team worth the price of a ticket in this city.  If you were so comitted to staying in a Leafs' jersey you should have tried something like…oh I don't know….not sucking in the first 60 games! Your choice, you got 30 mins to decide.  You can stay here and rot or you can go where I send you when I send you and play.  We'll see what your NTC or NMC is worth to you now! (insert evil, echoing, laugh here) 

    If something along this line would have occured there is no doubt each and everyone of them would have waived their NTC, and/or retired on the spot.  But for sure they would not have been the Leafs' problem anymore. 

    This organization is in a world of hurt and it won't get any better until someone has the calzones to tell the overpaid, under performing elements of the team exactly what they are.   

  15. Leafs101 says:

    not to be rude or anything but

    where are u going to?

    sign kolzig why would u sign him when you have a goalie who can play better than him

    second i agree with tavares rather than stamkos but the leafs can't afford to drop another season next year i say get stamkos trade kubina to buffalo for a 2nd liner and a first round pick. Because i belive Buffalo will get in the bottom 3 next year without cambell and maybe afeniganov too.

  16. 08-09 says:

    The higher the Leafs finish in the Stamkos Cup standings (lower in the nhl standings), the easier it will be to either

    a) trade up to the #3, #2 or #1 spots
    b) to select one of Bogosian, Pietrangelo, or my fav – Luke Schenn or Stamkos.

    With 11 games left, the leafs must drop like a stone – away from the Oilers, Hawks, Blues, Caps, Panthers, Thrashers, Isles, Blue Jackets – and towards the dismal duo of the Lightning and Kings. Again, i dont think that TB or LA will catch Toronto, but if the leafs finish 29th overall, the potential is still there to win the lottery, pick 2nd, 3rd, or at worst – 4th overall – and either trade up or draft a stud blueliner. my projection (obviously this presumes that Raycroft will get some starts after the Philadelphia home-and-home):

    @ phi – loss
    buff – loss
    @ NYI – loss in OT
    @ buff – loss
    @ Ott – loss
    Boston – loss
    @ Boston – loss
    Montreal – win
    Buff – loss
    Ott – loss
    @ montreal – win

    for a record of 33-37-12, 78 pts, 14th in the East and 28th overall.

    again, as leaf fans, we'll be hoping that the Sabres and Bruins – battling for their playoff lives, will beat toronto in regulation each of the 5 times they play Toronto. That will go a LONG way in ensuring the Leafs getting a #1 blueliner or, potentially, a superstar forward.

    but first things first – the Leafs/Flyers tonight: GO FLYERS!

    7. Boston            70     36     26     8     80
    8. Philadelphia    70     35     26     9     79
    ——————————————————
    9. Buffalo           70     32     27     11    75
    10. Washington   70     32     30     8     72
    11. Florida          71     32     31     8     72
    12. NY Islanders  71     32     32     7     71
    13. Atlanta          71     30     33     8     68
    14. Toronto       71     31    30   10    72
    15. Tampa Bay    70     27     35     8     62

    =================================
    10. Phoenix        70     35     30     5      75
    11. Chicago        70     33     30     7      73
    12. Columbus     70     31     28     11    73
    13. Edmonton     70     34     31     5      73
    14. St. Louis       70     29     30     11    69
    15. Los Angeles  71     27     38     6      60

  17. Bure96 says:

    HAHAHAHAHHHAHA

    A 1st round AND 2nd line player for Kubina? Kubina is arguably the most overpaid 3rd pairing defensemen in the NHL. I can't believe you just said that?

    Nobody would take Kubina off your hands for free, never mind a 1st rounder and 2nd line player.

    It's now officially that Lukas Krajicek will be available at the draft. The asking price isn't much though. 3 1st rounders, and a top prospect.

  18. Bure96 says:

    Doughty won't fall out of the top 5. His stock has taken a bit of a hit, but remember he was rated the #2 prospect by almost every hockey analyst until just recently (some people still have him at #2). Although, Angelo Esposito went from #1 rated prospect to #20 overall pick. Doughty situation isn't the same as Esposito's though.

  19. lafleur10 says:

    it doesn't surprise me that an idiot leafs fans think the only 2 wins your giving them is against us!!(the habs)then personally think we'll blow you out in both our remaining games!by the average of 4 goals win by the habs in each game the upcoming game at the end of the mont we'll win 6-2 and the last game of the season we will win 7-3 !

  20. the_word says:

    How is the mighty Habs record against the lowly Leafs this year?  That isn't an indication of the Leafs being a quality team as much as it is a strong indication that any team can walk into Montreal, give an honest effort and have their with the Habs. 

  21. 08-09 says:

    yeah, as much as i want the leafs to lose (and man, i really do), i also want them to play spoilers for the habs for the 2nd straight year (maybe costing them home ice or the division crown, that would be sweet).

    it is a weird thing though. … the habs are a very good team, but the leafs have had their way with them for the most part since the mid to late-1990s, for more than a decade now.

  22. 08-09 says:

    one thing i said near the deadline was this: if the leafs cannot trade Kubina (and they didnt) they better hope he pads his stats and raises his stock a little, so they have a more valuable, viable trade chip when his NTC is lifted after the draft and for the summer. If he posts 10 goals and 40pts, his Stanley Cup ring and the remaining 2 years left with $5 million per season won't look so bad to teams who do not want to spend above that on a two-way D-man in the UFA market (or if they lose out on the UFA defencemen out there).

    and really, it has always been my opinion that the leafs only really need to get rid of one of Kubina or McCabe (though both would be nice), in terms of cap space.

    so it sucks that he has scored two GWGs for the Leafs, but it IS good in terms of raising his stock (even the lowly Simmons has stated as much in today's Sun).

  23. 08-09 says:

    my projected draft order:
    1) Stamkos, 2) Doughty, 3) Pieterangelo
    4) Bogosian, 3) Beach, 6) Filatov (leafs could sure use Bogosian or Schenn)
    7) Schenn, 8) Hodgson, 9) Wilson, 10) Boedeker, Boychuck, or Myers

    With 10 games left, the leafs must drop like a stone – away from the Oilers, Hawks, Blues, Caps, Panthers, Thrashers, Isles, Blue Jackets – and towards the dismal duo of the Lightning and Kings. Again, i dont think that TB or LA will catch Toronto, but if the leafs finish 27th or 28th overall, the potential is still there to win the lottery, pick 2nd, 3rd, or at worst – 4th or 5th overall – and either trade up or draft a stud blueliner. My projection (obviously this presumes that Raycroft will get some starts after the Philadelphia home-and-home):

    buff – loss
    @ NYI – loss in OT
    @ buff – loss
    @ Ott – loss
    Boston – loss
    @ Boston – loss
    Montreal – win
    Buff – loss in OT
    Ott – loss
    @ montreal – win
    for a record of 34-36-12, 80 pts, 13th in the East and 27th overall (probably ahead of the Kings, Lightning and one of the Isles or Thrashers or Blues).

    Again, as leaf fans, we'll be hoping that the Sabres and Bruins – battling for their playoff lives, will beat toronto in regulation each of the 5 times they play Toronto. That will go a LONG way in ensuring the Leafs getting a #1 blueliner or, potentially, a superstar forward. Heck, even if the Habs or Sens beat the Leafs, they'd be doing the Toronto franchise a favour in terms of the long-term.

    7. Boston            71     36     27     8     80
    8. Philadelphia    71     35     27     9     79
    =================================
    14. Nashville       72     35     29     8      78
    13. Phoenix        71     36     30     5      77
    12. Buffalo           71     32     28     11    75
    11. Washington   71     33     30     8     74
    10. Fld/Nash          72     33     31     8     74
    9. Toronto       71     31    30   10    72
    8. Columbus     70     31     28     11    73
    7. Edm/Ana       71     34     32     5      73
    6. Chicago        71     33     31     7      73
    —————————————————-
    5. NY Islanders  72     32     33     7     71
    4. Atlanta          72     31     33     8     70
    3. St. Louis       70     29     30     11    69
    2. Tampa Bay    78     28     35     8     64
    1. Los Angeles  71     27     38     6      60

  24. lafleur10 says:

    our record against the lafss is even we've each won 3 games so far but with price in the net and the way we're playing and the way you guys are playing right now should be interesting but i'd still give us the edge and by quite a big margin!!we are a faster team ,the best passing team in the league,fastest skating team in the conference and in the league! the most underrated skilled team in the league andhave the best p.p. and if we play like we did before the loss to ottawa and play the way we have most of the season the leafs will get smoked! wether it's in toronto or montreal!if we give our honest effort the games won't even be close! unless of course the refs help you guys!! which they have been known to do from time to time!

  25. lafleur10 says:

    08-09 unfortunately i think you guys will end up in 9th in the conference and miss the playoffs by 1-2 points and miss out on the  bottom 5 and will draft in the 10-14th spot!

  26. the_word says:

    Good call, would be nice to see the team dive a bit with Sundin's injuiry.  Also agree with you that this site has degenerated into dull, mindless cheerleading.

  27. 08-09 says:

    yeah, hard to post with any regularity. its like i do a very loud sigh and decide to post or not, but its harder and harder to put any effort or thought into responding to anyone or even entering the site. not as worthwhile as it once was.

  28. 08-09 says:

    lol. i love how you say 'unfortunately.' obviously, if you are a hab or sens fan with any brain, you'd hope for the leafs to finish 9th (and evidently, you do hope for this event, which is completely understandable).

    drafting 10th to 14th this year compared to the past two drafts though is not as 'dire.' this draft is super-deep.

    but i do think the leafs will draft from 6th to 10th, which should easily give them – if not a franchise player – than certainly someone who can play on our top lines for a long time to come.

    again, i said this a long time ago when the leafs were struggling early in the year and non-leaf fans were laughing their asses about it, such struggles – and the potential for change – is the LAST thing non-leaf fans should be hoping for. they should be hoping for 9th place and the status quo. that is the hell for leaf fans.

    but the firing of JFJ, the harsh words from Fletcher after the deadline, the POTENTIAL for a new, autonomous GM, and a high, top-10 or top-5 draft pick, … these are all things that hab and sens fans should be dreading, not welcoming.

    of course, i totally understand the huge disclaimer in all of this: MLSE still runs the show and all of this might not happen, but the chances are still much better than they were a year ago or even 2 months ago. change seems to be on the horizon, not good news for non-leaf fans IMO.

  29. 08-09 says:

    absolutely no way they trade toskala, although i understand the reasoning behind it. a combination of Pogge and Raycroft splitting games next season would definitely sink the to 28th to 30th place next year.

    maybe an 'autonomous' GM does that move? (one who has signed a 5-year deal and is entering the first year of a 5-year plan and, therefore, has the balls to make such a move early on in his tenure?)

    doubt it though.

    and i hate all of this talk of buyouts … absolutely the WORST and non-sensical thing to do when it comes to contracts that are longer in term.

  30. 08-09 says:

    yikes … all he said was that – AT THIS POINT – re: montreal hasnt won a playoff round … the habs could be likened to teams who are making the playoffs and have drafted well (even comparing them to Edmonton is a little gracious on his part considering they made the cup final).

    the fact that you counter his 'ridiculous' argument by immediately comparing the habs to Detroit and NJ is INSANE and swings way too far the other way.

    geesh. just because he is a toronto fan dont discount what he says and grow some persepective!

  31. lafleur10 says:

    how is this not good news for non leafs fans?even if you claim that you think that they will be drafting in the 6th -10th spot ! you might and might not get a franchise player!! it all comes down to the work of your scouting staff,to make sure that they make the absolute right pick and don't blow it! no matter how deep the draft is!!and the leafs scouting staff is in the bottom third of the league!!it is a no brainer though if you have a top 5 pick because it almost a can't miss guy you'll end up with!!and your young talent in your farm system isn't that strong or good!!so if your new g.m. whoever that maybe wants to show you leafs fans that yes it is indeed  turning around you need to draft a few a list prospects!and your leafs don't have any of thjose they have d list which aren't what you need whne you want to turn things around!! as a habs fan we went through the same thing that you guys have been going through before bob gainey was hired  and he over hauled our scouting staff and replaced all of them and we started drafting properly!! because i think with the way our 2 teams are currently situated that even though we will no doubt finish higher and will draft higher (likely 21st to 24)with our scouting staff the way it is and yours the way it is! i 'll bet we'll daft as good or better player that you will  where ever you guys end up picking!!and that's not ment to insult you just a fact showing you that if you have a good scouting staff(ours is the best in the league) it doesn't matter necessarily where you end up drafting if your scouts do there homework  you can find as good a player later in the draft as the bootom teams unless of course it is a top 5 pick!!even if there is change for you guys you guys still won't see the effects of the changes(drafting  for at least 5 years )

  32. 08-09 says:

    do your homework on this draft … and why must you assume the worst case scenario in everything leaf-related?

    that shows no perspective whatsoever – only a biased, homerist one. you assume the leafs will draft badly or draft outside of the top-5. such assumptions are bound to be proven wrong – eventually. again, do your homework on this draft.

  33. lafleur10 says:

    i have done my homework on this draft! i'm not assuming the worst case sscenario but look at your teams draft history! it is horrible !i mean come !really man tell me what player(s) the leafs have drafted that are A list guys or quality prospects in your line-up right now,or in your system that can make a diiference for you guys!! or give your fans aprospect that you can really feel good about or compare to other teams A list guys!this is not a biased or homerism opinion !but seriously! look at your team and your scouting staff and where you guys are in the standings andlook at your future(your farm system) it's pretty bleak and not much there your cupboards are pretty bare!compared to some of the top teams!!maybe i'll be proven wrong eventually but until the leafs and there new g.m address the diffencies and fix your problem of drafting  my assumptions will be dead on!!really teel me one young guy that you have that is as good as what we  have right now!!i know you don't have any!!

  34. cam7777 says:

    I dont want to make my own article, so ill post here, as it relates to fixing the mess:

    So I was thinking what moves I might try to make if I were in the position of Cliff Fletcher approaching the draft, and unrestricted free agency.  I put together this outline for what I might try to accomplish.  Let's hear what you think is reasonable, or possible, or even just a positive move for the Leafs going forward.

    -Draft Luke Schenn or Kyle Beach or even Bogosian
    -Resign Mats to a 1 year deal for five million dollars
    -Address the problem no GM has dealt with over the last 10 years, and find Mats a solid winger (and in doing so, someone who can replace Mats as the face of the Leafs in the coming year).  Idea:

    **Blockbuster Trade**
    Kaberle, Tucker and a 2nd round pick to Detroit for Henrik Zetterberg
    (now I know everyone can't wait to jump all over me and say that Detroit would never part with him, but consider this: 1.) Detroit loves quality defensemen and Kaberle is one of the most attractive in the league given his salaray and contract.  Especially in the West, superstar defensemen are a necessity to compete with Anaheim. 2.) Detroit will flop in this years playoffs, as is a growing trend.  Tucker provides grit in the playoffs, and a spark that they seem to be missing. 3.) Zetterberg will want likely in the area of 7.5 million or higher come next summer.  Detroit drafts well, and has no problem attracting quality free agents to bargain contracts.  Letting Zetterberg go really isn't the end of the world for them, especially with Datsyuk locked up.  Plus they get a pick…)

    Next up, let's make this team a little edgier.  If Brian Burke signs on with MLSE I'd love to see him do a deal like this.  Ponikarovsky and Stajan for Joffrey Lupul in Philly.  I can't decide if that's too much, or not enough for Lupul.  You guys decide.  Whatever the case, no more Pokahontas

    Free agency rolls around and the Leafs should jump on Andrew Brunette.  Yea, he's getting a little older now, but you know what, he produces even when Sakic, Forsberg, Stastny, Smyth and Svatos are all MIA.  It doesn't matter who he's on a line with, he's going hard.  Pick him up for 2.6 million for 3 years, and let him bring some work ethic back to the Leafs (before February).

    Now the Leafs look like this:

    Zetterberg-Sundin-Lupul
    Antropov-Steen-Brunette
    Blake-Wellwood-Tlusty
    Moore-Devereux-Earl

    McCabe-Colaiacovo
    Kubina-White
    Bogosian-Strahlman

    Toskala-Raycroft

    CAP HIT- approximately 46 million

    Ultimately this team gives us some solid young players that changes the makeup of the team.  Kubina seems like he wants to play for Toronto, so let him.  Raycroft can sit his ass on the bench and earn his wage so we dont have to pay him the following season.  And still there's room to sign a cheap veteran D-man, and maybe a guy like Brunnstrom to make an all-Swede top line. 

    Let me know…

  35. mapleleafsman says:

    first of all, get a GM that has experience. like Burke(fingers crossed) .Then, the leafs need to get rid of some salary before anything else. I say get rid of mccabe via trade or buying him out. trade kkubina if u can as hes been playin great as of late.  Then, sign a defenseman. Like a jason smith.  Resign mats sundin and reunite him with fellow countryman markus naslund. In the draft, try to get a player like schenn or coliin wilson, or kyle beach.

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