Where do the Leafs look now? Leaf_Expert Says.."Still Plenty of Fish Left"

With the trade of Alexei Kovalev to the Rangers the Maple Leafs are now forced to accept it and move on, and look for another player that can be obtain in their hopes to win the Cup. Following is a list of the best of the potential FORWARDS that could be traded, either to the Leafs or somewhere else, by this years trading deadline, along with my predictions on the odds (out of ten) that it will happen.

1. Adam Oates — Likely won’t be moved. But if Anahiem falls out of the playoff race near or at the deadline, the Ducks may want to unload the aging playmaker and his contract. Leafs may want him to be on the second line centre which they may be still in need of, but the Leafs are now in the need of a forward that can score goals, rather than a playmaker.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 4/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 3/10

2. Steve Rucchin — Again more likely if Anahiem falls out of the race for the playoffs. He has apperently been mentioned in trade “rumours”. But are any of the rumours true? I think he could be the best player that Anahiem could be moving. A player that will be a second line centre on any team. He is a solid point producer, who is probably their best defensive forward. Leafs could use an all-around talent to compliment Roberts on the second line.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 4/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 5/10

3. Miroslav Satan — With the sale of the Sabres still on hold, while the search for a buyer continues, the Sabres may have to wait to trade players. Satan is a sniper, that is 28 years of age, and will be highly sought after by teams wanting a proven scorer. The question is though, will he be traded if the NHL is still running them? Probably not, since he is their top player and trading him would make the team less attractive to possible buyers (for the Sabres). Please note: his odds of being traded will go up if the Sabres are sold.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 6/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 6.5/10

4. Chris Gratton — Valuable second line centre, who is an all-around talent, he hits, defends, and is a solid player to add if a team is in big need of a second line centre. Leafs could use some help at centre, but there are other players available.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 4.5/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 4/10

5. Chris Drury — Was rumour to be going back to Colorado at one point, but likely not to move anywhere now. Another all-around talent, but now that Calgary has him, why would they think of letting him go?

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 3/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 3/10

6. Jarome Iginla — Calgary apparently wants three solid/quality NHLs back in return. Is that’s Button’s way of saying he is not available? Some crazy G.M. could make such an offer, Leafs coul be one of them, with an overload of players with Roberts back soon. Best all-around player available? Not this season, but for years to come he will be one of the best all-around talents. Not many teams have an over-abundance of players to meet Button’s request.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 3.5/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 4/10

7. Craig Conroy — Solid offensively, defensively, occasionally plays physical. Could he be traded if a good offer is made? Is he available? Not likely to be moved in my opinion. Another all-around player that is to most teams just another second line centre. With so many of them available, he should stay put.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 3/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 3.5/10

8. Ron Francis — Soon to be 40 year old centre is yet another centre that does it all. Carolina is done this season, so with not much time left in his career would that be enough reason to consider trading him? Asking price would be high, with him being proably the best centre that could be available.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 2.5/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 2/10

9. Andrew Cassels — Jackets are showing off Sanderson, so why not try to get something for Cassels? He will likely stay with the Jackets, since he has done so much for them.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 3/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADE TO LEAFS: 2/10

10. Geoff Sanderson — Is available. Not to many players are available this year because so many teams are fighting for a playoff spot. Jackets aren’t going to make the playoffs this year, but might want to keep the players they have for an attempt at the playoffs next season. Trading Sanderson gives them some more money they could potentially spend in the offseason, so him leaving via trade is quite possible. Leafs need scoring and he be what they need.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 6/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 6.5/10

11. Ziggy Palffy — One of the best available forwards for trade. Strickly for an upgrade in offense is on label of the box with him in it.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 6/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 6.5/10

12. Tony Amonte — At 32 he’s not what he once was, but still one of the best players that could be available in a trade. Won’t average a point-per-game, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play on a teams top line. Great defensively, solid offensively, doesn’t hit though. Is available more and more as Phoenix falls further and further back of 8th place.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 5/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 4.5/10

13. Owen Nolan — Asking price is apparently high, but it should be high, but their should certainly be a limit on what G.M. Lombardi can ask.

ODDS OF BEING TRADED: 5/10

ODDS OF BEING TRADED TO LEAFS: 4/10

Leaf_Expert’s view:

So the Leafs lost out on Alexei Kovalev, there are plenty of fish left in the sea for the Leafs have great shots at catching….

FORWARDS:

Owen Nolan (Sharks): What I have wanted the Leafs to aquire ever since he was drafted and I’ll take him over Kovalev anyday. Nolan was being shopped around prior to the all-star break.

Ziggy Palffy (Kings): The further the Kings fall, the more likely he’ll be dealt.

Bryan Smolinski (Kings): Is in the same position as Palffy, only less important.

Miro Satan (Sabres): Skill is very simular to the style of Kovalev and is know to have a little bit of back checking in him. The Flyers are said to covet Satan.

Jarome Iginla (Flames): GM Craig Button would need plenty of cash and three able-bodied players to replace Calgary’s franchise.

Geoff Sanderson (Columbus): After a great start numbers have gone down for the Sand Man.

Ray Whitney (Columbus): Is the Jackets captain and has teriffic skill. Is and un-restricted free agent at seasons end and may be a little too steep for the Blue Jackets to commit to.

Valeri Bure (Panthers): Has a reputation as an underachiever and a female in a mens league.

Shawn McEachern (Thrashers): Numbers have gone down a bit, but is a great presence in the dressing room.

Chris Gratton (Sabres): Has never lived up to to high expectation but does give solid scoring and good physical play.

DEFENCE:

Bryan Leetch (Rangers):The Kovalev deal has sky-rocketed the Rangers payroll and there is no space left for the all time Ranger. Does have value for leadership and experience.

Bryan Marchment (Sharks): Leafs have shown interest in the past and is a great hard workin physical defensmen. Can punish opposing players.

Bob Boughner (Flames): Flames co-captain and solid physical defensmen.

Aaron Miller (Kings): Very stay at home with physical and shot blocking assets.

Dmitry Yushkevich (Kings): Is still lost trying to find his way home, can anyone help this lost person with directions.

Bill Houlder (Nashville): Experienced, cheap, smart, and aging pretty fast.

Alexei Zhitnik (Sabres): Is one of the best coverage defensmen in the league. Would be a salary dump but is definetly all the Leafs would need for the blue line(or any team for that matter).

Aaron Ward (Hurricanes): Rugged defenceman is blowing out of the Hurricane fast.

Glen Wesley (Hurricanes): Would only be another Lumme only with a good instegater upside.

Lyle Odelein (Chicago): Is a great physical defensmen with experience in all game situations.

W.C.


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