Alright guys, it wasn't pretty. We finished in last place in the East on a team that our GM thought would compete for a playoff spot. Granted, a lot went wrong to get us to that point: Komisarek's injury, Kessel's late start to the season, Vesa Toskala's goaltending. That said, a lot will have to go right next year (starting with this offseason) to get us back into the playoffs. Here's a list of things that I expect our wise and benevolent GM will be wishing for or hoping to achieve this offseason.
- A first line center - Don't get me wrong, I like Tyler Bozak, and Kadri's development in the CHL this season has been impressive. My preference would be to see Bozak centering the second line and Kadri heading up the third line with reduced responsibility and pressure.
- A first round draft pick - I'm not about to go into the whole Kessel deal at length but we all know that the move has left us without a first rounder this season. Despite this, Burkie has chosen to go with youth and it's a strategy that I whole-heartedly endorse. You've got to think that he'd love to pick up a first rounder.
- A home for Jeff Finger - Buyouts suck. We're still paying Darcy Tucker for crap sakes. So how do we get Finger out of here? In all likelihood we don't, but is there any chance we can bury his money in the minors? A guy can dream...
- Tamper with the Vacouver Canucks - It isn't a successful offseason if we don't, at some point, piss off Mike Gillis.
- More toughness in his 'bottom six' - Colton Orr beat the crap out of Matt Carkner with regularity. The only problem is, with him in the box, we didn't have anyone to beat up Chris Neil. Hopefully next year, we will.
- A bidding war on Tomas Kaberle - I'll miss him dearly but let's face it, we have way too much money tied up in our defense. The market for puck moving defensemen seems to be highly variable. Sometimes they're in high demand and you can get some pretty alluring packages. Other times, you'll see a guy move and wonder, "how was THAT all it took!?". Let's hope, for our sake it's the former and not the latter.
The Habs are always on the lookout for some overpaid underperformers, maybe they'll take Finger. If not there's always Calgary
It's true -- Calgary has officially become the home of discarded Maple Leafs.
"Colton Orr beat the crap out of Matt Carkner with regularity. The only problem is, with him in the box, we didn't have anyone to beat up Chris Neil. Hopefully next year, we will."
Amen. Zenon Konopka would fill the roll of "Chris Neil beater-upper" quite well. Plus he is pretty awesome at faceoffs, but who cares about that?
As long as #3 and #4 come to fruition in some way I will be happy.
Zenon Kenopka would look fantastic in a Leaf sweater. He spent some serious time on my fantasy team this year as my bruiser and --little known fact -- was among the league leaders in faceoff percentage. Those little 'specialty skills' are what make good bottom six players.
Why does no one mention Derek Boogaard?
I prefer Kenopka personally because of the other things he brings to the team.
But if the sole purpose is turning Chris Neil's face into mashed potatoes then the Boogey Man is probably the guy to do it.
Chris Neil still has some of his own teeth. This is unacceptable.
i agree with that has been said, we deffinetly need a #1 centre, for 15 seasons we had a #1 centre and no sniping winger for him to use, and now that we have that we got no one to feed him...i also want to see kaberle gone for hopefully some decent forwards, i mean there's no chance that we are going to get anything like jeff carter offered for him ever again....lastly I think schenn should be put out for bait, I dont like what I see and I know he might still be developing, however, why not see what hes worth to comeone else? tell me what you think
It depends on if the rumor mill is to be believed. The Flyers have younger forwards with scads of talent that make less money. Giroux is a natural center and they'd like to get him back there.
If the price for Carter is what it's rumoured to be, then shipping a goaltending prospect and Kaberle might get us Carter and I think that would be a steal for the Leafs
Also, with regards to Schenn, I would have agreed with you last off season but after the year he had, I think his current value is as low as it's going to be. Let him recover for a bit next year before you even consider moving him is my opinion on the matter.
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