What will Ferguson's first trade be?
After another loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers, what more can be expected of the Toronto Maple Leafs against the top ranked teams. The answer nothing! The Maple Leafs will go no where in the playoffs if they keep getting beat by the top teams. This must be changed.Given that the Leafs are badly injured you can give them a little break, but they still have to win with injuries it’s part of the game. I feel that the leafs are playing without any fury. Now I know how you’ll react but listen after being crushed in the playoffs 6-1 to get eliminated and then coming back in the next year and getting killed 7-1 and then losing 4-1 all to the same team you would think that they would be so mad that they might come out and win a game. But no, they come out and get another kick in the pants with a 4-0 lose. If the leafs can’t get some fire in their bellies then they aren’t going anywhere i the playoffs. Last nights game (Jan 17th) the leafs played a physical game but they didn’t pay any attention to the details of defence or putting men in front of the net. When the leafs were on that great streak they played a balanced game between physical and intelligent hockey. Now they play one or the other or none. If I were John Ferguson Jr. I would be looking for help to add some depth and some fir to an already fiery line up.
Although the needs are defence and everyone knows that, I feel that with the injuries and uncertainty of Owen Nolan the leafs may feel that another power forward is necessary. Look for them to trade the useless Mikael Renberg and a pick to the Carolina Hurricanes for Jeff O’Neil. Some of you may find this crazy but Renberg is a scoring forward and can score if put with the right people. Roberts and Sundin are not right for Renberg but, Francis and even the rookie Marty Murray are great line mates to set up Renberg. In return the leafs get some power down low to help out people such as Stajan. Although Perott and Belak are bruisers they don’t possess the intelligence to hit and stay out of the box. O’Neil will bring them that and some more veteran experience to an already veteran line-up. O’Neil will also not be looking for much ice time and that will not effect the moral of the team and when Mogilny returns it may aid it some.
If the leafs are planning on making a big splash they may also go after either Michael Peca or Alexei Zhamnov. I highly doubt either of these players may be considered but you never know in Leaf land. Both players can score and in the last few games that has been the weak point in the leafs. But both players will be looking for either first or second line duties so they are not highly welcome here considering when the leafs are healthy we have a full first and second line.
Now on defence the leafs need help. First off they should get rid of Pilar. The guy is good but not good enough. I feel he should go to the minors and if he doesn’t improve then trade him. Secondly to get some veteran experience and a stay at home defance that isn’t afraid of jumping into the rush, the leafs should try and get Ruslan Salei from the Mighty Ducks at the deadline. The ducks most likely won’t like the playoffs and I think that Salei is in either his last or second last year in his contract. Salei is great in one on one situations and would do great pared up with the struggling Kaberle. The leafs could do great with the so called “stud” defence man but they aren’t available. So I feel that Salei would be a great addition or at least it couldn’t hurt. But what to give up to the Ducks? If Salei is in his last year a third or fourth draft pick should be enough but if not then maybe Reichel because Ponikarovsky is playing well and with the overload on centermen Reichel is the odd man out. Or you could even get rid of Antropov because the guy can’t skate. But if you were to do that you should ask for a prospect in return or at least a pick as well as Salei.
Lets take a look at the new leafs if Salei was picked up for a draft pick or just not a roster player. The leafs are also fully healthy.
McCabe – Marchment
Berg – Klee
Salei – Kaberle
extras: Ponikarovsky, Belak, Perott, Jackman
The defence still doesn’t look that good but better. If you ask me Marchment should go.
Give me your thoughts!
Go Leafs Go