What needs to be done to solidify our Playoff chances.
Brian Burke has made some great moves for the Leafs going forward. Although he has tweaked the lineup in a major way, there are still some moves to be made over the summer. These moves would be cost effective, and at the same time give us the contender tag. Here goes:
The First and primary move would have to be moving Kaberle to a team in which we are going to get a great player in return. With the news coming out that he is now unhappy with Ron Wilson, the writing is on the wall. Its only a matter of time when he gets moved. It’s time for him to go, he has worn out his welcome to me, and especially with those most recent comments. This guy is supposed to be a leader, and hes had multiple chances to be dealt, and then he comes out crying wolf, See you later Kaberle! So heres the deal:
To Columbus For:
Filatov is finished in Columbus, he doesn’t want anything to do with the organization, and they really don’t want him either. The 1st rounder is well worth what they are getting in return, a top pairing defenseman, as well as a top 6 forward, potential 1st liner. This deal would give us a surefire sniper, and while its up in the air, maybe even a franchise player, he hasn’t lived up to the expectations in Columbus. But keep in mind he is young, very talented, and possesses all the tools to be an impact player.
Secondly, demote Finger to the Minors, and buy him out, I think we all know the reasoning behind this, 3.5 mil for this guy, Really!
Third, We may want to trade Beachemin, Mitchell, and a mid round pick to the Kings for Jack Johnson. Johnson doesn’t get along with the GM of the Kings, having being called out multiple times, even requesting he’d rather play somewhere else, prompts this trade. Beauchemin is expendable, he needs a change of scenery, and can still be a serviceable top 4 dman on any team. The Kings are in need of veteran leadership, and presence, especially on the blueline, which Beauchemin brings.
After these trades have taken place, onto free agency.
Sign Nik Zherdev
These simple moves will put the Leafs over the top, A great top 6 of forwards, and a good bottom six of role players. The Defense will be solid, A good balance between offense and defense on the back end. Getting rid of the minus play of Kaberle and Beauchemin will only improve our team. Every player on our top 6 on offense would be capable of 20 goals, and some 30, 40, maybe even more. Goal-tending will improve with the Monster coming into his own, and Giguere will come through when it matters most.
Filatov and Zherdev would bring a different, more dynamic offense to our game, it would take the focus off of Phil Kessel, and result in more chances for the team as a whole. Johnson will bring a well rounded game, and can chip in offensively as well and a sound defensive game. Overall, this is an improvement over where we are now, and would brighten the future even more.
On a final note, the departure of Kaberle and Beauchemin, opens up leadership roles with both of them being Alternates. Phaneuf will be made Captain, Komisarek already the other Alternate, I’m going to go with Kessel being the other Alternate. Need to put some leadership on the offensive side of the game as well, and although he may not be the most vocal, he is a positive influence in the Leafs room, and would be very good at leading by example, and he can be counted on when its crunch time.