Something has got to be Done.

Even though the Leafs have started off pretty well compared last year, there still missing some vital pieces to be considered a playoff team. Some players have been awesome, some mediocre, and some just down right terrible, actually embarrassing. Let me just say that Brian Burke still has his work cut out for him in order to get this team to be a contender. Lets bring up some problems, and perhaps some solutions.

First off, Phil Kessel has been awesome, I dont care about the picks so lets not bring those up. Phil Kessel is 23 years old, already scored over 100 goals in the NHL, will hit over 40 this year, bank on it. He is the face of the Leafs offense, actually you could argue all of the Leafs offense, and there in-lies the problem. Teams know who they have to zero in on when they play the Leafs, take Kessel out of the game, more then likely they will win the game. Outside of Kessel the Leafs have no other scoring threats, Brian Burke must address this situation and acquire more scoring talent as soon as possible.
On to the rest of the top 6 offense of the Leafs, which I’m going to say are all overrated. Versteeg is showing why he was a 5th round pick, hes also showing that anyone playing on the Hawks last year would have had a great year. Kulemin has been Ok, but thats just Ok, so far he has 1 goal, along with Versteeg, and Bozak. Wheres the offense what, Clarke Macarthur, because thats not and will never cut it. Grabovski is just a body out there, serves no purpose. So long story short, Bozak is not a #1 center, nor is Graovski, Versteeg is a very unpolished player, and so far a disappointment, sometimes I feel like I’m watching Jason Blake all over again. Kulemin is a good 3rd liner, hes a very good defensive player, but we need offense. As you can see, what player would you take out of the game if you were playing the Leafs, obviously Kessel.
On to the bottom 6, Tim Brent is a mediocre player that doesnt deserve to be in the big leagues, but for some odd reason Wilson is in love with him. Armstrong is not worth 3 million I dont care how you cut it. He has 1 assist in 8 games, this guy puts up 40 pts a year on average, wheres the points? It seems like this guy has the same expectations put on him that Tim Brent has, it just shouldnt be like that. Sjostrom has been good, no complaints there. Zigomanis, good enough for the fourth line, Orr great. Mike Brown, a good checker, just please dont fight though, he has no balance what so ever, its very embarrassing when he fights and always loses. Long story short bottom 6 has been just average.
The defense, dont even get me started! Every defensemen on the Leafs have been a major disappointment so far, with the exception of 2 of them. Mike Komisarek sucks big time, he hurts the team more then he helps. Beuachemin is terrible, a # 6 defensemen at best on teams without Pronger and Niedermayer. The good ol’ Captain, Dion Phaneuf, I was one of your biggest fans, but your play since you got the “C” has been atrocious. He completely changed the way he plays, almost like he forgot how to hit, fight, score, hustle, try, and most of all play defense. I get nervous everytime I see him carrying the puck around the net, he skates so slow, and sluggish like he doesnt care. His fight against Nathan Horton was overly embarrassing, wheres the badass Phaneuf? Also by the way, doesnt have anything to do with his play, but he is the most boring Captain I’ve ever seen, its like watching paint dry when he talks, 2 minute pauses between each word. Lebda sucks, waive him, he is a joke not nhl material. Gunnarson is just going through the sophomore slump, he deserves time. The only 2 Dmen that have been awesome, and I mean awesome are Schenn and Kaberle. I believe the Leafs must do whatever they can to hold on to these two. Komisarek, Beauchemin should be on the block. Hello Anaheim, and Columbus pick one.
The Goalies have been Great, no complaints there.
Burke has got to do some trades, get another offensive threat or 2 in here, move some defensemen. My suggestion, trade one of Beauchemin or Komisarek to Columbus for Filatov. Now I know most won’t agree with me but this is a 5th overall pick, just as Kessel was. Filatov has the tools, has the skill to be a first line player. The kid may have not taken off yet, but he will be a great player in the years to come. Columbus is in dire need of a defenseman, they’ve demoted Filatov to the 4th line, hes worn out his welcome in Columbus, and quite frankly I dont think its his fault. I just think the Bluejackets dont know how to develop prospects, take a look at the rest of the players they drafted outside of Nash, which was a given.
Secondly we need a #1 center without a doubt. I dont know what it would take to get Brad Richards out of Dallas but he is obviously be a great option. Dallas needs to dump salary with the financial problems. I’m not quite sure how much salary they can take back, but I think Beuchemin, Grabovski, Hanson, and a pick may do it. Again I dont know how desperate the Stars are to get out of the contract, given there financial situation, so it may be easier to pluck him. Another option, Vincent Lecavalier, although his contract is outrageous, I believe he still has alot left in the tank. Given Stamkos quick rise, Lecavalier is now expendable. The Bolts dont want to be paying that amount of money to a second line player, given that Stamkos stole his spot. What would it take to land him, again, The bolts arent exactly financially stable, so who knows, maybe we’d be doing them a favor. I would actually prefer Lecav, over Richards. And last but not least Savard, although if the Bruins actually want fair trade value, they could say good bye. I’m not ready to watch another would be or former leaf light it up against us, cuts like a knife. Another one, but highly unlikely Jeff Carter, just throwing that out there. Which player would you want as your #1 center out of the ones mentioned?
Heres my team:
Filatov/Lecavalier/Kessel
Kadri/Bozak/Macarthur
Kulemin/Versteeg/Armstrong
Sjostrom/Zigomanis/Orr
Kaberle/Schenn
Phaneuf/Gunnarson
Aulie/Blacker
Giguere
Gustavson
So lets recap, trade Beuachemin, Komisarek, Grabovski off the current roster, waive Lebda, call up Kadri, Aulie, Blacker. The 1st line looks deadly, who do you cover, now theres 3 threats. The second line is productive, and has 2nd line players. #rd line very productive for a 3rd line, and defensively sound. 4th line energy. Defense better off then they were, insert some youngsters, that have drive to stay in the big leagues, and wala, better off then we were. Sorry for the long winded article, just had alot to get out after watching last night against the bruins. Phanuef better wake up, 0 goals, 3 assists, and a minus 5, wake up! Alright guys what do you think? It’s only 10 games or so in, but this isn’t about that, this is about moving forward to become a playoff team. Thoughts?


87 Responses to Something has got to be Done.

  1. DannyLeafs says:

    I am not going to touch the whole leafs vs habs stuff cause it's pointless. I get it you love the habs hate, the leafs, and it's not worth talking about.

    While Lecalvier is still considered a very good player, he makes elite level money. That makes his trade value considerable lower then it would be if he made money that was fitting with his current level of production. If Lecalvier was making say 5.5 to 6 million for 4 or 5 more years then yes, he could very well fetch that sort of return. But instead he makes nearly 7.8 for 9 more years, making his addition to any team very difficult, and thus lowering his trade value. There just aren't enough teams with the cap space sufficient to take on that kind of contract. Some GM's wouldn't take him if it didn't cost them a single asset. So there is no way that he would go for that kind of return.

    The other thing is he has an iron clad NTC, meaning for him to be available he would have to hand choose a team he would go to, and express an interest in wanting to Leave. We saw this just over a year ago with Heatley. Ottawa didn't get very much in that deal, and Heatley was much less a gamble then Lecalvier is right now. The other option would be if Tampa tried to force him out. They could bench him, or send him to the minors, or just tell him he isn't wanted and start reducing his playing time or any other number of things to get him to waive his NTC. If this happened, it would again, ruin Vinny's value, and they wouldn't get much of a return.

    The fact is, IF Vinny ever gets dealt, it will not be for a package like a veteran player, top prospect and a pick. It will most likely be some veterans that more or less make up the cap difference, maybe one coveted player, and a mediocre pick or prospect. It may very well be true that Tampa wouldn't trade him for that, but that has nothing to do with what he was worth. If Tampa wants that much for him, he will never be moved and the point is moot. If Tampa or Vinny wanted to part ways, the trade would inevitably be for something much less then the package you outlined.

  2. dumbassdoorman says:

    I here you, just when the words desperation pop up it brings visions of fleecing. Plus Lou has BIG cap problems. I believe ownership has tons to do with the Kovy signing, as they are looking to draw fans.

     I guess the way I was looking at it is that with the combo of his teams start and cap problems, he is not on high ground. Question might become more what else will he have to give up? What exactly does this team need? I still say it is a true puck mover

  3. TimTheBone says:

    No maybe not…. But you can bet your ass that Kadri/Schenn/Caputi/Bozak, one or a combination of those guys would have to be included….

    I could see something along the lines of:

    Bozak, D'amigo, Beauchemin, 2nd round……. or…….. Kadri, Komisarek, 2nd Round……. or…….. Schenn, Bozak
     
    For some sort of package for Lecavalier…. my point is it may not cost you the high price of Kabs and Kadri… But Tampa will want young replacments…. i.e. Kadri or Bozak…. to get one fo them i'd think tampa would take back a bad contract of yours like Kmoisarek or Beauchemin…

    and while his salary is HUGE!.. Lecavs cap hit isn't terrible at 7.7….. it's bad because it pays him till he's 40… but the good news is if he retires at say 36 or after your off the hook…. So If your in the "win now" mentality that some seem to think you are then Lecavs is definitely not a bad option

  4. TimTheBone says:

    Well to be Fair…. At the time the Heatley deal looked much better than it has since turned out… Cheechoo completely busted but was considered to be a reliable 20 goals…. and Michalek was and is a decent addition…. again a reliable 20 goals… so at the time trading a 40 goaler…. for two 30 goalers… seemed like a decent trade.. spread out the offense.. more of a threat…. but it didn't work out that way…. So now you can say the Heatley deal was HORRIBLE for the Sens…

    and like i said before …. I could see a lesser package of let's say:

    Bozak, D'amigo, Komisarek, 2nd rounder…… for some sort of Lecavalier package…

    or perhaps Kadri, Komisarek and a 2nd

  5. TimTheBone says:

    About the contracts… thats BS,.. teams are givning them out still… look no further than Kovalchuck…. so saying that GMS are shying away from bad contracts is BS

  6. Leafs420 says:

    and this is what ive been saying this whole time thank you Danny but this older timer(lafeur) who's seen 8 cups cause hes a cool kid is too old and retarded to understand that and think his boyfriend will still command a high package deal. Just cause your French analysts say he is a superstar doesn't mean hes a superstar. Look at the facts and not listen to the words coming out of someones mouth. God you remind me of a typical american. Too stubborn and dumb to admit hes wrong.

  7. Leafs420 says:

    This is where I think Kaberle could become very useful to the Devils. his First PASS play could spring a lot of offence into the other players and the way hes been playing defense(minus the flyers game) he could help this team out a lot on defense. Just a thought let me know what you think?

  8. lafleur10 says:

    look you piece of shit! i'm a canadian citizen always have been and always will be!your the retrad that's gauranteed!a french anlalyst hasn't said it bob mackenzie,pierre macguire has said it nick kypreos has said it! and those guys know more about hockey or forgot more about hockey than you'll ever know in your life time sunshine !i won't admit thta i'm wrong because i'm not ,when i'm wrong i'll gladly admit you too bad you can't admit that lecavalier is a superstar!

  9. Leafs420 says:

    the only reason why people call him a superstar now old timer is because of what HE DID and the CONTRACT HE GETS a super star is someone who's gonna put up a shit load of points consistently and matches what they makes in a salary but sorry for a guy who's getting 7.8 a year for 9 years and can only get 60 points a season isn't a superstar so sorry SUNSHINE you may be a Canadian citizen but you still act like a typical american. hes only had a few 30 goal season 1 100pt season 1 90pt season sorry but no longer consistent enough to be a SUPERSTAR and will not command anything in the vicinity of what you think bolts will get for him. 

    YOU need to be realistic and look at his production compare him to players like crosby and up and comming superstars like stamkos. and you will clearly see hes not in there league anymore. as much respect as i have for BMAC you gotta look at the facts and compare and you will see how wrong you are. now if your ancient body knows how to properly use a computer go to hockeydb.com and look for yourself
  10. TimTheBone says:

    interesting fact…. Lafleur, in order for you to have "seen" 8 cups won in montreal, assuming that by lets say 3 years of age a kid starts remembering things and retaining things…. you would have been born in '68…. making you 42 years old…. I wouldn't have thought 42 year olds would be on a board as this…. i was under assumption that maybe 30 was the oldest of frequent posters…. 42 …. and BTW if you were born the year of MTL's cup win in 71… i would hardly consider you "seeing" 8 cup wins… i'd say MAYBE 5 you saw in that case… and thats not to say you may be older… im thinking you were born in 71 though and are including the first three years of your life as "seeing" MTL win

  11. Leafs420 says:

    Hey Toronto did have to wait 43 years so what Chicago was waiting 49 and you got baseball teams waiting 100+ years so hey thats ok with me ill wait and it will be even more sweeter when it happens

  12. DannyLeafs says:

    Showing that a bad contract was given doesn't prove that they aren't shying away from them. I was also talking more about the cap hit.

    A few years ago 7+ million a year contracts were the norm. A few years ago several players got over 8 million, more got over 7, and plenty got over 6. In the last 12 months only 2 contracts have come with 7 million or more cap hits. Guys like Savard, Backstrom, Kane, Keith, Kovalchuk, Toews, and Marleau would have easily gotten 7+ million contracts a couple of years ago, but none of them did when they signed their contracts.

    Also, just look at the Kovalchuk sweepstakes. There were only a handful to teams even interested in a guy they could sign for free. Kovalchuk is younger and more productive then Leacalvier, so why would we expect that there would be enough teams interested in Vinny, were he available, to drive the price up enough to get a huge return.

  13. lafleur10 says:

    TIM what's wrong with being 42 and being on this site? i happen to love hockey and love to talk hockey so yes i have seen 8 cups in my life! i know that leafy is an older memeber on here too i don't know how old he is but i would assume that he's in his 30's1

  14. TimTheBone says:

    I never said anything was wrong…. simply was under the assumption there weren't older members on the site….

  15. TimTheBone says:

    So I looked quick at Tampa's salary chart…. Someone want to tell me WHY IN THE HELL Tampa would want to get rid of Lecavalier's contract… before looking for myself i was being told Tampa was going to be in trouble with Stamkos and Hedman to resign in the next two years…. Well as of now the have 10 million in cap space and at the end of the year they'll have 24 million…. yeah sure lot of players to sign…. so you have 24 million in cap space with about 9 roster spots to fill…. Lets say Stmakos get 8 million… and Gagne is resigned for 5…. that leaves 11 million for 7 spots… and those spots won't command much at all…. SOOOOOOOOOOO I think Tampa doesn't even think about moving Lecavalier unless a HUGE package is offered… even then Vince has to approve….

  16. DannyLeafs says:

    The problem Tampa has isn't going to be their cap space (although there won't be much of it left when Stamkos and Hedman are re-signed), but they will have a budget, and that budget will likely be lower then the cap, and it will likely be concerned with actual dollars paid. With Leacalvier making 10 million in salary a year right now, it could be tough.

  17. The-President says:

    I rest my case, Versteeg invisible in tonights game, Kessel taken out of the game, only a defensemen, which was also goalie interference, and the lucky Macarthur scored on a 6 on 4, hardly impressive. We almost got shutout by a sub-par goalie, technically a backup. The season is cooked unless something is done. Who do we play next, Washington, an obvious loss, and then were under .500, once under .500 this team is not built to fight back. Phaneuf is injured for along time most likely, what else is new, oh well, its not like he was productive. 

  18. TimTheBone says:

    Stamkos will get no more than 8….. and hedman hasn't moved worlds thus far in his career… so he isnt making a good argument for big dollars…. it won't be that bad

  19. The-President says:

    The big problem regardless, is Tampa Bays self imposed salary cap, and unstable financial situation. Also the fact that do you think they really want to be paying a 2nd line center, due to Stamkos being better, what hes making?

  20. lafleur10 says:

    ok! LOL THAT'S COOL

  21. leafy says:

    Think on the bright side, at least we have our first round pick just around the corner in June 2012.

  22. leafy says:

    Impossible to figure out the Leafs. In the first few games, they look like a really good team. Then in the last 6 or 7 games, they look as hopeless as a geek on prom night.

  23. leafy says:

    How can you tell the Leafs need forwards?

    After Phil Kessel and Clarke MacArthur, the Leafs leading goal scorers are…Colton Orr and Tim Brent.

    Come on Burkie, get a forward now!!!!

  24. The-President says:

    The Maple Leafs are sure putting a great Bruins team together. People want to talk about how were a rebuilding team. Were not rebuilding when we don't have any draft picks, this season is a must playoff appearance for Brian Burke and Ron Wilson. Were not in rebuild mode anymore, Burke already established that when he traded our #1 picks, brought in Kessel, Versteeg, Komisarek, Beauchemin, Giguere, and Phaneuf. I'm tired of hearing the excuses, hearing other Leaf fans say were in rebuild mode. I'm absolutely tired of losing, it seems as though only you, Leafy, understand. I don't really mind Ron Wilson, as its not really his fault, as he has no offensive players, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say he gets axed by the end of December. 

  25. The-President says:

    Better yet, Macarthur is one of our 2 leading goal scorers, that's quite sad. It's only going to continue to get worse. Lets face it Mac isn't a 30 goal scorer, he's already scored about half of what he's going to end up with. Once he ends his bout of luck, then what, who scores?

  26. leafy says:

    I hear you President. Much of what you're saying now was exactly what I was saying last year.

    And hey, I like Phil Kessel, I think he's a great forward. But 2 first picks? And it's not like we were a playoff team…we were bottom 10 for two straight years.

    An ill-advised trade to say the least…and one that Burke didn't have to make.

    Now a whole new generation of Leaf fans is witnessing what older guys like me already know…that is, when you make even ONE ill advised trade, it's sets the organization back, not months, but years!

  27. The-President says:

    Completely agreed. Phil Kessel is a very talented player, but from what I've been witnessing, he is way to easy to get taken out of a game by another team. 

    The worst thing about the trade, well obviously its the picks, but giving it to an eastern conference rival, terrible. 
    We need a franchise type player, Kessel is very good, but not elite good, 1 first round pick should have been enough, but even then, like you said, its looking more and more like it wasn't even appropriate with the teams overall plans. 
  28. leafy says:

    Yea I franchise player is what we need. You nailed it right there. Let's look at the past 2 Stanley Cup winners. Pittsburgh and Chicago. Crosby/Malkin and Kane/Toews, Coincidence? I think not.

    I'm a firm believer that this method best increases your odds of building a Cup winner. Detroit managed to do it with unbelievable drafting, but they are an exception more than anything. Hope the Leafs can do it like this one day.

  29. leafy says:

    Building through the draft I mean.

  30. DannyLeafs says:

    The problem is that cap hit isn't the concern. Next year Tampa has to pay 29 million of their operating budget to Lecalvier, St.Louis, Malone, Ohlund and Kubina. What if Stamkos wants a front loaded deal too? It's very likely he could want to make 10 million dollars next year. It doesn't matter if the cap hit is only 7.5 or 8, if he decides he wants to make more next season, then it could get quite tight financially.

    It's one thing to not have the cap space, but if Tampa's owndership says they can only greenlight 50 million dollars of real money to be spent on players, then Tampa could be in real trouble if they have 38 million committed to 6 guys.

    I do believe that in the end they will give in to what ever Stamkos wants, but I think their financial situation could be very precarious going forward.

  31. DannyLeafs says:

    On the Heatley deal, I don't ever think that looked like a good deal for Ottawa. Micahlek looked to be a very promising player, and while he is a good player, he never really took the next step. He had some extra upside, but basically, the best you could hope for was that he found some chemistry with Spezza and managed to break the 30 goal 60 point barrier. Cheechoo had no value in the deal. Ottawa didn't want to take him, they had to in order for the cap situations to work out. The hoped that he could be a servicable 2nd or 3rd liner, but they didn't take him because he was desired. Cheechoo was coming off a 12 goal season, and just about any scout would have told you that he was done, and no longer a viable goal scoring threat. He was all about speed, and injuries have slowed him down considerably. They also got a 2nd, but those get thrown around like candy. All in all, this deal never looked very good for Ottawa, and it was a very poor return for a good player.

    I think that for Lecavlier could fetch something in return, but honestly, I don't think it will be young players with promise. I don't see Burke going after him at all, but you never know. But, if he did, I think the return would be similar to what you have in the first package minus one of Bozak or D'amigo. I don't think any organization would give up that second package.

    But just for some fun here is a deal that I think could make sense for the two teams involved.

    To Tampa:
    Elias
    Slavador
    Tenenby

    To New Jersey:
    Lecalvier
    2nd Rd Pick

    New Jersey gets about 1.2 million in cap savings this year and next, and adds a top line centre they have really lacked. Tampa gets a talented winger who can play center on the second line. Also, instead of paying Vinny's 10 million in actual salary the next two years they pay 7.9 million between two players. They also add a center prospect with good offensive upside who could be a good fit as their future #2 center, and Salvador adds some defensive depth to a team that is really lacking in that area. Best of all, Tampa is only locked in to Salvador and Elias contracts for 2 and 3 years respectively rather then having Vinny's for another 9, thus making their situation more flexible going forward. New Jersey may not mind the long term nature of Vinny's contract as much as some other teams because their strategy will likely become try and lock up their core and win now.

  32. dumbassdoorman says:

    I agree but who do they get back for him? i would be real interested in that 1st pick right now…..lol. I did not see the game but Dions injury could put the brakes on a trade. Could Burke get more out of Lou for having the ability to take his cap problems and bury them?

  33. Leafs420 says:

    Im actually 24 and unlike some people i do my research and use common hockey sense before i start posting silly things

  34. TimTheBone says:

    I agree with the Heatley thing, it was by no means a good package for ottawa… but its even much worse to look back… Cheechoo was still expected to give output and not be sent to the AHL and waived…

    and i don't think Bozak gets taken out of the deal.. if lecavalier is going one way…. either Kadri or Bozak would be going the opposite… and its not all that for lecav straight up… there would be other pieces coming to TO… just lecav is the focus

  35. TimTheBone says:

    understood but i still don't see there being a problem… you can't assume what owners are prepared to spend financially..and with the stupid revenue sharing Small markets like Tampa benefit greatly… Tampa being in the playoffs this year i think will help alot in seeling their on ice product.. although i'm not sure how bad theyre actually doing in that respect….

    bottom line… I think Tampa has the cap space… the money… and Vince goes no where.. Stamkos gets an 8 million dollar contract and Hedman should no make more than 4 the next year… I mean he's still barely justifing the 3.5 or whatever he's making now

  36. TimTheBone says:

    half the teams in the league dont have a franchise player… they don't grow on trees….

    the Problem with Kessel isnt his talent… its that burke is trying to build around him as though "he's the guy"….. as thought Phil the thrill is that franchise player… he's just not a player to build a team around….

  37. leafy says:

    Of course franchise players don't grow on trees, that's the whole point. But you greatly increase your chances of getting one if you build through the draft like Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Washington.

    Let's say for a second that Kessel is an Ovechkin, a true franchise player. Very nice….but no first pick until 2012! So he's a lone ranger right now. That is really hard to take as a Leaf fan.

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