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Bright's Grove, ON • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
Sure the majority of Leafs fans saw the value of a trade Tomas Kaberle, and dreamed of a top line starring countless players from around the league paired with Kessel and Bozak/Versteeg (depending on said players position), but alas, it wasn't to be, and Kaberle remains a Leaf for another year. Now, the question to be asked, where to the Leafs stand.

In my eyes, the Leafs' roster, as far as defenders go, is one of the most well rounded in the league. Now it isn't the best, maybe not even top 5 ... but few can argue that on paper this crew is top 10 for sure, which puts them in the top 3rd.

In my eyes, this lineup, as is, will be much more competitive than last year, and will finish anywhere from 7-12 in the conference depending on various other moves.

As it stands today, an hour and a half after the Kaberle deal, the Leafs roster looks as follows.

Versteeg - Bozak - Kessel
Kulemin - Kadri - Armstrong
Caputi - Grabovski - Sjstrom
Mitchell - Brown - Orr
Irwin (Hanson if resigned)

Phaneuf - Beauchemin
Kaberle - Komisarek
Schenn - Gunnarsson (arguably the best defender many games last year for the team)
Lebda

Giggy
Gustavsson

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All 3 defensive pairings compliment each other in very beneficial ways (although, it doesn't exude physicality which is better in many ways in my eyes), as each has a player who can crush opponents and a player competent of getting the puck out of the defensive end.

The top-2 forward lines, as many have pointed out, and will be pointed out many more times, hinge solely on Kadri and Bozak being able to produce, but, given the talent on the wings that hasn't been seen in Leafs land for a full season in ages, should be able to put up better numbers than last year.

However, I think that there will be a slight adjustment to that roster, with the addition of Raffi Torres through free agency. He has long said he would like to play for Toronto and with the money saved when Finger is put on waivers, Burke will have ample free cash to spend on him.

FINAL roster in my eyes

Versteeg - Bozak - Kessel
Kulemin - Kadri - Grabovski
Sjostrom - Torres - Armstrong
Brown - Hanson - Orr
Mitchell

Phaneuf - Beauchemin
Kaberle - Komisarek
Schenn - Gunnarsson
Lebda

Giggy
Gustavsson

Burke's vision of the team in a nut shell. Two "scoring/talent" lines. Two "checking lines", one loaded with penalty killers and one loaded with enforcers and a team built from the net out.

My current prediction is that the Leafs finish 10th, but with the addition of a depth forward in Torres and with the centers playing to their potential, the Leafs could challenge for 8th and possibly squeak in.

The justification for this is not in their ability to score enough goals, it is based on the ability to keep pucks out of their net and have more effective special teams than last year.

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Remember Leafs fans, in time the wounds will heal, and all will be forgiven if the team comes out of the gate strong this year!

Also, in my eyes, this roster isn't that far off the talent within the division with only 2 clubs being "sure" things ahead in the standings, they may be closer to challenging for home ice in the playoffs than many give them credit for. My prediction on that is if they don't challenge for the division in 2011-2012, they surely will in 2012-2013
Filed Under:   Leafs   non-trade   roster   division  
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