Kings - Maple Leafs
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12-12-2012, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Originally Posted by
So how do the Maple Leafs plan to push for a playoff spot when they have to acquire a #1 center? I'm certainly not saying Loktionov's the answer, but from how things are sounding... it sounds like the Leafs aren't pushing for a playoff spot right now, if you're missing such a key piece.
So with that in mind, I don't think it's out of the realm of logic to suggest that Loktionov be acquired, simply because he's of the right age for a building team that can be slotted into the 2nd line center role. If you're not interested in Loktionov, that's fine, but I think that at the very least, he "fits" with the direction of your team (and by that, I DO think the Leafs will improve - I think they are neither playoff contenders or rebuilders; just builders at the moment).
This I completely agree with, and I agree that trading for Loktionov isn't worth it to the Leafs if they don't plan to incorporate him into a long term plan. And while I don't think the Kings and Ducks could work a deal, I do think the Kings might be able to strike a deal with another Pacific Division rival, the Coyotes.
The Leafs push for a playoff spot by doing everything in their power to win hockey games. You don't give up on that just because you're missing a few pieces. You hope that between Bozak and Connolly, along with the added strength / size on the wings, that you can make it despite your weakness in the middle.
It is out of the realm of logic to suggest that the Leafs acquire him with the intention of slotting him into the 2nd line centre role. They have Grabovski there, a player that Loktionov can only hope to be, with a 5 year deal.
The direction of our team is one that needs to get better immediately before we get forced into another rebuild when Kessel decides that he wants to play in the playoffs. Loktionov doesn't fit with that.
Originally Posted by
If the Leafs are able to trade assets that have no future with the team, Connolly and Lombardi for future picks/prospects. While opening up spots for players like Lokti/Kadri/Frattin in the process, I think you do it. I do it because I simply don't believe the production from Connolly or Lombardi will be much greater than the younger players that replace them. Loktionov has put up similiar production through his 50+ games to that of Lombardi's production last season, except he isn't a -20 through those games.
I understand where your coming from regarding 2013/2014, when the Leafs hopefully pick up another legit top-6 center. The only place I could see him playing under that circumstance would be as a 4th line/13th forward type, who would get the first crack at top-9 play in the event of an injury. It obviously wouldn't be a perfect situation but, he'd be cheap and one of the Leafs top-9 forwards would be moved eventually so he could be a piece that could step right back in.
No you really don't. This team absolutely needs to do everything in their power to get into the playoffs (short of mortgaging the future) to eradicate the culture of losing that Brian Burke has infected the Leafs with, and stop perpetually rebuilding. The Leafs aren't going to be a clear-cut playoff team, so having guys like Connolly/Lombardi in the lineup over Loktionov could quite easily be the difference. Now, maybe Lombardi/Connolly go to address another area on the team (like a goaltender, or shutdown dman),
As for Lombardi vs. Loktionov, they played basically the same amount of games and had the same production. Difference is, Lombardi was coming off a year without hockey and no training camp due to concussion. He's a proven 40-50 point centre in this league that is excellent defensively. Loktionov simply isn't.
The Leafs have to go into 2013/14 with the assumption that they're adding a centre, simply because they have to acquire one at basically any cost. Given that, with Grabovski, Bozak, McClement, and Steckel; there's absolutely no need or space for Loktionov. He'd have much higher value to a team that actually intends to play him.
Originally Posted by
12 NHL roster forwards - Kessel, Lupul, Bozak, Grabovski, JVR, Kulemin, MacArthur, Connolly, Lombardi, McClement, Brown, Steckel
3 NHL ready prospects - Frattin, Kadri, Komarov
So, there is already 15 players ready for NHL action. Until players like Connolly, Lombardi and potentially MacArthur/Steckel are removed there really isn't any room. The plan as I said would be to move them and call-up Loktionov so I don't know if your post was needed. A guy like Kadri might have to wait in the minors until a trade is made opening up room for him and I value him more than Loktionov.
This should be the exact reason why Toronto doesn't trade for Loktionov. Both Kadri and Frattin are going to get their chances before Loktionov, and with 6 centres in the group of 12, the fact that Lokti is a centre doesn't help his chances at all.
Nobody is going to go to "open up space" for inferior players. The only way we clear out forwards, is if trading that forward allows us to address another area on the team.
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