You know, I’ve been pretty quiet during the whole Stamkos fiasco. If I were to don an NHL jersey it would be of the blue and white variety, but I try to keep a level head when projecting where the Leafs will go with respect to trades, free agency, draft etc. Burke has clearly upgraded over last year’s squad already. With the addition of Connolly at center and the whisperings that Lombardi may be close to a return, the center position should be promisingly deep. With what may be one of the best top 6 defensemen in the league they are expecting a step from the backend this coming season as well. But.. And yes, there’s always a but. Will Steven Stamkos be wearing any maple leaf other than a red one any time soon? Probably not... If you were him why would u choose Toronto over any one of the alternatives? Yes Burke can probably offer just as sweet a deal contractually (via offer sheet) as anyone else, however the Leafs are arguably nowhere near the skill level of some of the other offering parties. So why would you choose to go to a weaker team? I can only think of a very few reasons. He really buys the whole, we have something going here, we’re young, fast and we are going to surprise. Maybe he thinks he just may be one of the final pieces. I doubt this because I think they need more then Stamkos to win. Although he obviously makes things look interesting. He could also want to come and play closer to home in front of friends and family being as he is from Markham Ontario which is basically the center of Leafs Nation.
There is no question Steve Stamkos is going to be a star wherever he goes and Toronto would certainly not be an exception. I just don’t see it materialising. If it did it would cost them Luke Schenn almost for certain. Although I believe you give whatever you have to if you have the opportunity to acquire a player the calibre of Stamkos, Luke Schenn would be hard to send packing. Is he a deal breaker? Probably not for me but I suggest… it would be awful hard to put him in the deal. Then you throw in a prospect like Kadri... a couple 1st round picks and maybe even a 2nd. Then you would still likely have to throw in another NHL ready player. Is all of that too much? I’m not quite sure. I guess if you get Stamkos in a trade such as that and are able to sign him to a lengthy contract then you are a winner. I doubt Burke will go over 5 years, which may actually be a plus in the eyes of camp Stamkos. It would mean he would be a UFA far sooner than if he were to sign a long term deal in LA or elsewhere. Toronto’s annual dollars would certainly be higher than anything the Lightning could table as well. Burke could technically dwarf the 5 yr. $37million offered by Tampa previously.
It’s all fun to talk about and is very possible but it’s one of those things that are just not likely to happen. Yet… you never really know... do you.
The best top 6 defensemen? They improved with Franson but the best, no. Maybe in the top 10.
The best top 6 defensemen? They improved with Franson but the best, no. Maybe in the top 10. But other wise, a good read.
@habsteen26 I have to disagree with you there. The Leafs D-corps may be one of the best in the league. Despite the lack of an outright star, they are solid from top to bottom. If Franson and Schenn can continue to build on their last season and have Dion back to the way he was with the Flames early on, then they will be the best.
@HoshiBlitz, Toronto had a 2.99 GAA last year, and it wasn't because of goal tending. I don't expect Franson to do much, although he was a 10. I just have a feeling Franson won't be a game changer...not hating on the Leafs because I'm a Habs fan, I actually think the Leafs could contend for a playoff spot next season...but saying they have the top defense corps in the NHL is a stretch.
And by the way, the 2.99 GAA was good for 24th/30.
And, Franson was a 10, sorry.
Im a die-hard leaf fan but i gotta agree with Habsteen. Sure the its an improvement but its still a coin toss. My X-factor is Dion, if he has solid start then the whole defense core could shine...Overall good read. I'm excited for the Leafs season next year. They've added depth but everything thing is up in the air still. Connely is high risk, high reward. I don't think MacArthur is going to have another career year AND it all comes down to JAMES! Is he the realdeal or another one season wonder?
Best top 6 in the league? You don't even have a bonafide top pairing, LOL
I've gotta say, that "one of the best top 6 in the league" is one of the funniest things I've read on the net in a LONG time. Absolutely hilarious. You do realize there are teams outside of TO, right??
Where does he say top 6 in the league. He says "what may be one of the best" not THE BEST.
I'd say they're top 10 for sure but with teams losing a lot on the defensive side this year it's tough to get a top 10 in terms of the players and depth.It's tough to get a top 10 list out there because of how much movement there has been.