With the National Hockey League's trade deadline looming, names like Alexei Ponikarovsky and Lee Stempniak are becoming increasingly popular in the Toronto Maple Leafs brass.
Fans of the Blue & White have been playing armchair general manager and have formulated a number of trades since the Olympic break. But amidst the excitement of the yearly spectacle, I'm beginning to wonder if it's in the Leafs' best interest to trade both Ponikarovsky and Stempniak.
After all, were they not serviceable players for the Leafs?
By now, I'm sure many of you have seen ESPN's report of a significant offer by the Maple Leafs for Phil Kessel: two 1st round picks and a 2nd round pick. The general reflex reaction that we've been conditioned to by the Toronto media the last few seasons is to avoid moving 1st round selections by any means necessary. The thought of moving two such commodities is beyond horrifying. I've seen the name Taylor Hall used as the backbone of many an argument over the last few days, often associated with the "chance" of landing said player. If we're gonna turn this into a game of chance, let's at least get all the cards on the table. [more…]
So you're Brian Burke and it's July 1st.
Who do you go after? And what is the contract you offer?