With the John Ferguson Jr. era clearly behind us now and Cliff Fletcher back at the helm of the Maple Leafs ship. We can only hope there are no icebergs in the water.
With roughly 30 days remaining until the trade deadline it is paramount that the Leafs brass make trades for future help, meaning draft picks and young players, preferably under the age of 25.
The next two drafts are predicted to be deep with potential NHL talent, thus the Leafs scouting staff will be counted on to make quality selections. These two drafts could mean the start of a dynasty or continued futility dependant on who is selected and how early the Leafs select in the draft.
The NHL draft is a crap shoot at the best of times but if a few extra picks can be added in the early rounds of the draft the better. It is also important that Fletcher or the future G.M. analyse the Leafs developmental program. Scouting and the Marlies staff will all need to be put under the microscope.
We are in a new NHL where player development is vital to any long term success. Something the Leafs have lacked for over 40 years.
Salary needs to be between 30-35 million for next season. It is vital that Cliff or the new guy chop chop, even if it means breaking a heart or two.
Mats Sundin in my estimation should be the only current Leaf given any say in where he goes or if he goes. If he choses to stay a Leaf and retire a Leaf, so be it and I would applaud that move.
Every other Leaf is dispensable with a number locked into multi year contracts, trading them will need the expertise of Cliff Fletcher and/or an experienced new guy.
Let the bargain hunting begin, come one and all NHL GM's, step up to the plate and add a piece here and there to your club for that stretch drive and Cup run. Be sure to leave us your number one/two draft picks all in a row.
One more thing, all sales are final.