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:
More 1st round picks please
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.
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.
The heavens to chillax, and take breaks between the massive snowfalls in Toronto.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.