With the way the Leafs have performed since the lockout...more specifically last season and this season...many people have called for trades of pretty much everyone.
There's some players that just CANNOT be traded. Blake and Finger have contracts that no team in their right mind would take...especially when the Leafs are one of the few teams in the NHL even CAPABLE of taking on extra salary. Vesa Toskala has become a goalie who couldn't prevent a beach ball from going into a golf hole, and with his salary, he wouldn't even be a suitable back-up for most teams.
But then there's players who could be traded, not neccessarily for very much, but at least they could get something. As much as people love Matt Stajan, many fans seem to hate him just as much. It's no secret that he probably isn't a top 6 forward in the NHL, he's a well above average 3rd line centre...a sort of 2.5 line centre. Ponikarovsky has been surprisingly consistant without Mats Sundin, and though he trailed off slightly with Antropov, he's still an alright player. Neither Stajan or Poni will get a lot in return, but even a change of scenery for them with players of equal talent and/or some sort of draft picks would be a good choice all around. A new team may jump start their career, while fresh faces could bring a new attitude to the dressing room. And of course draft picks are never a bad thing...unless you're giving them up like JFJ.
Majority of the team can easily be debated over. Who should stay and who should go is a question that is all opinion based, and dependant on the return. However there are a few players that I believe Toronto CANNOT afford to trade. Of course Luke Schenn falls into that category. He's still incredibly young with a very high pontential of being a very good shut-down d-man. He will never be an offensive force, but that was known upon drafting him. Grabovski is also someone I don't think should be traded, although he does need the message of team play drilled into him a little more. He makes too many individual plays resulting in turnovers. But when he's playing well, he can be a very talented asset to have.
I could go through the list of all the players and why I feel they should or should not be traded. But there's one player in particular that gets a lot of trade talk, and it's sort of baffling to me...Thomas Kaberle.
I understand the want of some good draft picks...especially with the lack of a 1st rounder this year and next year. But for now let's use Taylor Hall as the first overall pick, and let's assume that the Leafs WOULD have the 1st pick this year. Is trading an established, incredibly poised, dependably defensive, and offensively skilled defenceman worth Taylor Hall. Now before you jump to an answer, hear me out. There is almost no doubt that Taylor Hall WILL be an excellent NHLer. But the Toronto system has NOBODY even close to the calibre of player on the back end that Thomas Kaberle is. Somebody like Kaberle is very much a part of the reason that Toronto has even won games at all this year. I've heard people saying that he's too old for the team that's being built...he's only 31. AND he has a good number of years left in him. If this team is a contender in the next 5 years he will still be a very good asset to have on the blueline. Not to mention that over time he will be a great mentor for young d-men like Luke Schenn who don't have the same poise with the puck that he has.
I honestly believe that trading away Kaberle is NOT a good move. My above hypothetical situation is based on Toronto somehow getting the first overall pick...which is next to impossible since we don't have our own, and getting the 1st round pick for this year from one of the few teams worse than us IS NOT going to happen. And even then, we'd still have to win the lottory. And picking outside #1 or #2 definitely isn't worth giving up a tried and true blueliner like Kaberle.
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