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When will we be a contender?

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Old
07-07-2013, 12:26 PM
  #26
Rare Jewel
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Quote:
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.
Kessel?


For myself though it hinges on two things.

1. Goaltending

Specifically to Bernier as I see him as the more talented of the two; How will he develop? And if he does reach the potential some have pegged for him it should put us in a very good position. Reimer could be a good fall back option, But I think whether we become a legit contender in the next few years(around the centennial) will be on Bernier's play.

2. Centermen

The way the salary is structured it tells me the eventual goal is to have Kadri as the #1 center. Now a trade could change all that, But with Bozak signed long term and Bolland expected to be here for a few years, Kadri is the one that needs to take the next step.


While the defense on the current team needs bolstering, The long term core could be promising with Rielly, Finn, Percy, Granberg being added to players like Gardiner and Gunnarsson and Phaneuf if/when re-signed, So I'm not too worried about the defense at this point.

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07-07-2013, 12:27 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Rare Jewel View Post
Kessel?
Well he said 'destined to be 1st line players'. Kessel is already a 1st line player.

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07-07-2013, 12:28 PM
  #28
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If Nonis could trade Kessel and Gardiner to St. Louis for their RFA players Chris Stewart and Alex Pietrangelo then Leafs would have added a Norris trophy potential Dman and a rugged scoring winger with grit to replace Kessel.

Then deal JVR to Colorado who have an abundance of wealth at center and need winger(s) for Matt Duchene.. Then Leafs would have their young potential #1 center.

Moving your strength from the wings to higher priority positions like Center and Defense is the way to balance the Salary Cap when you're bumping up against it already, with gaping holes at key positions.

Suddenly your team is built like a Cup contender from the goalie out and not the wings in. Problem solved..

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07-07-2013, 12:30 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
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.
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.

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07-07-2013, 12:32 PM
  #30
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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 wouldn't.

Rielly should be better than any player we'll have the chance of drafting in the next two years and would rather offer sheet Pietrangelo in that case.

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07-07-2013, 12:32 PM
  #31
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The Leafs will be a true contender when they learn that the overwhelming majority of perennial winners (especially in a cap system) are built through the draft and NOT through free agency and/or 'blockbuster' trades...

Might wanna grab a Snickers on this one.

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07-07-2013, 12:35 PM
  #32
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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.
Mess....Rielly almost made the Leafs last year....I can not see him being sent back to play Jr this year as there is nothing left for him to prove or learn at that level. He is the player who would best Fit with Dion this year, maybe not to start the year but soon after Carlyle would see the benefits of this pairing and has been looking for a player to play with Dion who is a PMD who can skate. I would say he plays about 18 minutes a game with another D man being paired with Dion in key situations.

He stays this year and if not paired with Dion this year then next year.

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07-07-2013, 12:36 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
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.
To be fair though, in the regular season Kadri did put up points better than #1 C. Shortened season sure, but he was only 5 points from being in the top 5 among centres . He beat out the likes of Kopitar , Thornton , B.Richards ,Kraeci , Benn , M. Richards . Not saying he'll do it every year but its promising to see.

As for the topic at hand, we're not THAT far off. If we can acquire a guy who can take the pressure off Phaneuf we'd be pretty close. A legit #1 C would be ideal but if you have a good enough top 6 or 9, it could negate it although you'd rather have the #1C. We can compete , we showed that this season we just need to calm down in the final moments of a game

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07-07-2013, 12:37 PM
  #34
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hm. I don't know.
i mean, realistically, everyone would tell you no, no we are not. but then you look at all the teams that Cinderella it (and truthfully, they only get Cinderella'ed due to the fact they aren't seeds 1-4).

In the playoffs, you really need to have the odds in your favour, but you also need a wing and a prayer as well. anything can happen.

I think we stress so hard on what we don't have and lament what we do, we don't see the possibilities, of systems and luck and the like. For the most part, we've upgraded certain areas that we needed, we've added 3 cup rings, and another SFC finalist to the mix (as well as age and playoff games played).

I think we're the 4th-7th seed, and we make a run for it. I don't think we become a perennial favourite until we do get that mythical #1 centre or whatever, and like a lot of people said I don't think it's necessarily needed if we've GOT (and we do) really good centre depth. yes Bozak isn't what we wanted, but he gets the job done (and he was missed when we DIDN'T have him).

I am thinking by the time we celebrate 100 years, we'll be JUST about cooked. like cookies.

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07-07-2013, 12:37 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
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.
And this year's Conn Smythe winner was?

He brings up a good point, we're stacked on wing which can help make up.

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07-07-2013, 12:37 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
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.
Its a ridiculous notion to believe you can win or even contend for the Stanley Cup without an elite #1C....looking at the Cup winners since the last lockout..

06 CANES Brind'Amour Staal
07 DUCKS Getzlaf McDonald
08 WINGS Datsyuk Zetterberg
09 PENS Crosby Malkin
10 HAWKS Toews Sharp
11 BRUINS Krejci Bergeron
12 KINGS Kopitar Richards\Carter
13 HAWKS Toews Sharp

Yeah....centers dont matter.

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07-07-2013, 12:38 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Toad View Post
The Leafs will be a true contender when they learn that the overwhelming majority of perennial winners (especially in a cap system) are built through the draft and NOT through free agency and/or 'blockbuster' trades...

Might wanna grab a Snickers on this one.
Would you blow up the talent of the team and get the best pick positions and prospects available to you next year when the cap goes up?

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07-07-2013, 12:39 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
If Nonis could trade Kessel and Gardiner to St. Louis for their RFA players Chris Stewart and Alex Pietrangelo then Leafs would have added a Norris trophy potential Dman and a rugged scoring winger with grit to replace Kessel.

Then deal JVR to Colorado who have an abundance of wealth at center and need winger(s) for Matt Duchene.. Then Leafs would have their young potential #1 center.

Moving your strength from the wings to higher priority positions like Center and Defense is the way to balance the Salary Cap when you're bumping up against it already, with gaping holes at key positions.

Suddenly your team is built like a Cup contender from the goalie out and not the wings in. Problem solved..
If much rather keep Kessel and Gardiner. Also not sure if you're aware but Centers can play wing. Colorado is NOT giving anyone away

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07-07-2013, 12:40 PM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toad View Post
The Leafs will be a true contender when they learn that the overwhelming majority of perennial winners (especially in a cap system) are built through the draft and NOT through free agency and/or 'blockbuster' trades...

Might wanna grab a Snickers on this one.
Opening that can of worms again are we?

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07-07-2013, 12:40 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rare Jewel View Post
Kessel?

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Originally Posted by Hurt View Post
Well he said 'destined to be 1st line players'. Kessel is already a 1st line player.
Exactly. Kessel isn't going to improve the team he's already on it.

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07-07-2013, 12:42 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by diceman934 View Post
Mess....Rielly almost made the Leafs last year....I can not see him being sent back to play Jr this year as there is nothing left for him to prove or learn at that level. He is the player who would best Fit with Dion this year, maybe not to start the year but soon after Carlyle would see the benefits of this pairing and has been looking for a player to play with Dion who is a PMD who can skate. I would say he plays about 18 minutes a game with another D man being paired with Dion in key situations.

He stays this year and if not paired with Dion this year then next year.
When he played, who did Douggie Hamilton play with predominantly? Chara...

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07-07-2013, 12:43 PM
  #42
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If the cap is going up to 70m, this would strategically place any team willing to blow up at the greatest advantage as league wide some 180 million dollars are created from nothing.

Food for thought.

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07-07-2013, 12:43 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Toad View Post
The Leafs will be a true contender when they learn that the overwhelming majority of perennial winners (especially in a cap system) are built through the draft and NOT through free agency and/or 'blockbuster' trades...

Might wanna grab a Snickers on this one.
You are absolutely right. The best of the best have separated from the rest of the pack based on their own drafted and developed players.

The Leafs are no where close to being in a situation like that.

Till then....we will be mired in mediocrity, IMO.

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07-07-2013, 12:45 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by hockeyfanz View Post
Its a ridiculous notion to believe you can win or even contend for the Stanley Cup without an elite #1C....looking at the Cup winners since the last lockout..

06 CANES Brind'Amour Staal
07 DUCKS Getzlaf McDonald
08 WINGS Datsyuk Zetterberg
09 PENS Crosby Malkin
10 HAWKS Toews Sharp
11 BRUINS Krejci Bergeron
12 KINGS Kopitar Richards\Carter
13 HAWKS Toews Sharp

Yeah....centers dont matter.
You're looking at Getzlaf through 2013 eyes, it was his rookie season. Are Krejci and Bergeron #1 centres? Idk If I'd say they are but they're pretty dam good players regardless. I think thats kind of the mold the Leafs can take. Have very good depth down the middle to make up for the lack of a #1C

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07-07-2013, 12:49 PM
  #45
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You're looking at Getzlaf through 2013 eyes, it was his rookie season. Are Krejci and Bergeron #1 centres? Idk If I'd say they are but they're pretty dam good players regardless. I think thats kind of the mold the Leafs can take. Have very good depth down the middle to make up for the lack of a #1C
Bergeron and Krecji are better than any of our centers...quite easily.

Not all about point totals. Sure that is one important aspect of hockey....but preventing goals is just as important. Object of the game is to outscore the opponent after all. So that encompasses both offence and defence.

If Bergeron and Krecji are 8/10 in offence....the fact that they are 8/10 defensively suggests that they are amongst the best centers in the league.

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07-07-2013, 12:50 PM
  #46
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Originally Posted by hockeyfanz View Post
Its a ridiculous notion to believe you can win or even contend for the Stanley Cup without an elite #1C....looking at the Cup winners since the last lockout..

06 CANES Brind'Amour Staal
07 DUCKS Getzlaf McDonald
08 WINGS Datsyuk Zetterberg
09 PENS Crosby Malkin
10 HAWKS Toews Sharp
11 BRUINS Krejci Bergeron
12 KINGS Kopitar Richards\Carter
13 HAWKS Toews Sharp

Yeah....centers dont matter.
Pretty much all drafted and developed by the same team they won with. Interesting correlation.

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07-07-2013, 12:56 PM
  #47
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Pretty much all drafted and developed by the same team they won with. Interesting correlation.
That being said with the cap jumping to 70m, 180m new dollars does it make sense to ditch your Dion, Lupul, Kessel, Gunner, Bolland, Bozak and rebuild with the wealth of prospects and picks teams will suddenly become available after the upgrade and contend now mindset is there?

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07-07-2013, 01:00 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Toad View Post
The Leafs will be a true contender when they learn that the overwhelming majority of perennial winners (especially in a cap system) are built through the draft and NOT through free agency and/or 'blockbuster' trades...

Might wanna grab a Snickers on this one.
Well if you wanna go this route

Boston drafted - Krajci , Seguin , Marchand , Bergeron and Lucic

Boston acquired via trade or UFA - Thomas , Chara , Horton , Thornton , Boychuk , Kaberle , Ference , Paille , McQuaid , Campbell , Ryder , Seidenberg , Peverly and Kelly

They drafted well but they still signed or traded for a ton of players if not their 2 most important players in Chara and Thomas .

You can some what look at the Kings as well who got guys like Richards , Carter , Williams, Mitchell , Gagne, Penner , Greene , Stoll , Scuderi but they did draft Kopitar , Quick , and Brown but still.

This whole notion of "you HAVE to draft to win" is ridiculously blown out of proportion . Not saying you can win without it, but you need at least a nice blend

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07-07-2013, 01:01 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by theremedial View Post
Would you blow up the talent of the team and get the best pick positions and prospects available to you next year when the cap goes up?
Why not? I've been waiting my whole life haha...what's another 6-8 years to get into that contender category...

But seriously, look at what the Hawks got by picking 1st overall in 2007 and 3rd overall in 2006...not to mention Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Crawford, Saad, Shaw, and Bickell, all of whom they did not have to go out and get via trade, thus not giving up any future assets in the system.

The Leafs actually do have several good defensive prospects, so that area shouldn't be much of a concern. Goaltending prospects are more of a crap shoot, but drafting a few more can't hurt your chances. But mostly, the Leafs need better forward prospects, especially skilled ones. Plenty of bottom-six, energy/grinder/character guys, just need more with legit top 6 potential to replace some of the guys on the current roster once they begin to decline, as opposed to always giving up something of value (prospects/picks/whatever) to keep the perpetual cycle going.

They don't need to completely gut the roster, but the moves Nonis has made recently suggest that he believes this team is close to contending. I'm not sure I agree, but what do I know haha.

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07-07-2013, 01:02 PM
  #50
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That being said with the cap jumping to 70m, 180m new dollars does it make sense to ditch your Dion, Lupul, Kessel, Gunner, Bolland, Bozak and rebuild with the wealth of prospects and picks teams will suddenly become available after the upgrade and contend now mindset is there?
If it becomes clear that group of players can't get the job done...then clearing the slate is appropriate.

All the capspace that will become available more than likely just gets swallowed up by that core of players seeking raises on their current contracts...

Kessel, Reimer, Bolland, Phaneuf all need contracts next year.

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