The 2008-09 Leafs

Ok. Since everybody and I mean EVERYBODY has stated their opinions/ideas/ridiculous moves for the upcoming year. I would like to take a peak to the 08-09 version of the Maple Leafs. I know it is impossible to predict but lets get the best idea we can. I say this because, frankly, the Stanley Cup will be tough to win next year for the blue and white. Dont’t get me wrong Im a huge fan, and believe thewy will make the playoffs, but I think it is a long process, so lets look at what we have. This years FA’s likely to be signed:


Peca-lets say 2 mil
Bates-lets say 0.75
Carlo we will say same as White so 0.85

Thats about it. Lets guess they move either Mccabe or Kubina, Im gonna say Kubina, for a goalie, Im gonna say Fernandez. And we wiull say they sign a top notch forward. I hope to god its not Smyth, so Ill say Kariya. And to replace Kubi well say stralman fills the role

So the 07-08 version is something like this.

Tucker Sundin Kariya
Pony Welly Steen
Antro Peca Kilger
Pohl Stajan Batres
Devereux

Mcbabe Kaberele
Gill White
Carlo Stralman

A-RAY Fernandez

not a bad team, prolly 5th or 6th place in East and a big step forward. Now lets glance to what the next season would shape up like:

UFA’s: Sundin, Pohl (possibely Bates)
RFA’s: Steen, Sytajan, Welly

So once again only minor changes. Lets say Sundin retires or mercifully is dealt at the deadline. Pohl and Bates leave, maybe they stay but lets assume they make way for younger players. (Tlusty, Williams, Earl)

The main FA the Leafs will target is Joe Thornton.
I am a huge Thornton fan, abd he has stated through his family that he would love to wear the blue and white. I have 2 questions to this.
1- is he willing to take less than the max he will be offered somewhere else, like 6 mil, and
2-is TO confident that a pleyer who has looked uncomfortable in some pressure situations (playoffs till this yr, and poor Olympic showing) will be a great contributor on this hockey mecca?
If Yes to both then bring it on.

soooooo…..

Kariya Thornton Tucker
Pony Welly Steen
Antro Peca Kilger
Tlusty Stajan Williams

McBabe Kaberle
Gill White
Carlo Stralman

Razor Fernandez

This looks like a serious cup contender, especially considering the players Steen, Stajan, Wellwood and Pony could grow into. The only question is salary, Lets assume the cap is 52 mil.

Thornton-6
Kariya-5??
Tucker-3
Welly-lets say 2
Pony-2.1
Steen-lets say 1.5
Antro-2
Peca-2
Kilger-0.9
Tlusty-0.5
Stajan-lets guess 1.5
Williams-0.5
McBabe-5.75
Kaberle-4.25
Carlo- 0.85
White-0.85
Gill-2.075
Stralman-0.5
A-RAY-2
Fernandez-4.33

This all equals 47.53 million dollars. Sounds like a contender to me.

Note: The salary for the projected 07-08 team is also under the projected cap.