Some good news for once

The Leafs are in a position to have a good season in 08-09, but not in the standings.If ever there was a year to let the youth get some playing time, it was next year.

Justin Pogge looks like he will be NHL ready next season, though likely not ready for a starters role.

Anton Stralman deserves at least a chance to play 82 games next year.

Dimitry Vorobiev is having a great year in the RSL, and is as ready as he’ll ever be.

Jeremy Williams has paid his dues in the minors, and is starting to get healthy.

Jiri Tlusty has showed everyone how versatile he is.

Nikolai Kulemin was ready this season, but decided to play one more year in RSL.

And consider that White, Colaiacovo, Stajan, Steen, Wellwood are all still in the Learning Process.

This season has been the opposite. Paul Maurice has relied on the veterans and the development of the young players has taken a back seat.

Heres a posible idea moving forward.

Buyout Kubina’s remaining 10 million dollars and pay the full 6.7 million next season (an option in the CBA, better than spreading it out over 4 years)

Buyout Raycrofts remaining contract and pay the 1.3 mil next season.

Trade Sundin, Tucker, Blake for picks and newly drafted Prospects at the Deadline.

Wellwood 3 years 4.5 mil
Steen 3 years 3 mil
Stajan 3 years 3 mil
Vorobiev 3 years 3 mil



Toskala (4.0)
Pogge (0.7)

Buyouts 8 million

Cap hit: 43.4 million

Will this team likely make the playoffs? No.

Could this team finish last? Yes

But what it does is it lets the organization see who’s really ready for the NHL, and lets the team get lucky. The Leafs need to let some of these kids get a chance over an 82 game season (not a 10 game stint) to prove their worth.

Pogge could crumble, Vorobiev could be too slow, Stralman could get pushed around, Kulemin could take too many penalties, Tlusty could be -20, and Williams could get injured again.

But what are the chances of ALL of that happening. And what are the chances that one or two of those players show top line talent. Look at the habs and coyotes. They tried young player after young player and some aren’t making an impact. But some are turning into top end players.

For full reports on these young players:

6 Responses to Some good news for once

  1. leemon says:

    Watching the leafs organization  right now is like watching britney spears lose her mind and being sent to the looney bin!!!!!!!!!

  2. antro says:

    Well first of all Kubina will draw a lot of interst at the trade deadline…so trading him should not be difficult…. secondly placing raycroft on waviers surely there teams out there would pick him up….LA…Tampa…CAL…etc.However the Leafs will most likely clean house starting with management…but trading Kaberle and the young talent would be a huge mistake….the task at hand will be trying to move Mcabe,Tucker,Blake…the big contracts…thats were a guy like Bowman can start…Good luck leafs fans were going to need it..

  3. the_word says:

    Zing, but perhaps those vapid pop culture allusions are better fitted for articles in the Village rather than HTR.

  4. Hoondog2 says:

    Not bad ideas Blue & White, but surely the Leafs could just waive Raycroft, and find a trading partner for Kubina.  I don't want the Leafs to trade Sundin at the deadline unless they are sure to get him back, Sundin SHOULD retire a Maple Leaf, and his leadership qualities are vital for our youth!!

  5. mojo19 says:

    Good stuff B&W, but I would take 1 or 2 of those kids out and fill in a couple spots with grizzled vets. A team full of young players isn't the best way for them to learn, they could still use the experience of playing with some vets, that's part of the learning process too.

    I'm not suggesting stars, but just sign a couple guys to 1 year deals, who are washed up and not going to be attractive to contenders who won't mind coming into a rebuilding situation but could provide some leadership.

    And of course Nik Antropov would take on more of a leadership role if this happened too.

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