Toskala all out of chances?


Leafs GM once known to stand by his man in the crease, but the previously promising goaltender may be nearing an early end.
Brian Burke’s struggling hockey team is embroiled in a goalie controversy.

It was with the Canucks, after all, that Burke stood by his man in the crease, Dan Cloutier, after watching his No. 1 from 2001-02 to 2003-04 falter in key games, again and again.

Five years later, the Leafs are waiting on Swedish rookie Jonas (The Monster) Gustavsson to recover from a groin injury and potentially take over the No. 1 role. Vesa Toskala remains in no man’s land, rehabbing a minor injury in order to, presumably, sit on the bench in a baseball cap for his $4-million (U.S.) salary.

If Gustavsson falters, Toskala may get another chance, but the likelihood is that Burke begins to pursue other options.

He has learned his lesson.

“When I got to Anaheim, I said never again will I be short on goaltending. Never again,” Burke told a Toronto radio station earlier this week. “That’s part of the reason to go get The Monster, part of the reason to look at other available opportunities with guys.

100 Responses to Toskala all out of chances?

  1. KingCanada says:

    I would love to see those trades to go down.  However…call me crazy but…I really dont think any GM out there has any interest in Hayes or Stefanovich…and little interest in Tlusty as well.

    Hayes is huge but cant score and he is rumored to be trying to turn himself into a checker…dime a dozen which makes him pretty useless.  Then theres Stefanovich who was playing well in junior scoring on a very good rate and then cant even crack the Marlies roster???  Watsup with that?  And then Tlusty after scoring 10 goals one yea and then not being able to crack the roster the next 2 years?

    To me I just see them as having very little value…thats my un-biased opinion.

  2. KingCanada says:

    Well I hope ur right on Lombardi and Toskala.  I was basically expecting him to just have his contract expire and walk away for nothing.  But I still think were getting screwed.  Were basically taking a bad contract, a backup goalie and a 2nd round pick (only value in the deal)…for a solid bottom pair defenceman who Burke is rumored to like, a young decent top 6 forward signed for 3 years and an expiring goalie contract that Lombardi is interested in??

    I just think if thats the cir*****stances Burke can definatly ask for more!  He is taking Handzus after all.  Lombardi isnt really doing us any favors by taking 2 expiring contracts and one of the only decent forwards on our team.  I know we suck right now but we cant afford to get fleeced like that.

  3. KingCanada says:

    How do u know he has his family in Toronto?  Thats crazy haha.  I was really hoping for Kovalchuk next year but it seems it will be Savard then..

    And yea agreed…if we aquire him anytime this year its SUCH a waste…weve already helped Boston's rebuilding plan enough as is honestly.

  4. mojo19 says:

    Kyle Well-fed.

  5. mojo19 says:

    Couldn't agree more. And for everyone who has praised Ian White this year, including an aritle on the Leafs website calling White the "best leaf so far this year"…. wow, thats bullshit.

    White has been pretty shakey, he mishandles passes a lot, and pucks bounce of his stick.

    Toronto fans always cheer for small players because they have to work twice as hard to get almost the same results as a bigger player, but it looks like they're doing way more. They're not.

  6. HABSSTAR says:

    Meh, Burke's probably only talking trade with Chiarelli to cover the tampering he's doing by talking UFA contract with Savard. lol  

    And the Leafs still have a first rounder in 2112 do they not? 

  7. HABSSTAR says:

    Metric or Imperial? 

  8. cam7777 says:

    Tlusty will attract a lot of attention around the league.  If he is moved, it will be another classic example of the Leafs rushing their prospects.  The kid is out-performing a lot of stars and their numbers from the AHL (ie. Bobby Ryan).  Not making the roster has more to do with Burke and Wilson likely preferring to bring him up once they can insulate him with better talent. 

    Stefanovich is only 19, so there's no rush for him to make the Marlies.  Hayes also, is still young enough to develop into something substantial.  He was a high 2nd round pick.  Turning himself into a checker is probably a really smart thing actually.  He understands that power-forward qualities for whatever reason, do not develop until later.  If he wants to make the NHL sooner, he will have to be a quality defensive forward first and foremost.  Call me crazy, but sounds exactly like what Nashville would be interested in.  The point is anyway, that NSH is getting rid of a prospect they don't have room for, and replacing him with a good prospect, and a solid scoring option that will likely resign in their city (which is valuable in itself since they cannot attract UFA's).  It's probably not hugely likely, but it's not bat-shit insane or anything.  It could happen.

    In the Chicago deal, they don't really have the luxury of choosing which prospects they are interested in.  They're dumping 50 million dollars worth of salary.  It's costing them a downgrade in prospects, and a downgrade in the defensemen.  From that stance, it's irrelevent how much interest Stefanovich draws from around the league (even though it was rumored that the Hawks were actually interested in him this summer).

  9. cam7777 says:

    The CBC hotstove reported that Savard has moved his family to Toronto.

  10. cam7777 says:

    meh, the only thing of value to us in the deal is grabovski and the 2nd.  we only paid a 2nd and a 7th for grabovski, so we should look to get maybe an extra pick back as well.  and don't forget, handzus will help us this year, and if not, he is easily dispatched.  dealing with contracts that only have a year left on them is no trouble for the leafs.

  11. cam7777 says:

    Matthias and a 1st.  And Matthias, at the time, was a big-time prospect.  Blum is a very good prospect, who has achieved nothing so far.  And you have to remember also, that landing a player who will resign with the team is just as valuable as getting back a prospect.  This team can ONLY build through trades and the draft as signing UFA's is basically not an option.  If Poni is willing to sign a 2-3 year extension with the team, he is easily worth a prospect that they aren't going to use anyways (and is a tad under-sized).  Then we're throwing in a prospect that is, for one thing, enormous, and will likely be ready for NHL action by the time Poni is coming to the end of that extension (and possibly sooner).

    It's not a LOL deal, I don't think.

    And I don't remember where I learned that information, but I'm 99% sure I'm right.  The condition was that they had to make the playoffs to get a 4th rounder in 2010.  Had they defeated the Capitals, it would have been a 3rd rounder in 2010.  I think it was the announcers discussing the Antropov trade during the playoffs actually.

    I think Finger is more moveable than Blake.  Perhaps Kramer's theories are of use here though, and MLSE can grease the wheels a bit to get these two out of town.  "Here Islanders take Blake, and don't forget this briefcase that comes with him…just a little…thank you…"

  12. albertateams says:

    I know Thorton and Heatly have played well together but I would still have Heatley and Nash playing with Getzlaf. That is a nasty line and they have played great together in the past. Other than that though pretty much bang on what I would like to see the team look like.

  13. reinjosh says:

    Stefanovich has huge talent
    i think the team just didnt want to rush him into the AHL, which is understandable
    and although im a big fan of him
    i would be open to moving him if it means a possible return of Beach
    getting a forward prospect with size does not hurt Nashville especially when they would also be getting a forward they have had a lot of interest in in Poni
    they need all the scoring they can get

  14. reinjosh says:

    if were taking on Campbell's contract
    we better be damn sure we are getting Beach
    im not a big fan of Aliu

  15. reinjosh says:

    no chance that Toronto trades for him
    and i highly doubt the Bruins trade him anyways
    its much more likely that Chiarelli acquires a big name player at the deadline
    he has to realize that Savard cannot stay with the Bruins
    I just don't see how any analyst can say that the team is working on a extension and believe it
    while he may be the cog of the teams offence, they just cannot afford him unless the cap goes up (which I don't think it will)

  16. reinjosh says:

    the people mentioning the thought of trading kaberle are basing it on an assumption that we get Campbell to replace him

  17. nordiques100 says:

    it works both ways. sometimes players play better when they are due for a new contract.
    players like stajan, pony, they've become stale here in toronto and need to be moved. so i think its less to do with their contract status and more to do with them needing a change. (see colaiacovo)

    stempniak has been the leafs best forward, along with wallin. both are UFAs so that sort of dispells your argument.

    grabs is crumbling under the pressure of a fat contract moreso than looking over his shoulder. he got a monster raise but obviously is not living up to it.

    kulemin and tlusty have had plenty of opportunities. if they are that fragile then they wont be NHLers anywhere never mind with the Leafs. the players have shit the bed here. not the GM.

    The coach, well that is a different story. i dont like the system they play. its impossible for them to keep that up for 82 games. they can barely do it for 60 minutes. they play so aggressive that while it can be effective somewhat (the 3rd vs Vancouver was evidence that they can pressure teams to death), its almost impossible to do that for an entire game. the aggressiveness gets them at times in trouble and they dont have the overall defensive smarts to make it work all that well. 

    Also, they cant be a physical forechecking team with so many smallish forwards and euros on their roster. they intimidate no one.  

    playing trap, using speed to choke teams off, protecting their goalie, thats probably a better way to go with this group.

    now if they had a couple of phil kessels up front, with 2 or 3 guys like David Backes and big centres like Martin Hanzal, then yeah, maybe that kind of style will work. but here, it just doesnt fly.

    but opposing Dmen now when they look over their shoulder and see stajan coming in, there is no fear, they will play the puck easily and get out of trouble. its not like before wehn if tucker was barreling in, that meant danger.

    so the coach takes some blame. but really 99 percent of it is on the players who simply have been awful.

  18. blaze says:

    I might actually puke if we took that contract, lesser player for the maybe worst contract in the NHL.

  19. blaze says:

    So you start changing the teams system then go back when they're ready? 1 system and it will never be the trap.

  20. blaze says:

    White's definitely had his weak moments. I do generally like his play but only in a limited role, he fits in nicely on the bottom pair. The thought of White being on the first PP unit is pretty scary.

  21. reinjosh says:

    the guy is a great player
    just a 5 – 6 million dollar guy playing for 7 million dolllars a year
    and the length is a little bit of a turn off
    but if we can clear Finger in that deal and get back Beach
    its completely worth it
    we wouldnt gain any salary
    we would get a top prospect (a forward prospect with good size)
    and it would free up Kaberle to be traded, netting us a nice package in return
    then we sign a top player in the off season
    like Marleau (though the way he has been playing, his services are going to be in high demand)
    sign or trade for a competent backup or time sharing goalie
    and we are good to go

  22. mojo19 says:

    Campbell at $5 million, for sure, Campbell at $6 million, ya I guess depending on what the cap goes down to, but Campbell at over $7 million, I'm not really interested, maybe though, I guess if Finger and Blake some of the other contracts are moved (Grabovski maybe, depending on the value we get back cuz he could be worth keeping for sure).

    But definitely if Marleau hits the open market I would like the Leafs to take a run at him, Marc Savard as well as a secondary option. Kovalchuck would be the dream but I don't see it happening. If he chooses to leave Atlanta its because he's hungry to win now after numerous bad seasons, so why come to Toronto who don't exactly have it together right now.

  23. mojo19 says:

    Only if Getzlaf has his game sorted out. The chemistry that those three had in a tournament several years ago isn't really relevant anymore.

  24. blaze says:

    Good to go for what? Maybe a playoff spot with a capped out team with no first rounders?

    That Campbell contract will keep the Leafs from being a Cup contenders. This isn't a rebuild where a handful of young stars coming up on cheap contracts.

    A handful of great contracts are going to be key if the Leafs want to afford the amount of talent needed to win a Cup. Having Campbell locked up at 7.1 for another 7 years is garbage and who says Chicago is going to give up Beach?

    Getting rid of Finger doesn't solve the problem. You're adding 3 mil in salary to your #1 offensive dman spot.

  25. reinjosh says:

    ya Marleau is my first probable option
    Kovy is an obvious one, but with the Kessel signing its just that more unlikely
    and Savard would be great too
    if we can get either one I would be happy
    and hell, if we get both I would be off my rocker happy
    think Marc Savard with Phil Kessel
    and Nazem Kadri with Pat Marleau
    as our two scoring lines (through whoever you like into the other wing position)
    that would be amazing

  26. reinjosh says:

    yes but it wouldnt matter
    we would actually lose 600 000 thousand dollars in cap space
    and the defence wouldnt change at all
    the defence will get better
    tou have the top 4 set
    adding 3 on the bottom is inconsequential
    adding Campbell does nothing to the team
    it doesnt make it any better or worse
    but getting back a prospect in the deal would be better for the team
    as well as be able to trade Kaberle would be golden
    and Chicago would in a second give up Beach
    if we help their cap problems in one move
    then Beach is expendable considering Brouwer, Burish, Byfuglien, Ladd, Kopecky, Bolland all play similar games to him
    how would that keep us from losing?
    you dont really have an argument here

  27. mojo19 says:

    blaze is right, Campbell's contract is painful. I would start talking extension next July with Kaberle, since he will be in his later years, not entering his prime he wouldn't command $6-7 million hopefully. If you can negotiate a 'Leaf-for-life' type of deal that would be good through 5 to 7 years, you could probably get him at a similar cap hit to what he's being paid now (or maybe even less if you consider the cap going down and try to get him to sign for cap relative dollars). This would probably be our best option for the long term.

  28. mojo19 says:

    reinjosh you are bringing up a good point about getting back a good young player. But you are underestimating the value of cap space.

  29. blaze says:

    Yeah I was all for moving Kaberle until the season started. They need Kabba and he fits perfectly, he's underpaid he's homegrown and it would be nice to have him play out his career in TO.

    I'd love to see another 4 years tacked on to his current contract.

  30. blaze says:

    The way I look at is with Campbell your top 4 D are going to cost 3 mil more. If the Leafs keep Kaberle than get rid of Finger well suddenly that's a difference of 6.5mil.

    Two players salary does not equal one players salary in the cap world.

  31. the_word says:

    Women seem to like'em.

  32. bbruins37 says:

    even if getzlaf continues his average start, it will be tough to leave him off the team.

    i mean who are the other center candidates? staal and lecavailier are off to awful starts. savard is injured. the only real possibilities to take his spot are marleau, maybe stamkos, and an extremely outside shot to brad richards. but no one brings what getzlaf brings out of those players.

    ill probably get ripped for this but im giving an outside shot to bergeron. he is clearly back in form; hes been boston's best player, and there is so much he brings to the table. should any centers go down to injury he might get a call

  33. bbruins37 says:

    correct me if im wrong but wasnt it wasnt it a thornton-heatley-nash combo at the '05 world championships where they lit it up. i know for sure that thornton and nash were far and away the top scorers in that tournament and that they played on the same line together, but i think heatle may have been there  too.

    thats one of the reasons i have nash-thornton-heatley, and gagne-getzlaf-perry (along with thornton playing with heatley now), but the other reason is the getzlaf-perry chemistry. 

    the way i have the lines, every single line and defensive pairing has chemistry (well except the first but we all know  crosby to iginla will be amazing, and the checking line, but we all know what they'll be able to do)

  34. mojo19 says:

    I would love to see us target Kubina this summer for around $4.5 million, on a 3 or 4 year deal, then deal away Komisarek. Kubina was slightly stronger defensively, and way stronger offensively.

  35. muckies says:

    The Leafs don;t have a lot going for htem right now, but they do have 2 things.

    .1 Luke Schenn – Don;'t lety Wilson gte between this kids ears. Young Dmen like goalies need to be protected by their coaches and not called out and spit on like Schenn has been. Fire Wilson and gte a coach in that builds confidence through teaching and mentorship rather then calling hsi players out and making a bad situaion worse. Nobody on the Lefas cares more then Schenn, even if he had a bad game you have to respect that and protect him. he may be able to play ebtter, but he couldn;t play any harder then he is, to me he is an exmaple of exactly what Toronto should be speaking to and not against.

    2. Nazem Kadri – He should beon the leafs, that is clear now, he may be oyung and have holes in his game, bue he would still be a top 4 forward on the Leafs and provide leadership in the forward group. Wilson basically snet him down without acknowledging any of thta, and then said when he came back he would be a 100 point player. F-that. Those expectations are way to high on an 18 year old. 3 players last season got 100 points, Crosby, Ovechkin and Malkin.
    Tell the press Kadri is what he is, a great spirited forward with skill, probably more of a 65-75 point player who will score big goals and get fans out of their seats. More of a Marc Savard type with leadership and a better work ethic, a future Assistant and  PP and PK leader.

    Fire Wilson to protect the kids. Look what he has done to Coliacovo's, Toskala's, Schenn's and Komo's confidence.

    Hire a great coach, Wilson is not the reight fit for this team right now, and he won;t be maybe ever. there are a ton of great coaches out there, go and get one juts to chage the vibe of the team. 

  36. mojo19 says:

    Don't get me wrong, I'd put Getzlaf on the team, but I just don't think people should constantly bring up the chemistry he had with Healtey and Nash, in the few games they played together several years ago. Doesn't really matter and shouldn't be taken into consideration when picking the team.

    But anyway's there are lots of good centres, even if Getzlaf, Lecavalier, Savard, Staal, and Spezza are all for some reason left off the team (and other countries would kill to have players of this calibre to cut), we still have Crosby, Thornton, Mike Richards, Johnny Toews, Patrick Marleau, and then a handful of ther guys who can play specific roles like Jordan Staal (who was at the camp).

    Not really worried about our centres. Oh and as much as Lecavalier has been struggling to score goals, he has 8 points in 9 games, so its not like hes been off the scoresheet.

  37. lafleur10 says:

    bbruins37 here is a link to that story about savard

  38. reinjosh says:

    the two of you have actually turned me from a staunch trade kaberle guy
    to on the fence facing more towards keeping him

  39. mojo19 says:

    Well that's good. Not like trading him isn't an option if you can get a really good young player or a good package for him, he's not untouchable, but if you could keep him signed on for the same money hes making, (or near it) then you're really making your valuable cap dollars work.

    It would be ashame if we ended up dealing for Campbell, and then 2-4 years from now, be in a similar position to what they're at right now. Having Campbell eating up way too much cap room and not being able to keep one of our key players (whomever they may be at that time).

  40. bbruins37 says:

    yeah this is all speculation though. savard has said he wants to finish his career in boston and the bruins would like him back. the cap is the only thing getting in the way.

    the family in toronto thing is irrelevant really. he's from ontario (ottawa actually). its not like he just moved them to toronto now.  

  41. bbruins37 says:

    yeah were set either way. role players are important though

    i think green is a no-brainer as the 7th dman for his offenive/PP ability, but im not really sure about the 13th forward.

    lucic would be interesting for what he brings to the table, although im sure there will be no fighting. it shouldnt go to a defensive specialist because the three players on the checking line can do it better than almost anyone out there while remaining elite offensive players. maybe a shootout specialist like toews…theres alot of options but it shouldnt go to the next best player necessarily; it should go to someone who brings something unique to the table

  42. bbruins37 says:

    with that said:




    taxi: st. louis, marleau, regehr

  43. zackman13 says:

    the leafs should have kept there firstround pcks in this and next year, and dealt the picks for 2012 and on because the world is going to end halfway through that season.

  44. cam7777 says:

    yea, or they might even prefer a defensive prospect like Mikus, that's a few years off.  Blum looks like he'll be ready next year or the year after, if not later this season.  he is small though, and that is obviously the factor that is making him available on the predators side.  ellis is going to be extremely tiny, and you can't have a defense that can easily be pushed around..

    hodgson isn't in the AHL either, but no one is saying "he couldn't even crack the Manitoba Moose!"  stefanovich is a good prospect that doesn't fit the mould of what Burke is trying to do.  he's being traded to find someone who does fit that mould, not because he is without talent.  he has his shortcomings like most prospects in this league…

  45. reinjosh says:

    haha i like the Hodgson comparison (not talent wise, dont get me wrong)
    people who say that are just people trying to devalue our prospects
    and i just think the Stefanovich will be one of those players that we trade and it turns back on us
    and this mould or player type that Burke has is bullshit
    he just doesn't like players that dont work for what they have
    Stefanovich had problems like that but he answered them last season in the Q pretty well

  46. cam7777 says:

    Doing this deal is highly dependent on Kaberle being traded for a forward on an entry level deal, and both blake and grabovski being let go in one way or another.  ie.

    Kaberle+Tlusty for B.Schenn + a pick?

    Finger + Stefanovich for Campbell + Beach

    Grabovski traded, Blake dumped in the minors:

    L1: Hagman, Kadri, Kessel
    L2: Stalberg, Bozak, Hanson
    L3: Beach, Schenn, Kulemin
    L4: Mitchell, DiDomenico, Orr

    D1: Campbell /Schenn
    D2: Beauchemin/White
    D3: Komisarek /Gunnarsson

    G: Gustavsson

    CAP HIT – 46 million, leaving us an improved team with at least 10 million to spend in free agency.  And even this assumes we get nothing good in any trades of our main roster players of right now.

  47. cam7777 says:

    NHL prospects are expected to perform that way in the Q though.  Stefanovich could very well be a great prospect, but on this one, I agree with Burke.  I would rather package him and get a more sure thing.

  48. cam7777 says:

    More trade ideas for you guys to analyze/insult:

    to the florida panthers:
    martin biron, radek martinek, 2nd round pick 2011 (TOR)
    to the new york islanders:
    jason blake, dominic moore
    to the toronto maple leafs:
    tomas vokoun

    -Addresses a major need for all three clubs.  The panthers are looking to, or will be looking to, dump major salary as it becomes clear that they are being forced to enter another rebuilding phase.  If they don't want to give up on Horton, perhaps recouping a pick on Vokoun, landing a consistent defender, and a replacement goalie who's equally capable at a quarter the price, isn't a bad place to start.  When you have one of the lowest attendances in the league, shedding 4 million in salary, without losing much, and adding a pick, is probably a good deal.  Plus, it pushes the team closer to a last place finish, and Taylor Hall.  In that sense, losing Vokoun is hardly the end of the world.  The Leafs obviously get a top-tier goalie to mentor Gustavsson for a year (slightly cheaper and less complicated than JSG), and also dump Jason Blake.  The Isles add a scoring line with the Blake/Moore combo, and take some of the burden off their only line that score.

    to the chicago blackhawks:
    jeff finger, josh harding
    to the toronto maple leafs:
    brian campbell, kyle beach
    to the minnesota wild:
    mikhail grabovski, 4th round pick (CHI)

    Most people are pretty torn about whether taking on Campbell is a good idea.  I say it is a good idea, but only if Burke can follow it up with all the right moves.  He needs to land a couple 2nd round picks and select some quality defensemen in this year's draft.  He needs to swap, or upgrade some of our current defensive prospects somehow (be it NCAA signings, or packing prospect/roster player for other team's excesses, or what have you).  The idea is that Kaberle would then be dealt, either with his permission at the deadline, or in the summer, preferably for a player on an entry-level deal. 

    The Hawks have all the offense they could ever need with Barker, Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, and their cast of stellar forwards.  Their goaltending is weak, and they could use a more physical presence on the backend.  So they dump 50 million in salary for 10 million in salary, and a quality goalie, and it costs them Beach and a 4th round pick.  Not bad.  The Wild get a speedy forward and a pick for the goalie they don't use.

    From here, the Leafs run with what they have, hope the team turns it around, and hope that more trade offers start to roll in on some of their other expiring contracts.  Oh, and waive Toskala and Mayers to make it all fit.

    L1: Hagman, Stajan, Kessel
    L2: Stalberg, Bozak, Stempniak
    L3: Ponikarovsky, Mitchell, Kulemin
    L4: Primeau, Wallin, Orr

    D1: Kaberle, Beauchemin
    D2: Campbell, Schenn
    D3: Komisarek, White

    G: Vokoun, Gustavsson

  49. KingCanada says:

    Yea well didnt Cody Hodgsons get hurt in training camp or something?  I thought that was the reason they sent him down.

  50. cam7777 says:

    I think he tweaked something, but he didn't miss any time.  You don't send a kid down for a whole year based on that though.  He wasn't ready for the NHL, so they had to send him back to the OHL for another year.  That's a huge decision.  It's not as though they can just call him back on whim.  It's a whole year gone…

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