Id like to start of this blog by giving my condolences to the Ferguson family may John Sr. rest in peace.
Now to this blogs topic and that is what can the Leafs do to obtain another scoring forward. The Leafs currently sit with about 1.5 million in Cap room and an easy move could be signing an UFA to suit up for the team but not many are out there that could really make a big impact on the team and you cant use the complete amount available under the cap so the team only has 1 million or so to work with, some say Anson Carter might be had for about that amount of money (taking into consideration a hometown discount) but the fact that this player has played for 9 teams in 11 seasons just doesn't sit right with me. The team will do all it can to ship out Raycroft that should open up 2 million more in cap space but a back up will be needed so you can take away $500,000 from that amount so what we have left to work with would be $2.5 million. Should we go after Lindros, Allison, Gelinas, Friesen?? Id pass on all these players they are not what the team needs. The only logical choice there is out there isnt in the UFA market it is time that the Leafs need to decide if the time is right for a blockbuster this is something that hasnt happened in a long while, the last i can remember where i can recalling saying WOW out loud was a trade back when the Leafs and Flames swapped players im not saying we need to trade 5 for 5 but i would like the WOW, look at the names that are said to be available via trade. Brad Richards, Patrick Marleau, Milan Hejduk, Erik Cole, every single one of these players is an impact player so what do we need to do to get our hands on one of these players that are all signed for more then this season except for Marleau. Lets move Kubina 5 million off the cap doesnt have a no trade clause this is the guy right? wrong, Kubina played his best hockey with Kaberle and unlike McCabe can actually play some defense is 2 years younger and i can see an upside to him which is what im not seeing with McCabe. We all know the McCabe signing was too much for a player who collects the majority of his points on the powerplay and looks lost in the back end, just look at Souray he only collected 5.4 million against the cap 1 year later not much difference between the two and 1 year later when teams are over paying does this mean that McCabe would have collected over 6 million this season if he was an UFA i think not. McCabe does have a no trade clause but if we could somehow get him to waive it we could add an additional 5.75 million to the 2.5 million available all of a sudden we have $8.25 million + $500,000 which wouldnt be used under the cap. The question only remains what would the Leafs do and who would be our trading partner?
Tampa- Ownership in Tampa would love to lower their payroll a trade of Richards for McCabe and possible 1st Round pick or picks we would obtain a center who is 27 signed at 7.8 million until 2010/11, we get Sundin's replacement down the road and a proven NHL star. (The whiners can know that a 1st Round pick for Richards unless it turns out to be Tavares is well worth the player and then some)
San Jose- Marleau is only signed for the season but that hasnt stopped the Sharks for asking for the moon for him, at 4.5 million he could fetch a large sum as an UFA, Leafs could end up without nothing to show for the trade.
Colorado- Hedjuk is 31 years old signed until 2009/10 season at 4 million. The Avs are looking for a few young blueliners to fill their roster out, could Colaiacovo be had and possibly another player as Harrison? The Leafs would receive a proven scorer and we are stacked in the back end with the return of Pilar and swedish prospect Stralman this season not a big loss for the team as Pilar in form could more then replace Colaiacovo.
Carolina- Big Power forward Cole is signed for the next 2 years at 4 million a season is 28 years old but is least productive of the four but asking price may be a little more then the Leafs would like to give up but he does remind me of Bertuzzi in his hayday.
The players are there for the taking but can we do what we need to do get them?
I personally would love to see Richards wearing the blue and white but i am not the GM only a fan who is waiting to say WOW when the next trade happens