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When will we be a contender?

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Old
07-07-2013, 01:39 PM
  #76
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That's not true at all.
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Originally Posted by SteveV View Post
Didn't come close to saying that.
But you're not saying much. Do you think Toronto is improving at a faster pace than the teams around them/behind them?

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07-07-2013, 01:47 PM
  #77
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But you're not saying much. Do you think Toronto is improving at a faster pace than the teams around them/behind them?
Why do we all assume everyone is improving? I don't think Boston is improved, for instance, after all the changes, and that's before you factor in the inevitable, like the giant regressing. Has Vancouver improved?

I'm optimistic about the Leafs, I think we are just entering our serious window and we picked up a lot of grit as well, goaltending is shored up, plenty of positive indicators. Who knows, but we look a team on the rise to me.

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07-07-2013, 01:52 PM
  #78
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Why do we all assume everyone is improving? I don't think Boston is improved, for instance, after all the changes, and that's before you factor in the inevitable, like the giant regressing. Has Vancouver improved?

I'm optimistic about the Leafs, I think we are just entering our serious window and we picked up a lot of grit as well, goaltending is shored up, plenty of positive indicators. Who knows, but we look a team on the rise to me.
We're talking about teams around us. Boston has been a juggernaut for quite a few years so even if they don't improve, they're still really good. Vancouver may have stepped back and their window may be closing but they've been good for a while, much better than the Leafs. Has Tampa improved? Detroit now as they're in our conference and division but finished around us points wise? Those are the teams we're going to be competing with for middle-of-the-pack playoff spots.

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07-07-2013, 01:53 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Drew75 View Post
Boston - 2011

They have 3 very good centres, rather a bonafide "elite" #1. I personally think that if you can't get that eliusive #1, this is the way to go. Have FANTASTIC depth down the middle, where you always have at 3 very good, two-way #2's.

We're not there yet though. I think Kadri can be a 1B, Bolland, & Bozak can be solid #3's who can step into the #2 role if needed. McClement is a great 3B / 4A guy who brings a ton of value to your team.

If we're looking at:

Kadri
?? (Someone at least as good as Kadri)
Bolland
McClement

We really need another great #2 guy to have sufficient depth to contend. Would I love an elite #1? Of course - but if can't, there are other options.
I'm probably higher on Gauthier than most but I think he has ALL the tools to be that elite selke caliber 2nd line centre. He is just going to need some time...

Kadri
Gauthier
Bolland
Mcclement

I think in 3-5 years time that is definitely going to be cup calibre centre depth down the middle. Bozak looks to be the stopgap for Gauthier until then. By then kadri, gauthier, rielly, bernier/reimer, kessel, jvr, gardiner, Finn, Percy, and others should also be in/approaching their prime and that is when I think we are going to be perrenial legit cup contenders.


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07-07-2013, 01:55 PM
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bomber0104 View Post
Right...

The Leafs are the only team in the league capable of improving.

The rest have closed their operations to allow the Leafs the time to catch up to them.
Apparently, according to these boards, the Leafs are the only team incapable of improving.

We should be building through the draft, but no prospect we draft has the potential to be the elite player we need.

We should be building through trades/FA, but the assets we have going out are apparently (almost) always better than the assets coming in.

Damned if we do, damned if we don't.

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07-07-2013, 02:02 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Hurt View Post
We're talking about teams around us. Boston has been a juggernaut for quite a few years so even if they don't improve, they're still really good. Vancouver may have stepped back and their window may be closing but they've been good for a while, much better than the Leafs. Has Tampa improved? Detroit now as they're in our conference and division but finished around us points wise? Those are the teams we're going to be competing with for middle-of-the-pack playoff spots.
Tampa, who knows. They lost their captain for nothing and St Louis is due to start falling back, he was amazing last year and they still stunk. We almost beat Boston,compare our off seasons and yes one could argue we have closed further. I don't think Ottawa is a terrific threat, ditto Montreal and Detroit may just be plateauing when you factor in some potential for tailing off with aging superstars. Is Buffalo better? The Islanders? Rangers? Washington? Don't really see any teams around us that scare e this offseason? We picked up a guy in Bolland everyone loves, the top free agent and another goalie that has intriguing potential. Input young kids with upside and we look formidable. Last year no one picked us to make playoffs, I predict this year everyone pencils us in, so that in and of itself suggests "on paper" progression.

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07-07-2013, 02:02 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Espher View Post
Apparently, according to these boards, the Leafs are the only team incapable of improving.

We should be building through the draft, but no prospect we draft has the potential to be the elite player we need.

We should be building through trades/FA, but the assets we have going out are apparently (almost) always better than the assets coming in.

Damned if we do, damned if we don't.
Is this some sort of persecution complex talking here?

My opinion is that there is no one single cut and dry way to improve a team.

Just have to make correct decisions and that varies from team to team, since they are all in unique situations.

As history has shown us...the Leafs have been making countless bad decisions for every good one they make (as evidenced by their record for the past ten years).

Perhaps the most recent batch of decisions are going to be better...but we still have to wait to see how it plays out. In my opinion, the only clear cut decision that was correct has been the Grabo buyout. The rest are going to be up to fate. Unfortunately none of us can predict the future.

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07-07-2013, 02:05 PM
  #83
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We're coming into that period of time when we can afford to trade 1st round picks and good prospects to make our team better. Our prospect pool is not massive yet but it's definitely getting there. We have the core pieces of our group set up:

Kessel, Lupul, van Riemsdyk, Kadri, Clarkson, McClement, Gardiner IMO are all core pieces of a contending team. Which doesn't leave us much nice things to trade away for good things.

I personnally think the defensive prospects in our system are top notch and will someday become studs. What we lack on D is a top 3-4 defensive D man who can play 1st or 2nd line. As for our #1 centre spot, It's impossible to trade for one. Stastny will NOT be a good solution in the long term. IMO, we have potential top 6 centres in our system (Kadri, Gauthier, Colborne). I'd rather build from within than trade tons of assets for an aging player. Kadri to me has potential to be a stud #1 centre.

MAYBE, in the future if all goes well:

Lupul - Kadri - Kessel
JVR - Gauthier - Clarkson
Kulemin - Bolland - McClement
Orr - Colborne - Ashton

Rielly - Top 3 defensive D
Gardiner - Gunnarsson
Percy - Finn

Bernier
Reimer

This maybe doesn't make us immediate cup favourites but it definitely gives us a solid chance.

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07-07-2013, 02:07 PM
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bomber0104 View Post
Is this some sort of persecution complex talking here?
No, it's more of a summary of the sentiment on the boards. If you comb through threads, our draft picks and prospects are always woefully inadequate, we give up too much for what we get in trades, we overpay in FA (ignoring the fact that some players are just temporary stopgaps, though I certainly agree we overpaid for what we got this year), and every other team realizes more improvement than we do -- even when that team happens to be one pissing away resources in grand fashion.

As you say, we can't predict the future, but everyone seems more than willing to predict that every decision made by our management is a bad one, while every other franchise in our division is going to be better.

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07-07-2013, 02:12 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by Espher View Post
No, it's more of a summary of the sentiment on the boards. If you comb through threads, our draft picks and prospects are always woefully inadequate, we give up too much for what we get in trades, we overpay in FA (ignoring the fact that some players are just temporary stopgaps, though I certainly agree we overpaid for what we got this year), and every other team realizes more improvement than we do -- even when that team happens to be one pissing away resources in grand fashion.

As you say, we can't predict the future, but everyone seems more than willing to predict that every decision made by our management is a bad one, while everyone else is going to be better.
If people's opinions give you such a headache...I suggest staying away from civilization at large....nevermind engaging in a discussion board about sports

My opinion is that the best analysis is one that makes the fewest assumptions...and that's something I've picked up working with engineers over the past few years.

In the NHL and its kumbaya/communist setup, I make very few inferences on who will do well or poorly in any given season. Too much parity.

However I do acknowledge that the shortened season could have a positive or a negative effect on the Leafs' outcome this year. Couple that with the somewhat significant roster moves that were made and I don't expect a dramatic fall, if any. I expect we should be fighting for the same general position. Not a division lead by any stretch...but the 5th-8th place range. It is doable...but the goal should be higher than that....i.e.....playoff round wins. I see a limit to growth in that sense.

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07-07-2013, 02:18 PM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bomber0104 View Post
If people's opinions give you such a headache...I suggest staying away from civilization at large....nevermind engaging in a discussion board about sports
If it gave me a headache, I wouldn't be here. These boards are always entertaining, in some capacity.

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My opinion is that the best analysis is one that makes the fewest assumptions...and that's something I've picked up working with engineers over the past few years.

In the NHL and its kumbaya/communist setup, I make very few inferences on who will do well or poorly in any given season. Too much parity.
I don't disagree with this stance, and it's one I take, but there are plenty of people here that do. The Leafs have realized gains in certain areas, as have other franchises, but without seeing how the product works together it's too early to make a call as to where they stand relative to the rest of the league. I do think we've made better gains than some of the teams in our division, but the new structure makes it tough to say if that will actually matter or if we'll be one of a couple of teams that end up just missing. The Leafs may have overachieved last year, but I'd argue the same holds true for just about every playoff-making team in our division from last year except for the Bs... and they took a big hit.

There's too much parity for me to say with confidence that any team is positioning themselves to be a perennial contender, especially as some old favourites are starting to decline, and it'll probably be tough for any of the teams in our division to be a perennial contender. I can say that, with the roster they have now, they are capable of being a contender in any given year... but that depends on what happens throughout the season.

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07-07-2013, 02:18 PM
  #87
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Those kinds of players don't fall from the sky or come cheaply...

That's what I'm trying to say.
You're right, but at one point Boston HAD to play them in order for them to be that good. You can light up juniors and the AHL all year long but if they're not getting called up to the big club we don't know what we have.

Colborne, Blacker , D'Amigo , Ashton , Biggs and Percy have some pretty good potential but if they don't get called up or get enough time then we may never know how good they can be. Guys like Krejci(63rd) , Marchand(71st) and Bergeron(45th) were guys not taken in the first round. Not every great player or top line player comes in the first round like many people believe. Not saying the Leafs prospects are going to be like them but you can try to replicate that success down the middle

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07-07-2013, 02:24 PM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Espher View Post
If it gave me a headache, I wouldn't be here. These boards are always entertaining, in some capacity.



I don't disagree with this stance, and it's one I take, but there are plenty of people here that do. The Leafs have realized gains in certain areas, as have other franchises, but without seeing how the product works together it's too early to make a call as to where they stand relative to the rest of the league. I do think we've made better gains than some of the teams in our division, but the new structure makes it tough to say if that will actually matter or if we'll be one of a couple of teams that end up just missing. The Leafs may have overachieved last year, but I'd argue the same holds true for just about every playoff-making team in our division from last year except for the Bs... and they took a big hit.

There's too much parity for me to say with confidence that any team is positioning themselves to be a perennial contender, especially as some old favourites are starting to decline, and it'll probably be tough for any of the teams in our division to be a perennial contender. I can say that, with the roster they have now, they are capable of being a contender in any given year... but that depends on what happens throughout the season.
The Leafs were pegged to be like dead last by virtually every media member last year. Made a fair amount of sense at the time. But didn't hold up when the puck dropped.

Same with the Senators for the past like 4 years.

New Jersey making it to the Cup Final in 2012...

I just don't bother anymore.

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07-07-2013, 02:27 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by KuleminFan41 View Post
You're right, but at one point Boston HAD to play them in order for them to be that good. You can light up juniors and the AHL all year long but if they're not getting called up to the big club we don't know what we have.

Colborne, Blacker , D'Amigo , Ashton , Biggs and Percy have some pretty good potential but if they don't get called up or get enough time then we may never know how good they can be. Guys like Krejci(63rd) , Marchand(71st) and Bergeron(45th) were guys not taken in the first round. Not every great player or top line player comes in the first round like many people believe. Not saying the Leafs prospects are going to be like them but you can try to replicate that success down the middle
I think you get a pretty good idea about a prospect when they make the jump from junior/college ranks to the pro ranks AHL/NHL, in terms of timetables and potential.

Personally I don't see a whole lot on the Marlies, save Morgan Rielly, that screams NHL 1st line / pairing potential.

But that can change when we see the next batch of junior players make the jump.

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07-07-2013, 02:50 PM
  #90
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All you got to do is make it to the playoffs, and you're a contender imo. Anything can happen Pittsburgh is always considered a contender yet their goaltending has been their soft spot for a while now. And they think they can get by with what they have, and imo it's proven they cant.

With the way the Hawks played this season I think everyone had them pegged as the favorites to win it this year. Boston went on a bit of a skid in the regular season at one stage and fell from grace, and after the Toronto series not many gave Boston the same kind of praise until they demolished the Rangers. Even then it wasn't until they put a strangle hold on the penguin series I feel they really started getting credit.

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07-07-2013, 03:50 PM
  #91
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All you got to do is make it to the playoffs, and you're a contender imo. Anything can happen Pittsburgh is always considered a contender yet their goaltending has been their soft spot for a while now. And they think they can get by with what they have, and imo it's proven they cant.

With the way the Hawks played this season I think everyone had them pegged as the favorites to win it this year. Boston went on a bit of a skid in the regular season at one stage and fell from grace, and after the Toronto series not many gave Boston the same kind of praise until they demolished the Rangers. Even then it wasn't until they put a strangle hold on the penguin series I feel they really started getting credit.
Thing is we are pretty good at predicting cup finalists now. Boston was a fav to win and won, LA was a fav and won (had mid season second thoughts by media but the start people were talking) Chicago was a fav, and won.

They don't even talk about the leafs being a playoff team. This year talking heads say we should be but just a wildcard team.

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07-07-2013, 07:40 PM
  #92
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I'm probably higher on Gauthier than most but I think he has ALL the tools to be that elite selke caliber 2nd line centre. He is just going to need some time...
If Gauthier reaches Jordan Staal status, I say put him straight onto that first line with JVR and Kessel. He'll need lots of time that's for sure but in 4 years Gauthier will be 22, Kessel will be 29 (turning 30), JVR will be 28 and most of the core will be just entering their prime. Could be a good time to add a centre like Gauthier into the mix.

That's one thing I think the management did a pretty good job of. Getting players of relatively the same age so that they can grow and hit their prime at the same time.

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07-07-2013, 07:41 PM
  #93
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Chicago's #1 center has his name on the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP and is considered one of the best players in the game today.. St. Louis Cup drought is as long as the Leafs from 1967 (expansion) until today.. Perhaps missing that top center is the reason they haven't won it.

Name the last Stanley Cup winner without elite Center(s), to prove your point..

Then count how many examples of that verses all the many teams that have #1 centers that hoisted the Cup in comparison.
They could have won this cup without him. He didnt do jack squat.

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07-07-2013, 07:44 PM
  #94
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We could go deep now, it's certainly possible. When would we be favorites? That could be at least 10 years away.

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07-08-2013, 09:10 AM
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We could go deep now, it's certainly possible. When would we be favorites? That could be at least 10 years away.
If this team scrapes into the PO and say exits early again, or worse fails to make it, would you move our senior core out for legitimate younger top end prospect talent and some extra picks or do we ride it out and try and add via FA etc and patch up holes and make small moves?

This means, Dion, Kessel, Bozak, Lupul, Gunner, Bolland (TDL if not in playoff race) Clarkson.

There are a lot of picks and prospects likely mentioned for the above players with the cap going up 180m league wide so the win now guys will be making moves.

Just curious.

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07-08-2013, 09:18 AM
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The Leafs have one of the better offenses in the league, if Reimer can play like he did last season the Leafs are a stud defensive defensemen away from being legitimate contenders IMO. If the Leafs could get that defensive guy to play on the top pairing with Phaneuf they'd be in great shape.

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07-08-2013, 09:39 AM
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The Leafs have one of the better offenses in the league, if Reimer can play like he did last season the Leafs are a stud defensive defensemen away from being legitimate contenders IMO. If the Leafs could get that defensive guy to play on the top pairing with Phaneuf they'd be in great shape.
If we could get Beauchemin back and Rielly is ready we could probably do some damage.

Dion, Beau, Rielly, Gard, Fran, Gunner doesn't look shabby on paper (not in order of pairings)

I could see this but at the C spot?

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07-08-2013, 09:42 AM
  #98
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If this team scrapes into the PO and say exits early again, or worse fails to make it, would you move our senior core out for legitimate younger top end prospect talent and some extra picks or do we ride it out and try and add via FA etc and patch up holes and make small moves?

This means, Dion, Kessel, Bozak, Lupul, Gunner, Bolland (TDL if not in playoff race) Clarkson.
Senior core? Can I list off the ages of this "senior" core?

Dion(28), Kessel(26), Bozak(27), Lupul(29), Gunner(26), Bolland(27), Clarkson(29)

You are aware that there are competing teams like Detroit who's core pieces are in the mid to late 30's, right? Our "senior" pieces are either just entering their primes, or are in it. I'd be more open to unloading the core if the core looked like it did in 2008, where half the players were upper 30's (or if our core looked like Calgary's this year).

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07-08-2013, 09:55 AM
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I seriously doubt any ability to be a contender beyond another rebuild. Toronto is lacking what cup contenders have had and that is incredible talent and cheap RFAs. Kessel is basically alone in the "annual all star" category and Toronto is backing itself into a corner with these contracts. To me Nonis tenure ends ultimately in another rebuild rather than a Stanley Cup.

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07-08-2013, 10:05 AM
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I seriously doubt any ability to be a contender beyond another rebuild. Toronto is lacking what cup contenders have had and that is incredible talent and cheap RFAs. Kessel is basically alone in the "annual all star" category and Toronto is backing itself into a corner with these contracts. To me Nonis tenure ends ultimately in another rebuild rather than a Stanley Cup.
Deep down I believe this, but partial rebuild. I want to believe otherwise though.

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