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10-21-2012, 10:57 AM
  #159
pdd
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Here's what I gather, as a Wings fan who wants the Leafs (and Burke) to fail miserably, but does not want Vancouver to improve.

Vancouver is set on D. They have a backup in Eddie Lack once they trade Luongo, so there's no need to get goaltending.

This means forwards, futures, or an upgrade on D that is an offer that can't be refused.

A 2nd line center is the ideal fit as a starting piece; fills Kesler's spot and can center the 2nd PP, plus hopefully PK. Connolly would be a good fit in this respect, but he has a high cap hit and his deal expires at the end of the year; not to mention his NTC. Matthew Lombardi also would work well; he's paid less with no NTC, but does turn UFA after the season.

So let's work around Lombardi. Obviously a 30 year-old 2/3 center with one year left on his deal is not fair value. A second line winger to go with Kesler could be added. This should probably be Kulemin. After that, a 1st pick seals the deal.

Lombardi is expendable from the Leafs' side, Kulemin is the main player given up. The first has the highest value. Luongo improves the team so much compared to Lombardi/Kulemin that adding the 1st shouldn't be an issue.

Burke may demand that Vancouver take Connolly instead of Lombardi as a cap dump, but there isn't a significant difference between the two; both are 40-50 point two-way centers. Lombardi and Connolly both scored well below that due to their roles on the Leafs (offensively skilled two-way centers placed in checking roles due to personnel issues) last year but both are certainly capable of returning to scoring lines. The Leafs used Kessel/Lupul for offense rather than trying to form any kind of scoring depth. Adding JVR should fix that issue as they now have Kessel, Lupul, JVR, Grabovski, Bozak, MacArthur, Connolly, Kulemin, Crabb, and Lombardi who are capable of top-six scoring numbers.


Last edited by pdd: 10-21-2012 at 12:19 PM.
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