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Is Kessel about to be "Sundined"?

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Old
11-14-2009, 07:00 AM
  #1
no13matssundin
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Is Kessel about to be "Sundined"?

Mats was a HoF player that was always looked to as the primary point producer for the Leafs, which made sense b/c of his skill.. but the problem was; he was surrounded by garbage throughout all but, arguably, twice in his long tenure (Mogilny, Roberts the only ones that come to mind).... with the likes of Jonas Hoglund (ugh) surrounding him, he was basically left to hang out there... scoring and putting up points by himself, but never having the players around him to carry the Leafs to a cup.


Now, in the short time I've seen Kessel, the same terrible thing has begun to occur to me. Kessel, obviously, has been stellar up to this point, and who knows what the future holds, but he has produced.... everyone else????.... crickets.

Grabo, while speedy, seems at times to be the 2nd coming of Berezin... Stajan is, at best, a low 2nd liner called upon to do more than he's able...

and Blake? Dont even get me started on the Unpassing Object.
Having that unproducing black-hole of a player, to which pucks goto but never come out on the same line as Kessel makes as much sense to me as giving the keys of your Aston Martin to a 12 year old: Sure, he'll drive it fast... right before he plows it into a telephone pole.

If Blake is our "best player" outside of Kessel, then are we setting Kessel up to be Sundined? Is it going to be another decade of a one man show?

Thoughts?

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11-14-2009, 07:06 AM
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Pierre Gotye
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Burke has GOT to make it priority #1 to get Kessel a real center. We have plenty of wingers. Kadri or Stalberg and Kessel will be very good together one day, but won't do squat with Mitch or Stajan as their centers.

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11-14-2009, 07:27 AM
  #3
Brown Dog
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Kessel is obviously a different kind of player than Sundin. Mats was the kind of player that could carry a team; Kessel seems like more of a pure sniper (he was pretty invisible last night, but buried his two chances).

It's typically frustrating for Leaf fans that after all those years of looking for a sniper to play with Mats, he comes along just a couple of years too late. And now that we have him, we're in search of the Sundin-type centre to pair him with. Oh, the irony!

But yes, he needs to have better talent than Stajan and Mitchell to play with if his production is going to be maximized. The key going forward is to target elite talent and not second-tier guys like we've always done.

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11-14-2009, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggy View Post
Kessel is obviously a different kind of player than Sundin. Mats was the kind of player that could carry a team; Kessel seems like more of a pure sniper (he was pretty invisible last night, but buried his two chances).

It's typically frustrating for Leaf fans that after all those years of looking for a sniper to play with Mats, he comes along just a couple of years too late. And now that we have him, we're in search of the Sundin-type centre to pair him with. Oh, the irony!

But yes, he needs to have better talent than Stajan and Mitchell to play with if his production is going to be maximized. The key going forward is to target elite talent and not second-tier guys like we've always done.
You got that dead on right.

Problem is elite guys want elite money and the chance to win thus meaning you got to already have a cap friendly solid core signed up for some time and have lots of very talented prospects to fill up the rest of the roster with a few role players added for cheap if they are to be interested. Hopefully Gus and Kessel can make some noice for the rest of the season so we dont look to much of a bottom team when the free agency period starts. Not that there is that many UFA´s worth adding to the team.

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11-14-2009, 07:56 AM
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You scared the crap out of me. I thought your title read "sidelined" not "Sundined".

On your topic, I'm fairly confident that this time around the Leafs will get some "grade A" talent to play with our skilled players. It may take 2-3 more years but you'll see an influx of more top talent via free agency or our own development. I say development since I see the organization is actually letting some of our younger talent grow on the farm instead of playing them with the big team prematurely.

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11-14-2009, 08:16 AM
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sgupca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brentbreakaway23 View Post
Burke has GOT to make it priority #1 to get Kessel a real center. We have plenty of wingers. Kadri or Stalberg and Kessel will be very good together one day, but won't do squat with Mitch or Stajan as their centers.
Yup,

Kessel has been great for us thus far; think how'll good he will be if Burke could land a play-making Centre.

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11-14-2009, 08:18 AM
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Burke will get Kessel a center. That's going to be his number 1 priority in the offseason.

We're going to need a big power foward on the other wing though, someone that can grind out the puck and score once in a while. Boston had the perfect combination last year, that's why that line was so successful. I think Stalberg-Savard-Kessel could be a good combo if Stalberg stops being afraid to use his body.

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11-14-2009, 08:19 AM
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sgupca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny_rudeboy View Post
You got that dead on right.

Problem is elite guys want elite money and the chance to win thus meaning you got to already have a cap friendly solid core signed up for some time and have lots of very talented prospects to fill up the rest of the roster with a few role players added for cheap if they are to be interested. Hopefully Gus and Kessel can make some noice for the rest of the season so we dont look to much of a bottom team when the free agency period starts. Not that there is that many UFA´s worth adding to the team.
There will only be 2 players this summer that could help Kessel.

Marleau and Savard (and thats if they both make it to UFA)

I think you'll see Burke target both of those players this summer.

It wouldn't surprise me to see either get a 5 year deal worth 30 mil.

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11-14-2009, 08:23 AM
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sgupca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubey View Post
Burke will get Kessel a center. That's going to be his number 1 priority in the offseason.

We're going to need a big power foward on the other wing though, someone that can grind out the puck and score once in a while. Boston had the perfect combination last year, that's why that line was so successful. I think Stalberg-Savard-Kessel could be a good combo if Stalberg stops being afraid to use his body.
I agree,,,i see a few different combinations that could be our top line next season:

1) Kulemin - Marleau - Kessel

2) Blake - Marleau - Kessel

3) Stalberg - Savard - Kessel

4) Kulemin - Savard - Kessel

any of these 4 combo's would be a solid top line.

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11-14-2009, 08:34 AM
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Kadri's development is a big key.

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11-14-2009, 08:42 AM
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FlareKnight
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Well getting a #1 center be a key to the offseason. Of course you hope Kadri will get there, but hope to get someone who can fill that role now. Either way have got to do something better than Blake and Stajan/Mitchell.

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11-14-2009, 08:44 AM
  #12
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I have offered this in another thread before.



I will center Kessel's line.

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Old
11-14-2009, 09:03 AM
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Mogwai
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To whomever said Kessel was invisible last night, please keep in mind he made several outstanding backchecks. He is, as I've said in the past, a fantastic stick checker, and with his speed, he is very good defensively.

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11-14-2009, 09:04 AM
  #14
Brown Dog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgupca View Post
I agree,,,i see a few different combinations that could be our top line next season:

1) Kulemin - Marleau - Kessel

2) Blake - Marleau - Kessel

3) Stalberg - Savard - Kessel

4) Kulemin - Savard - Kessel

any of these 4 combo's would be a solid top line.
The RW/Marleau combination was a total disaster in RW's final year in San Jose. I just can't see a) that RW would be that keen on bringing him on and b) that Marleau would want to reunite with the coach under whom he had by far his worst season.

Assuming that's true, that leaves Savard as the main target in terms of #1 centres. Assuming again that he makes it to UFA, I'm not sure how enthusiastic I'd be to give a 33-year old huge money on a long-term deal and the keys to the 1st line centre job for the next half-decade at least.

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11-14-2009, 09:25 AM
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Am I the only one who sees Bozak as probably being the best available centre to play with Kessel? He's known for his playmaking and vision. That's what Kessel needs right now.

All our other centres are average playmakers at best, and that's being generous.

If it's a cap issue, fix it I don't care. Bozak could be the answer, or at least a decent stop gap.

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11-14-2009, 09:27 AM
  #16
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Mythbusting:

Mats Sundin had plenty of quality teammates over his career with the Leafs. He was a terrific power center but he seldom substantially elevated the production of his linemates, snipers especially looked better on another center's wing (Mogilny, Berezin).

Testament of the type of player Sundin really was: whether he was playing with Gary Roberts (future HofF) or Alex Mogilny (future HofF) or Steve Thomas or Jonas Hoglund or Fred Modin or Mike Johnson or Doug Gilmour (HofF) or Derek King or Lonny Bohonos, he produced goals and points at approximately the same rate.

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11-14-2009, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogwai View Post
To whomever said Kessel was invisible last night, please keep in mind he made several outstanding backchecks. He is, as I've said in the past, a fantastic stick checker, and with his speed, he is very good defensively.
That's the thing, he's been really good both ways. His speed makes him so effective on the backcheck.

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11-14-2009, 09:50 AM
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ULF_55
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Originally Posted by Reclaiming93 View Post
Am I the only one who sees Bozak as probably being the best available centre to play with Kessel? He's known for his playmaking and vision. That's what Kessel needs right now.

All our other centres are average playmakers at best, and that's being generous.

If it's a cap issue, fix it I don't care. Bozak could be the answer, or at least a decent stop gap.
Yes, there is a cap issue in bringing up Bozak. Plus Bozak isn't tearing up the AHL, and has been sick. (posted similar comment in other thread).

However, Bozak is the only choice that BB has without involving another team.

To make room someone would have to be demoted and Kulemin now has to clear waivers.

So what player on the Leafs doesn't have to clear waivers?

Only waiver free players I can think of are Schenn and Gunnarsson.

Maybe they do have to waive someone?

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Old
11-14-2009, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ULF_55 View Post
Yes, there is a cap issue in bringing up Bozak. Plus Bozak isn't tearing up the AHL, and has been sick. (posted similar comment in other thread).

However, Bozak is the only choice that BB has without involving another team.

To make room someone would have to be demoted and Kulemin now has to clear waivers.

So what player on the Leafs doesn't have to clear waivers?

Only waiver free players I can think of are Schenn and Gunnarsson.

Maybe they do have to waive someone?
They could waive Mayers, he hasn't been an impact player on this team yet. And if the rumours are true he wants out anyway, and maybe someone will pick him up?

Regardless of his cap hit I wouldn't waive Finger, he's been one of our best d men.

Blake. Yeah. Blake is useless, but so are so many players on this team right now. What a mess.

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11-14-2009, 10:24 AM
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Sundin may never have had a Kovalchuk or Ovechkin on his line, but he had plenty of good ones. Mogilny, Hoglund, Thomas, Roberts, and Modin were all "good".

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11-14-2009, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeo1 View Post
Sundin may never have had a Kovalchuk or Ovechkin on his line, but he had plenty of good ones. Mogilny, Hoglund, Thomas, Roberts, and Modin were all "good".
Most of those guys were good, but Hoglund was only good for half a season if I remember correctly. Not long enough to be defined as "good" overall in my opinion.

And I'm pretty sure Modin only got good after he left the Leafs. No surprise there.

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11-14-2009, 10:39 AM
  #22
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I think Marleau would be a good addition - assuming there's not animosity between him and Wilson.

He can play center and wing. Meaning if Kadri or Bozak play well enough to step in, he can shift to the wing and play the role of a power winger. If not, he can stay at center.

I think Marleau would give us a lot of versatility. The only problem is that he's not much of a playmaker. He's more of a shooter/grinder type player.

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11-14-2009, 10:57 AM
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No sense starting to whine now, Burke knows he needs help.



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Last edited by Mess: 11-14-2009 at 11:27 AM. Reason: No need for name calling and off topic posting
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Old
11-14-2009, 11:00 AM
  #24
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patience guys. we got capspace and a highly motivated buyer in Burke who is known to get what he wants when it comes to free agents. he's bringing the cavalry I have no doubt, but it won't be until the summer.

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11-14-2009, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo1 View Post
Sundin may never have had a Kovalchuk or Ovechkin on his line, but he had plenty of good ones. Mogilny, Hoglund, Thomas, Roberts, and Modin were all "good".
Lol, Hoglund and good!!! Hoglund was a plug that couldn't finish much of what Sundin started!!!

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