Top 6 forwards and the Maple Leafs offense

A year ago Cliff Fletcher as interim general manager of the Maple Leafs suggested that the Leafs had only one top 6 forward, that being Nik Antropov. With Antopov now gone there was ample discussion among the media and fans about how dismal the Leafs offense will be and despite the upgrades Brian Burke made on defense the Leafs lack of scoring will likely lead them to another missed playoff. Brian Burke has addressed that in a major way by acquiring what everyone will agree is a top 6 forward in Phil Kessel, but is Kessel enough? To answer that,

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Why 2 first round picks for Kessel makes sense…

There has been a lot of discussion over the last week or so on the rumoured trade offer that Brian Burke has made to the Boston Bruins for Phil Kessel and now that the trade seems very likely to go down, possibly within hours, we may as well take a look at it. (TSN is now reporting the deal is done and pending Kessel signing a contract with the Leafs which is probably not a significant hurdle issue). The rumour is that Burke has offered two first round picks and a second round pick for Kessel and a third round

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Should the Leafs do Nothing?

It seems that the majority of the Toronto hockey media seem to have the belief that the Maple Leafs are at least 3-4 years away from being a good team and that the best way to get there is to do nothing this summer and hope to get another high draft pick in next years draft. Howard Berger is a prime example as we can see from his latest article, as well as his comments on the radio today. It’s the reason Burke has to do his utmost to resist temptation this week. A number of distinguished names will be

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Burke wants Tavares

Although Brian Burke didn’t make many significant moves at the trade deadline as many suspected he may it seems apparent that he is wanting to make significant moves in the off season to bring in some young talent. So far he has already signed college free agents Christain Hanson and Tyler Bozak and is in the running to sign defenseman Matt Gilroy. He has also signed QMJHL forward Robert Slaney. Rumours are that Burke is also very interested in Swedish goalie Jonas Gustavsson who has a very good year as a 24 year old in the Swedish Elite league. We

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Why no Third Option for Leafs?

A recent blog post from Howard Berger suggests that because of that lack of moves by Brian Burke at the trade deadline we should take it is as an indication that Brian Burke is in no rush to make over the Toronto lineup, despite what everyone thought when Burke took over the team just over 3 months ago now. Well, everyone except me. Back when Burke was hired I wrote the following: Other than Antropov, I really don’t think anyone is a sure bet to be traded. I don’t think Burke will come in and say ‘I have to trade

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Trade Deadline Sellers Preview

The NHL trade deadline is less than 2 weeks away so it is time that we take a look at what trades might or might not happen between now and then. Here are some of the selling teams to watch as we approach the deadline. New York Islanders The Islanders are clearly the worst team in the NHL this season and they also have several players that they will likely trade. The two soon to be unrestricted free agent veterans that will likely draw the most attention are center Doug Weight and winger Bill Guerin. Despite the Islanders problems both

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NHL Odds and Ends

The possibility certainly exists that 5 of the 6 post-lockout Stanley Cup finalists won’t make the playoffs this year.  Ottawa has all but been eliminated while Pittsburgh, Carolina, Edmonton and Anaheim all remain on the bubble.  Detroit is the only post-lockout conference winner to be securely in a playoff spot.  Is that a result of parity or mass mediocrity? Brian Burke has a history of reacquiring players he knows well.  This is why he went after Brad May in a minor move and this is why I believe that there is a more than good chance that he’ll try to

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Jumping on the Bad Goaltending Bandwagon

For those that have been reading this blog for the past couple years know that I have been one of the harshest critics of the Leafs goaltending for a long time.. When Andrew Raycroft was setting records for wins by a Maple Leaf, I was contending that he was a bad goalie and benefited from a good team in front of him but far too many in the media and the Leaf fan base blamed the Leafs woes on their defense and lack of scoring punch (which was largely a myth). In the seasons since, Raycroft has proven to be

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Toronto Maple Leafs: The Season Ahead

Today the Leafs placed Mark Bell on waivers and also announced that rookie defenseman Luke Schenn will start the season with the Leafs and will be reevaluated around the end of October to determine whether they want to keep him around for the full season or send him back to Junior. The decision is likely to be a tough one made tougher by the fact that the Leafs are deep on defense. Mark Bell came to the Leafs as a part of the Vesa Toskala trade and did relatively little in his time with the Leafs last season and seemingly

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Leafs should acquire Matheiu Schneider

If the Leafs are serious about rebuilding for the future, the Leafs should acquire Mathieu Schneider from the Anaheim Ducks. Ok, that sounds quite odd considering Schneider is old and expensive and set to be a UFA next summer. But after you read this it will make total sense. The Anaheim Ducks are desperate to shed salary so they can get under the cap and sign Teemu Selanne. They have some forwards that they could possibly get rid of but non would free up all that much salary. Schneider is the guy they really want to get rid of. A

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