Whats wrong with Antropov?

So I have been reading all of these articles by people talking about what the leafs should do next summer and pretty much all of them list players that we should let go for next season. Every time it’s Peca, Perrault, O’Neill and….Antropov? I’m all for mixing up the team a little and seeing new faces but one of my personal favourite players this season (other than Kaberle, Sundin and Wellwood basically) was Nik Antropov. Let me tell you why….

So on of the most obvious reasons would have to be that he (along with Sundin and Ponikarovsky) dominate the boards like not a huge amount of players in the league can which is effective in wearing down other teams and is very effective in the playoffs (look at Edmonton who last year had a number of players who were good at controlling the puck along the boards).

His playmaking ablity his quite underrated, granted he only got 15 assists in 54 games but Sundin is THE playmaker on that line and he got next to no time on the powerplay which is shown by the fact that 14 of his 15 assists were on even strength. When I really feel good for my main man Antropov is when I see that Sundin got just 21 even strength assists….in 75 games. If Nik had played a full season, which continues to be a huge problem for him, he would have got 21 as well. Same goes for goals. He was 4th on the leafs in even strength goals (excluding Perrault) and if he had played a full season he probably would have come in second (behind Mats).

There are a number of other things. He was 4th on the team in plus-minus with a plus 8 rating, though he did have the benefit of playing with Sundin….except that Sundin ended a minus 2….say word?

Check out the team leaders in game winning goals….actually I’ll just tell you that excluding Perrault he’s third on the team, achieving that feat in only 54 games (he had 4 by the way, nothing spectacular…except for the leafs it is), in my opinion he very well may have led the leafs in that category if he hadn’t been injured though the same could be said for Tucker who DID lead the team and was injured for a large amount of games.

A few more stats, in 54 games he got: 75 hits, 22 blocked shots (decent for a forward especially given the leafs penalty kill style where we don’t seem to bother blocking any shots), 23 take aways….31 giveaways and he had a shooting percentage of 14.4 percent which was second on the team behind Darcy Tucker.

His statistics are eerily similar to Yanic Perrault’s and Perrault made the All-Star team so…

Look, I’m actually not saying that Antropov is an All-Star or that he should play on Sundin’s line though it may certainly seem like it. I am just saying that he is by no means a crummy player and he could be an extremely effective 2nd line player (I DO think that he is better than third line). I’m just thinking that if we could get one marquee free agent forward to play with Sundin like Smyth, Briere or Drury and another good player like Bertuzzi, Jason Blake or Gary Roberts then we could have on very good first line and a dominant second line of Wellwood in between the two towers (Ponikarovsky is the other if you don’t know hockey or the leafs). While Sundin was out to injury for 7 games Antropov got 3 goals and 4 assists, Wellwood got 3 goals and 6 assists, and Ponikarovsky got 2 goals and 4 assists. Those two could be effective with most centers so why waste Sundin on them? At the same time, why let them go? Especially Antropov who I am really talking about. I certainly see no reason and hopefully I have convinced all of you readers and Antropov haters to at least see my point and possibly even agree with me.

Sorry this was so long and I thank you for reading this but don’t you worry, Antopov is well worth your time and the leaf’s money.

15 Responses to Whats wrong with Antropov?

  1. curtman96 says:

    Agreed. One of Toronto's best players this year and he still seems to improve each year. If he demands anymore than 1.5 million then let him walk. He is still a bit injury prone but he is a great player when healthy.

  2. DeathCab says:

    I've never hated Antropov, but the problem I have with him is the same one I had with lindros: Health. 

    Having a guy only play 50 games or so every year for you means you're spending almost half the year either filling a gap left by the injured antropov, or you end up knocking someone else out of a spot they earned to make room for someone who won't be around too long before going back down with another injury.

    If JFJ can sign Antro cheap, I don't mind seeing him on the 3rd line, filling in on one of the top 2 lines when needed, but I just don't like the idea of someone that injury prone being one of our top 6 forwards.

  3. the_word says:

    I've always been lukewarm of Antropov, he is a great raw talent, shows flashes of greatness, but his injury woes can't be ignored.  I'd like to see him sign a one year deal at around 1-1.5 million.

    Off topic…. Sundin's option pays him 4.1 (but is a 6.3 million cap hit if exercised), JFJ should offer him a one year deal at 4.2 to free up room to get either Sundin a winger or some quality depth role players (although nearly every post I read on this site has the Leafs ridding themselves of Peca, Peca is exactly what the leafs need).  The Leafs control Sundin's fate, its time for JFJ to be strict in negotiations.   Having Sundin on a one year deal is perfect, if he under performs or the Leafs under perform, let the Sundin sweepstakes begin.

  4. Go_Leafs_14 says:

    I just want to say that yup, in my articles I have said to let antro go bu I have totall respect for him and think he is good and under rated sometimes but the reason I said let him go is only to free up enough money to develop a new team, its just a sacrafise that might have to be made in the next few years, but this guy is good and I respect him.

  5. mojo19 says:

    Antropov is the leafs top 2-way forward. He has the ability to put up 30+ goals next year if healthy. Unfortunately the problem with Nik to answer your question is his health. Still, If he can be resigned long term for $2 mil a year or less, we'd be crazy not to.

  6. sufferingleaf says:

    Your right Sundin is not the playmaker everyone thinks he is Poni and Antro over the past two seasons statistically speaking got more point playing with Welwood and Allison. If Sundin really wanted to help the Leafs he would move to the wing where he has had his best seasons. As a centreman he is below a point per game. He has wingers now who can play in Antro and Poni and he still was hardly a point a game.Even with Roberts who could score same thing.( In plaoffs Roberts out played him) If Sundin really cared about the Leafs he would move to the wing where he is a much better player and more productive as he has proven. His size is better for the wing. 

    I know the Sundin lovers will disagree but if you think with your brain not your heart you will agree. 

    Of course I would trade him now when he's worth most and get draft chioces and prospects for him. by the time the Leafs are good enough for a cup he will be too old.

  7. Hoondog2 says:

    I'm not sure i remember a season when Sundin played a significant amount of time on the wing.  Maybe you could clarify that.  Also, i think Sundin's leadership abilities are far more valuble than what we might get in return.  Call me sentimental but, i don't see why everyone is so against Sundin finishing his career here.  Sundin will be an above average player until the day he retires!

  8. gregpb says:

    This is why the Leafs will never win. Antropov is defensive liability.  He scored a few more goals than he usually averages granted, but he is still slow, takes at least one useless penalty every game and is lost positionally for at least 2/3 of the game. I wouldn't even waste 750k on that guy. He is and always will be a long term project that never pans out.


  9. gregpb says:

    If we were to ever trade Sundin, it should have been this year at the deadline when guys like Tkachuck got an enormous amount of prospects and draft picks back. St. Louis is laughing right now. Atlanta loses in 4 games to the Ranger lol. Sundin would maybe get you a first rounder this offseason and that's a maybe. Unless Atlanta wants to throw us Kovalchuk because their GM has lost his mind from the Tkachuck trade, Sundin will remain a Leaf.

  10. sufferingleaf says:

    Sundin was a winger with Quebec and the year he played with Gilmour.

    There lies the problem we wont get more for him, than now, it is the typical Leaf thing to do retain or bring back old guys.he's past his priime one goal in 20 games when we needed him most. By the time the Leafs are ready to win the cup Sundin wont be around try to trade him now and no signing of old guys!!!!!!!!!!!!eg. Tachuck.

  11. sufferingleaf says:

    I agree I was screaming that at trade deadline but we still go to entertain offers who know what we may steal. Let the general mabager finally get some balls.!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. mojo19 says:

    I just watched ESPN classic Nordiques vs Canadians in the playoffs and Sundin was playing centre, and scored a hat trick. I think he played off and on LW to C with Quebec.

    And he only played on Gilmours wing a few games if you remember correctly they both centred at the time.

    Sundin hasn't played as much wing as you think. And besides that, most players in the league agree he's one of the hardest players to handle down low, if you think of the goals he scored walking out from behind the net vs. Edmonton, or vs. Tampa with three guys draped all over him for example, and Lecavaliers comments after teh game indicating that he hated being matched up with Sundin, having to play defense against him.

  13. mojo19 says:

    Big Antropov goals this year:

    -2 in the third vs. Carolina to tie the game and pull ahead including a spectacular behind the back pass off the boards to himself before walking out front and stuffing it in.

    -tying goal vs. Ottawa leading to Darcy Tuckers OT winner.

    -First period goal in the do or die final game of the year vs. Montreal

    -Tic-tac-toe play with sundin, game winner late in the 3rd vs. Tampa to win 3-2 late in the season. Nik had a big assist that night too

  14. sufferingleaf says:

    No Sundin played mostly the wing. Don't get me wrong Sundin is a decent goal scorer he's just not a great playmaker that's why you put him on the wing to utilize his size.He needs a set up man not a winger.   

  15. mojo19 says:

    They won't play him on the wing. He's a great guy on the draw and he's really impressive defensively matched up against guys like Lecavalier, and he basically isolated Marc Savard vs. Boston this year really well except on the one where Aubin kicked out the funny rebound.

    And Sundin and Gilmour both played Centre together, but yeah Mats did play some games on the wing with dougy.

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