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Aboard the Battlestar Galactica • Canada • 2009 Years Old • Male
It's that time of the year again, and Leafs fans head into the holiday break with a sour taste after an 8-2 OBLITERATION by the Dallas Stars. That was simply embarrassing. Losing that bad to a team that has had just as much difficulty as us, possibly even more!

I find this curious. Why is it we play well against teams, that outsiders would consider an instant loss, and poorly against a team that should be an easy two points? This team is far from predictable meaning this team is just as likely to be bottom ten in the league come deadline, or right in the playoff race. We whoop Pittsburgh, which was surprising, we whoop Atlanta which was not so surprising, then we get massacred by Dallas. It can be frustrating being a Leafs fan, lol.

Anyways, here is my Christmas Wish list: Leafs edition. I wish for:
1. More 1st round picks please

2. A trade of Toskala. Honestly Burke needs to salvage the remaining value that Toskala does have left. In my opinion he isn't worth a thing more than 1st round pick, or something like a high 2nd and a 3rd. His value hasn't hit rock bottom yet, as he is still a reasonably good choice for teams in the market for a tender. He comes at a reasonable price, and should play a lot better in front of a cup contending defense.

3. Either do number two or allow CuJo to retire(which he knows is a very good possibility right now) and keep Pogge up as backup for the remainder of the season.

4. The heavens to chillax, and take breaks between the massive snowfalls in Toronto.

5. Tomas Kaberle's trade: for possibly a 1st round draft pick and an up-and-coming young player. I don't know who could be available but possibly James VanRiemsdyk or Claude Giroux from Philidelphia? Or possibly Hansen/Grabner over with Vancouver...Vancouver's a team that could really use the power play quarterback. We could maybe, if Burke wants the insurance, take on the young goalie Schneider, as the prospect coming back to get us, and to allow us to move Toskala. Kaberle would be comfortable, I'm sure waiving his NTC for Van City, for a few reasons. One: they're more of a cup contender than the Leafs are, and two: there are a couple of Maple Leafs there already.

I know a lot of people think that Kaberle's value's dropped. Possibly, but definitely not significantly, not the point where we wouldn't get a 1st round pick and a blue chipper for him. His offensive game is doing just fine, he's tied for 5th in defenseman scoring, it's his defensive game that's been a bit worse than normal, but he has never been exceptionally good in his end.

6. A few first line players -- legit 1st line players. This kind of ties in with the above wish. We really need to get ourselves a first line, because right now we're rolling a couple of second lines, and a couple of 3rd lines. The one player we have on our team, that in my opinion, belongs on that first line is Antropov. I don't really care how we get them, but I wouldn't want the Leafs to overpay for a star. In my opinion the best way for us to do this is through the draft, and a key FA signing or two(young free-agents).

7. A heavy weight. Andre Deveaux is doing pretty well against the smaller guys but we really need that heavy weight to win that big fight that could provide a swing in the momentum to help us win games.

8. The removal of Ryan Hollweg, and possibly Sifers. They aren't particularly good(especially Hollweg, you Rags fans were right, how blind were we!), and Stralman should be getting regular icetime with the big club. Hollweg is wasting a spot with the Leafs. He does nothing well. He can't play. He's can't hit with out doing something illegal. He can't fight(at all). It's actually embarrassing when he tries to fight, especially when the guy he's fighting is double his size. All in all, Hollweg is garbage.

9. Insurance in the goaltender. I know this is something that could be dealt with a little bit down the line, but it is equally important. I really like how Pogge played on Monday, even though he wasn't tested much, he was solid. But I don't think this organization has much faith, or rather AS much faith as they once had in him. His numbers this season in the AHL have been very disappointing, I know there's the argument that the Marlies squad he's playing infront of is not nearly as talented as they were last season, but a good goaltender should still be able to manage it, and put up decent numbers. I really think either we should get an NHL ready goaltender back for Kaberle(as the blue chip prospect), or more preferably take that 1st, or early 2nd round pick that could be aquired for Toskala and draft a goaltender with it.

This draft isn't the strongest when considering top goaltender talent, but the highest ranked goaltender in this year's draft is Olivier Roy out of the QJMHL: who is supposed to have amazing talent, and is supposed to be the next big goaltender out of Montreal with star potential. He's projected to go someplace in the mid-late 1st round, and it would definitely be worth spending a pick on him. Mike Lee out of the USHL is another solid prospect supposed to go around the late 1st early 2nd round.

10. And finally the last thing, as a Leafs fan, I want for christmas, is a true direction to this hockey club. Burke said it best:

"I do believe you're team should be trying to move up rapidly or move down rapidly, a team that just tries to do 'ok' never wins."

Are we gunning for the playoffs or moving down in the standings to draft that franchise centre we so desperately need?

The thought of Matt Duchene, Evander Kane, or Svennson-Paajarvi is what compels me to wish that Burke blows up the entire team at deadline. I was at one point, very Pro-Schenn but most scouts project him to be a 2nd line centre and captain material. Those type of players are great, but I really think we should be looking for a 1st line franchise forward. If we were drafting a player like him with a second 1st round draft pick would be AMAZING, but I really think we need to come out of this draft with a top line prospect, and not draft Schenn for the sake of him being Luke's brother.

Burke is not much of a draft day mover, so he should get a lot of his work done ahead of time.

And THAT is my Christmas Wish list Maple Leafs edition, I'd like to wish all a Very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, happy holidays, and a Happy New Year. =D

Thanks for your time.
Filed Under:   Toskala   Leafs   Burke   tml35  
December 24, 2008 10:40 PM ET | Delete
Kaberle's stock has not diminished by any means.Last time I checked he was 5th in D-man scoring and on pace for 60 points.Good blog.
December 25, 2008 11:41 AM ET | Delete
I completely disagree with your assesment of Toskola. Agreed he's no Nabokov or Miller, but to say he's only worth a 1st is ridiculous. I would be very dissapointed if Burke and company traded him for only a 1st. Toskola is a developed and legitimate starting goaltender. Very difficult to find proven players in that category in the league. If Burke is to trade him, expect to see a package of picks or a few 2/3rd line players and a 1st to be returning our way. His value is almost at par with Kaberlie right now. Other than that... you're absolutely right.
December 25, 2008 11:41 AM ET | Delete
Message Posted
December 25, 2008 1:52 PM ET | Delete
Wow ndk I hope you're kidding. When even the majority of Leaf fans think Toskala isn't worth that much then he probably isn't.
December 25, 2008 2:02 PM ET | Delete
ndk, you are out to lunch.
December 25, 2008 7:34 PM ET | Delete
Most believe that the problem with Toskala is that he has never PROVEN to be that developed and legitimate starting goaltender.
December 26, 2008 2:28 PM ET | Delete
Leafs fans are an intriguing bunch. They over value what is worthless and undervalue their true assets. While i'm totally fine with people disagreeing with me, even useless comments like "you're out to lunch" which dont contribute any alternative view (good job on that post by the way, I really think you added a lot to the conversation), I'm actually surprised at how many people devalue toskola. Discussions here are useless though. Let future occurances prove who's right and who's wrong. P.S. I love the Omar Avatar Kaspar lol. Definately the best character in that show!
December 26, 2008 3:24 PM ET | Delete
It depends who Toskala goes to, and what kinda mood another GM catches Burke in. I don't know if Murray gives up Ottawa's own 1st round pick, I would package a bunch of our own picks to get that pick. But more likely the SJ 1st more(and even a late 1st is great in this draft we could pick up someone like Ryan O'Reilly). Absurd deadline deals happen all the time, and what fans presume to be a players value may not/is not usually the case. I think ndk's argument is justifiable and a GM might(in the fans opinion) overpay for him knowing that Toskala's played solid hockey in the past. We did come into this season thinking that Toskala is a bonafide number one goalie. If he goes to a division rival, there is no doubt in my mind that Murray would have to pay more. Who really knows...
December 27, 2008 1:35 PM ET | Delete
Trading the likes of Stralman and Tlusty, along with Kaberle, Kubina, Stajan, Poni and hopefully Toskala will bring the most return. You can't just trade all old guys for picks and prospects, Burke is going to have to trade some young/youngish guys in order to return something solid. Everyone GM knows they will be trying to unload their older guys, I'm thinking that there could be several younger packaged together with them to up the ante, guys like Stralman, Stajan and White.
December 27, 2008 2:38 PM ET | Delete
I could definitely see Stajan and White moved. Stajan's value is at an all-time high so Burke should take advantage of that. Toskala is not the goalie that we need going into the future, so Burke should trade him when his value climbs back up a bit. I understand that you have to trade youngish guys to make change, but it's against the point of rebuilding if you trade a Bluechipper like Stralman, I don't consider Tlusty a bluechipper btw. IMO the only untouchables on this team are Schenn, Stralman and our 1st round pick. Besides them all should be available for trade, for the right price.
December 31, 2008 3:32 AM ET | Delete
add Pogge to that list of "untouchables" TML35 and I am right there with you.. I also think, at this point, I would consider adding Williams to that list and Dido as well...
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