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When will we be a contender?

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Old
07-07-2013, 11:43 AM
  #1
thewave
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When will we be a contender?

I look at the numbers and I look at the players. I look at the moves and I look at the prospects. I look at the maturity of our D prospects and depth of out forwards. I fail to see the prime timings being in sync.

What would it take to make us a contender?

When do you think it can be done by?

How much extra cap space will it require to get the depth or what chips will we have to move?

Or are we a contender now with...

Bozak, Kadri, Boland, Mc, Colborne at C, a position nearly every last sports writer scout and GM says you must have strength at, and, Dion, Gardiner, Gunner, Franson, Liles and perhaps maybe Rielly on D, the next most mission critical position after G.

Your thoughts please.

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07-07-2013, 11:49 AM
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ULF_55
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Depends on definition of contender.

Favorite like Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles ...

As good as Rangers, Detroit, St. Louis, Vancouver ...

In the group with Islanders, Montreal, San Jose, Senators ...


I think it depends on van Riemsdyk, Kadri, Gardiner, Rielly.

Are these 4 players destined to be 1st. pairing, and 1st. line players? I think if they can be legitimate 1st. liners the team moves into the favorites group.

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07-07-2013, 11:53 AM
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thewave
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Originally Posted by ULF_55 View Post
Depends on definition of contender.

Favorite like Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles ...

As good as Rangers, Detroit, St. Louis, Vancouver ...

In the group with Islanders, Montreal, San Jose, Senators ...


I think it depends on van Riemsdyk, Kadri, Gardiner, Rielly.

Are these 4 players destined to be 1st. pairing, and 1st. line players? I think if they can be legitimate 1st. liners the team moves into the favorites group.
Does our group of D and C specifically stack up with Boston, Pits, Chi, LA, Det, Ottawa, Philly, Blues?

Be honest.

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07-07-2013, 11:59 AM
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Does our group of D and C specifically stack up with Boston, Pits, Chi, LA, Det, Ottawa, Philly, Blues?

Be honest.
It is in my previous post.

It depends on the growth of the players.

Obviously, the Leafs center depth doesn't compare with the current better teams, but you were asking when they'd be a contender. So that isn't asking if they were a contender this year. This year they made the playoffs. That was the first step.

Rielly is supposed to be an elite defender, perhaps as good as any the Leafs have ever had. But that isn't who he is today.

Gardiner was favorably compared to Letang last year at the same ages. If he does take that step to be as good as Letang, you could have a Leetch and Letang on the defense.

If Kadri becomes the first 32 games of the year player for 82 games and van Riemsdyk can live up to his draft position, the Leafs will be set there.

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07-07-2013, 11:59 AM
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I think we have one game changing prospect in Rielly, one full healthy year of Gardiner and Bernier giving us elite goaltending as the internal wildcards. Also, there is the question about team chemistry and what all the changes mean to the club next year.

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07-07-2013, 12:00 PM
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When our D matures or if Nonis can add a true stud Dman without giving up our core.

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07-07-2013, 12:01 PM
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We have two good scoring lines,a World class coach,pretty reasonable cap space with prospect of it going up.We have a good balance to the team as it sits.

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07-07-2013, 12:02 PM
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When our D matures or if Nonis can add a true stud Dman without giving up our core.
To land a stud d-man today would likely cost the potential future stud d-man in the system.

Is there a rush?

Is the Phaneuf-Kessel-Lupul window closing?

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07-07-2013, 12:02 PM
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07-07-2013, 12:02 PM
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Not until Leafs acquire a true proven #1 center and a top pairing dman before they will move into contender status for me.

That is what separates contenders from pretenders. "Strength down the middle and strong defense".

Perhaps Gardiner or Rielly develop into that 25+ minute top pairing dmen, only time will tell, but its not that time yet. In order to be a top pairing NHL Dman you have first play as one and successfully establish yourself, as its built on reputation not potential.

I'm sure Nonis is working on this, but he has only been on the job 6 months and Rome wasn't built in the day. Building from the goalie out is underway as step #1 with Bernier can be checked off the to-do list.

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07-07-2013, 12:03 PM
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Center depth is overrated. If you have good wingers you can make up for not having the best centers.

Look at Chicago, they have a #1C and a couple #3C's. Mind you their #1C, looked like a #3C in the playoffs this year. Look at St.Louis. They have a #2C and a bunch of tweeners.

My point being we needing elite centers to compete is a myth.

The problem that our team has is in the defense group. We are thin at the NHL level. depending on the development of Kadri, Rielly, Gardiner and other D prospects, we can be contenders sooner than you think.

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07-07-2013, 12:04 PM
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Non of this really matters, no1 can tell what this team will look like come playoffs time, all you need to do is get in, other teams can get injury bugs, cold streaks, lots of stuff like that, you just need to give yourself a chance to get in there and the rest will take care of itself, I think we have a team that can hang, and im rly looking forward to this season

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07-07-2013, 12:07 PM
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hmm lets see
leafs almost beat boston without bozak
prob would of bet em with bozak

boston went to finals
yeah i think the leafs are on their way soon

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07-07-2013, 12:07 PM
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I agree with both of you. Does anyone think it will take the moving of A bigger name such as Lupul or Dion to get the pieces needed?

Do we have the chemistry, you know like Boston has essentially a set of lines they run with all the time? Lupul JVR Bozak Kessel function well for sure. Kadri works with Lupul. Do you feel Clarkson finishes this line off? Can that line go toe to toe with another top line?

I will take the plunge and say it will be min 3 years and we may need to do partial blow ups of the team along the way. Not sure Lupul and Dion will be around at that time and age, maybe though.

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07-07-2013, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duffman955 View Post
Center depth is overrated. If you have good wingers you can make up for not having the best centers.

Look at Chicago, they have a #1C and a couple #3C's. Mind you their #1C, looked like a #3C in the playoffs this year. Look at St.Louis. They have a #2C and a bunch of tweeners.

My point being we needing elite centers to compete is a myth..
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.

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07-07-2013, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
I think we have one game changing prospect in Rielly, one full healthy year of Gardiner and Bernier giving us elite goaltending as the internal wildcards. Also, there is the question about team chemistry and what all the changes mean to the club next year.
Bernier is the key.....If he is elite then we are a major contender..Rielly is going to turn heads this year...I say he plays this year with the leafs and a long side Dion. Our D should not be a problem in the coming years.

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07-07-2013, 12:11 PM
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thewave
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Originally Posted by diceman934 View Post
Bernier is the key.....If he is elite then we are a major contender..Rielly is going to turn heads this year...I say he plays this year with the leafs and a long side Dion. Our D should not be a problem in the coming years.
I hope you are right on both accounts.

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07-07-2013, 12:17 PM
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I honestly think we're contenders. Only piece I'd add is a top 4 RHD. We play hard, I want to win games Columbus style not off raw skill.

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07-07-2013, 12:17 PM
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Burke said a 5 year plan, has Nonis said how long to right the ship?

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07-07-2013, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diceman934 View Post
Bernier is the key.....If he is elite then we are a major contender..Rielly is going to turn heads this year...I say he plays this year with the leafs and a long side Dion. Our D should not be a problem in the coming years.
Dion plays big minutes against all the other teams top players. Rielly being paired with Phaneuf would be put in that same position to begin his pro career as a top pairing dman.

Rielly wasn't even a top pairing dman on the Canadian junior U20 team back in January, nevermind a top pairing NHL dman. I think those expectations may occur in time, but next year seems unrealistic to me.. In fact I'm not even sure he is going to make the team this year, and might only get a look before being sent back to junior.

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07-07-2013, 12:20 PM
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i think we have 3 serious assets that can be dealt this year or next to upgrade the team

Reimer...sooner or later we will be riding Bernier and Reimer will bring a great return..

D someone good will be dealt as Reilly Granburg + graduate Phaneuf or Franson...another big return

Wild card....we deal a JVR/Lupol in a package for a #1.....

Free Agency next few years as cap rises and Toronto evolves into a contender we will be a very attractive destination unlike in the past do not discount a top name coming here to be part of it i think its a certainty next year

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07-07-2013, 12:22 PM
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thewave
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Dion plays big minutes against all the other teams top players. Rielly being paired with Phaneuf would be put in that same position to begin his pro career as a top pairing dman.

Rielly wasn't even a top pairing dman on the Canadian junior U20 team back in January, nevermind a top pairing NHL dman. I think those expectations may occur in time, but next year seems unrealistic to me.. In fact I'm not even sure he is going to make the team this year, and might only get a look before being sent back to junior.
Yeah I wasn't to keen on how Rielly was played in that tournament though.

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07-07-2013, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ULF_55 View Post
To land a stud d-man today would likely cost the potential future stud d-man in the system.

Is there a rush?

Is the Phaneuf-Kessel-Lupul window closing?
Would you move Rielly++ for Pietrangelo (hypothetically, if he were available from STL, if he wanted to come to Toronto etc.)? I would in a heartbeat.

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07-07-2013, 12:24 PM
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I don't see more than a perpetual 7-5 seed with this core. Maybe if we starting having luck in the draft. You need to get those Bergeron, Letang, Keith type guys in the second round and on, you really do.

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07-07-2013, 12:24 PM
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thewave
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Would you move Rielly++ for Pietrangelo (hypothetically, if he were available from STL, if he wanted to come to Toronto etc.)? I would in a heartbeat.
I second this.

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