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Now first I would like to point out that this is an opinion so Burke, Kessel, Leaf Haters say what you will but I do believe Toronto has a good team. Good not great by any means. So after yet another season no playoffs lets look at the good.
Forwards: Kessel, Lupul, Bozak, Grabvoski, McArthur, Kulemin proved they should stick and have formed a core for top 9. Steckel, Crabb, Brown Boyce are serviceable. Connolly, Lombardi although severiceable have way not worth their respective price tags.
Defense: Gardiner and Phaneuf are our top two and well worth it I believe. Schen was misplayed, he is a shot blocker and hitter not a passer. He was good with Kaberle, so stick him with Liles. That leaves our bottom pair which should be Gunnarson and Franson, having Holzer be available for any faltering. This could be a strong unit with proper tutelage from Carlyle.
Goaltending" Potential, but way too young to succeed.
So to show our lines and needs:
Forwards: Kessel - ? - Lupul
McArthur - Grabovski - ?
Crabb - Steckel - Connolly/Kulemin
Bozak, will fit where most serviceable. Kadri, Colborne, and Fratting need their chance

Defence: Phaneuf - Gardiner
Schenn - Liles
Gunnarsson - Franson
Extra - Holzer

Goal: Reimer/?

Our biggest need is a goaltender, I say sign either Schneider or Harding, and find a veteran netminder for tutelage. Let spring training determine our goaltending. Harding or Schneider are both much farther along for potential starters than Reimer.
Second need is a top line center, but there are serviceable options.

Now the blessing, we will not get the top pick which is fine we don't need a top scoring winger, we need a leader/puck mover preferably a center. Now there was a blog saying 2-7 draft pick are very similar, here's our blessing we will draft most likely between 3-5. Columbus based on need will take Yakupov, Oilers will go for a defenseman maybe Murray?, That leaves Grigorenko, Galchenyuk, and Forsberg for 3-5, all good options for a top 6 for the Leafs. This will finally give us the one top draft pick we've been missing.

Now be patient, we are a young team and challenges and collapses are expected, so our last need is a veteran forward like Madden, someone to teach the youngsters the ropes. Secondly we need Kadri to play a full season, give the guy a chance it is time to see if he can blossom his offensive instincts. The team is there but there are four crucial needs, one will be met.
1. A top 5 draft pick - Met
2. Goaltenders
3. Veteran Forward
4. Top Line Center (already have serviceable options.)
March 29, 2012 11:57 AM ET | Delete
scneider is a rfa
March 29, 2012 2:33 PM ET | Delete
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March 29, 2012 5:14 PM ET | Delete
I wouldn't say a top 5 pick is in the bank yet. You guys could easily still finish with a 7-9th overall pick and remember it's speculated at a weak draft. I doubt Grigorenko falls to you guys maybe Galchenyuk which might be a good fit.
March 29, 2012 5:36 PM ET | Delete
I really hope we draft Galchenyuk. The skill is there but, this kid has a great work ethic, some size and plays a solid 2 way game. Despite heritage, he chose to play for team usa so burke already likes him lol. Dont worry about his injury either, its behind him and he is playing great hockey so far this playoffs.
March 29, 2012 9:02 PM ET | Delete
uhmmm... Boyce is not a leaf anymore...
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