State of Panic: Leaf Edition

There are a few teams in a state of panic. I’m going to try to show how I’d build each of those teams to be champions if I were the GM, I’d like to start with my favorite team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.I think John Ferguson has messed guys around .. Gilmour, Thomas, Martchment, Nolan, Mogilny, Roberts, Nieuwendyk, the list of loyal veterans this guy’s screwed goes on and on.

Now I know this is a summer thing, but I’d trade Belfour for whatever I could get. Prolly a late draft pick, anything they can get…

The Leafs are 8th from last in the league, and still falling, lets hope that without Lindros they drop enough to grab Jordan Staal. (CSB ranked number 4 of North American skaters). It’s funny last draft everyone talked about how the Leafs need a goalie… well Tellqvist, Racine, Ford, and especially Pogge have developed quite nicely since then, but it’s still good to have goaltender Tuuka Rask, who could be a Vezina winner someday. Imagine that combo, Pogge and Rask, lets hope they pan out, and don’t turn into Centemo, and Hodson.

Right now, the Leafs have the following under contract

Forwards

-Mats Sundin $6 840 000

-Jeff O’neill $1 500 000

-Tie Domi $1 250 000

-Darcy Tucker $1 596 000

-Wade Belak $700 000

-Alexei Ponikarovsky $450 000

-Alex Steen $850 000

Defense

-Tomas Kaberle $4 250 000

Goaltenders

None (assuming I’ve already traded Belfour)

Re-sign:

Forwards

-Eric Lindros $1 500 000

-Kyle Wellwood $800 000

-Matt Stajan $800 000

-Chad Kilger $450 000

Defense

-Ken Klee $900 000

-Carlo Colaiacovo $850 000

Goaltender

-Mikael Tellqvist $850 000

Then I’d waive Belak, no takers, he goes to the minors.

Leaving the Leafs with 14 players under contract for $22 886 000. We’ll see if Staal has to play, but I think he may be able to use a year with the Marlies.

Before I go on, I must note, this is to save the Leafs from going more then 40 years without a cup, it’s a team of desperate. Lindros is kept, because the only reason he got hurt this year, was a nasty two handed slash from Jon Klemm, and then the Leaf doctors kept telling him not to get surgery, he wouldn’t have reagrivated his injury if he had surgery…

On defense, I’d spend $6 000 000 on Rob Blake, we need a veteran to show the young defensemen, including, the call ups, like Harrison, and Wozzy, who may crack the line up this year. We’ve never had a real veteran on the blue line.

The I’d sign Leetch, for about $3 500 000, I’d give him more, but he’s getting older, and slower, and $4 000 000 sounded like alot for him at the beginning of the season.

Frantisek Kaberle could be had at about $1 500 000, and that rounds out the defense core. Leavng a tiny bit more then $14 000 000 for 2 or 3 forwards and a goalie, assuming TSN was right when it said the cap would be about $46 000 000. Unfortunately, only 4 real top six forwards are under contract.

Brendan Shanahan at $4 000 000, would bring leadership, to a squad with only two real veteran forwards who’ll play regularly (Lindros and Sundin), and then Anson Carter, could be had for about $2 000 000, I may have over paid for this guy, but you really can’t help but like him…

Then I’d add Teemu Selanne, at the same contract as Shanahan at about $4 000 000, adding a speedy forward who could play well with Mats Sundin.

Leaving us with about $3 000 000 for a goalie… spend what you need to of that on Curtis Joseph. This will be Tellqvists last year as a backup, Telly will be ready. Give him around 20 games, and CuJo will be great in the playoffs.

Spend the remaining league minimum or so to have Kronwall, Wozniewsky, or Harrison up.

That leaves the lines like this…

Selanne-Sundin-O’neill

Shanahan-Lindros-Tucker

Carter-Stajan-Steen

Wellwood-Kilger-Ponikarovsky

Domi

Leetch-Blake

T Kaberle-F Kaberle

Colaiacovo-Klee

Harrison

Joseph

Tellqvist

To finnish this, I’d like to give a funny stat, it’s widely believed that Domonik Hasek was the first goalie to win a cup, and an Olympic gold, but Martin Brodeur won a cup in 1995, and 2000, then won the gold in February 2002, Dom won a gold in 1998, but didn’t win a cup till several months after Brodeur won his gold, in June of 2002. Even Ed Belfour won both before Domonik Hasek, because he got an Olympic gold in 2002, and a Stanley Cup in 1999.

Just a funny stat there.

-L


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