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The Future of the Leafs (post lockout)

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01-17-2004, 08:19 AM
  #1
McFly
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The Future of the Leafs (post lockout)

Why are so many fans on here convinced that the Leafs of 2005 and on will be so poor and be rebuilding? Sure that is a possibilty, but I think there are other possibilities that are more likely.

Toronto will still have money. Just like the last 4 years, they will use free agency to fill holes here and there when possible. Keep in mind there are alot of contracts expiring this June, therefore more free agents than usual. Eric Lindros is definately a possibilty to fill in at centre.

There may be a salary cap, but there may not be. If there is, it won't be as low as $30 million. There are alot of big money players who won't be here next year. That will leave the Leafs with room in the budget.

Also, we have some good young players who may be ready to step into the lineup next season, including Steen, Colaiacovo and Hedin (not yet impact players, but good to have nonetheless). Also there are players who are ready to take on a bigger role such as Ponikarovsky, Stajan, Berg, and **Antropov. I'm not saying these players are going to keep us Cup contenders, but the Leafs could be a team who squeezes into the playoffs and remains competitive. I think a possible salary cap and free agency will determine how competitive the Leafs will be next year.

Lets see who probably wont be a Leaf after this season...

Nieuwendyk ($3m)
Roberts ($4m)
Belfour ($6.5 - I can't see his option being picked up)
Reichel ($3m)
Renberg ($2m)(could resign)
Fitzgerald ($1)(could resign)
**Antropov (we'll see by March 9th)
-That leaves some big holes to fill, in net, and at centre and LW.

I'm not saying the Leafs will sign a bunch of free agents to fill all their holes and stay a contender. But they could sign a couple of good players. These are the more noteable UFA's this summer. Players the Leafs should target are bold.

Keith Carney
Glen Murray
Brain Rolston
Alexei Zhitnik
Craig Conroy
Teemu Selanne
Matthieu Schnieder
Tomas Holmstrom
Kris Draper
Jaroslav Modry
Zigmund Palffy
Eric Lindros
Alexei Kovalev
Daniel Alfredsson
Keith Primeau
Mark Recchi
Chris Osgood
Mike Rathje

Lindros could fill the gap at centre, Rolston could try to fill a hole at LW and Osgood is a possibilty in net. However I'd be uncomforable with Osgood playing behind a weak defense. They could make a trade for Khabibulin if he again falls out of favour in Tampa Bay.

So in 2005 you have a potential lineup of:

Rolston - Sundin - Mogilny
Ponikarovsky - Lindros - Nolan
Stajan - Steen - Antropov
Tucker - Druken - Domi

McCabe - Kaberle
Klee - Berg
Colaiacovo - Pilar

Osgood
Tellqvist

I'd say that's not a bad group of players at all. The most difficult thing will be to fill the hole left by Roberts on the LW. Rolston is a long shot, but I'm sure JFJ will manage something.

The biggest factor on what our 2005 group will be like rests on what JFJ does at the 2004 trade deadline. So some of this could change, but not too much.

The Leafs of the future won't be too bad IMHO. Not Cup contenders, but still a competitive team that will be fun to watch. GO LEAFS GO


Last edited by McFly: 01-17-2004 at 08:22 AM.
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Old
01-17-2004, 03:03 PM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McFly_GoLeafsGo
Lets see who probably wont be a Leaf after this season...

Nieuwendyk ($3m) ---------------------------------- I think he'll be back ($2M)
Roberts ($4m) ---------------------------------------likewise for Roberts ($2M)
Belfour ($6.5 - I can't see his option being picked up)--I agree
Reichel ($3m)----------------------------------------gone
Renberg ($2m)(could resign)--------------------------gone
Fitzgerald ($1)(could resign)--------------------------likely gone
**Antropov (we'll see by March 9th)------------------he'll still be with TO
-That leaves some big holes to fill, in net, and at centre and LW.

So in 2005 you have a potential lineup of:

Roberts- Sundin - Mogilny
Ponikarovsky - Nieuwendyk - Nolan
Stajan - Steen - Antropov
Tucker - Druken - Domi

McCabe - Kaberle
Klee - Berg
Colaiacovo - Pilar

Osgood
Tellqvist

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Old
01-17-2004, 05:34 PM
  #3
Vincent_TheGreat
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Lindros has stated numerous times he will take enormous pay cuts to play for Toronto. I can't wait to see him next year in White and Blue.

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Old
01-17-2004, 06:21 PM
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I find the prospect of a young GM eager to make his mark here intriguing.

With all the players that will be available, the Leafs could build themselves quite the team.

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Old
01-17-2004, 06:29 PM
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p.l.f.
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it could be a different ballgame with salary caps

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Old
01-17-2004, 06:33 PM
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I'd rather play Tellqvist over Osgood.

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01-17-2004, 07:16 PM
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A.J. ¹
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How come Domi isn't mentioned as not returning? He'll be an UFA on July 1st just like the other guys that have been mentioned.


Anyways, here's how I see the team make-up come next season without signing any UFA's that are not our own, tho we probably will sign some....

Left-Wing
Gary Roberts
Darcy Tucker
Alexei Ponikarovsky
Nathan Perrott

Centre
Mats Sundin
Nik Antropov
Matt Stajan
Tom Fitzgerald

Right-Wing
Alexander Mogilny
Owen Nolan
Harold Druken
Josh Holden
Wade Belak

Defense
Tomas Kaberle
Bryan McCabe
Ken Klee
Aki Berg
Pierre Hedin
Karel Pilar
Carlo Colaiacovo

Goaltenders
Mikael Tellqvist
??

Leafs line-up excluding any incoming UFA additions....

Roberts - Sundin - Ponikarovsky
Tucker - Antropov - Mogilny
Druken - Stajan - Nolan
Perrott - Fitzgerald - Holden

Spares: Belak

Kaberle - McCabe
Colaiacovo - Klee
Berg - Hedin/Pilar

Tellqvist
??

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Old
01-17-2004, 07:19 PM
  #8
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My one prediction... Eric Lindros will sign with Toronto.

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01-17-2004, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go pierre hedin
My one prediction... Eric Lindros will sign with Toronto.
I second that

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01-17-2004, 07:29 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go pierre hedin
My one prediction... Eric Lindros will sign with Toronto.
i 3rd that :]

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Old
01-17-2004, 07:59 PM
  #11
Mike1
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Originally Posted by EMC
How come Domi isn't mentioned as not returning? He'll be an UFA on July 1st just like the other guys that have been mentioned.
We can only hope he isn't returning. Belak can be the enforcer,hell he is the enforcer already.

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01-17-2004, 10:39 PM
  #12
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There may be a salary cap, but there may not be. If there is, it won't be as low as $30 million. There are alot of big money players who won't be here next year. That will leave the Leafs with room in the budget
First the cap won't be up around 40-50 million. Ten teams in the NHL aren't even at 35 million, you can't TELL those teams they have to add 20 million in salary. A 31-35 million dollar cap is what the league will realisticly be looking at. That leaves the Leafs around 9-13 million dollars to fill 14 roster spots (going into 2005 they'll have 8 players undercontract, and owe them 22.7 million). Second, if they are able to add some free agents, what will that get them? 1, maybe 2 competive years before Sundin is really finished and past his prime? And then they will need to find that new Franchise player, and unless they get really lucky, either through trades or drafting, they'll have to drop in the rankings to get one.

Also Colaiacovo won't be the only Leaf defensive prospect ready by 2005. Kondratiev already showed he was good enough to make the NHL, so thats two. And theres a very good chance both Bell and Harrison will be NHL ready. Thats 2-4 possible rookie D-men, not something competive teams have. Add that to the fact that they wil lmost likley have Kidd and/or Tellqvist as their starter..... not looking like a playoff goalie/defense team. Oh and a lot of the top players on that list you made, won't be UFA's, their teams won't let them leave.

Quote:
but the Leafs could be a team who squeezes into the playoffs and remains competitive
Why would you even want that? If you're just squeezing into the playoffs all you're getting is a most likely early exit and a higher draft pick then if you missed them. Floating around the 8th spot is NOT where you should want to see the Leafs after this season. Either at the top contending for a cup, or at the bottom building is where you should want to see them.

Quote:
Not Cup contenders, but still a competitive team that will be fun to watch
If they aren't contenders whats the point? If a team isn't a conder or building for their future then its just "jerking off". I don't think having a team like the Islanders or the Rangers would be fun to watch at all - not winning and not going anywhere.

Quote:
I can't wait to see him next year in White and Blue
Why wouldn't you want to see him in White and Blue THIS year when he can help them win?

Quote:
I find the prospect of a young GM eager to make his mark here intriguing
Because of that I think Ferguson will want to build a "new" Leafs team, HIS leafs team. Bring in the young star players through the draft and build HIS team from the ground up. When he was hired they had some people who worked with and knew on Leafs Lunch, and all said he was more of a develop your own talent guy then get UFA's guy.

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Old
01-18-2004, 06:30 AM
  #13
McFly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluggo
Why wouldn't you want to see him in White and Blue THIS year when he can help them win?
Because we don't believe he fits in with the current lineup or dressing room makeup. He's a centre, we already have 4, plus at least 2 who are playing wing. The Leafs also don't need the distraction of "the big Eric Lindros trade".

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01-18-2004, 07:10 AM
  #14
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Because we don't believe he fits in with the current lineup or dressing room makeup. He's a centre, we already have 4, plus at least 2 who are playing wing. The Leafs also don't need the distraction of "the big Eric Lindros trade".
I don't think he's be a lockerroom problem, and theres more then enought leaders in the Leafs lockerroom to handle another playing coming in. Lindros can also play RW, but you can NEVER have to many centers. Say you put him on a line with Nieuwendyk, when Nieuwendyk gets thrown out of the faceoffs you have a experienced, good face-off man right there to take them. And if this team can't couldn't handle a "big trade", and something like that would throw them off their game then they have NO chance of winning a cup. Lindros is TEN TIMES more valubale to the Leafs this year then he will be in 2 years, and if they want him and hes avaible no tis the time to get him.

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