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45 candidates for Toronto's top line centre position...

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07-06-2012, 11:52 PM
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King William
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45 candidates for Toronto's top line centre position...

I posted this on the Toronto forum but I'd like feedback from other fanbases.

This is my run-down and thoughts on which centres Brian Burke may/may not be targeting for that #1 centre spot...

Possibly:

Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim) - May test the market as an UFA in 2013, leading Anaheim to shop him at some point between now and trade deadline.

Paul Stastny (Colorado) - Duchene will be (paid as) their #1 centre by 2014. Joey Hishon is coming up as well. Stastny will be an UFA and likely walks, not taking a paycut to play as the Avs' #2 centre.

Patrick Marleau (San Jose) - No real reason for the Sharks to move Marleau... unless they make a serious run at Rick Nash. They have about $6.5M left on the cap and Nash is at $7.8M. The Sharks also need to plug some holes and have two very competent #2 centres (Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture).

Unlikely:

Patrick Sharp (Chicago) - Chicago has shopped him in the past couple years but it appears that they've got the perfect #1 centre in Jonathan Toews and the perfect #3 centre in Dave Bolland. Sharp seems to fit in well as the #2C in Chicago and at a fair cap hit of $5.9M. Chicago is no longer in cap hell, unless they go out and try to make expensive upgrades in net or on the wing.

Colin Wilson (Nashville) - Spent some time in dog house in Nashville. It appears Burke is in love with him and may feel Wilson may eventually do well as a top 2 centre. He's also been moved over to the wing at times. Though at some point Wilson may play for Brian Burke, it's unlikely he's ready to be thrown into the limelight and labelled as the #1C for the Toronto Maple Leafs right now.

Patrik Elias (New Jersey) - Listed as a centre but also versatile enough to play the wing. Elias has a heavy cap hit of $6M for 1 more year before becoming an UFA. The departure of Parise really leaves Elias' future in NJ in doubt. Though, NJ is a top notch organization and players love playing for Lou. Will Elias be dealt before the trade deadline if the Devils find themselves out of playoff contention?

Travis Zajac (New Jersey) - The top centre for the Devils when he's healthy. An outstanding two-way player with 1 year left until UFA status. Now with Zach Parise out of Jersey, is it possible that Zajac hints at moving on, or will Lou locked him up to a long-term deal? It's a viable option, given the Maple Leafs have the assets Lou would demand in return. Also, given that the Devils look to actively move Zajac.

Joe Pavelski (San Jose) - Unlikely to be dealt as he's younger and cheaper ($2.9M cheaper) than Marleau. If the Sharks are in situation where they acquire Rick Nash and his $7.8M, Pavelski either goes to Columbus or they keep him and Marleau becomes expendable.

Patrick Berglund (St. Louis) - Has quite a bit of work to do but he has that big Swedish centre aura around him. Very gifted player with good two-way game. Berglund has apparently been used sparingly on the wing but he is the #2 centreman in St. Louis. It would take a good hockey trade to acquire Berglund from the Blues as it would leave a hole down the middle of their lineup. Backes is the undisputed #1 centre on that team, so you would think that any trade involving Berglund would have to include a solid #2 centre and other assets going back to Missouri.

Very unlikely:

David Krejci/Patrice Bergeron (Boston) - At some point you would expect that Boston will move one of these two players, since they're similar in age and will each command $5.5M+ when they hit UFA status in 2015 and 2016. The Bruins have the option of moving Seguin back to centre, permanently.

Derick Brassard (Columbus) - Very talented centre with skill and at one point a upper echelon prospect. You would think that Columbus wants to hang onto their younger talent who may line up as the #1C, barring anyone better coming back to the Blue Jackets in the Rick Nash trade.

Ryan Johansen (Columbus) - Very young power forward that lines up at centre for the Blue Jackets. He's the prototypical Brian Burke centre but is stuck in Ohio. With everything that is happening with Scott Howson, Rick Nash and the Blue Jackets, I find it unlikely that they move their promising centre. It would go against what they're trying to do in Columbus. Johansen is also very young and not ready to play a #1C role in Toronto.

Derek Roy (Dallas) - Recently acquired, it's very unlikely the Stars move the only real #1 calibre centre on their roster.

Stephen Weiss (Florida) - Though he could realistically be traded as an upcoming UFA, it's hard to believe he's much of an upgrade over Tyler Bozak and Burke recognizes this. Weiss is a 2nd line centre who has been playing 1st line minutes in Florida.

Mikko Koivu (Minnesota) - Now with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in Minny, it seems very unlikely (borderline impossible) to see the Wild move Koivu. But you have to think that the one thing that gets Chuck Fletcher contemplating it would be to waive Jake Gardiner+ in exchange for the stud #1 centre.

David Legwand (Nashville) - Not much of an upgrade over Tyler Bozak, offensively. Also, he seems to be a long time Predator and a fan favourite. It would make no sense in moving him to Toronto and less sense for Toronto to give up the assets it would take to get him.

Jason Spezza (Ottawa) - There is really no reason for the Sens to move him but there has been speculation in the last couple years that they've shopped him. Senators have Mika Zibanejad coming as a centre and Kyle Turris developing well as a top 2 centre. They could feasibly move Spezza for a handsome return which could include a player the Senators apparently think highly of (Nazem Kadri), as well as a few other picks and prospects.

Sean Couturier (Philadelphia) - Very unlikely that Toronto can ante-up the assets it would take to get Couturier out of the Flyers organization.

Martin Hanzal (Phoenix) - Phoenix really like their big two-way centre, even though he hasn't managed to put up impressive stats and likely won't end up being much more than a 50-60 point centre. Hanzal is a #1 centre in Phoenix and a #2 centre on most teams. His ceiling isn't as high as other guys in his age range but he's a valuable player to have.

Antoine Vermette (Phoenix) - Very unlikely that Burke tries to land Vermette with #1C in mind, since he's not one.

Andy McDonald (St. Louis) - One more year left on his contract ($4.7M cap hit) for the Blues. Has been hit by the injury bug, but has been very productive when in the line-up. Burke has a history with McDonald while with the Anaheim Ducks. The St. Louis Blues will trade him between now and the deadline as his next contract will be a 35+ deal and they're not going to commit $4M+ to an expendable asset. Also, a note-worthy point that has been raised by St. Louis fans is that McDonald has not played centre on a regular basis since his arrival in Missouri. Due to concussion issues, McDonald has been a regular on the wing, despite being a natural centreman in past years.

David Backes/TJ Oshie (St. Louis) - It's very unlikely that St. Louis moves their stud/captain. Much like Backes, it would take a hefty return to acquire Oshie, since he is a significant part of their core. Oshie is listed as a centre but has been a winger for the Blues and played mostly the wing throughout college in North Dakota.

Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay) - Once a dominant player in the NHL, now he's a #2 centre in Tampa and struggles to stay healthy. If he was on a cap hit near $6M for 3-4 more years, Lecavalier would have value on the market. But at $7.7M until July 1st, 2020, he has negative value and will not be traded barring a miraculous comeback.

Ryan Kesler (Vancouver) - He had a down year as the #2 centre, but at $5M, he's getting paid as much as Tim Connolly. So I don't think the Canucks are panicking and in dire need to move him. Especially not to Burke and Toronto.

Mike Ribeiro (Washington) - New acquisition who is expected to play 2nd line centre behind Backstrom. Very unlikely to be worth what the Capitals are likely to demand from Toronto. He fits in well with their team and organization.

Nearly impossible:

Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit)
Brayden Schenn (Philadelphia)
Logan Couture (San Jose)

Impossible:

Eric Staal (Carolina)
Jordan Staal (Carolina)
Jonathan Toews (Chicago)
Matthew Duchene (Colorado)
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton)
Mike Richards (Los Angeles)
Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles)
John Tavares (NY Islanders)
Brad Richards (NY Rangers)
Claude Giroux (Philadelphia)
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh)
Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh)
Joe Thornton (San Jose)
Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay)
Henrik Sedin (Vancouver)
Nicklas Backstrom (Washington)


Last edited by King William: 07-07-2012 at 12:52 AM.
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Old
07-06-2012, 11:56 PM
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As a Devils fan I feel insulted that you did not include Travis Zajac. Especially considering he is a free agent next year.

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07-06-2012, 11:57 PM
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King William
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redarmynative View Post
As a Devils fan I feel insulted that you did not include Travis Zajac. Especially considering he is a free agent next year.
A mere oversight.

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07-06-2012, 11:57 PM
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I like the explanation for Vermette.

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07-06-2012, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redarmynative View Post
As a Devils fan I feel insulted that you did not include Travis Zajac. Especially considering he is a free agent next year.
Zajac isnt a #1 center

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07-06-2012, 11:59 PM
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bleedblue1223
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Blues won't trade any of the listed. McDonald definitely won't be traded as you say he will be. Info in Berglund description is not correct as well.


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07-07-2012, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redarmynative View Post
As a Devils fan I feel insulted that you did not include Travis Zajac. Especially considering he is a free agent next year.
As a Leafs fan, I wouldn't want Zajac as our #1 centre. Honestly, unless another PROVEN #1 centre becomes available, the only option I see so far is Getzlaf.

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07-07-2012, 12:02 AM
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I'd say Marleau would be either in the unlikely or in the impossible category. He has a NMC and loves it here in no-pressure San Jose. I see no reason for him to waive it to go to hockey-mad Toronto.

Also, put Logan Couture in the impossible/forget-about-it category.

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07-07-2012, 12:05 AM
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Burke won't make a big trade unless he's robbing someone, and unless any of the above mentioned are made super redundant on their team I can't imagine the Leafs getting any of them.

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07-07-2012, 12:05 AM
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Two moves I believe the Leafs should have been on were Ribero and Roy.

Toronto could have easily offered up close to the value Washington paid for Ribero. A centre prospect and a 2nd round pick. Roy was had for a cheaper tweener and a depth Dman.

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07-07-2012, 12:06 AM
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The odds of Spezza or Bergeron going to Toronto are lower than the odds of Maurice Richard making a comeback.

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07-07-2012, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mika Zibanejad View Post
A mere oversight.
Apology accepted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlamesFan18 View Post
Zajac isnt a #1 center
Quote:
Originally Posted by MapleLeafs9 View Post
As a Leafs fan, I wouldn't want Zajac as our #1 centre. Honestly, unless another PROVEN #1 centre becomes available, the only option I see so far is Getzlaf.
Am I reading this right? Zajac is better than half of the centers on that list.

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07-07-2012, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Redarmynative View Post
Am I reading this right? Zajac is better than half of the centers on that list.
Maybe a few but half I doubt it which ones?

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07-07-2012, 12:14 AM
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Get ready to have everyone come in here and say their centers are untouchable.

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07-07-2012, 12:15 AM
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Draft your own #1C

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07-07-2012, 12:16 AM
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Andrew Ladd is a LW not a C

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07-07-2012, 12:18 AM
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Maybe a few but half I doubt it which ones?
Pavelski, Brassard, Johansen, Legwand, Schenn, Couturier, Vermette, Hanzal, Wilson, Weiss, Lecavlier, Oshie, and Ladd.

I would take Zajac before all of these players based on current hockey skill alone but of course when you factor in age, cap hit, etc. its a different story.

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07-07-2012, 12:18 AM
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Why only 45?
There's an active amount of at least 120 playing in the NHL with a stretch to 150...so you narrowed it down to 1/3 of the active NHL centres?

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07-07-2012, 12:19 AM
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Spezza is in the "Unlikely" Really? Just the "Unlikely"..? Believe me, if we were to trade him to Toronto, it would start with...errr....uhhh... Who do you guys have that we need? I'm being serious. If we trade Spezza, our biggest need becomes first line center and Leafs have no inciting anything to make us rely on Zibanejad and Turris.

Also, LOL! Why the hell would we want Kadri. He'd be our 3rd/4th best center.

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07-07-2012, 12:21 AM
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No fans want to trade their centers. Slowly but surely fans of every single team will come here and say why their center belongs in the impossible category.

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07-07-2012, 12:22 AM
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Spezza is in the "Unlikely" Really? Just the "Unlikely"..? Believe me, if we were to trade him to Toronto, it would start with...errr....uhhh... Who do you guys have that we need? I'm being serious. If we trade Spezza, our biggest need becomes first line center and Leafs have no inciting anything to make us rely on Zibanejad and Turris.

Also, LOL! Why the hell would we want Kadri. He'd be our 3rd/4th best center.
he's talking about the time murray trolled burke to get cowen.

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07-07-2012, 12:23 AM
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w e l o s t b o y s
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I thought Pat Kane centered the 2nd line last year?

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07-07-2012, 12:25 AM
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Sharp is in the very unlikely to impossible category.

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07-07-2012, 12:27 AM
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King William
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Added Travis Zajac, Patrik Elias and Logan Couture.

Removed Andrew Ladd.

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07-07-2012, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mika Zibanejad View Post
Patrick Berglund (St. Louis) - Much younger option than McDonald but also stuck behind 3 other natural centremen in St. Louis (David Backes, TJ Oshie and Alexander Steen). Has quite a bit of work to do but he has that big Swedish centre aura around him. Very gifted player with good two-way game. Berglund has apparently been used on the wing but his natural position is centre.
McDonald, Oshie, and Steen are wingers. They have fit there much better for years. McDonald and Steen might see center duty this year, but Berglund has never played wing. Even at the odd times when he gets a shift with Backes late in the game, Berglund is at center. With as inaccurate as this is, I'm surprised you know he has a good two-way game.

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