It’s a rumour we’ve all fantasized about since Mats Sundin left in 2008: Trading for, as one esteemed AM640 post-game caller once called him, “Horton, the one who plays with Choochoo” [insert Andy Frost’s epic “JOE THORNTON!?” retort here].
Who doesn’t like the general idea of acquiring Joe Thornton, an elite playmaker and big-bodied center who is always near the top of the League in assists? He’s probably got a couple of good years left in him. In my particular fantasy, I’d play him with Clarkson and maybe JvR, creating a great little line that can go to work down low. Thornton is dominant at protecting the puck, making skilled plays in tight spaces and is an elite distributor of the puck. Clarkson is a slow-cycle type of player, cannot create offensive opportunity on his own and could use the service. It all sounds perfect in my head.
And I’d build a nice little package around some combination of Tyler Bozak, James Reimer and/or Cody Franson to do it.
But then there’s reality. He may not even move, first of all, and won’t be if his brother-agent’s reaction to the rumour is any indication. Secondly, he’d need to waive his NMC to come to Toronto (who are not a contender, which is critical) and appears to have no interest in leaving San Jose. Thirdly, Doug Wilson is going to want a package that includes the next 10-15 years of Jake Gardiner (or Nazem Kadri) to make this deal for a 35-year-old Thornton happen. It’s only the type of deal the Leafs could make if they knew they were a veteran 70pt center away from having a real chance at the Stanley Cup in the next 2 years and had the depth to do it without one of those young two players. Alas, they aren’t and they don’t.
It’s a nice thought, but these aren’t the early-millennium Maple Leafs from the precap era. Unless Wilson wants to entertain my fantasy trade proposal (and Thornton is willing to come here), the slow build, however wobbly it may be, likely continues.
- CBS Sports: Maple Leafs interested in Sharks’ Joe Thornton
- Friedman: 30 Thoughts with the opening treatise on Thornton
- MLHS: Maple Leafs’ assistant coach candidates: Craig Ramsay, Perry Pearn, Rick Tocchet
- Two other names: Chicago Wolves’ Ted Dent and Manchester Monarchs’ Mark Morris
- PPP: Let’s Talk about the Leafs’ Asset Management
- VLM: Should Leafs Fans be More or Less Hopeful than a Year Ago?
- Yahoo!: Half Way There – Kings haven’t led yet this series but take a 2-0 lead back to New York.
- DeadSpin: LA Kings put Will Ferrell ‘Go Kings Go’ video sign outside MSG
CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTERSign Callahan, Boyle, Downie, Komarov, Engelland. Phaneuf, Bozak, Kulemin, Holzer to WPG for Kane, Bogosian. Lupul, Gunnarsson, Reimer, D'amigo to BUF for Myers, Stewart. Kessel, Gardiner, Bolland, Raymond, Franson to NYI for Tavares, Martin. Bought out Gleason.
James Van Riemsdyk ($4.250m) / John Tavares ($5.500m) / Ryan Callahan ($5.500m)
Evander Kane ($5.250m) / Nazem Kadri ($2.900m) / Chris Stewart ($4.150m)
Steve Downie ($3.000m) / Peter Holland ($1.000m) / David Clarkson ($5.250m)
Matt Martin ($1.000m) / Leo Komarov ($1.500m) / Carter Ashton ($1.000m)
Colton Orr ($0.925m)
Dan Boyle ($4.000m) / Tyler Myers ($5.500m)
Zach Bogosian ($5.143m) / Morgan Rielly ($0.894m)
Paul Ranger ($1.250m) / Petter Granberg ($0.800m)
Deryk Engelland ($0.700m) /
Jonathan Bernier ($2.900m)
Drew MacIntyre ($0.700m)
Mike Komisarek ($0.000m)
Mikhail Grabovski ($0.000m)
Tim Gleason ($0.833m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $69,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $63,945,357; BONUSES: $950,000
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $5,054,643
Darren Dreger: Ryan Kesler hasn't changed his mind. He wants a fresh start and to move on from Vancouver; he met with Benning earlier this week to talk about that. It's believed that Kesler still has six teams on his list that he's willing to be traded to. And we think that Philadelphia and Anaheim are among those.
Pierre LeBrun: The asking price remains high, as it should for a guy that only has a $5 million cap hit for two more years. The Canucks don't just want futures here, they want a player that can help them now, preferably a centre.
Bob McKenzie: With Kesler on the marketplace right now, that's bad news for the Ottawa Senators, who have been trying to trade Jason Spezza, preferably before the draft. With Kesler out there, that's a centre that most teams will target before they go after Spezza.
LeBrun: It might get even more interesting if Joe Thornton orPatrick Marleau are on the market. Right now that's not the case but the Sharks have made it known they're rebuilding. What does that mean for a veteran like Thornton – does he want to be on a rebuilding team? That remains to be seen.
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Never seen it before. Or Breaking Bad. Don't watch drama.
@Dewy Keon Hogturd Now that's more rehearsed than GOT.
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Yup. Knowing what happens next though, the finale will be jaw dropping.
took my 10 yr old daughter to see Malificent today,,,good movie for her and me (Angelina) OMG smoking!!!!!!!
@TuckerForPunishment smoking its the makeup
@FrycersGhost she was the perfect choice to play that part
We do squat at the draft and take our pick at 8th. Kulemin walks. And in late Aug on a Sunday morning we'll wake to find out we traded Naz for Spezza.
@TuckerForPunishment I'm fine with keeping our pick if it means we didn't trade kids to move up. Kuli can walk, we can get a cheaper replacement. Regardless this won't matter because on a late August Sunday morning I will hang myself.
@TuckerForPunishment you should be shot for even mentioning Spezza coming to this team, I can't even watch the goof on the commercial without gagging, lol,
@TuckerForPunishment Good prediction.
TORONTO LOS ANGELES
Bozak (28) Kopitar (26)
Kadri (23) Stoll (31)
Bolland(28) Richards (29)
Holland (23) Lewis (27)
Can see you need experienced guys and we are developing 2 young guys, who can be equal to their counterparts easily. Bolland is already cup ready. Therefore only glaring weakness is Bozaks slot. But to get an older guy wont do it since Kadri and Holland need 2 to 3 more years to hit maximum potential. Meaning Bozak actually needs to go. Its okay to keep Bolland if he is healthy as you need that experience...to counter say Stoll.
@peterbleafs Or we keep Bozak with his solid cap hit and decent term and let Bolland walk if his asking price is too high.
I've got a novel idea.........
Let the core mature and improve and find CHEMISTRY TOGETHER....
rather than trade half of them this year, half at the deadline and another half next season,
Building a team isn't just getting the flavor of the month...pieces need time to mature, find their spot ...
@docyqx do u see naz holland or bozie being the 1c we need, just need more time?
personally I'd rather SEE.........than trade youth, again and again and again...
other teams let their younger players mature...improve, seems like a good thing...
it seems the leaf fans want to keep changing everything, picks, youth, veteran leadership just as much as normal folks change socks....
@docyqx The chemistry is better than smoke and mirrors. Keep churning out the halves and we'll have them running for the hills.
@dlb Reggie LOL, what is this thing you have with Skille?
@dlb Reggie @WendelGilmour Speaking of Hartikainen, would you not be concerned about the message it would send to Marlies trying to make the Leafs, if he did not clearly earn his spot? IMO he would really have to outperform current Marlies to stick I might even be inclined to start him with the Marlies regardless. Worrisome to me he refused to report to the A for Edmonton.
IMO, teams like the Leafs or the Rangers can jump out to quick leads with their rush offence - but teams like LA will (almost) always wear them down with hard play along the boards and in the corners. That's the secret of the LA comebacks. The Rangers have been punchless in the 3rd and overtimes. And the reason the Leafs "style" of play is unsustainable in the NHL.
@MaxwellHowe Agreed, but many believe physical play is overrated.
@MaxwellHowe I thought the Rangers outplayed the Kings in every period in that game 2. The better team lost IMO. Rangers aren't out of it.
@MaxwellHowe name a player on LA who doesnt go into corners without the intent to come out w the puck. Gaborik has won a few battles in the playoffs. Who else?