I'm convinced Kabs get traded for a young centre ... so I'd go with:
Hagman - Young Centre - Tlusty
Poni - Grabs - Kulemin
Stepniak - Stajan - Blake (in what I call gone by trade deadline line )
Stuart - Mayer - Orr
Mitchell And when the entire 3rd line is traded - we promote:
Hanson - Bozak - Stalberg
Schenn - Komisarik
MVR - Stralman
Exelby - White
To me Jeff Finger deserves the top-6 over XLB... He plays a solid, reliable, two-way game and is a steadying presence on the blue-line. As of now our D is stacked with NHL ready players however their success all depends on how well they mesh together. Nothing against Garnet, I love the guy, but there simply is not room for him at this moment. 1 D-man (kaberle, white, van ryn) needs to be dealt. Even Stralman and Frogren, two capable guys should deserve more of an opportunity than this. Personally I trade Tomas Kaberle for forwards and hope for the best. We really didn't miss a beat when he was gone last year, and I think we had one of our best stretches without him.
But if nothing changes...
White Van Ryn
looks like a pretty solid d-core, with Exelby, Stralman & Frogren ready to pounce
Roll top two if not three lines as scoring lines. 4th line looks good for checking duty. Hopefully some of the kids impress and Stemp finds his game. I was surprised to see he had 44 points last season the way he gets ragged on. Hopefully he finds himself this year and becomes useful. I'd like to see Hagman on that third line ideally.
He was the Leafs' leading scorer in the 1963–64, 1966–67 and 1969–70 seasons, and the team's top goal scorer in 1970–71 and 1972–73. Keon was considered one of the fastest skaters in the NHL, and one of the best defensive forwards of his era. He would usually play against the opposing team's top centre, and developed a reputation for neutralizing some of the league's top scorers. In 1970–71, he scored eight shorthanded goals, setting an NHL record.
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Niklas Hagman - Matt Stajan - Jason Blake
Jiri Tlusty - Tyler Bozak - Lee Stempniak
Colin Stuart - John Mitchell - Colton Orr
Tomas Kaberle - Luke Schenn
Ian White - Mike Komisarek
Garnett Exelby - Mike Van Ryn
As it stands right now, barring now trades until the beginning of the season.
Looks about right.... accept Mayers will definitely not be the odd man out, people underrate him, alot... when he more than likely is a fan favorite of Burke's and is currently the closest thing to a Burke type role model on this young roster.
Komisarek flourished with Markov and self destructed without him. With that being said, I think plan A for Burke is getting Komisarek's confidence back so I expect him to be paired with Kaberle. I think Tlusty or Stralman could be used as bait to land a 1st line NA , if not I'll go out on a limb...
Stajan I'd imagine is almost definitely gone, I believe that Moore is still in the cards considering he's nearly a Marchant clone and has some Pahlsson characteristics, the fact that he was a warrior in the Blue and White, is a bonus. I think Maholtra/Moore are alternatives to eachother, not sure whose Plan A though. Mitchell... I think will get a chance on a scoring line, probably a winger due to our C depth, Bozak I'd guess will get a chance as the #2 pivot.... I think the management is indifferent in terms of Stempniak, one side probably wants to give him another chance, the other might want to try someone new, and rid themselves of his contract while their might be some interest. The fact that he forechecks, hits and has 2-way ability and is American makes me think Burke will hang onto him. I do think that Burke wants to make a big change, like he did with the D, to not only put his own stamp, but to also change the makeup a bit from last season. Adding some sand paper/size to the top 6/9 is a definite must. I think Hagman is on the market, his 4 PIM isn't going to impress Burke.
Ponikarovsky Grabovski Kulemin
Tlusty Bozak Stempniak
Blake Moore Mitchell
Stuart Mayers Orr
EX Van Ryn/Oreskovic/Stralman
Trade Possibilities for top 6 help: Tlusty (least likely)/Stempniak/Van Ryn/Stralman/Stajan/Ponikarovsky/Hagman...
Wanted: Young or experienced (27-30 range) top 6 forward, someone likely to score, with testosterone and leadership capabilities.
I'm very excited to see this AHL team, they could be very exciting to watch the first two lines, all our new prospects will give Tlusty some company so that he knows that he isn't our only hope (in lamens terms take some pressure off of him and make him more comfortable). The two players I'm the most excited to see are Gunnarson and Stefanovitch. But all in all, the young guys should be able to log the big minutes, and with Burky's goons patrolling the 4th line our prospects should be well protected.
Ponikarovsky - Grabovski - Kulemin
> Obvious, line got hot after Antropov got traded, hopefully the youngins improve and make this our most dangerous and creative line.
Hagman - Stajan - Stempniak
> Probably works as a two-way line that doesn't really do anything bad, nor does it do anything particularly good. Creates chances by cycling.
Tlusty - Mitchell - Blake
> Mitchell continues his complete replacement of Moore by playing with Blake. I put in Tlusty but the second winger could also be Bozak, Hanson or Stalberg. This is the line that RW will use to ease new players onto the team, or to dump Stempniak on when he's sucking (often). Speedy and crafty line.
Orr - Stuart - Mayers
> Fourth line. Defensive specialists and knuckle chuckers. My favourite line.
Kaberle - Komisarek
> If what we hear about Komi is true, we better damn well keep Kaberle. Hopefully both of these players can help each other get back into form.
White - Schenn
> All kinds of heart in one d pairing! Keeping an offensive d man with a defensive one, of course.
Exelby - Finger
> Bottom pairing, used sparingly and mostly on the PK. Big time hitters, but slow.
Frogren - Mike Van Ryn
> Van Ryn will probably be hurt, else, he'd be in over Finger and XLB. Frogren is redundant, but god damn it he cost us a fourth so he better do something.
> Most important part of this team. His play decides whether we make playoffs or not.
> Unless it's Gustavsson, this player probably won't matter much.
Can't play tlusty in bottom two lines so I say hes in marlies till deadline same with stralman no more yo-yo tricks
Poni- Bozak -Kulemin
Stemps -Stajan - Mayers
Orr -Mitchell -Stuart
----------- People need to move; mitchell imo last year showed he can be a #3 centre, stemps can't really improve from last year on third line, need to make room for tlusty
Schenn - Van Ryn
White - Finger
------we really badly need to move dmen exelby, stralman, oreskovic, sifers all are good enough to play atleast bottom pairing with stralman getting #4 to develop