This summer will be a key time as the Toronto Maple Leafs strive to break a drought that has seen them absent from the past six consecutive post seasons. The farm has been rejuvenated with the likes of Greg McKegg, Jesse Blacker, Jake Gardiner and Joe Colborne joining top prospect Nazem Kadri. However, the Leafs remain without a number one play making center and are still a few pieces away from being any sort of contender.
Brian Burke finds himself in a critical position this off season, he knows what he needs, the difficulty will be acquiring it. The most obvious candidate to fill the position would be Brad Richards, yet a plethora of other options supposedly remain.
The media has made options such as Zach Parise and Steve Stamkos seem reasonable targets. Pardon my french, but this is absolute poppycock. Not only would both of these RFAs come at an extremely steep cost, but for some reason the fact that both these guys are pure goal scorers is completely disregarded.
Jason Spezza and Paul Stastny of Colorado have also been mentioned as adequate candidates. In my opinion Stastny is the number one target the Leafs should be pursuing. The emergence of Matt Duschene as a number one center has made Stastny expendable. His on ice vision and play-making prowess make him the ideal choice to feed Phil Kessel pucks next season. Although he won't be easy to pry away from the Avalanche, here is my proposed offer. McKegg along with the 25th and 30th picks in this year's draft and Luca Caputi should provide adequate compensation, and should be a win win for both parties.
More to follow concerning the other voids on the roster..