Lets start off by wishing everyone a great 2009 and for Leaf fans a very interesting time as Brian Burke has had just about a month to evaluate the team and could be primed for some moves.
The question is who can you see Burkie trade package or waive as he continues the rebuilding process that Fletcher has commenced.
Here is a player by player breakdown of what might be:
Vesa Toskala- If Toskala can regain some of his confidence should be moved to a playoff fighting team ex. Detroit, Edmonton, Washington or even a team with an injured starter ala New Jersey, Vancouver. Toskala should fetch the Leafs a 1st rounder and prospect. Verdict- Will be moved.
Curtis Joseph- Retirement enough said.
Justin Pogge- Leafs future # 1 goalie needs to prove that trading Rask was correct move. Verdict- Future Starter.
Ian White- With a backlog on the defense White may stay or go, look for Burke to test the waters to see what White may bring a marginal prospect or middle round pick. Verdict- Will be dangled as part of package.
Tomas Kaberle- Wont be asked to waive his NTC but Burke will let him know what teams are interested in his services. Kaberle is the one Leaf player who could fetch the most in a trade from 1st rounder to a established forward and prospect. A bidding war for his services would only benefit Leafs. Verdict- Will be moved.
Pavel Kubina- Another leaf with a NTC his leadership is valuable to the team and unless Toronto acquires a powerplay defensemen doesnt look to be going anywear if Kaberle is moved. Would fetch a few prospects. Verdict- Kubina will be gone if Kaberle stays.
Mike Van Ryn- If he can stay healthy is a valuable addition to team, Burke may esnt to find out what Ryn would fetch but would be surprised if he wear dealt. Verdict- Staying put.
Jeff Finger- You dont notice him out there too often which means he is doing his job, one of Wilson's go to D men. Verdict- Staying put.
Jonas Frogren- A good 5th, 6th or 7th defensemen, has a mean streak that Leafs were lacking last season. Verdcit- Staying put.
Anton Stralman- Needs to smarten up in the defensive zone but is too young and has potential to give up on. Verdict- Staying put.
Luke Schenn- Will be here a long time.
Jaime Sifers- Has not looked out of place playing for the team. Verdict- Will be given a spot in starting six once Burke moves two defensemen.
Steffan Kronvall- Has not been able to crack the roster with a log jam doesnt look like he will. Verdict- Will be dangled as part of package.
Nik Antropov- His pending UFA at seasons end makes for a diffcult situation if keeps up his game will be attractive acquisition for playoff contender. Possible 1st or 2nd rounder depending on desperation of teams looking to acquire him. Verdict- Will be moved.
Matt Stajan- Stajan has shown he can play when given ice time although not a # 1 center can be moved to the wing if the team wants. Verdict- Staying put.
Nik Hagman- One of the Leafs best forwards this season, he is a threat almost every shift, one of Fletcher's top moves this off season. Verdict- Staying put.
Nikolai Kulemin- Has nose for the net can only get better. Kulemin best Leaf forward pick in a long time. Verdict- Staying put.
Alexei Ponikarovsky- Big presence and has proven can play without Sundin but can he without Antropov?. Verdict- Will be dangled as part of package.
Mikhail Grabovski- Leafs most gifted forward has impressed fans all over the league. Verdict- Top 2 centerman for a long while.
Jason Blake- His game has improved of late which is good news for the Leafs might get someone interested in taking this contract. Verdict- Will be gone if they find a suitor.
Dominic Moore- Leafs hardest working forward has earned his ice time. Verdict- Will be dangled as part of package.
Jeremy Williams- As long as he works hard a potential 30 goal man Top 6 forward. Verdict- Staying put
Jiri Tlusty- Will get his chance to show what he has got. Verdict- Staying put
John Mitchell- Has shown he can play in league, potential there if given more ice time to put up points. Verdict- Staying put
Ryan Hollweg- an Energy guy who may be expandable with emergence of Deveaux. Verdict- Will be dangled as part of package.
Jamal Mayers- does the job hes asked to do, veteran presence on a young team. Verdict- Staying put
Andre Deveaux- Another role player who has done his job when asked but Burke may be looking for a more established tough guy. Verdict- Will be dangled as part of package.
Lee Stempniak- Big contract for little production but has only played 17 games for team, a few new forwards may rejuvenate this former 27 goal scorer. Verdict- Will be dangled as part of package.
Robbie Earl- He is just waiting his turn on the Marlies, teams fastest skater. Verdict- Staying put.
The key is rebuilding and the Leafs could potential walk into the 2009 draft with not only their first round pick but an additional two from trading Kaberle, Antropov, Toskala. The question for Burke is would he package two or all three depending where the Leafs finish to move up in the draft and obtain either Tavares or Hedman. Watching the World Juniors you can see that both have the potential to be franchise players for a long time.
What would you like to see the Leafs do?
Would you like to see the Leafs move up in the draft to obtain Tavares or Hedman?
As 2009 rings in some Leaf players on the current roster will be ringing out before the season wraps up.