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With just over three weeks to go until the trade deadline, I feel as if I can get away with a rosterbation post without too much scrutiny. I’ll do my best to not go full HFBoards with my ideas, but certainly have a few players in mind that I’d like for the Leafs to target, and a few that I’d like Nonis to jettison. While I’m sure this won’t be the most intelligent post you’ll read this morning, hopefully it will at least spark some Monday morning conversation.
Jeff Finger returns to the line-up tonight in Detroit in what many will suggest is his Maple Leafs swan song/final pit stop en route to the Marlies. Burke is saying the right things about Finger’s right to a “fair look” and the importance of respecting players acquired via free agency as it relates to organizational reputation. But the realities are this: the Leafs are sitting with both Brett Lebda and Finger on the outside of their top six, over the cap by around $300k and uncomfortably close even with Lashoff and his $550k assigned to the Marlies. And that’s assuming Nazem Kadri and his $1.7 million cap hit will not be a part of the roster come opening night. If it’s important to show respect to signed free agents, surely Lebda won’t be Marlie-bound after his first training camp as a Leaf. Simply, something has to give, and the $3.5 million Finger, a Leaf of two seasons now, seems the obvious candidate for demotion.
In case you haven’t already heard, the Maple Leafs have broken off negotiations with prospect Bill Sweatt, acquired in the Versteeg trade from the Blackhawks. In a statement to the Toronto Sun, Burke explained that the club would rather keep a spot on the 50 contract limit open than continue discussions with Sweatt. As the talks continued to stall, the Leafs likely turned and upped their offer to Marcel Mueller, whose ELC contract value sits at $1.12 million. Sweatt is likely looking for a figure close to Blake Wheeler’s $2.825 cap hit as a 4-year college free agent, which is a steep price to pay for a player with speed but limited offensive upside.
Speculation on whoÂ is likely to be scratched for Saturday’sÂ rematchÂ against the New York Rangers, an update on Phil Kessel, and (surprise, surprise) some early-season trade chatter.
Five games in, no wins, and few positives within the play to indicate a turnaround is coming soon.
Something has to be done to shake up this roster.Â Â Some sort of move needs to be made, that much is clear.
The question is, what?
Per Kevin McGran at the Toronto Star:
On a day a former Maple Leafs captain formally announced his retirement, coach Ron Wilson said the team would again start the season captainless.
Newcomers Mike Komisarek and Francois Beauchemin however will join Tomas Kaberle as three alternate captains.
McGran notes that Wilson suggested the captaincy issue would be revisited in roughly a month’s time from now, at which point the coach will consider whether one of his three assistants should be given the role or whether the team should remain captainless for another season.
Read the full article from The Star
A month into the offseason, one thing can be said for sure about the steps the Toronto Maple Leafs have taken toward rebuilding the team:Â credit Brian Burke with having a plan, and sticking to it.
The beginnings of that plan are clearly reflected in the sweeping changes to the goaltending and defence corps this summer, as well as a noticeable infusion of truculence.
Here’s the lowdown on the latest installment in the epic Jonas Gustavsson saga. Earlier this afternoon during the media scrum to announce the Beauchemin and Kadri signings, Brian Burke mentioned that Gustavsson and his agent had informed him that they had set a deadline for tomorrow to make a decision. However, Burke did follow up that statement by explaining that all of the deadlines set thus far had been self-imposed, and that he would not be angry if Jonas needed more time.
On the heels of this news, Sportsnet’s hockey insider Nick Kypreos explains that his sources have told him that Gustavsson is expected to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow. Toronto is 6 hours behind Swedish time, so it’s possible that an announcement may come out in the morning or early afternoon. In the meantime, here are another few sneak peeks at the best goaltender currently not in the NHL.
Update: The Star confirms that Gustavsson is indeed expected to announce his signing with the Leafs today, and also mentions that they may have potentially found a new trading partner for Kaberle: the St. Louis Blues, who are loaded with all sorts of premium young offensive talent.
Kubina deal not done yet despite The Star’s report of a done deal. A source suggests that Komisarek will become a Leaf if Kubina goes.
Stay tuned to the Cover-it-live for up-to-the-minute updates.
The Star is reporting.. Colby Armstrong + pick the rumoured return. Update: hearing it’s the Thrashers’ 2nd but I’m trying to confirm… talk of a prospect being involved as well.
Dale Mitchell (#71) – RW
Birthdate: April 9, 1989
Hometown: Mississauga, ON
PHIL ORESKOVIC (# 4) â€“ D
Birthdate: January 26, 1987
Hometown: North York, Ontario
ANTON STRALMAN (# 36)
Birthdate:Â August 1st, 1986
(for all you stargazers out there, that makes him a Leo).
Hometown:Â Tibro, Sweden
Cox reporting for the Star, says the deal is pretty much done:
“The wait is over. Brian Burke is set to become the new president and general manager of the Maple Leafs. With only a few final details to be sorted out, none of which are viewed as deal-breakers, the deal is all but done.