Been with HB since '06, first blog
Any feedback welcomed. @Feltzer89
It was so obvious at the end of last season, even the management group admitted the team needs a 1C and a proven 1A goaltender with experience to have any chance at success. There are options available to fill both of these holes, but for some reason I get the feeling it's not going to be addressed.
I'll start with the centre position. I've heard a lot of chatter about obtaining Getzlaf, and while I would be riveted if that were to happen, I don't think he's the perfect fit. His lack of footspeed doesn't quite match up with Toronto's top 6. While he would be a huge improvement, and his cost would be modest compared to a few seasons ago, I think there is a better option.
That man is Jamie Benn. He has the size, grit, vision and hockey IQ to be a solid 1C, and possesses the speed to fit in with T dot's top 6 core. Yes, he is the face of the franchise right now in the big D, but I believe he is obtainable. Currently an RFA, the threat of an offer sheet exists. The unstable ownership situation may be hindering negotiations, and if that is a fact, Burke needs to pounce, now. There is no doubt Burke will avoid the offer sheet if he can. But he will use one as trade leverage as he did in the Kessel deal. Obviously it will take a lot to get Benn out of Dallas, but I think we have what it takes. It all starts with Morgan Rielly. RELAX RELAX, I'm not suggesting trading Rielly. The kids a stud. Anyone that watched him play in the Leafs prospect games knows, this kid could easily make the big club this year. He's that good. That being said, you don't need too many players of his ilk on your blue line. The surprise of Rielly has not necessarily made Jake Gardiner expendable, but it would lessen then blow of losing him. A deal structured around Gardiner would get the Benn deal done. Something like Bozak + Gardiner + Blacker + 2nd 2013. Bam you have your 1C.
Obtaining a 1C creates another expenditure. Moving JVR back to his natural LW creates a log jam on that side. A first line of JVR - Benn - Kessel really tickles my fancy. So, one of Lupul or MacA can easily be moved out in a package for goaltending. right now, Lupul's value is ridiculously high. In my opinion, much higher than his actual value to the club. Coming off an all star year, I believe he could be a piece that would land the Leafs Luongo. Vancouver needs secondary scoring, and Lupul could be their guy. Also, Gillis could easily put a positive spn on this trade to the Canuck fan base. All-Star for All-Star. A real, positional need, hockey trade. The deal could look something like this. Lupul + D'Amigo + 3rd 2013. Bam you have your 1A goaltender.
Maybe I'm out to lunch, but I see this as possible.