What's With this Trade Kubina Campaign?

I’m really not understanding this “Trade Kubina” campaign. I think it would be worthwhile for the leafs to hang on to their “big 3” on D. I think Kubina, at age 30 has more potential and can bring more to the table than players like timonen (6.2 mil), schnieder (5.5 mil) rafalski (6 mil), hamrlik (5.5 mil) among others who were signed to monster contracts.

Sure the salary is high and the cap hit is big, but really, trading him now will allow the leafs to bring in who? There isnt anyone out there worth gutting their defence over. Just giving him up for peanuts is absolutely foolish just to grab a player like Yashin or Allison or Peca. The time passed on dumping a contract and targeting a top free agent. so they mind as well keep things as is.

Having Kubina, Mccabe and Kaberle together gives the leafs 3 blueliners who can log 30 minutes a night in all situations. Not many teams can say that. Sure the money tied to these 3 players is plenty, but i think it is too early to give up on Kubina or anyone else.

There is no real replacements out there who could fill in if Kubina is moved. No one on the leafs outside of their big 3 can be 30 minute men who can provide physical play, defence and some offence. ….at least not yet.

It would only make sense to move Kubina if the team got someone cheaper but still pretty effective on defence or some cant miss young prospect. However not many of those players were available at last check.

I think trading any one of the big 3 and hoping the youngsters deliver the goods now is wishful thinking.

Ian White had a good rookie campaign and should be given time to build on that success, not be thrust into a top 4 role. I think having him on the 3rd pair again would serve him better.

Carlo Coliacovo has definitely shown flashes of being a top end blueliner. He hasnt shown that he can play a full season. If the leafs say traded Kubina and they suffered the injuries on D they started out last season, the team could be in plenty of trouble.

i think moving kubina would mean greater responsibility for a guy like Hal Gill. I think that is something he isnt capable of. Gill was very good as the 3rd pair blueliner who was there to kill penalties and fill that role at 17-18 minutes a game. Moving kubina and asking White and Gill to play 22 minutes a night is asking for trouble. They arent that good.

And then we have these 2 youngsters in Staffan Kronvall and Anton Stralman who apparently are ready to step right in and be top end defenceman. I would love to see them play 30 minutes a night…….with the marlies and growing into leaders there. I think stralman like many blueliners from europe could use some time to get use to the north american game. It may be passe, but i like it when players earn their spots and then force the issue of clearing a roster spot rather than having it handed to them for free.

There are others like Karel Pilar, Andy Wozniewski and Wade Belak who can fill in on D. But that is what they are: fill ins. Pilar hasnt played a full year of hockey in like 4 years. Wozniewski is a decent depth guy, no more. and Belak….well we all know how we feel about belak on D. Lets hope he’s a full time 4th line forward this year.

I understand the position. trade that contract. and the fact the leafs have some potential. The fact is potential went out the window when Ferguson went about face and went with the win now approach instead of slowly building a good future. If this was a leaf team that chose to go young, gutted veterans like Sundin, Tucker, Mccabe at past deadlines to get some picks and youth, then yeah, for sure drop Kubina as fast as possible. Let White, Colaicovo, Stralman and Kronvall play in the leafs top 6 and let them make mistakes and do whatever to gain that experience.

But the team needs to win now according to current management and they have positioned themselves that way to challenge for a playoff spot. It wouldnt make much sense to rip into the team’s strongest position which is their D. i think Kubina will prove that this was the best deal the team didnt make.

If they wish to shave some salary on d specifically, then move gill. he had a good year last year and may have some value for a team looking for D depth. It cuts some costs, but doesnt eat into the talent pool of the leafs top 4 blueliners.

In other positions they could dump chad kilger and his 900K salary. With Pohl, Devereaux, Battaglia, Belak, Newbury, Ondrus and possibly the likes of Williams, Gamache and Westrum challenging for 4th line roles, there isnt a need whatsoever to have someone like kilger making that kind of money. He is expendable.

Of course Raycroft is their best bargaining chip. There’s still Joseph, Esche, Aebischer, Alex Auld who have some potential to be 30 game goalies to back up Toskela. They would all come less than the 2 million stipend owed to Raycroft and they could all be affordable backups kept around long enough until Pogge is ready. And simply put, they are at least an upgrade over Aubin.

It would be great to see Mike Peca back or a skilled guy like Yashin added to the team for scoring depth. But already Blake and Bell up front are an upgrade over Green, Perreault and O’Neill. Perhaps clearing out a Raycroft and a Kilger to go with the 2 million in cap space they have remaining will be enough cap room to add another forward and a backup goalie.

I think improved goaltending and a deep defence is going to be the biggest difference in the team’s success. We saw what having several talented blueliners did for teams like Ottawa and Anaheim who went to the finals. Not that it is likely the Leafs will go that far, but the best way to reach success quicker is a stronger backend and I think the Leafs are pretty good in that area.


81 Responses to What's With this Trade Kubina Campaign?

  1. the_word says:

    Colt 45's defensive game is more suspect that McCabe's, he constantly puts himself out of position while trying to make a big play, whether he's pinching at the wrong time or looking for a big open ice hit.  Have you ever seen Coli score a goal and then ask yourself what he doing in the paint of the opposing team's crease in the first place.  Sometimes it works out for him, but no always.

  2. dizon says:

    umm so your basically saying mccabe is a better defenceman then kubina… hahah

  3. dizon says:

    lol coliacovo is number 8 now.. but colt 45 would be a sick nick name lol

  4. Pony says:

    If I had to pick between the two Id pick McCabe.

  5. JuicemaN says:

    No.

    But it has nothing to do with being a Leaf fan and everything to do with the Leafs not needing to spend any more money on their defense.  Ferguson paid Kubina the going rate for what other teams were bidding for him, he didn't just pull the number out of his ass and say " I know teams are offering you 3 million but we'll pay you 5" …other teams were offering the same and from what I remember hearing more than what he took with the leafs.

    Just cause you don't like the leafs doesn't make us fools for wanting kubina for 5 million over timmonen for 6.2.

  6. thegenius says:

    EFF ALL OF YOU, KUBINA HATERS, he has saved raycroft sooo many times, shame on you, atleast hes in the nhl at all, and give him one more season you'll see!

  7. Leaf_Expert says:

    A reason to why McCabe has better stats than Kubina? Two words…

    Tomas Kaberle

  8. Pony says:

    A rason why Tomas Kaberle has such great stats? Two words…Bryan McCabe.

  9. wingsfan13 says:

    i think leafs fans are second to detroit fans when it comes to criticizing and beating down their goaltenders.  but i thought raycroft was actually quite good compared to 06.  i would put more blame on leafs defense and their many giveaways.  thats where kubina and gill come in.

  10. MR40 says:

    I think he's pretty solid defensemen. If you trade him, then you'll get a lot less then what you would get if you signed him this summer (I doesn't really make sense, but it's true).

    He's good for 3.5 million, but not 5.0 million.

    Besides the fact that you said he's better then Rafalski, Schiender, and Timmonen it was a pretty good article.

    He's not really the type of defensemen that anyone really wants though. Most people would rather have a somewhat offensive hitting machine then Kubina for the same money.

    You guys were all saying Bieksa is overpaid, except score's about the same points, plays physical, can kill penalties, fight, and has more potential then Kubina.

  11. mojo19 says:

    I'm sorry. Maybe 2.5 ???

    Kubina wasn't worth the $5 million when they signed him, but given what all these equal or lesser defensman are being paid now, just one year later Kubina is worth his $5 million a season.

    I look forward to having 3 talented defensman to dominate the back end, and with more competent goaltending I think everyone will be on board by Christmas.

    GO LEAFS GO!!!

    I HEART #31 !!!

  12. mojo19 says:

    Yeah, I doubt Matthieu Schneider's agent went to Burke and said look at what percentage of the cap Kubina was paid….. Give me a break.

  13. mojo19 says:

    Giving McCabe credit for Kaberle's stellar stats – Pony officially makes the worst comment of the day. But I see where you're coming from, Kaberle has a good shot to feed there, even though Kubina or Colaiacovo could load up on those one timers the same way, I doubt it would significantly effect Kaberle's stats.

    I like having all three guys, but Kubina is definitely more responisible and better than McCabe. McCabe's bad penalties and inability to keep the puck in are his biggest faults.

    But that being said:

    I HEART #15 , #24 , #31 , #25

  14. mojo19 says:

    So the # 1 defensman on the Stanley cup winning team who logged more minutes than anyone did nothing? Right…… Okay, whatever you say, that makes a lot of sense.

  15. mojo19 says:

    the_word is totally right. Kubina is a solid d-man 5 on 5 and plays really well matched up with Kaberle against the Eastern Conference's best scorer's. (Except for Jagr who we use Gill against).

    One of the reasons we gave up a ton of goals was a mediocre penalty kill, but Jason Blake in their will help, and I don't want to see Stajan killing penalties anymore. Also this is where Peca would really come in handy.

  16. mojo19 says:

    Oh yeah, one more thing. Andy Sutton, sure he's a good solid d-man, would be like having another Gill out there. Ossi Vannanen isn't a very good player at all imo, but I've never watched him play live.
     
    And Danny Markov is probably seeking up around $4 million per season since Rivet got 3.5, and Jay McKee and Willie Mitchell make big money like that too, I think I'd rather have Kubina, he's better and the price would be similar.

    And its doesn't matter anyway since why would Markov sign with Toronto where Sundin told Quinn to trade him from over 5 years ago. It's not a secret Sundin and Markov don't get along.

  17. mojo19 says:

    You realize Nick Boynton cleared waivers right?

    And Raycroft will be worth more than a 2nd round pick and a 6th d-man by himself. Wait until mid season, the leafs will get something good for Razor.

  18. mojo19 says:

    Other way around. Gill makes up for White's rookie mistakes a lot. White will be an alright defensman but I feel a lot safer with Gill out there. Especially in the corners and around the leafs net where White needs to be more aggressive.

  19. 92-93 says:

    well, i am actually a little happy to see this campaign off and running and i dont think its too smug to suggest that i saw this coming when i first heard he was signed for 4 years and 20 million bucks.

    didnt get it then. dont get it now.

    that being said, what i did not forsee is the continued rise in prices for mediocre defensemen (see Rivet), thus, Kubina's contract is much more tradeable now than it was even 6 months ago – not to mention that there is 3 years remaining on it now.

    i love the trade Kubina campaign, and hope people come up with better, imaginary scenarios to see his departure out of T.O. i'm not a big fan of his play so far and think he is redundant and ineffective (said that from day one).

    as for  Hockeybuzz's rumour of a trade between colorado seeing Coliacovo and Harrison going to Colorado for Hedjuk and Svatos, excuse me while i spit my coffee on my screen laughing.

    obviously something else must be going to Colorado – with Ek suggesting Antropov. Svatos is very young and has a lot of potential, and Hedjuk is just 30.

    the other rumour on hockeybuzz is Raycroft going to LA or Phoenix, and Kubina going to the Isles.

    in any case, i dont mind the trade route being explored at this point. i just dont like the idea of a GM who is in a very tough spot (Thank you MLSE) making these decisions.

  20. 92-93 says:

    oh, and please take this with the grain of salt. remember its just fun and fantasy – just like hockeybuzz.com come to think of it. but lets look at the potential trades and assume that all were to go down like this:

    1) Raycroft to LA or Phoenix for a 2nd and 4th rounder (yes, i think he is worth at least that much).

    2) Antropov, Coliacovo, Harrison, and a 2nd rounder (Toronto's 2008 second rounder) to Colorado for Svatos, Hedjuk, 3rd rounder.

    What you would have then is 2 extra draft picks, one in the 2nd round and probably pretty high (from LA or Phoenix), one in the 3rd round (from Colorado), and one in the 4th round (from LA or Phoenix). So, better drafting position in a 'good draft year' in 2008.

    The Leafs would lose a solid young D-guy in Coli. They would lose Antropov but more than make up for it with Svatos and Hedjuk. They would lose Raycroft, but have more than enough cap space cleared to go after a guy like Joseph or Auld.

    The Leafs would be clearing $5.1 million (Antropov, Coliacovo, Raycroft) and taking on approximately $5.1 million (Hedjuk, Svatos). Of course, waiving Wade Belak, because its just the right thing to do, would free up 600K. So that's approx. $2 million to go after Auld ($1 million, 2 years).

    Two trades – both i don't see happening. but like i said, its fun (for me in particular, not necessarily someone who actually takes the trouble to read all of this nonsense, and for that i am sorry).

    the line-up:

    Blake-Sundin-Hedjuk (solid first line, everyone in their prime or JUST past it)
    Bell-Wellwood-Tucker (Wellwood the passer and two gritty guys that go to the net)
    Poni-Steen-Svatos (this line has speed, youth, but would probably be the most inconsistent line)
    Kilger-Stajan-Devereaux (soild 'fourth line' that can score, skate well, etc.)
    [extras – Pohl, Battaglia (2 solid extra forwards who could easily be inserted when injuries occur)]

    Kaberle-McCabe
    White-Kubina (hopefully these 2 play well to take pressure off of top pairing)
    Kronvall/Pilar/Woz-Gill

    Toskala
    [Auld]

    The shootouts would improve thanks to Svatos, Hedjuk (I can see a shootout line-up of Hedjuk-Sundin-and one of the young forwards – Svatos, Steen, Wellwood). The Leafs could still try to peddle Kubina throughout the year (preferably for picks/prospects or a young offensive D-guy to replace Coliacovo). In any case, cap space should be cleared by the deadline to make way for resigning UFAs (Sundin?, Woz?, Pohl?) and the young RFA's (Steen, Wellwood, Svatos, Stajan).

    The team's speed would improve, its toughness wouldn't be hurt too much (although the blueline would still be lacking a little toughness). The goaltending tandem would be pretty solid with little or no controversy. Most important, the future (other than Coliacovo) wouldn't be sacrificed because of Hedjuk and the extra draft picks received for the 2008 draft, and no ridiculously long-term commitments are made either.

  21. habsrock99 says:

    Hamrlik is over-paid, yes, but it makes sence considering Hamrlik is superior in all categories then Kubina

  22. habsrock99 says:

    I've said it more than once, Kubina wasn't able to find his groove at all last season. I also believe he was playing hurt for the majority of the time he did play. Now, to answer all Leaf fans questions about Kubina's play-off record. Well, he did play for Tampa when they would get sweeped in the first round. Also, Kubina has a Cup ring, what does McCabe have? Kubina also wasn't a scoring defenceman until just a few years back, which explains his one play off goal As well, who would you rather have scoring, Kubina or Richards, St. Louis and Lecavalier?

  23. mojo19 says:

    Hey I would love that line up! But Hockeybuzz is crazy to suggest a Svatos, Hejduk trade for a solid winger, a good young d-man and a d-man who cleared waivers. But I know it was just a fun line-up. Still Harrison isn't worth anything:

    Harrison has no value and is 11th on the leafs depth chart for d-men as I see it.

    Kaberle
    Kubina
    McCabe
    Colaiacovo
    Gill
    White
    Kronvall
    Pilar
    Stralman
    Wozniewski
    Harrison
    Oreskovich (sp)

  24. mojo19 says:

    Kubina logged a lot of minutes, and was an aggresive, tough to play against defensman on a cup winning team. Its no wonder he was so sought after when he was a free agent and why teams offered over $5 mil a season for him, and why he came to Toronto for so much money. He's a good player, no question.

  25. leafs_fan18 says:

    i think kubina is a better defence man than mc cabe trade b mac to the ilses for bergeron and draft picks then we will have tons of cap space 

  26. leafs_fan18 says:

    heres some facts for u

    kubina +7

    mc cabe +3

    mc cabe 15 goals

    bergeron 14 goals

  27. leafs_fan18 says:

    heres some facts for u

    kubina +7

    mc cabe +3

    mc cabe 15 goals

    bergeron 14 goals

  28. Pony says:

    I fail to see how its a bad comment at all let alone the worst comment of the day. Kaberle's own father once said in an interview that they need each other and it has made them both very sucessful.

    Im by no means knocking Kaberle who I think is the closest thing to an untouchable the Leafs have, but McCabe's points are inflated by Kaberle as much if not more as Kaberle's points are inflated by McCabe.

    McCabe needs Kaberle's slick pass and Kaberle needs McCabe's booming shot. Could Kaberle be just as effective with another big shot? Most definately, but I highly doubt Kubina or Colaiacovo would give you the same results. McCabe was maybe even more effective when Leetch came to town.

  29. Penssuck says:

    Kaberle is the only D-man on the leafs worth mentioning.

    McCabe is a joke.  I still remember him being pressured at the point and falling down and skating like Hatcher to get back in the play while the flyers burned him for a breakaway goal.  Now thats just one instance, but their have been plenty.

    Leaf fans are blinded by the fact that their team is so weak.  Whether you love Sundin or not, he's done nothing to bring the leafs closer to the cup.  Is their a center out there in the FA better than him? No.  But they've got to get a new team to win a cup. 

    Cutting is short, gotta go poop!

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