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.


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