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01-26-2013, 10:09 AM
Ricky Bobby
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Originally Posted by Leafsforlife98 View Post
The Leafs do have a lot of pieces going forward are in need of only 3 real pieces to be a complete team. YES, a couple of pieces are BIG and are hard to get, but it is a process. It may take a couple of years to accomplish those goals. Since most of our team is young, then taking a couple of years is fine.

Going Forward into next year

Joffery Lupul-Hole #1-Phil Kessel
James van Reimsdyk-Nazem Kadri-Matt Frattin
Nikolai Kulemin-Hole #2-Leo Komarov
Mike Brown-Jay McClement-Colton Orr

Morgan Rielly-Dion Phaneuf
Jake Gardiner-Carl Gunnarsson
Jonh Micheal Liles-Korbinian Holzer

Hole #3-James Reimer

That leaves as the chips to fill these 3 holes going forward.

Mikhail Grabovski- I don't think he fits on this team. He is good defensivly, but not big enough to be superior shutdown #3 center that Carlyle needs. I also think that Nazem Kadri is gonna need to get minutes and it will be as the 2nd line center that gets sheltered minutes and powerplay time. That leaves Grabovski with no real spot in the line-up since he can't play with Kessel.

Tyler Bozak- Pretty much the exact same thing as Grabovski. Has a spot on the team as long as the Leafs have no #1 center but once they do, he is gone.

Clarke Macarther- Is a decent player but I am not sold on him being on the team longterm. Can gain an asset at the trade deadline. Don't know why he got an "A" though, if I am almost sure they are gonna trade him.

Cody Franson- Doesn't get any respect. Will flourish somewhere elseafter he gets traded and we will all regret it. Can get another asset once teams in the race start losing defenceman.

Carter Ashton- I have never been sold on him and was really upset when we lost Keith Aulie for him. I am guessing he will be an add on to another player as part of a package for someone else.

Joe Colborne
- Similar to Ashton, I don't know if he has it to make it to the bigs. He could be a #3 shutdown center if he was more physical, cuz he is big and skates alright. I hope he does make it but he will probably be a throw-in in a package for someone else.

I also think that at least 1 piece can be picked up in this draft, whether it is a #1 center or a shutdown #3 center. That would leave 2 pieces to get going forward.

Free agency could also net us a piece.

These 2 players that could change the whole team if they were traded. The assets they also would bring back, would set us up nicely for the future.

Phil Kessel- Game changing player and don't want to see him go. Unless Carlyle thinks he isn't a fit, should stay with the team and see what he can do once Nonis gets him a #1 center and take away some of the pressure on him. I think though, he could be in play around the deadline if the Leafs are bottoming out and he is giving Nonis reasons to think he won't re-sign.

Dion Phaneuf- Another player I don't want to see go, but he would also bring in a nice package, especially this year when defenceman are dropping like flies. Trading Dion would change the culture of the team and the team would be relying on a lot of young defenceman, we would also lose a 6.5 cap hit which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
I agree with most of what you wrote. The problem is that the only player on your list of availables that would garner a decent return is Grabo.

I`d simplifyy it even more and say we`ve got a nice core to build around in (in particular order) of Lupul, Kessel, JVR and Kadri at forward. On D we`ve got Phaneuf, Gardiner and Rielly.

Toronto needs to start clearing out the mid-range skilled players who have a cap hit at the very high end of what they bring to the table (or will have a cap hit at the very top end soon).

Trading Grabo this season at the deadline will be in the best long-term interest of the team. Grabo gets payed at the very top of what a player of his skillset brings. The cap is going down which means a lot of players should be available this off-season via trade for lower then the regular asking price and the free agency group looks good. Trade Grabo for say a 1st and even if we loss out on Getzlaf if we sign a guy like Weiss or Roy we`re still further ahead.

CMac also needs to be traded. Bozak also needs to be traded if he wants to be paid like a 1st-2nd liner. He is doing a good impression but he is Dominic Moore 2.0 and if he expects 3 mill or more then we need to trade him for whatever we can get.

Gunnarson and Kulemin are the best non-core assets we have that would bring back a significant return (aside from Grabo).

Kulemin is a UFA after next year. He is one of my favourite Leafs but we do have some nice depth at wing. No way we can afford to loss players to UFA status. Their is also the question if we retained him, how much would it be for and how much could we afford to further lock up at the wing position with Kessel, Lupul and JVR all having high salaries.

Gunnarson has really progressed in the last few seasons but teams overpay every single year at the deadline for D (witness Kaberle and Beauchemin deals). Gunnar will be looking for a significant raise probably somewhere in the 2.5 to 3.5 million range after this season. One position the Leafs have a lot of depth at moving forward is at left D with Gardiner, Rielly and Liles all natural lefties. Phaneuf shots left but has typically played the right side. Ranger if he ever decides to join us is a lefty and I`m confident could step right in and fill Gunnars spot. Finn is also a lefty.

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