The 1st decade of the 21st century can be split into 2 parts for the Toronto Maple Leafs. From 2000 to 2004 the Leafs were a Stanley Cup Contender making the conference finals, but after the lockout season the leafs missed the playoffs from 2006-2010.
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The Salary cap hit the Leafs hard causing a lot of change over after the lockout and took until this past season to get into the playoffs. But lets look at the Leafs all decade team from 2000-2010.
Center-Mats Sundin, Joe Nieuwendyk, Matt Stajan, Mikael Grabovski
Honorable Mention- Jason Allison, Kyle Wellwood
Wingers- Gary Roberts, Alex Mogilny, Darcy Tucker, Nik Antropov, Alexei Ponikarovski, Alex Steen, Steve Thomas, Owen Nolan
Honorable Mention- Jeff O'Neill, Shayne Corson, Jonas Hoglund
Defense- Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle, Dmitri Yuskevich, Carlo Colaiacovo, Dion Phaneuf, Ian White
Honorable Mention-Brian Leetch, Pavel Kubina, Ken Klee
Goalies-Ed Belfour, Curtis Joseph
You can see from the list that many are from before the Lockout and that there is a big drop off. With such a drastic change in team from pre to post lockout there were several players who lasted less than a season with the team that could have made a bigger impact with the team.
Brian Leetch was acquire at the deadline the season before the lockout. He had a year left on his contract that was wiped out due to the lockout. Lasting just 25 games with the leafs including playoffs dampened his stock. Joe Nieuwendyk was also a lockout casualty who could have lasted longer than a season. Jason Allison and Eric Lindros were 1 and done after the lockout with injury shortened seasons.
The all decade team could have looked a little different if the lockout didn't cause a big change in the team and some expensive mistakes after the lockout.
Who would you have on your team?
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