Heaven Forbid the Leafs Spend money on Free Agents to improve their team just because the rest of the NHL does.……
Burkie, in his infinite wisdom, decided to stay away from Free Agency on Canada Day. Once again I’m left wondering why the Leafs can’t be like the rest of the NHL. I had high hopes when he was hired but he has provided little of substance in the time he’s been GM. I’m afraid to say that his ship has sailed. As far as I’m concerned he is surviving only on past accomplishments. I’d hope that the new ownership (Bell/Rogers) send him packing in short order as their first order of business.
In the meantime the only way this team can be brought into contention is through trades. This past season 25 NHL teams finished higher in the standings than the Buds. The last time the Leafs won the Cup was 1967. The last time they made the playoffs was 2004. They have not made the playoffs under the guidance of GM Bryan Burke. How could we possibly be confident that Burke can right the Leafs ship before he gets canned? Yet hope we must for as Leaf fans hope is all we have.
THE MAPLE LEAF NEEDS
The Leafs need a number of things to make them a better team.
#1 on the Shopping list is a starting goalie and rumour has it that the Leafs are interested in Jonathan Bernier. Now that Los Angeles has signed Johnathan Quick for 10 yrs Bernier may be available. Bernier has a cap hit of $1.25 M
Here is the offer I would make for Bernier.
Los Angeles gets CLARKE MACARTHUR, NAZEM KADRI and JESSE BLACKER. Leafs get Johnathan Biernier.
#2 on the Shopping list is a veteran goalie and rumour has it the Buds are in the Roberto Luongo sweepstakes. The kicker is he has a cap hit of $5.3 for 10 yrs. In my humble opinion the only way the Leafs would trade for him is if they could ship out a couple of players that earn big $$$ to help ease the hit on their cap that Luongo would make. The latest rumour has Luongo trying to force a trade between Vancouver and Florida.
Here is the offer I would make for Luongo.
Vancouver gets MIKE KOMISAREK,MATTHEW LOMBARDI and JESSE BLACKER. Leafs get Roberto Luongo (he of the big contract) Reasoning behind offer: Leafs get rid of (2) bad contracts and one prospect for one bad contract.
#3 on the shopping list is a big 1st line Center. Paul Stastny of Colorado fills the bill. He also is a long time favorite of Burkie. He has 2 yrs remaining on his contract at $6.6M per yr. He is said to be available for the right price. To get him the Leafs need to offer younger players.
Here is the offer I’d make for Stastny
Colorado gets -
NIKOLAI KULEMIN (RFA) Cap hit last year $2.2 M
CODY FRANSON (RFA) Cap hit last year $800,000
CLARKE MACARTHUR Cap hit last year $3.25M
…Toronto gets PAUL STASTNY (Cap hit last year $6.6M)
Reasoning behind offer: Leafs get best player in the deal. Can afford to lose
Kulemin & Franson both RFA Stastny better than MacArthur.
#4 on the shopping list is a big 1st line winger. Bobby Ryan Anaheim has long been a favorite of Burkie. He has 3 yrs remaining on his contract at $5.1M per yr. He will not come cheaply but might be had for prospects who make less money.
Here is the offer I’d make for Ryan… Anaheim gets JESSE BLACKER,CODY FRANSON,JOE COLBORNE and NAZEM KADRI. Toronto gets BOBBY RYAN
Reasoning behind offer: Leafs get best player in the deal. You have to pay a good price for a top player.
#5 on the shopping list is a big 1st line winger. RICK NASH (LW) Columbus is the type of player that the Leafs could use in a heartbeat. However the problem with NASH is the same as with LUONGO. He has 6yrs left on his contract at $7.8 M per year.
Here is the offer I’d make for NASH.
Columbus gets..NAZEM KADRI,JOE COLBORNE, CODY FRANSON and CLARKE MacARTHUR. Toronto gets RICK NASH. Reasoning behind offer: Leafs get best player in the deal. You have to pay a good price for a top player.
As was expected the Leafs did little in the Free Agent Frenzy so it appears the Leafs will have to be active on the trade front if they wish to remain competative. Of the remaining Free Agents (list below) I expect the Leafs will be in the hunt on a few but probably fall short in their offers.
FREE AGENT TARGETS
The remaining Free Agents that I feel the Leafs should target fall Into (3) categories
TOP 6 Forwards – TOP 4 D-Men – Bottom 6 D-Men
Here is a list of the remaining targets and the offers that should be made. * NOTE I am only listing the remaining players that I feel should be targeted.
1. Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes 2011-12 salary: $4.55 million RW Age 35 OFFER – 2yrs @ $4.0M per year
2. Matt Carle, Philadelphia Flyers 2011-12 salary: $3.8 million D Age 27 OFFER – 4yrs @ $3.50M per year
BOTTOM 6 Forwards and 5th/6th/7th D-Men
1.Daniel Winnik – San Jose LW Age: 27 Cap Hit $950,000
OFFER – 2yrs @ $1.00M per year
2. Brad Winchester San Jose Sharks LW Age 32 cap Hit $750,000
OFFER – 2yrs @ $900,000 per year
3. Randy Jones – Winnipeg Jets 2011-12 Cap Hit: $1.150 D Age: 30
OFFER – 2yrs @ $1.75M per year
—- El Puncho