This blog is written with no knowledge of any real discussions between general managers. It isn't written with the help of any "sources". It's written, based on a large number of online, hopeful fans.
Furthermore, it's written solely from a Pro-Toronto bias. Not watching very much Western Conference hockey, I would not know how much of an impact Tomas Kaberle would have on the Dallas Stars, should he be dealt there. I do not know if Dallas even has interest in our top trade-chip.
If nothing else, Dallas' recent refusal to draft defencemen with their top picks, may hint that they turn towards more NHL-experienced defencemen. But again, that's a stretch, and I don't watch enough of the West to be able to comment.
Now, from Toronto's angle, there are many who would be against such a trade. With names like Pominville, Stafford, Roy, Clowe, Savard being thrown around, why would we go for an aging, high paid UFA in Brad Richards?
Well, for starters, this deal makes this year's edition of the Toronto Maple Leafs undoubtably stronger. We get our number one center without losing one of our top-6 forwards.
The fact is, the Leafs defence, without Kaberle (and presuming that Jeff Finger is waived), is much cheaper and possibly stronger than the group that started last season on the blue line. As it stands right now, we could be looking at this;
After that, we still have Jesse Blacker, Juraj Mikus, Jay Rosehill also being a natural defenceman, in the AHL. Remember how good Keith Aulie was at the U-20? How about Korbin Holzer, he's already played in the Olympics, he has to get a look as an emergency at some point this year.
And to drive the point home that this would make the Leafs a better team right now, Richards' 91 points from last season, would completely blow any of the Leafs' totals out of the water.
The best part about this move, despite Richards' hefty $8 million contract, is the options this gives us for the future. Yes, you heard me correctly, this move helps us moving forward. While this trade would put us right up at the salary cap, it gives us some good options at the end of the season.
With all the hype surrounding Nazem Kadri, a Richards trade would likely drive Kadri to the Marlies. Which isn't neccisarily a bad thing. At the end of the season, Nazem and, potentially, Belorussian center Mikhail Stefanovich, will be able to step into Richards' position, should he hit the free agent market. That, and the hole that will likely need to be filled if and when we drop Mikhail Grabovski.
And should Jonas Gustavsson prove himself as Toronto's starter, one of Jussi Rynnas, James Reimer or Ben Scrivens should be capable of stepping into the backup role at the end of next season, where we can drop J.S. Giguere.
And even if the Leafs decide to retain these two aging veterans, such a deal likely wouldn't be struck unless both took signifigant pay cuts to play in Toronto.
Now, with Grabovski, Giguere and Richards all potentially out of the picture, that opens up about $17 million in cap space, enough to lock up Luke Schenn, Tyler Bozak, and have plenty of money left over.
But again, this deal may not be ideal for Dallas, and who knows if it's ever even been discussed between the two squads. In terms of dealing, Dallas is at a standstill until new ownership takes over.
However, Toronto fans, Dallas fans, hockey fans in general, feel free to pipe in. While I think it may be ideal, I want to know what others think of this possible deal!
All the best, from the Nation's Capital
Go Leafs Go.