Will Leafs' Pony ride out of town at trade deadline?

Mark Zwolinski

Almost 6,000 fans crammed into the GM Centre in Oshawa to watch the Maple Leafs practice on Sunday in another testament to the undying popularity of the team and its players.

For a few Leafs, though, the practice that charmed local hockey fans and raised $10,000 for the Eastview Boys and Girls Club could have been their last hurrah in Toronto.

It’s expected that at some point over the next three days leading up to the March 3 NHL trade deadline, at least one, and probably more, Leafs could be dealt to new clubs.

For Leafs like Alex Ponikarovsky and Lee Stempniak –who have the highest trade value on the team – the Olympic roster freeze lifted at midnight Sunday night, and they might not make it to Tuesday’s game against Carolina.

Leaf GM Brian Burke has reiterated over the past several weeks he will be both buyer and seller at the deadline, so it promises to be an intriguing and busy three days.

Ponikarovsky remains the Leafs’ most moveable asset – a big winger who will easily set a career high in goals and points this season, and one who will have produced 20-goal seasons in four of the past five years since the lockout.

“No, we haven’t had the talk,” Ponikarovsky said when asked if he’s been told he’ll be traded. “It’s just rumours for now, that’s about it.”

Tomas Kaberle, back from playing for the Czech Republic at the Olympics, was not aware of any change in his trade situation.


19 Responses to Will Leafs' Pony ride out of town at trade deadline?

  1. dumbassdoorman says:

    Darren Dreger reports the Leafs have two offers on the table for Poni, but didn't mention the teams. Also said Burke is holding off hoping the price may go up. Seeing the Pens traded for Leopold this morning at the cost of a 2nd rd pick, not sure they will go after Poni now?

  2. glotz_99 says:

    A couple of rumors I've heard is Pony to Atlanta for Bryan Little and Stempniak to the Sabres for a draft pick, maybe a 2nd rounder.   

  3. leafy says:

    I'm really hoping the Leafs can squeeze out a first pick for Poni. Hard to say if it will happen.

  4. bodangles87 says:

    the leafs rape Atlanta there, where is this coming from?

  5. mojo19 says:

    According to the Toronto Star Burke has been offered a 2nd round pick and a prospect for Poni. So I guess he's holding out for more, whether its a first round pick, or a better prospect from a different organization, we'll see.

  6. leafy says:

    New contract for Stajan. $3.5M per season. Too much, no?


  7. leafy says:

    Interesting. Even the current offer is good, but a first pick would be really great.

  8. leafy says:

    I just noticed this topic is covered in another article.

  9. leafit2me says:

    Personally I would like to see Burke stockpile draft picks and prospects for Poni and Kaberle (maybe even stempniak and excelby if there is a market for them). However, Poni would have highest value at the deadline, while Kaberle (inspite of having 1 yr + the rest of this season) would be most valuable to TML at the draft.                                                                                                                                                                                            If the Panthers could get a 2nd rounder for Jordan Leopold then I think the Leafs can do as good or better. The only other comparable forward available (in skill, size, and contract) would be Raffi Torres. With Boston, LA, Pitt, and Tampa all looking for scoring wingers, I think its safe to say that Burke should get what he wants.                                                                                                                                   For the Leafs to trade Kaberle at the deadline, frst and foremost he needs to waive his NTC which means he would be dictating where and what Burke can get for him. A deadline deal for Kaberle would more than likely see him dealt to a contender for a 1st rounder and prospect(s). Unless the prospect is really highly rated (ie like a Brayden schenn) I dont see Burke making this move because the 1st rounder coming back would likely be 21-30th. On the surface I would agree that this is better than what they have right now in terms of picks but if they wait till Draft Day when Kaberle can be traded w/o his consent then I truly believe that they can get a top 10 pick (maybe even a top 5).  FYI, last reported, Buffalo, Wash, & Vancouver are looking for offensive Defensemen                                                                                                                                 On a side note if we could move stempniak and excelby for even 3rd or 4th rounders that would be something better than nothing.  But since BB is also looking to be a buyer at the deadline I hope he can get someone like  a Stephen Weiss out of FLa.                                                                                                                                                

  10. leafit2me says:

    I should mention that although Nathan Horton (also reportedly being shopped by Fla) is a better center than Weiss but with all the reports about his poor work ethic I dont think the Leafs need that now. Weiss is TO boy and has 2 yr left after this season, which is 1.8M less than Horton over the same time span.                PS: with excelby and Van Ryn's contracts expiring after this season and Kaberle's imminent trade the Leafs are going to need to sign at least one…possible two d-men. I hear that Van Ryn may actually play a few games before the end of the season (too late to shop him) but what are the possibilties that Burke resigns him to a 1-2 yr deal. I know he has been injury riddled for the last 3 seasons but at roughly 2M per it may not be that bad. Given than he is an ON boy and has pretty much played only 27 games for the  Leafs while collecting $7M over that time. With a little skill I think Burke can guilt him into resigning if even for just 1 yr for 2M or less. This would give us 2.5 puck moving D-men in Gunnerson, Van Ryn, and Beauch, and shutdown guys like Phaneuf, Komo, & Schenn….pretty decent D. And it also leaves something in the bank to spend on getting top 6 forwards on July 1st, 2010 and 2011

  11. mojo19 says:

    Before you say its too much, please check out the stats I posted of comparible players (in the other article).

  12. mojo19 says:

    Ya….. I'm not interested in "stockpiling draft picks" for Tomas Kaberle. Luckily I'm pretty confident that Burkey won't do something stupid like that.

  13. goose says:

    two trades so far today:

    to pittsburgh: D, Jordan Leopold
    to calgary: a 2nd round pick in 2010*


    to nashville: D, Dennis Grebeshkov
    to edmonton: a 2nd round pick in 2010*

    -As you can see both these defenseman brought back 2nd round picks,
    so I'm pretty sure & confident to say that Ponikarvosky is definately, 100% worth more than a 2nd round pick & a prospect/roster players

  14. leafmeister says:

    If Burke gets Little for Poni I would petition to have Brian Burke be supreme dictator of the newly established City-state of Toronto. Unfortunately Waddel aint that nuts.

  15. cam7777 says:

    After the injury VanRyn has been recovering from, he will be lucky to get an NHL contract at all.  If he wants back with the Leafs, he will be signing for somewhere between 500k and 850k.  The trick is just to trade Poni for another Gunnarsson type prospect who can step in and take over for Kaberle on the PP next year.  I have mentioned Jonathan Blum numerous times, but there's also John Carlson and a few others.  Failing that, I would look to Jordan Leopold, who has played with Phaneuf in the past.

  16. leafy says:

    Yeah I know, but it's still quite a handout by Sutter.

    Consider that Stajan has never scored even 20 goals in his career, and he's only put up decent points for 2 straight years. Otherwise he's typically a 30-40 point player.

    And forgetting about the stats part for a moment, there's nothing about his game that scares opponents. People might be deceived into thinking he's a top 6 forward but he's not.

  17. KingCanada says:

    You must think Poni is like twice the player Antropov if u believe that he will get us a 1st.  Sellers market or not I highly doubt it..

  18. mojo19 says:

    He's a skill guy, and definitely a top 6 forward. Not a star, but a well rounded player, who can kill penalties and create offense.

    He's not a great goal scorer but a heads up player who moves the puck around well. 40 assists last year speak for themself.

    And you're calling him a guy who typically puts up 30-40 pts based on his play at age 22,23,24. Then he emerges at age 25, this is very typical. You can look at lots of different veterans and notice a huge jump in points from age 22-23 vs 25-27.

  19. mojo19 says:

    different year KC….

    Sutton dealt for a 2nd
    Nic Wallin
    Dominic Moore (i know he went for one last year but he had like 45 pts at the time, this year he doesnt have half that)

    Poni should be at least worth a 2nd rounder

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