Hello out there! This is my first blog and any feedback would be appreciated! Here goes..
1: Trade Dion Phaneuf
Look, I'll be the first one to admit he is by far the team's best defenseman, but if upper management is as adamant about the "culture change" that must take place, then #3 has to go. There may not be a better time than now to trade the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs. With the salary cap expected to rise somewhere between 4 and 6 million dollars, and the leafs in dire need of signing other players (a league-low 12 players under contract once the 2014 season is officially done), this may be one piece with a heavy price tag that can still be moved for a very good return.
When I think of potential suitors for #3, I think of the suddenly deep-pocketed Florida panthers, with a rich owner wanting to win now, and about 30 million in cap space. There has been a lot of talk about Dale Tallon shopping the 1st overall pick, and this is where I believe the Leafs should start. Getting a top prospect on an entry level contract would be huge for the team as it would save them 6+ million in cap space if they did indeed move Phaneuf to Florida.
So.. what could this trade look like? Well, I'm certain Phaneuf alone for the first overall pick wouldn't fly, so the Leafs could then do two things. They could throw in their 1st round pick (8th overall) and ask for Florida's second rounder (32nd I believe), or they could add a player like Gardiner (doubtful tor would trade, unless in package for #1C) or Kadri and hold onto their #8 pick as well. I would propose:
Phaneuf + 8th overall pick FOR 1st +32nd overall
2: Trade Joffrey Lupul
Great guy off the ice and in the locker room, but inconsistent and injury prone. Trade with Vancouver.
Lupul + 4th rd pick FOR Bieksa
3: Draft Sam Bennett
Change in culture acquired. He is what more leaf players need to become. He can shoot, pass, deke, and skate, but its his determination, will to win, heart, motor, and hockey IQ that separates him from the rest of this years draft class. He can slot into the #2 centre spot, and the team can finally move kadri to the wing, where he SHOULD be more effective.
4: Don't sign Bolland. Unless.....
If he comes cheap, snag him up! If he accepts a short term deal at a lower cap hit than what is being rumored (5M+) and can sign him for 3.5-4M, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Otherwise we have too many bad contracts in our forward crop (thanks, David Crapson) and he'll go walking away into free agency.
5: Avoid the free agent market... mostly
Re-sign RFAs and a UFA or two, pick up Leo Komarov (again) and possibly one other cheap 4th line forward (dwight king offer sheet?)
6: Promote a few kids from the Marlies.
D'amigo, Granberg, Leivo and Macintyre are good candidates to start the season with the Leafs next year.
7: See how the first 20 games play out
JVR - Bozak - Kessel
Kadri - Bennett - Clarkson
Komarov - Bolland - Holland
King/Leivo - Mcclement - D'amigo
Bieksa - Reilly
Gardiner - Gunnarsson
Franson - Granberg
Not exactly the most frightening group ever assembled, but if they can successfully change the culture, commit to playing team defense and a 200-foot game they will be much more successful. With that much speed on the back end and good outlet passes, this fast team gets a whole lot faster and more dangerous as a result. If the lack of commitment to team defense continues, however, a blockbuster trade of sorts may be in order.
Thanks for reading!
Sounds like you know what you are talking about
Something has to be done with Franson.
Message Posted I really like what you have outlined. The issue that most of us have in Phaneuf as captain is the fact that he is not a good team leader. The only way to remove his captaincy is to trade him. And that terrible contract as well. Let the team grow with the Marlies who have shown us that they can play and will only get better. I am a big Lupul fan, but i did not see the hunger this year. Trade him while the value is good
what do all of these comments say?!?!?
Also, where is Tim Gleason? He is signed till 2016?
I like the trade for Bieksa, I very much doubt Van would ever do that. Seeing Clarkson in the top six makes me cringe. I hope he has a bounce back year. He sucked the life out of our entire team.
I think Gleason will be bought out / buried in the AHL next season
NO way that deal gets the 1st Overall pick though...
Kadri cant play wing. Bennett cant play center. 2nd pairing D has 2 lefties, 3rd pairing 2 rights. Need switch, plus Gleason. Also Holland needs to be up the middle. Keep them coming though, i like these things.
Your trade proposal for the #1 overall is an utter joke.
Dream big Dwight
Dion and Reimer to Oilers for Yakupov.
i would take the defender ekbald before bennet as for Kadri hes better in the middle just needs to work on face offs kids got great vision would be wasted on the wing if you would trade lupul would be to sanjose for joe thornton not bieska
I like it, Lupul4captain
Dwight, how is it an utter joke? are you of the opinion Phaneuf is a bad defenseman? Must be all that toronto media spin..
They have not picked the assistants yet. Shows they are patient and methodical.
pylon gatta go, Lupal is a war amp gatta go, Keep the kids unless for a first overall pick
How did you get proper paragraph formatting in your blog?