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Toronto • Canada • 2013 Years Old • Male

Leafs Free Agency So Far

Posted 3:51 PM ET | Comments 0
<p> After being one of the more active teams come the free agency frenzy, the leafs have settled down into a quieter role. Looking at what they accomplished so far, its hard to argue that the leafs have not become a more attractive team then they once were just a few short months ago.</p> <p> <br />The leafs brought in a tough, scoring winger in David Clarkson into their top 6. Some people question the dollar value and term of the contract, but after mulling it over, it's starting to be more appealing. Clarkson has the capability of putting up numbers with a good supporting cast, the main thing holding him back was that the devils are a defence first hockey club. Even though the leafs are of similar state, playing with Kadri and either JVR or Lupul will definitely bring out his full potential. </br></p><p> <br /> Acquiring Dave Bolland for draft picks was a brilliant move by Nonis. Bolland is a great defensive forward with goal scoring capabilities, as well as bring in size and toughness to our bottom six. A perfect Carlyle type player. </br></p><p> <br />As many leafs fans were, I was pissed when they decided to buy out Grabovski, but at 5.5 per for a third line undersized center, it most certainly had to be done. Grabo brought speed and creativity to our top 6 last year, but quickly lost his job to the younger Kadri.</br></p> <p> <br /> Not to many people know who our most recent signing, Tj Brennan is, so for those of you that don't, here he is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9-O4AjGP2U. Personally, i love him already. In addition to his obvious trolling skills, Brennan brings a wicked shot and size. I would love to see him challenge for a spot next year, which he more then likely will. </br></p> <p><br /> Now, the only thing that I'm really on the fence about, is the Tyler bozak signing. We overpayed for a center who, at best, should be playing third line minutes. But because of our lack of depth at center, we're looking at playing him on the top line alongside kessel and lupul/ JVR. He is also key at winning faceoffs and helping to sign kessel at the end of next year. Other then that, I don't find him to be much of an improvement over colborne or Gauthier within a few years. </br> </p> <p> <br /> After its all said and done, our forward group should look like this, <br />Lupul-Bozak- Kessel</br> <p> JVR-Kadri-Clarkson</p><p>Kuli-Bolland- Biggs/Ashton</p> <p>Mclaren-McClement-Orr</p> <p><br />Looking at our defense, its rather more problematic then anticipated, at least in my personal opinion. <p></br> Phaneuf- Gunnar/?</p> <p>Gardiner- Franson</p> <p> Liles/?- Fraser/?</p> <p> <br /> Looking at all the question marks, these are my personal opinions of whether I really want to see these players in these roles. First off, the Dion Phaneuf hate, as much as a pylon as he can be sometimes, will be a hard player to replace due to the fact that he consistently plays against oppositions top lines as well as creates scoring opportunities which, he does fairly well. Looking at gunnarson, I think he has shown flashes of a great player, but ever since his injury he has become more soft. He doesn't take hits, shy's away from the puck. Evidence of this was clearly brought out towards the end of the season and the playoffs. If he can regain his confidence, then he definitely belongs on our top line. </p> </br> <p><br /> Looking at John Michael Liles, I honestly think he is on his way out. His contract is a little much for someone playing bottom line minutes, and is rather small to play the type of game Carlyle is asking of his defenders. I would rather see him traded for picks, to replace the ones given for bolland. Mark Fraser brought a degree of toughness on our backend that was a pleasant surprise, and his plus/minus was among the highest on the Leafs. However, as much as an asset as he was during the regular season, his slowness was exploited time and time again during the playoffs. If he can take it up a notch, I'd love to continue to see him in the blue and white. However, he is most likely to go to salary arbitration anyways. </p> </br> <p><br /> It has been rumored for a while now that the leafs are in the market for a top 4 defenseman. Anything that could possibly happen will be a welcomed addition our group. However, if nothing is done, I would love to see TJ Brennan, Stuart Percy, Jesse Blacker, or Morgan Rielly challenge for spots to replace Liles/ Fraser, and possibly gunnarson. They all have the size to fit our system, and are great puck movers if you have seen them with the marlies. But only Time will Tell, thanks for reading. <p> </br>
Filed Under:   Leafs   Offseason   Phaneuf   Rielly   Percy   Kessel   Kadri   JVR  
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