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Are the Leafs pulling off good moves?
Mon, November 24, 2008

The Maple Leafs have traded Carlo Colaicovo and Alex Steen to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for forward Lee Stempniak.

Stempniak, 25, a native of West Seneca, N.Y., scored 27 goals two seasons ago.

This season, he has three goals and 10 assists through 14 games.

Is this a good move for the Leafs? Have your say in our forum.

Colaiacovo, Steen dealt to Blues



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468 Comments

In response to the caption "What now for the Leafs?" - well, how about driving a nail into the Sens coffin tomorrow night!

Wouldn't THAT make for some interesting dialogue in this forum?
George O'Leary, 2008-04-02 10:27:38

With inflation and other economic factors, the salary cap is likely to keep going up a couple or few million every year sooooooooo buying guys out may not be quite so disastrous or long-term. Just a thought...
Norbit, 2008-04-01 19:54:25

Comprehensive analysis Brent. Re Bowman, however, I rather think that, once he got a good look at those no trade/no movement multi-year contracts which have no hope of ever being traded - and realizing that the buyout bites for the next 6 yaesr would preclude attracting any decent UFA, never mind extending offers to certain RFAs, he probably backed off. I mean, Sammy Pollock at his peak couldn't turn this around in under 4 years. And Bowman is no Pollock when it comes to the GM side of things. Didn't he leave Montreal in a huff when passed over for that position?
George O'Leary, 2008-04-01 19:11:45

What was the message Mr. Bowman received from the Leaf brass? Could Bowman be the right man to manage the Leafs? His resume would substantiate that. Yet, so we as fans, can we conclude that perhaps his agenda didn't get the support of certain people in charge, in that Bowman would want control. Others may also bring the right credentials to maaging the Leafs. What a wonderful challenge for that right person. Handling the pressure, the press, the board, the fans etc. etc. would be a huge job. I can't imagine. The Raptors have a man in control, and the product has made significant improvements. That organization didn't have almost 41 years of teams that didn't have all in ingredients to be great. The brief glimmer of hope in the early 90's was a tease. I saw the Leafs win in '67, and before that. It was a different era. The game has changed and the business of the game is more complex, I would think. Business is top priority. It must be very challenging to run such a business. However, good business people in a sporting enterprise must have a passion and insight, not just to be fiscally responsible to keep the investors satisfied, but give the fan base satisfaction. That's perhaps what makes running a successful sports business more challenging. In Canada, hockey is one of our national sports, a major identity of Canada. The Leafs have clearly made an impact on Canadians across the country, judging by the number of fans attending games at rival arenas. Yes, all the pariFANalia sold, and the concession profits, the Leafs generate, along with seat sales does provide a confortable investment climate. Does MLSE honestly have the incentive to actually try to win a Stanley Cup? Yes, in another venue where hockey is fourth or fifth in entertainment, a full house is imperative. But I don't believe that the investors,owners, or board of govenors are satisfied with the status quo of the team. Those in charge just haven't been as successful as they could be,obviously! Recognition that would be afforded to such an achievement as winning the Cup is a human need. It should be the driving force. Success breeds success etc.. Seeing the plans and careful management come to fruition is what every successful business would want. It would be a monumental achievement here. It may even force parliament to delcare Leaf Day! Clearly, to one who doesn't know the business world of hockey, I still don't understand how or why people, who have the ability, can't repair the problem, admit that control be given to proven individuals who know the hockey business, and have the respect of the league. Why does it take so much time to get it right? The excuses that could be summoned, the in-house fighting, the Ballard era, have been bantered for years and are meaningless now. As a business and marketing power, the MLSE empire is successful. Yet that success pales in the success that a Leaf championship would bring. I don't want the Leafs to be in the Chicago Cubs ballpark of 100 years of futility. Mistakes have been made, injuries occur,draft picks squandered, or proved insignificant, trades were good and bad etc. All teams have their successes and failures. Look at what the successful teams have done to win championships and emulate that. An organization may only get one chance at the Cup,these days, given the free agency, cap structure, and increased parity in hockey today, a far cry from the pre-expansion era. Fans will still go to the games because they love the sport and want to see the Leafs win. They will go because they are hopeful and forgiving. Some will protest and maybe become a Canadien's fan. Some will only join the band wagon. Some will give up and watch Nascar, which is perfectly fine. The owners know this. Hockey in Canada, in Toronto, in the G.T.A., is No.1 ,inspite of the 41 years and counting. I would love for my grandchildren to see a Leaf cup, even better if I was alive to see it with them! Sometime, hopefully, we can begin to talk about how amazing a Leaf championship can feel. I know how I felt when I witnessed that '67 Cup win. I never thought that I'd be waiting for that feeling to enjoy for over 40 years!! How wonderful to be able to forget the 41 years of wandering in the desert, forget the critics, the Laff jokes. I look forward to praise the talented, passionate players and management who finally succeeded, and give cudos to those who did try in the past. As Leaf fans, we want to just enjoy the moment, which may be brief in the hockey world of the Leaf fan. Brent Holden, Niagara Falls.
Brent Holden, 2008-03-31 19:39:52

Mr.O'Leary, I am of the opinion that most die-hard Leaf fans would put up with the Leafs having to pay those lunks their $6 mill over the next 6 years if it means they are gone forever! Sometimes it takes a big step to get moving in the right direction. Even the appearacne of trying to improve the team would be welcome. Unfortunately, the scouting staff does not seem to know what they are doing when looking for new talent. So what exactly will happen? 40 more years of mediocrity? Maybe the Silver Fox can swing a deal with Burke to take the no-trade clausers before he takes over as Leafs' GM.
Voice of Reason, 2008-03-31 14:47:38

VoiceofReason, while it would certainly clear the decks for an influx of new faces, to buy out the contracts you mention would cost the Leafs over $6 million a year for the next SIX years against the cap!

That would severely limit what they could pay any decent players left on (or new to) the roster for the next six seasons.

In the pre-cap days, buying them out would be no problem as the one thing this organization has is cash. But now, with the cap, that would put them squarely behind the 8-ball for too many years.

Getting someone dumb enough to take them on trades remains the best option, and even there the Leafs would have to eat a portion of the contract for several years much as Washington had to do with Jagr.
George O'Leary, 2008-03-31 11:39:15

I DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHY STEEN DESERVED A NEW CONTRACT
Lisa Ho, 2008-03-31 10:59:02

I would love for Fletcher to buy out Tucker, McCabe, Blake, Kubina, Raycroft, Bell, and Ponakarovsky. But the best thing that the Leafs' mismanagement could do is listen to the fans, as if that'll ever happen.
Voice of Reason, 2008-03-31 09:17:32

Strangely enough, it now makes sense to keep Sundin for one more year if he still wants to stay in TO.

It made sense to get rid of him before the trade deadline because of what the Leafs could have gotten for him. Now, they get nothing in return for him anyway, so they may as well hold on to their top point-producer as their re-building phase starts.

For reasons only he knows, he genuinely seems to have no personal Stanley Cup ambitions for himself. That’s hard to fathom for a super-star-calibre NHL player, but there it is. So let him keep hanging around.

Both McCabe and Tucker need to go for sure. Other teams had already figured out how to deal with 'One-Trick McCabe' and his slapshot from the point the year JFJ gave him his long-term, big cash contract. Unfortunately, he's proven time and again that he doesn't have any other tricks.

As for Tucker, he hasn't been the same player since coming back from his last injury. It seems like it made him overly-cautious and changed his whole on-ice personality and 'in your face' kind of playing approach. He doesn't even stand at the side of the net to tip in goals anymore.
Jeff, 2008-03-30 17:28:12

on Pete's comment, where did Jimmy go? I miss him, NOT!
RJ, 2008-03-30 17:26:27

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