Saturday Morning Scoop
The latest from a source:
“The Leafs canâ€™t get Toskala to improve his play and that is a huge problem. The only reason Pogge is not starting with the club is that they are trying to improve Toskala’s trade value and he just wonâ€™t cooperate. There is a feeling that he knows he is not in Burkeâ€™s/Wilsonâ€™s plans and most frustratingly his work ethic and focus has been abysmal. The only possibility at this point is to trade him to rid salary because the return wouldnâ€™t be anything really. The fact Raycroft has decent numbers in Colorado helps a little as it implies to some teams that no goalie could play well with the Leafs’ defense core.
Brad May was brought in to assess the dressing room more than anything as Burke trusts his playerâ€™s assessments and May is known as a great teammate and a winner. Not surprisingly, the word soft is being used frequently when organizational discussions take place. Burke is also in a bit of quandary, some tradable assets who started off well (i.e. Antropov, Stajan) have tailed off with the Leafs play as of late and there is a belief in the organization that to maximize value the team and the players must not be on a downswing. Burke would like to wait closer to the deadline but he may feel the need to pull the trigger sooner rather than later. There are some deals in place but none that wow him.”
One certainly wonders about the impact the impending changes have on the psyche of those named in rumour circles. Pierre McGuire speculated during the Carolina game that Nik Antropov has been affected by the real possibility of a trade out of town. This team has definitely come down to earth after modestly overachieving during the first third of the season… and maybe some of the keenness in the dressing room to impress Burke and Wilson has sort of worn off in lieu of the major and inevitable changes ahead.
Another very interesting point made about the potential precedent set by Andrew Raycroft’s recovery since being chased out of town, which would seem to play into Gus Katsaros’ point that other management teams know goaltenders aren’t going to look good behind this Leafs’ defense core. May we all pray this is the case.