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07-07-2010, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by matt trick View Post
Clowe has real and significant value. Mitchell does not. Poni and Frolov meet the needs of a top 6 LW, that doesn't mean they can or will be signed by Burke. Also, both are soft. There are no top 6 power forwards available on the market. That isn't too say that Toronto should make the deal, but you will not get a first line center for him, unless Boston is very foolish. If Toronto can pull that off, they absolutely should.
That may be the case, but not to the Leafs; and certainly not until those players are signed elsewhere. While both Ponikarovsky & Frolov are soft, they bring a skill set that is at worst equal, and more likely, better than what Clowe brings; and the salaries they will require will be approximately what Clowe makes (Frolov gets more, but he's signficantly better). Ponikarovsky isn't a true powerforward because he doesn't hit that often/hard, but he fits the profile of what the Leafs need, and for a player of his size, is actually a very good skater. If Burke was prepared to settle for a guy who belongs on a 2nd line LW (like Clowe), he would sign Ponikarovsky way before trading a guy like Kaberle for Clowe.

You can make the case that the Leafs would prefer Clowe, that's not really the issue here. The problem is that there is no way to justify that difference to be Tomas Kaberle, or anything near his value to the Leafs. Sure, Clowe fights a bit and throws the body around, but he's also struggled with injuries, played on a significantly better team with much better talent in the middle. The reality is that to Toronto, the difference between Clowe & Ponikarovsky is problably worth at most a couple prospects (not named Kadri). The reason to not want Ponikarovsky (and why Burke traded him in the first place) is because he's not a top line player and he wasn't interested in committing significant term to a guy who belongs on teh 2nd line. Ponikarovsky is more of a top line player than Clowe.

Should the Sharks trade Clowe for that? No, he's a good fit with their team and they are happy to have him. But, to suggest the Leafs should trade Kaberle because SJ is offering a player who is at best marginally better than a free agent alternative (for a similar contract) is ridiculous. Think of it this way.... do you not see the flaw with the Sharks being able to trade Clowe for Kaberle then sign Alexei Ponikarovsky to replace him? Obviously there is the cap issue for the Sharks, but why on earth would the Leafs trade Kaberle for the price to upgrade from Ponikarovsky to Clowe?

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