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12-02-2003, 07:58 PM
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by Darth Milbury
I can understand why you wouldn't want to see Steen dealt. I'm not sure, however, that the Leaf have the assets without putting Steen on the table to make a viable trade package. You're certainly not getting a Hamrlik-level defender for Tucker et al. Hence, it might make sense to throw a late rounder away for Cairns or a similar player.
Here's the Leafs' depth chart:

1 & 2: McCabe & Kaberle in some order
3: Klee
4, 5, 6: Berg, Pilar, Marchment
7, 8: Jackman, Belak

Is Cairns significantly better than anyone here aside from Belak? I'd say probably not. I'd give up a low pick to acquire him for depth purposes but I'd say that considering that Toronto has 8 defencemen in the AHL right now as it is, maybe that's not the issue. Pilar has been terrific lately, Jackman is an acceptable #7 guy and the team has won 6 in a row including sweeping a home and home series from both the Canucks and Rangers.

I think more likely the Leafs, if they need defence help at the back end, would call up someone like Pierre Hedin or bring back Colaiacovo or Kondratiev to see what they can do (in the case of, say, injury).

Or wait to the deadline and see if there are any more Glen Wesley-type deals to be made.

Hamrlik is a different story...but as per usual, the cupboard is bare in Leafland so Steen is a non-starter. Antropov, however, is someone that I as a Leafs fan would deal for Hamrlik if he was signed long-term at a reasonable deal. Of course, Nik's value is at a low right now while he's out, so if I'm Ferguson, I wait for him to come back, play solid hockey for 2 weeks and then move him so someone else can take the risk of him getting hurt again. He could emerge into a dominant player...or not. But the upside is there.