Who should be kept, and why

The talk of the town in Toronto is who should be moved on or prior to March 4th. Any player who has worn a blue and white jersey with any spec of trade value has been mentioned. So, I’d like to comment on players who I believe should not be traded.

All developing players and role players, including Schenn, Tlusty, Kulemin, Stralman, Williams, Deveax, Newbury etc. That is obvious.

Mikhail Grabovski-

The reasoning is quite simple. While many teams air tight to the cap would love to add a center on pace for 20 goals and 40 points (making 850K a season) even more would love to add a young gun in the off season. Assuming that he gets more than 2.6 million in an offer sheet (which is fairly safe considering off seasons past), the leafs will get compensation in the form of a 1st and a 3rd. Plus, teams that make the offer sheets are usually poor teams looking to get better (and rarely do) so those draft picks could potentially be very high. Plus, its unlikely the Leafs will do better in a trade (not many teams will trade a 1st AND a 2nd for a streaky scorer).

Dominic Moore-

I am the first to admit I was wrong about him. I thought his play last season was a one hit wonder. But he has played even better this season. I still think he will fall into the dust as a scorer (Boyd Devereax anyone?), but he’s proven to be a very adequate penalty killer. With the loss of Alex Steen, keeping Moore becomes more important for the leagues worst penalty killing squad.

Vesa Toskala-

The Cannucks couldn’t give Sanford away, and Edmonton couldn’t trade Garon without agreeing to take a goalie back. Ottawa and Washington are looking for goalies, but only if the other team will take Gerber or Theodores contracts. The goalie market is full, and the demand is bare. This year was a write off. Odds are Toskala plays fantastic next year in his contract year, and somebody needs a goalie. Plus, the Leafs aren’t exactly stacked with goaltending talent. Pogge has been average in the minors, and the Leafs have the collective worst save percentage in the NHL. You won’t get a 1st round pick for Toskala, so why trade him?

Alexei Ponikarovsky-

Not unlike many leaf forwards, Poni is set to have a career year in goals and points. But he’s on pace for 25 goals and 50 points, which are marks he’s approached in the past. Poni’s stats are textbook when it comes to consistency. The last 3 years he’s scored 21 goals, 21 goals, and 18 goals (in 66 games). His collective plus minus over the last four years is +28. He’s been a + every season since the lockout, while the leafs have been a collective minus. The Leafs haven’t had the major scoring droughts in the last 4 years, that most bad teams have. This is because of Poni, Antropov, and Sundin who are all big and mobile. They all can consistently put pressure on opposing teams. Sundin is gone, and Antropov soon to be (one way or another). Poni is under contract for one more year, and a valuable enough asset that is worth keeping him for at least another year (and hopefully more).

Players I considered were Matt Stajan, but he’s fetch a lot, and will likely never repeat those numbers; Tomas kaberle, another big reason why the leafs score so many goals, but he’d really help the leafs prospect pool; Mike van Ryn, I think he’s a good player, but he’s not a consistent player at either end of the ice.


48 Responses to Who should be kept, and why

  1. assman says:

    you forgot luke schenn. the leafs shouldnt trade him for sure. in 2 years hes gonna kick ass. if they trade him the leafs should be shot and pissed on. they also gotta keep poggie to. kulimem and tolusty are gonna be two other ass kickers

  2. the_word says:

    I'd like to see the Leafs hold on to Moore, he's had a positive influence on Blake (who is a moody player and the its best to keep him happy in hopes of keeping him productive). Not to mention his return would be marginal.

    Schenn, duh.

    Pogge, has looked good everytime he's been called up. I could care less about the day to day performance in the AHL.

    Frogren, excellent, tough lunchbox depth defenseman that is willing to play with in the role his talent allows. Its refreshing to watch a defenseman that is willing to block shots.

  3. LEAFS_54 says:

    dude read the article he stated those guys shouldn't be traded… anyways i think you have a point about poni, but it could also be argued that his size alone will not help, he might need the other guys. i say package antropov and poni for a couple off nhl ready forwards. 

  4. nordiques100 says:

    Leafs should hold on to….

    Goal: Pogge

    Defence: Schenn, White, Van Ryn, Stralman, Sifers, Frogren

    Forward: Kulemin, Hagman, Grabovski, Moore, Mitchell, Tlusty, Williams, Didomenico, Hayes

    That means the leafs should move….

    Goal: Toskala

    Defence: Finger, Kaberle, Kubina, Kronvall

    Forward: Antropov, Ponikarovsky, Blake, Stajan, Stempniak, Deveaux, Hollweg, May, Mayers, Bell, Devereaux, Newbury

    The most unlike to move is Blake due to his contract and Cujo, welcome to the front office or retirement or both or neither. whatever.

    Thus the leafs need…..

    Goal: a veteran goalie to help pogge

    Defence: number 1 defenceman, 1 or 2 big physical tough defencemen.

    Forward: an entire top line, preferably a power forward among that group; 2 big rough players to play the 4th line. Another top 6 type forward with some jam. 4-5 of them should be over 6'0 and over 200lbs

    And the biggest need of all: way more draft picks!

  5. the_word says:

    Van Ryn really?

  6. leafy says:

    Ok, here is how I break down the team in terms of keepers and trade bait:

    Keepers

    Schenn – cornerstone on the blueline

    Kulemin – good offensive skills; shows pure goal scoring ability

    Tlusty – a talented young player, despite what many believe; this guy simply needs time to develop, you'll see

    Stralman – see Tlusty; shows excellent puck handling skills and skating; beaten too often 1-on-1; needs seasoning

    Pogge – always plays well when called up; big goalie covers the net well and is swift

    Mitchell – good size up front which this team badly needs

    Williams – looks like a natural goal scorer; good shot

    Keepers, but consider trading IF (and only IF) you get a good offer

    White – everybody knows I like him; get a mid-to-low 1st pick, otherwise just keep him

    Moore – one of Toronto's best players, excellent leader; trade only if you can get a good prospect/young player

    Grabovski – I would only trade him if the return is impressive; 1-2 solid young prospects for sure, otherwise why bother?  Needs to work on his shot

    Stempniak – I think we gave up too much to get him, but he definitely has good skills; still pretty young

    Frogren – tough as nails D; only trade if desperate team comes knocking with some good prospects

    Try to trade while value is high

    Ponikarovski – big strong forward could produce maybe a 2nd round pick and/or 1-2 prospects with potential

    Stajan – another good player that could fetch good return

    Key trade bait for rebuilding

    Antropov – a 1st pick is very reasonable; or maybe 2 solid prospects

    Kaberle – a 1st pick and a young player with strong potential

    Kubina – similar return as Antropov maybe

    Other possible trade bait

    Blake – Toronto's best player in the first half, says Wilson; high salary but playing well

    Van Ryn – good player; concussions are a problem and could scare GMs away

    Hagman – another solid player that could serve a better purpose on a good team

    May – Burke might not move him, but many contending teams could benefit from his gritty play

    Garage sale

    Hollweg
    Finger
    Mayers
    Joseph

  7. leafy says:

    Actually I think you hit the nail on the head. That break down seems very reasonable.

    Yeah Van Ryn is a little bit of a question mark because of his injury issues. Concussions are always the big unknown.

  8. nordiques100 says:

    i just think he is the type of new leader with someone like hagman and moore to bring some veteran experience to what will be a super young team if they gut everyone.

    you need some experienced guys and he wasnt part of the muskoka gang, so he fits. and his contract is decent.

    only concern: injuries.

  9. nordiques100 says:

    more like bankrupcy sale:

    Finger
    Bell

    LOL.

    but seriously, your list is sharp.

    for grabs, its all whether he wants like 5 mil or threaten a return to europe. but i like his dangling. the leafs need that kind of arrogant skill.

    you're right about mvr. concussions. who knows?

    but i like him, hagman and moore to be part of a leadership group to surround Schenn, hopefully a top 3 pick, and a big young free agent either this summer or next. they're all young enough to be around and contributing when hopefully the leafs are decent in a year or three.

  10. the_word says:

    I'd rather see them sign some UFA veterans they could move next year to help groom the new blood.

    His price tag is also a concern.

  11. assman says:

    i try reading them. but i cant finish these articles. i get bored fast. or just tired. reading is over rated. i just watch hockey. tv kicks ass

  12. I-BE-LEAF says:

    Point made and taken.  I will stop reading anything you post, assman.

    Cheers for the heads-up!

  13. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    Toskala- what do you hope to get for him. You could give him away, but I cant see you getting returns.

    Ponikarovsky- My argument remains that he shouldn't be traded. He's consistent, he's big, and he's got another year at a very reasonable price. Unless you can get a 1st+, its not worth it IMO.

    Deveaux- you wont get anything, and he's been a very good enforcer for the leafs. he's not a liability on the ice, like most enforcers.

    "1 or 2 big physical tough defencemen."

    Schenn, Finger, Frogren, Kubina not enough? IMO the leafs need a big defenseman who is also mobile, which none of the above really are.

    "And the biggest need of all: way more draft picks!"

    amen

  14. reinjosh says:

    leafs will likely trade poni as he could bring in a decent amount or they will package him with someone else for a larger return, as much as i would like to keep him

    Grabovski or Stajan
    one of these two will be traded no question
    they really wouldnt go any higher than a second line center on most other teams but are very valuable. Many teams need a solid second liner and the demand for the playoffs will drive the price up. many would say keep grabo but his value will definetely be higher than ever and this season could be a fluke. Stajan has proven to be a solid second liner and is able to kill penalties well and he is also cheaper. One thing is for sure, only one of these two players will be here after the deadline. look for calgary, columbus or other teams in need of centers to get them

  15. mojo19 says:

    Ya I agree, i like Moore too. I think the 'A' on that sweater speaks volumes for this guy who talent-wise is a bubble player. Lots of guys in camp could do what Moore does on the ice, but he not only made the team as a regular, he also wears the 'A' so obviously Wilson likes him and obviously he's a good dressing room guy.

    I like his style of play too, he's not a "tough guy" but he is a very feisty centre. I could see him taking on a Sammy Pahlson type of role with this team during our cup drive of 2010 😉

  16. mojo19 says:

    Steve Simmons wrote the same thing.

    To paraphrase, one of these two is the future 2nd line centre of this team for years to come possibly. So pick one cuz they're fighting for the same role.

  17. mojo19 says:

    like blue-and-white suggested if Grabby wants up over $3 mil a year I say leave him throughout the summer, if someone gives up a decent offer sheet, take the draft picks, if someone gives up a modest offer sheet, match it/take him to arbitration/ let him go back to europe.

    Russian players there is always that risk, however since the KHL is reportedly losing money, and Ron MacLean mentioned they may be asking their players to take as much as a 40% pay cut across the league for next season, I doubt more and more Russian players will be going back over like they have these past couple years.

  18. mojo19 says:

    Blue and White is right. There is no rush in moving Toskala. Unless someone offers up something good, just hold onto him.

    Poni-boy is like a slightly less productive Marty Erat. But close production, same type of player, and modest salary. So he's keepable, but tradeable also.

  19. KingCanada says:

    The players that have cost the Leafs DRAFT PICKS

    Luke Schenn – 2nd round pick 2009, 3rd round pick 2008

    Mikhail Grabovski – 2nd round pick 2010

    Ryan Hollweg – 5th round pick 2009

    Vesa Toskala / Mark Bell – 1st and 2nd round picks 2007, 4th round pick 2009

    Brad May – 6th round pick 2010

    2009 – 1st  3rd  6th  7th
    2010 – 1st  3rd  4th  5th  7th

    For a rebuilding team the Leafs are pretty thin in terms of draft picks…
    especially this draft, the 6th and 7th picks are nothing to write home about

  20. KingCanada says:

    nice, screw the KHL!

  21. GoLeafs13 says:

    well when we ofload antorpov poni kaberle and kubina we'll have a lot more

  22. nordiques100 says:

    Even the trades like last trade deadline:

    Gill for a 2nd and 5th

    Kilger for a 3rd

    Belak for a 5th, if we could ever pull that off, thats what we need for the other rounds.

    but like GOLEAFS said, if we do move Kubina, Kabby, Pony, Antropov, etc we should get quite a few picks and prospects back.

    we also traded a 3rd for Mayers.

    but try not complaining about it too loudly. you'll get pushback.

    "uh mayers was basically flipped for kilger who's retired, so we did gooder"

    "schenn is better than bobby orr so we did gooder"

    "grabovski is gooder than any one picked in the 2nd round….ever"

    "In some way shape or form its Raycroft's fault for everything"

    thanks to dando for giving me improper grammer to get my point across…

  23. the_word says:

    He's has the good qualities that were said about Kilger, but in reality Kilger lacked.

  24. the_word says:

    If May isn't resigned we keep the pick.

  25. mojo19 says:

    Probably won't re-sign May. We probably won't trade him either. Wouldn't be surprised to see him retire, he was a scratch in half the games this year with the Ducks.

  26. KingCanada says:

    Ya I realise well get more if we trade all our assets for for the time being we ONLY have a 1st and 3rd as SIGNIFICANT picks.

    And the 3rd for Mayers was last draft in 2008.

    Im not knocking the trades im just saying thats all we have right now so Burke better do SOMETHING!! lol

    We need gooder picks 😛

  27. arigold says:

    There are truthfully only a handfull of current roster players worth keeping. 
    Schenn, obviously, Kulemin, Tlusty, Stralman, Stajan, and Grabovski.  Everyone else is not untouchable as far as the Leafs are concerned.

    If Dominic Moore is one of our best players, that is a huge problem, and this should be taken care of as soon as possible.  Personally i see the Leafs acquiring mostly picks, but it would be nice if Burke could put together a package of veteran players and acquire a star player to give this club some identity. 

  28. nordiques100 says:

    sorry kinger, that wasnt a shot at you. some leaf fans i know all over are sensitive to any slight criticism.

  29. nordiques100 says:

    their idenity will come via the draft.

    it could be picking between 1-10 and getting the other schenn, brayden schenn and saying we're going to build around these two kind of heart and soul type guys.

    it could be getting someone significant like hedman and building from the defence. a hedman/schenn duo would be pretty sharp.

    or it could of course be tavares. the offensive whiz and highly touted star.

    thats where you get the identity. the faster the club falls to the bottom and realizes this, the better.

  30. nordiques100 says:

    Well be it now or in a year, toskala is gonzo. there is risk. he stays, he gets worse. at the same time, if he does get better, his value goes up, but the team moves closer to no mans land which is out of the bottom 5.

    then again, the longer we have him, the more likely he gets worse and then becomes untradeable a la raycroft. it would however hold off pogge from playing and i think he would succeed, despite poor AHL numbers.

  31. KingCanada says:

    lol no its cool, im very open to critism and i enjoy debating 😛

  32. assman says:

    i got the best trade of all. toskala to the islanders. dipeitro is wounded, and they need a goalie. the isles have to make the playoffs or else theyre gonna lose all the fans. toskala is what they need. or they risk getting an ass kicking every game

  33. lukeleim says:

    The Toronto Maple Leafs should retain the following players:

    Goaltender: Justin Pogge
    Defense: Luke Schenn, Ian White, Anton Stralman
    Forward: Nikolai Kulemin, Niklas Hagman, Dominic Moore, John Mitchell, Jeremy Williams, Chris DiDomenico, Jimmy Hayes, Mikhail Stefanovich, Matt Stajan

    The Maple Leafs should disperse of the following players:

    Goaltender: Vesa Toskala, Curtis Joseph

    Defence: Jeff Finger, Tomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina, Staffan Kronwall, Mike Van Ryn, Jonas Frogren, Jaime Stifers

    Forward: Nik Antropov, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Jason Blake, Lee Stempniak, Andrea Deveaux, Ryan Hollweg, Brad May, Jamal Mayers, Mark Bell, Boyd Devereaux, Kris Newbury, Jiri Tlusty

  34. LeafsNation91 says:

    Generally, I just believe that Dominic is a good leader. He has an "A" for a reason. Personally, I think he's overachieving a little bit, but what I have noticed about Dominic is that his leadership skills converts to his game, which is why he is a very interesting player. He plays without alot of confidence, and more importantly, he loves to have fun on the ice. He might be a key third liner for the Leafs in the future, which is why the Leafs NEED to keep him.

  35. LeafsNation91 says:

    Personally, I like Jeff Finger and approve the signing alot. Leaf fans stated he has played shit defensively, but I believe he has been the Leafs best defender on the ice. He has tons of blocked shots, and hits, which is what the Leafs are rare in seeing in their defenders. And his contract is yes big, but we can handle that for now, and the Leafs have, and will have a huge cushion on the salary cap if Kaberle leaves, or Kubina, or Antropov and Poni

  36. leafy says:

    That's very similar to my list.  Except for Tlusty, I've got him as a keeper.

  37. LeafsNation91 says:

    Straight up, Stralman can develop into Kaberle type player I believe given time. The guys is like 20 years old, LEAF fans need to give him time. He should start playing with Schen because then Stralman can provide the offense on a powerplay and all that, while Schenn shuts down teams. I do believe Stralman's defensive did improve from last year, so thats a plus.

    Agree with the prospects that Leafs have, give them time, their all pretty young.

    Agree with the keepers. I know you hate the Stempniak trade, but the LEAFS had to make that trade. Truth is, Colaicovo was always injured, and Steen was not going to play well here. I think this was the best the Leafs could of got for those two, and thats why I defend t.

    Interesting note on Grabovski, I thought I was the only one who saw it, but you seem to see the same things as I do leafy. Grabo has a decent shot, I have seen it on occasion, but the thing I noticed about him is that he needs to SHOOT more. Instead of dancing around and trying to create something, that is obviously not there. The guy doesn't shoot the puck, and when he does, he hesitates before shooting, and its a bad hot.

    Agree with the rest of the article, intelligent assessment.

  38. LeafsNation91 says:

    Straight up, Stralman can develop into Kaberle type player I believe given time. The guys is like 20 years old, LEAF fans need to give him time. He should start playing with Schen because then Stralman can provide the offense on a powerplay and all that, while Schenn shuts down teams. I do believe Stralman's defensive did improve from last year, so thats a plus.

    Agree with the prospects that Leafs have, give them time, their all pretty young.

    Agree with the keepers. I know you hate the Stempniak trade, but the LEAFS had to make that trade. Truth is, Colaicovo was always injured, and Steen was not going to play well here. I think this was the best the Leafs could of got for those two, and thats why I defend t.

    Interesting note on Grabovski, I thought I was the only one who saw it, but you seem to see the same things as I do leafy. Grabo has a decent shot, I have seen it on occasion, but the thing I noticed about him is that he needs to SHOOT more. Instead of dancing around and trying to create something, that is obviously not there. The guy doesn't shoot the puck, and when he does, he hesitates before shooting, and its a bad hot.

    Agree with the rest of the article, intelligent assessment.

  39. leafy says:

    Assman, you're very entertaining….for someone who doesn't make much sense.

  40. LeafsNation91 says:

    The reason Dominic Moore is one of our best players is becuase of his leadership skills, not because he is ourclutch scorer or point getter.

  41. lafleur10 says:

    strip it down to the bare bones and start over keep the young guys with an upside and promise(which there is only 1 currently leafs fans and that is the schenn kid), trade the veterans that you can( except for blake because he's unmoveable ) with the 3 years left at 4 million per! !

  42. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    "start over keep the young guys with an upside and promise(which there is only 1 currently leafs fans and that is the schenn kid)"

    Thats a lousy way to run a hockey club, dump everyone except blue chip propspects…The NHL is like the stock market, buy low sell high. why trade a guy like Kulemin and get virtually nothing, when he could turn into a 30 goal guy down the road.

  43. mojo19 says:

    you gotta keep Tlusty, and I don’t think you’ll get much for Frogren and I like him, might as well keep the big man back there.

  44. lafleur10 says:

    what blue chip prospects? you don't have any! you have to start somewhere and this is how you get them!lousy way to run a hockey club! i think you've guys are experts at that! i didn't say trade kulemin and tlusty ! naturally you keep these kids and add to them but you purge yourself of the other guys like,kaberle,kubina antroflop,ponikarovsky,toskala etc….. but as i said you are stuck with blake at the contract because he's got 3 years left at 4 million per!

  45. mojo19 says:

    Blake was untradeable last year. Tonight's goal puts him 1 back of his last years total. If he keeps up the way he's playing he will definitely be moveable. Don't know that you'd get much back but I think you'd be able to find a taker for his contract.

    Or keep him, whatever, he's been our best forward for a couple weeks.

  46. lafleur10 says:

    he's unmoveable! period. there's no team that's going to pick up the remaining 12 million over the 3years,your going to have to buy him out that's the only way out of that contract and mojo you know burke already has those papers ready,he's just waiting for the season to end! he's starting to play well for you guys and starting to score more but that still doesn't change anything,if he was making a 1 million dollars instead of 4 million then yes he'd be moveable but not at that price tag ! you guys can thank ferguson for that.

  47. blaze says:

    Send him to the Isle they have like what, almost 20 mil in cap room next year?

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