I cant see O'Rielly being dealt and then holding out again. Not to mention being in Toronto hes close to home so that should be added incentive. Although i love Gardiner as a player there is no denying that he has less to equal value in relation to a normal, not holding out O'Rielly so its a good way to take advantage of a poor situation. In addition to that McBain can be a suitable replacement and considering Carolinas abundance of D and need for a #3C who is strong on the dot the deal is likely to be there. Im considering the need for both teams, and a way to upgrade the line-up without losing valuable pieces without replacement.
If they can trade someone like Mac, then Komarov moves up to take his spot with Grabo/Kulemin.
I'm not a huge fan of Liles, although I do think his skating abilities might be missed more dearly once we aren't flying high. I just don't know if Nonis trades a veteran like Liles half a season into his four year extension that includes a limited NTC.
I'm hoping Bozak/Franson/? get traded for ROR. Except for faceoffs I think Kessel can become that elite center we've all been hoping for. Grabo has never been much of a passer nor is he a player that can make his linemates better, he has the talent and contract to stay in the top 6.
I think it's important to have a defensively concious 3rd line that can contribute offensively. The Grabo line as a defensive line just doesn't do it for me. I would also like to move Kule but an overpaid 1 goal scorer is just not that marketable.
Muscle for muscle's sake just doesn't make my ideal realistic team but Orr and McLaren can be used as fill.
Any Leaf team that doesn't include Gardiner just doesn't make sense to me, are people already forgetting how good this guy could be, the minors is not the right place for him.
Only big move I see is Mac being traded mid-March when Lupul comes back, aside from that, only injuries will create any real changes to the roster before the draft. Can also see Connolly being moved for a 3rd with us eating half his remaining cap.