It seems that every year Toronto is home to what seems like thousands of rumours regarding "big deals", "a top 6 forward", and a "blockbuster deal". This year however seems to be even worse, and more drastic, there is no question that the Leafs organization are still in the re-building process, but Leafs Nation is quite happy with the results this season thus far.
As a dedicated Leafs' fan I am thrilled to see names like Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf, James Van Riemsdyk, Rick Nash and Jeff Carter in the mix of players the Leafs are looking to land... but is there validity to these rumours, or is it a pipedream for Leafs fans?
Out of the list of names provided above there are specific pros and cons to each individuals game that would benefit and/or hurt the Leafs as a team:
Pros: Plays in Anaheim (this is a pro due to the fact that Burke seems to love making deals with the Anaheim organization), young player with tremendous skill, good set of hands, decent playmaker, and due to his age can really remain in the organization long-term
Cons: If Anaheim decides to move him, it is likely to happen over the summer, not before the deadline.
Pros: Plays in Anaheim, strong power forward, that brings a big physical game along with a great set of hands, and point producing skill
Cons: Same goes for Getzlaf as does with Bobby Ryan
James Van Riemsdyk
Pros: Brings a "Philly-like" grittiness to the Leafs which is what the Leafs need in the lineup, capable of producing points, great hockey knowledge and skill, also young enough that the Leafs could hold onto him long-term
Cons: Philly really likes Luke Schenn to settle that deal in order to bring Luke over to play with his brother Brayden.
Pros: One of the best two way players in the NHL, unbelievable skill to go along with power and size, very fast skater that is capable of keeping pace with Phil Kessel.
Cons: Really is Columbus' "Franchise Player" and is loved by the city, so it is unlikely in my opinion that the Jackets are going to move him... ever.
Has been the majority player in trade rumours in Toronto.
Pros: Great size and skill, very talented, great hockey knowledge, good playmaker, known point producer, TOP centreman which Toronto is in desperate need of.
Cons: Comes with a huge, long-term contract, and as we all know Brian Burke is not at all a fan of these kinds of deals.
One thing the Leafs organization should keep an eye on is the abundance of up and coming talent from previous drafts, they could get lucky and land a RNH, Eberle, Hall, Duchense, Henrique, etc. for a great price.
At the end of the day it is impossible to try and predict the unpredictable that the NHL Trade Deadline is famous for, any one team could end up being the real winner of this years deadline, and a real possibility is that the Leafs won't be the winner.