The Toronto Maple Leafs Dilemma

Inspired by TSN’s Darren Dreger’s NHL: Insider, I have written this article to provoke discussion between hockey and Maple Leaf fans alike. Over the past years Mats Sundin has not had a proper winger to play aside him, the last proficient winger to be beside Mats was Alexander Mogilney. What can the organization do…..Inspired by TSN’s Darren Dreger’s NHL: Insider, I have written this article to provoke discussion between hockey and Maple Leaf fans alike. Over the past years Mats Sundin has not had a proper winger to play aside him, the last proficient winger to be beside Mats was Alexander Mogilney. As much as I like and enjoy watching Nik Antropov play, I am not a fan of the idea of him and Mats playing together. I would much rather see him centering the third or fourth line with Poni.

It is time for Leafs management to find a suitable companion to play along Mats. I know Jeff O’Neil was brought in last year to be this man, but, unfortunately he has not produced the way leafs management and fans would like. I am one for second chances and I believe O’Neil is a good fit for the Leafs, but along side a player like Peca.

Alexander Steen is another player that Leaf management are considering as an option to play along Mats. I do not enjoy the idea of this option. Do not get me wrong, Steen is the future face of the Leafs, but he still has to grow as a player and I believe he would be better suited with younger players as well to allow him to mature more as a player.

There are many rumors swirling around the leafs and un-restricted free agent Anson Carter. I do not believe Carter is the answer to the leafs woes. Carter is a talented player, but unfortunately he is a second or third line player and not the first line player that many picture him to be. In his last four years before last season with the Canuck’s he had a combined 33 points in 88 games. These are not numbers of a first line player.

I have come up with several options, I believe would benefit the leafs and other teams involved. Now I know people will have problems with these options but, that is the point of discussion.

Option #1:

Leave everything the way it is. Meaning do not sign Anson Carter. Try out several players with Mats throughout the season and see who is the best fit. (Keeps money around for any season acquisitions the leafs may want)

Option #2:

Sign Anson Carter. Try him with Mats and see if he is what they want him to be. (Gives the organization a strong playmaking forward, and a player who will play hard because it is for his hometown)

Option #3:

Through Trade(s):

To Toronto: Marek Svatos

To Colorado: Pavel Kubina and a 2nd Round Draft Pick

Why?: This gives the Leafs a young talented scoring threat to play along side Mats. If you don’t think he is a scoring threat, just look at his stats from last year (his second in the NHL) 32 Goals, 18 Assists for a total of 50 Points. Svatos is in contract disputes with Colorado right now and he has been heard saying he will sit out the season if there is no deal, or a deal that fits his approval. The Ave’s are strong on the blue line now but Kubina adds that much more experience and depth.

To Toronto: Brenden Morrow and Stephane Robidas

To Dallas: Chad Kilger, Alex Ponikarovsky, Staffan Kronwall and a 4th Round Draft Pick

Why?: This gives the Leafs a solid forward to play along with Mats in Morrow. He has a combined 236 Points in 387 games over the last five seasons. Robidas strengthens the Leafs defense and comes at a bargain price. Morrow will be an un-restricted free agent next year and will most likely test the market, this is a good way for Dallas to get something for him now. Though Kilger won’t get the points that Morrow gets he is a good defensive replacement. So is Poni. Kronwall is a good defensive prospect and in a few years will be an amazing defenseman

To Toronto: Jason Blake

To NYI: Mikeal Tellqvist and Staffan Kronwall

Why?: This gives the leafs a goal scorer in Blake. The Islanders get a back-up to replace their new GM, Garth Snow. They also get a young defenseman, who in a couple of years will be a stellar defenseman.

Option #4:

Sign Eric Daze. A risky choice but the Leafs could get him at a bargain price, and try to see if he can prove to everyone he still has it.

Any Thoughts, Ideas…..

33 Responses to The Toronto Maple Leafs Dilemma

  1. Pony says:

    Ever hear of give talent to get talent? Guess not…

  2. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    I know why the Leafs would make these trades, but why the hell would the other GM do it? Kubina for Svatos? C’mon. The only GM that would do any of these trades with the Leafs would be Milbury.

  3. The-President says:

    Sign Alexsey Morozov, the guy is on fire in Russia, and he would bring back memories of Mogilny, I think he would be a perfect fit on Sundins wing, and in the new NHL as well.

    Also sign Daze for league minimum, or perhaps Sergei Berezin, I know what your all going to say about this guy but look at his stats, hes quite consistant, he also learned to pass more too, although I know he needs to improve his defense he would be a very good signing for the league minimum, hey we took a chance on Czerkawski, why not Berezin, which by the way Berezin is better then Czerkawski. 30 goals for 500K, I’d take that any day, and hes speedy.

  4. The-President says:

    Picture this lineup:

    Berezin/Sundin/Morozov–Sundin would make these guys twice as good as they are, and this line would produce some much needed offense, and speed.

    Tucker/Peca/O’neill–What a banger line, this line would be a hard line to play against.

    Antro/Steen/Poni–Defense, Defense, Defense, great forecheckers, along with scoring potential.

    Kilger/Stajan/Wellwood–Hardworking line, as well as potting a few goals.

  5. Alozo07 says:

    right now we are screwed we cant sign anybody any move will have to come from trades i personally dont mind the trade for jason blake might as well get rid of tely and kronwall is good but I would take bell and harrison over him anyday.

  6. the_word says:

    Option # 1 will happen

    Option # 2 Carter isn’t worth the effort needed to get him

    Option # 3 I don’t see the Avs taking on that contract. If the Leafs needed to, they can trade Kubina, but if they did it would be a salary dump and wouldn’t fetch much, let alone Stavos. JFJ wouldn’t trade a UFA before he evens starts the season, it bad etiquette and makes Toronto less attractive to UFAs in the future (so long as JFJ is at the helm). It’d also be an embrassement for JFJ to trade his biggest off season signing.

    If you think Carter isn’t good enough to play along side of Sundin, then Morrow is out too.

    Who is Jason Blake? Never heard of him.

  7. wingedim says:

    Berezin won’t come back to Toronto. He was screwed by the organization (okay so it was Pat Quinn) but that left a bad taste in his mouth about the Leafs.

  8. The-President says:

    I know but Rob Blake was screwed way back, but now look where he is, hes back on the Kings, the team that screwed him, or how about Messier screwing the Rangers, the Rangers took him back. All that aside, wouldnt that be an awesome lineup.

  9. leaflova says:

    ya it would be great!

  10. leaflova says:

    Jason Blake:Plays for the Islanders,and played for the states in the olympics last year, when hockey starts he will be 33,got 57pts in 76 games(28goals and 29assists) and in his whole carreer has a total of 426 games and 217pts(94goals and 123 assists)

  11. goleafsgo16 says:

    We don’t need Jason Blake or any left winger. We have Left wingers who can play on Sundin’s wing. we need a right winger. I think the best thing to do would be:



    1st round pick



  12. goleafsgo16 says:

    Quote”Berezin/Sundin/Morozov–Sundin would make these guys twice as good as they are, and this line would produce some much needed offense, and speed.

    Tucker/Peca/O’neill–What a banger line, this line would be a hard line to play against.

    Antro/Steen/Poni–Defense, Defense, Defense, great forecheckers, along with scoring potential.

    Kilger/Stajan/Wellwood–Hardworking line, as well as potting a few goals”

    That has to be the worst line up I’ve ever seen. first of all Steen is an offensive player with great offensive potential and needs to be atleast on the first two lines.

    And O’neill is not nearly as much of a checker as he is a scorer, and will most likely have breakout season and needs to be on a scoring line. And Tucker and Peca should be on the third line NOT the second line, I like Peca nd I’m not saying he is a bad player but he can’t score.

    And Wellwood on the fourth line? Are you kidding me buddy?

  13. The-President says:

    You need to spread the talent buddy, roll 4 lines, thats how teams win now, just in case you didnt know buddy.

  14. GoalJudge says:

    While I, unlike most leaf fans, admit to the woes of our team. And as much as I believe we can be a competitive team enough to get into the playoffs, we are most likely a first round knock-out.

    That being said, The LEAFS have quite the uphill battle ahead of them.

    The constant search for a winger to play along MATS SUNDIN is growing more tiresome everyday.

    With the tireless musings of us bloggers suggesting this UFA or that RFA which has been unceremoniously cast-off or disregarded by their old team.

    Or Worse yet, pulling triggers on blockbuster deals which no one would ever do. Particularly for recently acquired players who have yet to suit up for the blue and white.

    My thougts are this. Barring any mildly miraculous change of heart or a magical suitor for a trade, the LEAFs, like the Raptors have, should look outside, the NHL, for talented help.

    Existing NHLPA members come with higher price tags. When the likes of players such as Anson Carter can seek 3 million and not be laughed out of the building.

    There exists a number of talented ex- and neverbeen- NHL players in Europe and elsewhere who will require less money, at least this year, to come over or come back.

    Other teams have realized this, yet the LEAFS stand pat. If it is because of budget reasons, then why are we entertaining Anson Carter as a possibility.

    I leave it to you to decide who the most talented players abroad are or who we should go after. But to the credit of Quinn, the LEAFS did this a few years ago signing Renberg and Reichel. While neither of these players were superstars, they did serve us well as role players. Why the leafs don’t repeat that success I don’t understand.

    Since the balance of success for the LEAFs remains an unknown this year, with a lot of questions to be answered. Why not use that ‘unknown’ factor in their favour and grab some players of the radar.

    They have done this twice in recent years. The aformentioned Renberg/Reichel deals, and selecting Antropov in the first round.

    While I have spoken on R/R already, Antropov, as much as I dislike him so far, is yet to be dtermined. He has become a decent two-way player. I wonder whether the LEAFs will continue to waste efforts trying to make him the star that he isn’t or rather accept his and their fates, that he is at best a big two-way forward, and not a power-forward. If they do that then I would say he is a success. Albeit an overdrafted one.

    That being said, I opne the floor…

  15. GoalJudge says:

    As good as Zherdev is…

    and the only reason you mention him is the rediculous rumour from a week ago…I don’t beleive your pullin this out of left field…

    …that is too high a price to pay for him.

    Take out the first round pick and then you can start.

    Remember, this is a guy going through his second problem negotiations. And either himself or his agent think he is worth 5 million.

    The reason I give five is that he is actually considering 4 million + but the ESCREW payments the players are making cuts them back nearly 20%, so he’ll want to pocket at least 4 million. Leaving 1 million or less for ESCREW.

    Zherdev is not the answer.

    Targeting teams with ‘unused’ late 1st rounders or early 2nd rounders is the best option.

    THAt or under scouted European players.

  16. GoalJudge says:

    Blake is a hell of a lot better option then Carter, but still not a elite player. Very good second liner, but thats it.

    Not the winger we are lookng for.

    Morrow is the same. He is not an elite talent, but a very good second liner.

    I liken him (Morrow) to Mark Bell, or at least for what he will be use for this year.

    Morrow would be good on a top line that has two estblished scorers. He could be a chippy pest that directs focus his way, by annoying other players, but is still good enough to pot in a few (20) good goals. He is a great corner player. He takes as many penalties as he draws though. So he can be as much a liability as anything. Depends whose refereeing.

    Good for Fantasy Hockey, but not necessarily in real life games.

    For the REcord I think Bell as a offensive upside compared to Morrow. Just in case people think I’m making a straight comparison.

  17. leaflova says:

    Good point, never would have thought of that, totaly agree

  18. wingedim says:

    Excellent point. However, they did the same thing at the trade deadline a couple years back and it blew up in their faces when they brought over that Defenceman. (Name escapes me at the moment sorry)

    I agree, why not try it again. I think the draw back would be the money you save with the signing, you lose by the buyout to the team they were playing for assuming of course the player was a top tier player.

  19. wingedim says:

    You do bring up valid points. I personally would love to see Sergei back. Concern would be that we get the ‘old’ Sergei, just like we get the NHL Tommy Kaberle with his ‘no shot’ clause..only to be a shooting machine at the international level.

  20. The-President says:

    His last season on the Capitals, I think I’m roght with the team, he was doing very well, I think he has matured as an NHL player, and I really do think he has some left in him, remember the season he had 37 goals for the leafs, and hes awesome in the playoffs. Look at his stats on, they’re quite good.

  21. Turnbull says:

    I agree with the other guy,…your lines are just plain dumb.

  22. wingedim says:

    I agree, he would be a good person to bring back so long as he can stay ‘consistant’. And I think you are correct about the team being the Caps, although for some reason the Preds come to mind too?

    My concern would be that we’d get the ‘puck hog’ back who forgets how to pass. That year when he was a scoring machine was great, and yes he can be a ‘clutch’ guy when needed. When he wanted to play….as a team player.

  23. GoalJudge says:

    paying 250K or even 50 K to get either two 50 point or even mid 40 two-way players is not bad.

    Especially on a team looking for defensive two-way depth.

    So, assuming the players are from anywhere but Russia, then I’m not too worried.

    As for Russian players I’m not worried at all.

    The Russian’s must realize that their law does not apply outside of their borders, with the exception of extriditing violent criminals.

    Therefore any russians out there are fair game, and what ever cost the NHL team choses to bear. Which could be a 0 down, don’t pay a cent event.

  24. mojo19 says:

    Signing Daze is your most plausable option.

    As for your Carter stats, I don’t know where you got them from.You said in the last 4 years before playin for the Canucks he put up 33 pts in 88 games?

    He didn’t play in 04-05 because of the lockout.

    28 pts in 77 games in 03-04

    60 pts in 79 games in 02-03

    60 pts in 82 games in 01-02

    So thats 148 pts in 232 games. Pretty different stats than what you got.

  25. mojo19 says:

    And as for his uncharacteristic year in 03-04, he bounced around in the Jagr trade, and then was dealt to LA for I don’t know what, so he never had any consistancy….probably the reason hes looking for a long term deal right now.

  26. mojo19 says:

    Maurice said hes not rolling four lines. he plans on playing Sundin 24ish minutes a night.

  27. mojo19 says:

    To wingedim – Calle Johansson.

    To the guy who said they brought Reichel and Renberg over from Europe, and called these two guys “signings” – No they didn’t. We traded Berezin for Renberg straight up with Phoenix, although he was contemplating leaving the NHL. We traded Danny Markov for Robert Reichel, it wasn’t a signing, and we got Green and a minor leaguer in that deal (Mills I think).

    That being said, I think its a great idea. You look at Minnesotas run to the western finals in 2003, they brought Wes Walz over from Europe and he had a Selke calibre year and was great in the playoffs. I think Morozov would be an interesting and creative signing by the leafs.

  28. wingedim says:

    Plus legal fees because you know the Russians are happy to take teams to court over losing star players.

  29. ottawa_leaf says:

    i got all my info right off of

  30. Dark_Prince says:

    Aleksey Morosov used to be Lemieux’s winger. And did that job fantasticly. I remember 3/4 years ago Morosov lead the lead in scoring for the first month with Lemieux. And this guy wont cost much at all. He is perfectly suited for the Leafs if the Leafs attempt to get a speedy winger for Mats.

  31. Mattqwerty says:

    no offence but i stopped reading as soon as i saw a glance of the name marek svatos the leafs could offer sundin and mccabe and they probbaly would not get svatos if healthy svatos could easily put up 100 plus pts

  32. mojo19 says:

    Well read it again more closely, specifically under what “year” he got the points you think he got.

  33. bennyj says:

    I think this is the first article with signings/trades that both make sense and are REALISTIC! I mean aside from the Svatos trade (fairly close, probably a first-rounder though or another player), all the trades make sense for both teams. I like all suggestions, especially the Daze one, as he’s a very cheap price for someone who hasn’t played in a very long time.

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